While social media has created the unprecedented ability to connect with, engage and entertain thousands of prospects at any one time, many horse businesses are consistently hitting roadblocks. Not only are social media platforms, like Facebook, making it harder than ever to reach your target audience, but the staggering statistics reveal just how easy it is to get lost in the white noise.
Many horse businesses believe the power of social media has far surpassed email marketing, with a few claiming that email is dead. But, we argue the opposite is actually true and, in fact, email marketing in our current age of social media is perhaps even more important.
So, we’re going to show you how you can stop trying to reach the masses with the social media megaphone and, instead, have an intimate, one-to-one conversation with some of your best customers via email in this new three-part series.
Inside the Inbox
Just like social media, email marketing is permission-based, in the sense that a person chooses to opt-in to your emails and they can leave at any time by unsubscribing. However, email still continues to outperform social media as the premier tool for building long-term relationships with prospects and customers.
Why? Because it moves the conversation about your horse business to a more personal environment: the inbox; ultimately, changing the dynamics of a one-to-many dialogue to a one-to-one conversation. Every new subscriber to your mailing list marks another qualified lead who wants to hear more from your business – and not just on the off-chance that you might pop up on their news feed.
What email marketing is not is an opportunity to spam every email address you collect. A quick note for any of you out there pulling emails from all kinds of sources: don’t. A small, authentic list of 20 will always work harder for your equine business than an assortment of 2,000 emails from old events, purchased lists or disinterested past customers. You put your entire business reputation at risk if you continuously use a stale and unclean mailing list.
A Content Exchange
It seems pretty simple, but many horse businesses miss the mark from the very start. Every element – from your subscribe form, to your offer and even the subscribe button itself – has to have an inherent value to your prospects and customers. Be clear on what a person will receive in return for sharing their precious contact information if they join your mailing list. Make it enticing and worthwhile.
Will they be able to access exclusive members-only content? Will they receive VIP invitations or previews of your newest product? Will they get a special discount on their birthday? This offer is what draws them in, but the true value of the exchange comes later. That is, keeping them engaged month in, month out with content that delights, entertains and inspires; content they want to share with others.
Every part of your email campaigns have one important function and that’s to get the next part read. Your subject line must prompt a subscriber to open, your articles must keep their interest and your hyperlinks must encourage them to take action. When crafting your next email campaign, here’s the top three things to consider:
- The subject line – the one and only chance to see any open rates at all. Powerful copywriting makes a promise to your reader about the value contained inside. Be succinct and to-the-point with a punchy headline that won’t get cut short by different email service providers.
- The copy – is your brand personality fun and personable, formal and professional, or some combination of the two? Your voice is what distinguishes your brand from the rest and should be in line with your type of customer. Make them feel comfortable.
- The content – quality, niche-specific information in the form of text, image, video and HTML that your subscriber wants to read and share with others; thus, inspiring referrals to your equine business and tapping into the unharnessed power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Make it easy for your subscribers to share your emails more frequently by adding social share icons and a forward button to your email campaigns. Don’t be shy to add a quick line of text also encouraging them to forward the email to a friend if they know someone else who may like to hear from your business.
Want to learn more about email marketing? Part Two will continue with setting a clear direction for your email marketing and the essentials that’ll improve your open rates.
Looking for some outside support? Don’t wait for success, create it — with the experts in equine marketing, Archer Creative. To learn more about how we can help you exceed your growth goals, call us on 1300 077 126 or visit www.archercreative.net.au.