Serial, Email, and SMarketing trends

The classic way sales people operate, is not effective anymore, however, many companies are still using the same techniques. These days, consumers are more savvy, and less trusting and notice when a sales person is trying to close a deal. Companies need to encourage the sales and marketing teams to work together and focus on attracting qualified leads, and closing with the right customers. According to HubSpot’s SMarketing lesson, having marketing and sales work together, companies with strongly aligned teams can expect a 20% annual revenue growth. This is a fantastic incentive to begin the collaboration process between marketing and sales groups.

Usually, marketing employees handle the first part of the customer journey through the funnel. The marketing department handles the first half of the funnel, then the sales people take over, and seal the deal. Companies need to figure out exactly what the point is that marketing should hand a lead over to sales, and define it so all employees know when the hand-off should take place.

In many companies, sales and marketing groups do not get along. Employees in the marketing department see sales employees as lazy, simple minded, and incompetent. Sales employees see marketing employees as arts & crafts, irrelevant, and academics. According to HubSpot, 87% of terms these two departments use to describe each other is negative, and for them to work effectively together, that needs to change.

Getting sales and marketing departments on the same page is vital to collaboration. Giving the two departments the same goal, creating more visibility, and aligning compensation around the goals will give incentive ti all employees to focus on the goal. In the process, I believe the sales and marketing departments will get to know each other further, and realize both departments employ competent people who are willing to work hard towards a goal. The number one thing to ensure happens, is communication between the two departments. Create a closed-loop for communications to ensure all parties are apprised to all pertinent information.

The email marketing funnel.

You know that phrase “you learn something new everyday”? I learned today that email marketing is way more effective than I (and most everyone!) expected. Fun fact: or every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25. Email marketing is 40x more effective than social media marketing (#sorrytwitter). Email marketing is an effective tool marketers can use to target customers, get them thinking about their brand, and increase their conversion rate. Email marketing is very much alive, and one of the most effective ways to connect with customers.

The email marketing commandments

When creating an email to send to your email list, it is important to remember that the email will have 3 seconds to pass the glance test, or it will be sent to the trash. To pass the glance test, the sender needs to be able to explain why they are emailing the receiver is about 1 sentence. Be brief, and personalize your message to catch the attention of the person receiving the message. Use their name, the city they are in,and make sure to follow-up 3-5 days later. Following up can increase the odds of success according to this article, and should always happen even if the target does not reply to the original email.

To ensure your subscribers do not get bored with your emails, you should take a few steps to ensure they don’t unsubscribe completely. Follow the above steps (research, personalize, short subject, and follow up), but also prove to your subscribers that you have more to offer than just deals, and coupons for receivers to use.

I get emails from a child-care finding site that helps connect families and caregivers. In addition to trying to convince email subscribers to hire a babysitter for a date-night, summer, or after-school care, Care send me content like blog posts, articles, and parenting advice. The most recent piece of content Care emailed me about was a blog post about whether or not Baby Number 3 is One Too Many. Another was “Find a Babysitter Near Bellingham, WA!” By sending customized content to parents, and proving that they have more to offer than just childcare connections, Care is able to keep parents subscribed to their emails, and keep in parents’ minds.

Another best practice of email marketing is giving customers the option to determine the frequency of emails. If you have a choice between having a customer unsubscribe or receive emails only once a month then of course, you will choose the monthly option! At the bottom of emails, I almost always see an unsubscribe button. When a customer clicks on it, take them to a page where they can choose “unsubscribe from all” or a frequency. Maybe have the default be “Only receive emails weekly,” “monthly,” and finally have “Unsubscribe from all” as the last option like this Bed Bath & Beyond example above.

There is a popular podcast that is beginning its second season in 2015 called Serial. The podcast is a spin-off of This American Life. Throughout the season, Serial tells a non-fiction story about someone’s life. In the first season, it told the story about a high schooler who was accused of murdering a young woman, and whether or not he is the true murderer. You don’t get to hear the ending until the last episode of the Podcast, so I won’t give away the ending, but once you start listening, it is hard to stop.

At the beginning of the Podcast, there is a single commercial played every episode about Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is a company that sends newsletters, emails, and high fives out for companies. They are associated with Serial because of their sponsorship, and have gotten quite popular because of it. There is a meme and twitter hash-tag of consumers trying to figure out how to correctly pronounce, “Mail Chimp” which has given Mail Chimp greater visibility. Since many consumers listened to Serial consistently every week, the Mail Chimp ad quickly became associated with the show as well. Listen to the ad here, and let me know in the comments if you find it catchy too!


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