I love it when the client is RIGHT!

by Barb Cote on May 3, 2010

Barb Coté

Today I was “schooled” by our client. She took a look at my sample email layout and said,

“This is a terrible email.
It’s not personalized.
It does not identify or recognize where the customer is in the buying cycle.
The content is too generic.”

She was right — and I was thrilled!

I had created a “sample” email to facilitate discussion, but did not have specific customer information. I had included benefits proving her brand was superior to the competition, and several compelling offers. But since I did not know who my customer was — it was just undirected information.

By my doing it wrong, we could launch into a conversation of what kind of analysis needed to take place in order to do it RIGHT!  Here are a couple immediate action items:

1.) Capture more information when generating a lead so disposition is more robust.

2.) Develop a messaging strategy or (content strategy) that addresses different customer segments in different nurturing/buying stages.

What do I mean by content strategy?

“CONTENT STRATEGY is the key to delivering useful, usable content to your online audiences, when and where they need it most.”  ~ Kristina Halvorson (Brain Traffic)

Historically, content strategy has referred to website content, and it incorporates the process of deploying useful information to customers in the timeframe, context and medium that they prefer to produce a positive experience.

Is designing emails any different than designing web pages? They are the same in that both need to deploy useful information as stated above — but they are different in that an email is going directly into a customer’s inbox. If our message is not created specifically for the recipient, why would it get opened?

How can we make it personal?

  • Greet them by name.
  • Use your customer data to create segmented, detailed and
    specifically targeted messages.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Make your offers relevant and compelling.

Don’t assume you know:  test and re-test.

My client makes it her goal to be a relentless customer champion of amazing inbox experiences.  AND — she continues to be right!



About the Author:

Barb Cote serves as the Creative Director at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Connect with Barb on  or follow her on .

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