What’s the point of your email?


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When developing a communication or item of content, do you have an individual objective or does it just sit within campaign objectives? If your objectives are to communicate a key message, engage the audience or x volume of click-throughs, then what is this really achieving?

When planning a marketing campaign, the objective usually forms the starting point for development. From here follows the audience, key messages, then tactics and deliverables. Everything comes from knowing the objective – the outcome you want. What most marketers don’t do is treat each and every communication or content item in the same manner.

If a campaign is derived from its objectives, why isn’t a communication or piece of content developed with its own objective as the starting point?

Follow this thought, why shouldn’t an email, guide, product demo or direct mail follow the same philosophy – why shouldn’t each item have its own objective and be developed from the outcome we want?

There are two reasons why we commonly don’t.

One – In complex B2B channels we forget that it is highly unlikely a single communication or piece of content will lead to a sale. As a result, we always try to sell to them, not move the audience towards a sale. We still have effectiveness at growing some existing customers, but struggle to acquire new customers.

Two – We focus on messages we want to communicate, not what the audience want to know (nor in what order they need to know things). To compound this issue we start by grouping messages typically at campaign or initiative level, splitting these into each communication. So how do we even know what message each communication should carry, and why, or in what order?

Begin with the buyer journey, not your messages

Before even thinking what messages you want to communicate, go all of the way back to the outcome you want. What steps will a prospect need to go through to become a customer? What do they want and need to know at every stage of this process – not what do you want to tell them. Consider different persona, multiple stakeholders, split decision makers and cross-departmental input in the buying process. Once this is all mapped out, we can deliver the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. We can meet their needs, and they can move along their customer journey as a buyer.

The goal is to move them towards a sale

Now we understand our prospects journey and what they need to progress them towards a sale, we can be more single-minded in each communication. We can start with a single objective for each communication – to move your customer closer to a sale. To make them go from their current position in the buying cycle, to a position closer to purchase. The focus switches from what message should we say – to what does my prospect need to

know, understand, learn, consume or do in order to move them closer to a sale.

Before developing any communications or content, you should have clarity on the following four questions:

Who is the target audience?
Where are they in their buying journey?
What is their desired action after seeing this?
And how will this help achieve that outcome?

Your desired outcome should simply be to move your target audience closer to a sale.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Greg Dorban
Greg Dorban is a Demand Generation professional helping global companies to create more opportunities. He is Head of Inbound Marketing with strategic consultation on search, social, web, conversion and content at Ledger Bennett, a specialist B2B agency.


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