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Paul Rijnders

If Email Campaigns Were Baseball, Part 1: Batting Order

Mar 17 2011, 02:34 PM by

Even If You're the "I" in Your Emails
For many of you small business owners, you are the team. You open the day’s business, work the day’s work and very often go home to your computer to figure out how the right email will bring in more business. The last thing you need now is for someone to tell you to hire more team members to help with your email campaigns.
You’re Lucky Because There’s Still No “I” in Baseball
Put on your funny little stirrups because it’s time to play ball! Baseball – that great American pastime - is here in metaphoric form to illustrate that you’ve still got a team to work with. I need you to think of each of your emails as baseball players up to bat. If every single email you sent swung as hard as it could for the proverbial home run, you’re not using your emails as a team and, quite frankly, you’re both a poor baseball manager and an ineffective email marketer.
A Run Counts the Same as a Home Run
It’s true. Watch a baseball game and tell me if every score is a homer. Nope, many runs are scored in stages, often taking a number of hits and hitters to get someone across the plate. Your emails are the same way. While it would be nice to get a moon shot on every send, often you have to work the sale in a series of hits. So let’s take a look at how you can use your batters now.
#1 The Lead Off Hitter
Your first welcome email is your lead off hitter. It bats more often than anyone else. It makes sense that if this is the email that more subscribers see than others, you’ll make sure that this email can hit the home run if the conditions are right. But don’t forget that the inning is fresh and there are more hitters behind it. If it gets on base with your reader, you’re in good shape to advance with other emails.

Don’t forget to make this your fastest email. Get it off home plate as fast as you can (that means don’t wait too long to send it after you get a subscribe!).
#2 The Contact Hitter
Should your next email be the exact same kind of hitter as the first? Probably not. Baseball managers know that the infield changes if the lead off hitter gets on to first base. Hopefully your welcome email made some kind of impression on your subscriber. Your reader might well be in a mood for a different type of approach. If your first email told them everything about your company and how to make a purchase, why not just try to advance the runners a bit? Put up a little bunt instead of swinging for the fences. Try these on for size:
 
A short email that reminds your customers you carry their favorite brands.
A nice 10% discount offer that motivates, while still keeping a healthy profit margin for yourself. (You don’t need to send the 50% off sale coupon just yet.)
A product demo that shows your subscriber new items of interest.
The "industry expert newsletter" where you address trending topics or discern valuable knowledge or helpful tips – this will garner trust with your subscribers by establishing yourself as a credible resource.
#3 Keeping the Inning Alive
Make your third email a stronger one, because if the first two didn’t endear you to your subscriber, it’s the third strike and you're opted-out. This really could be your best all around hitter. Break out some bigger guns here: a better discount, your best content or maybe really important info. Don’t forget that the subject line is the first step in getting on base, so this one had better be excellent.
#4 Your Cleanup Hitter
Most sources will tell you that your fourth batter should be your strongest hitter yet. Maybe your subscriber has been reading your emails but hasn’t taken action yet. You need to take advantage of all these hits and bring them in. How about an email that references or takes advantage of your earlier sent campaigns?
 
Did you send a product demo earlier? Send out a discount for it.
Did you promise the greatest clearance sale of all time in your welcome email? Now’s the time to announce it.
Did your third email announce a big discount for a limited time? Extend the offer for a few more days here. There’s nothing like thinking you’ve missed your chance on the good deal then getting a second chance at it.
Seventh Inning Stretch Time
I want to tell you about my ideas on what makes a single versus what’s a home run, but all this baseball talk makes me want to get outside and do my own version of spring training. At my age, that means taking my dog for a walk. We’ll pick this up in a future blog and break down the bases… metaphorically, of course.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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