Leon Trotsky: “You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.”
A strategic approach to communication is very important. It helps you optimize ways you are reaching out to your prospects, better target them, and leverage greater results. Marketing automation owners have the added benefit of optimizing resources and eliminating a huge chunk of work from marketing operations’ shoulders.
Every time I receive a promotional email that offers me something I would never buy, or recommends something does not interest me at all, my first thought is, “They should have known better.” I wonder why they haven’t bothered to learn more about my interests. Of course, we all hate promotional emails, but sometimes they hit the right spot and help save time by offering an appropriate solution, product, or service when I really want it.
My recommendation: if you still don’t have a strategy for your communication with prospects, stop what you are doing now and create one.
The key is to think about the process logically:
Who are you targeting and why? Who is your best audience? What are their characteristics? You will know how to target them best if you know who they are. Clearly define segments you are planning to reach out to.
What is the purpose of your campaign? Are you trying to acquire new customers? Are you retaining existing customers? Are you trying to cross-sell or up-sell? Are you chasing churned customers? All these goals are different, and approaches to achieve them should be different as well.
Relate your content to the buyer’s journey. If I just started looking for a solution, I don’t need a discount email. I need more information about your product/service. I want to compare it to other solutions. I want to know why it is better. How can it help me meet my goals? What is the pricing and support model? It will vary for different businesses. That’s why you need to think about your particular customer, learn more about their behavior, and align your objectives and content strategy with your customers’ path. Read more about the buyer’s journey in JD’s blog series.
Content and Frequency:
Each segment has its own unique characteristics. Your content has to be interesting to your audience. If you only have one message for all, can all of different segments relate to it? Probably not. Unique messaging for unique segments will increase your chances of hitting the right spot. Construct a hypothesis about messaging and frequency of the communication.
If you want to be more specific, do some research. Survey your customers and ask questions about preferred channels and frequency of communications from you. Ask them what they most enjoy about your product/service, what benefits they received from using it, and use this information for your messaging. Also remember to respect your customers’ time; do not overwhelm them with too many communications. Be present, but not annoying.
Winston Churchill: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
Results are why you are reaching out to customers in the first place. Make sure to measure and evaluate the results of your strategy and make adjustments or optimizations.