Friday, 17 December 2010, 7:42 PM

Marketing, This Is Sales… Sales, This Is Marketing

Marketing is something that helps companies to grow in the long run. But sales is different, it’s about business happening today, and now. It is wholly possible to use email in both marketing, and sales – but… only as long as the two concepts aren’t mixed up. Here are some immensely helpful ideas about how to use email to create the long term results that we want. Here we go.

In many companies the marketing department is more or less responsible for finding potential customers for the sales department. This is tremendously important, here’s why: all companies need new customers to grow. But there’s a risk. A risk of losing the broader responsibility and goals for the marketing, and focusing too much on the immediate here and now sales. This is especially prevalent in email marketing.

One example is with emails where its sole purpose is to sell. There’s nothing wrong with emails or newsletters like this. But, if the only newsletter you send is saying: ”Buy From Us!” then you’re not dealing with email marketing. This is email sales.

What’s the alternative?

Make your email marketing excellent, it will strengthen your brand, it will build good relationships, and your contacts will care about you. It doesn’t just create sales and profit for today, but it will make it easier for you to reach your goals in the future. A long term email campaign is great in order to do the following:

  • Position yourself as a company that understands its customers and their needs
  • Share your what you know and everything you’ve learned to create something valuable for your customers
  • Keep your brand fresh in your customers memory, so when they’re ready to shop, they think of you

Is it possible to do this by using a snail-mail advertisement? Or a telephone campaign? Mmm… Possibly. But it would cost a Kings fortune. Email is a cheap way of reaching an enormous amount of people – and with a honed message.

So a good question would be; Why don’t more companies use long term email marketing? Well, the truth is, quite a few companies have invested time and money in real email marketing and are now reaping the rewards of their sweet labor. But there are as many – if not more – that don’t. Why?

One reason is that their focus is on short term sales. Or short term profit. In an organization, it’s difficult to plant the idea of spending more time and money on developing newsletters with a mixture of editorial (non-profitable) and selling content. Why hike up the expenses when you can just throw together another “Buy this from us” newsletter?

If we were to exercise our 20/100 nearsighted business vision, then a “Buy from us” newsletter would be best. But if we look at it with our “medium-term” glasses, the logic shifts. There’s a point where the response starts to drop off. So let’s say you send a profitable newsletter to your subscribers once a month, and that letter generates 100 sales – that does not mean that a similar letter once a week will create 400 sales in a month. And it’s really insane to think that a daily newsletter to same subscribers would generate 3,000 sales in one month.

Sales letters attract a limited group of humans: ones with cash in hand ready to buy now, or looking to buy soon. Relationship building, brand strengthening, or other types of newsletters that are not strictly focused on selling or to make a profit, appeal to a larger group of customers. And this gives you the chance to tailor the discussion. Success stories, will entice your readers to learn more about the solutions or products you provide. And very possibly, they didn’t even know they had a particular problem – which they now are able to solve, because of you, and with your product. Interviews with experts within the areas of interest for your subscribers will make them think of you as someone who truly understands their business; This will always attract new business partners. And sending out frequent suggestions and tips for your products, will more and likely produce a phone call to your sales folks one day.

The key to success is the quality of the content. To create a newsletter that’s not just trying to sell, demands a lot more effort than to create a newsletter where its sole purpose is to sell. Plenty of companies have a newsletter, but they don’t see it filling up their wallet or helping them reach any other goals. They send letters all the time, but they’re rarely opened, read, or clicked around in. Why? Quality. An absence of quality.

This is where the infinite number of attempts to do email marketing fail. Companies go through changes, but they either don’t have the resources, or they don’t have the knowledge to create an excellent, engaging newsletter; one that helps you reach those coveted goals.

A ton of people today are flooded with newsletters. And everyone is probably just as busy as you are. It’s not enough to just send a newsletter – you have to make sure that the content is convincing, compelling, and enthusing. Give your readers something back – you know, they did take some of their precious time to read your newsletter!

When you start putting some care into it, email marketing that’s not directly trying to sell, can pull in more sales, and a lot more profit than any newsletter that’s solely trying to sell. Email providers, like Apsis for instance, can see that companies that put some elbow grease into delivering something interesting to their customers, have a lot more hustle and bustle on their web sites. And remember: we are talking about value that doesn’t have to do with sales.

Work hard, put some care into it. Build trust in your company. Build long term customer relationships. Show your recipients that it’s never a waste of time to read what you have to say!