Master Multi-Channel Marketing (and Get Awesome at Email)

These days, there are more marketing channels than every before. If there ever was an era of multi-channel marketing, that time is now.

There’s social media, and then advertising on social media (Youtube ads, Facebook ads). You have blogging, email, events…it seems like there’s a new channel to try out every day, and it’s tough to bring it all together cohesively.

It’s also tough to learn a new marketing channel quickly enough so you can capture the opportunity of it before your competitors do.

I find the best way to expand my marketing knowledge is to rely on what I already know from other marketing channels and use that experience as a point of reference.

Case in point? How I used what I know from blogging to get up to speed on email marketing. And from there, I learned paid acquisition.

In this post I’ll show you how to connect the dots. If you are still getting up to speed with email, here’s how you use your own knowledge to do just that.

What You Can Apply From Content Marketing

Offer Useful Information

“What should I blog about?” is the most comment question asked by new bloggers. Simply put, you should write about whatever your audience would want to learn about.

This applies directly to email. Are your customers more interested in sales, new products, or buying guides – or all three?

Create Stuff for Every Stage of the Buying Journey

The top of the funnel is all about awareness and simply letting people know you exist. The bottom of the funnel – those last stages before someone is ready to purchase – those are all about social proof and third party validation for that final push before making a purchase. You need a blend of both in your email program to appeal to potential customers in the right way.

Editorial Calendar

Get organized, or risk the fate of a sloppy marketing program with you, your intern, and your boss falling all over each other.  An editorial calendar is simply a calendar of what blog posts you’ll be publishing each month. It can be as simple as a Google doc spreadsheet with one column for your blog post ideas and another column for the dates you plan to publish them.

When you are ready, I recommend expanding this to include what email sends you are doing to what lists. This ensures the same list isn’t emailed five times in one week. With your whole team on the same page, this also opens up the opportunity for collaboration and cohesive campaigns across channels.

Check Your Work

Everyone’s under a time crunch, but it takes just a few minutes to send a test email and have someone else review your email. Spell-checking and hunting for typos is well-ingrained in us from the blogging world, but sometimes we forget the importance of doing this for emails too. But it is important, no matter how little copy there is.

Even if you’re just beginning with email and doing relatively simple stuff, just having clean, error-free copy can go a long way to making you look like a rockstar.

What You Can Apply From PR

It’s All About Relationships

Of course there are better ways to pitch than some. But at the end of the day earning media coverage is all about the relationship.

We’ve mentioned before how some retailers, like Wayfair and Zady, leverage relationships with bloggers for their own blogs and for email content.

Again, this is why collaboration with your team is key.

You may not have that relationship with a blogger, but someone on your team may know that person. With a little coordination, you could have a fantastic guest blogger and interesting email send that will appeal to buyers at every stage of the funnel.

The Power of Research

It’s simple. You need to make Google Alerts your best friend and eat competitors’ newsletters for lunch.

See where competitors are landing coverage or what they are blogging about. Subscribe to their emails to draw inspiration – or discover things to avoid. This is an obvious step in any PR program, and it should influence your email strategy as well.

What You Can Apply From Advertising

It’s All About Testing

Sure, there are best practices. Sure, there’s what worked for others.

But at the end of the day, you never fully know what ad copy, creative, budget, or targeting methods will work for your product and audience until you try them. It’s the same thing with email marketing.

What You Can Apply From Social Media

The Importance of Community

Facebook ads and promoted Tweets are viable channels of user acquisition. But the community value of social media is still going strong.

For example, take a look at brands who dominate Instagram by engaging their communities, like Pitayaplus and Quest Nutrition. They delight in user content by sharing it and thanking those who share it. Users Instagram photos are a great detail to add social proof to your emails and site.

Recap

At the end of the day it’s all about taking a wide view of your marketing efforts and seeing how all the pieces fit together. You may not be an expert in a new channel yet, but will a breadth of experience across channels, picking up new ones as you go along will become easier and easier.

 

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