E-Mail Marketing: How To Build Your Audience
In order to monetize e-mail marketing, you’ve got to build and maintain your audience. Seems obvious, but what does Build and Maintain Your Audience actually mean? It means you must follow two essential rules:
1. Curate your audience honestly.
2. Create content that provides value.
1. Curate Your Audience Honestly
Within the skydiving industry (and most businesses in general), the most common practice used for generating an audience is to use your customer’s e-mail addresses. While this will provide big numbers in your database, the quality of the database is poor as none of these people willingly signed up to receive your messaging.
If this is the way e-mails are procured for your database, and you’re seeing poor sales conversion, then this is the primary reason why your campaigns are underperforming. If you’re sending people e-mails that had no interest in receiving them…. you can see why it’s not working!
How To Build Your Audience
I’m a fan of a Lightbox (a fancier word for a pop-up) as they can be very effective if done right. The key to using a Lightbox correctly is to ensure it’s not a nuisance. There are many settings one can use with a pop-up. Below is a sample of the Lightbox on our homepage.
Our Lightbox has been effective in the building of our audience. There are a couple of elements we’ve implemented that has increased its effectiveness:
- Delayed Arrival – We don’t want the Lightbox to be an immediate nuisance. The Lightbox appears after you’ve been on the site for ten seconds giving the user time to get comfortable with the decision of whether our site is one worth exploring/navigating.
- Simplicity – It can be off-putting when some Lightboxes ask for lots of information. Getting more information can come later. Our primary objective is to capture the e-mail address so we can communicate with a potential client down the line.
- Limited Exposure – The Lightbox will only show once every 30 days to a visiting IP address. What this means is you won’t be exposed to our Lightbox everytime you come to our website… that would be annoying!
- Personal – My rule of thumb is to always try and make communications and marketing personal. Being “sales-y” is a turn-off to everyone, so I’ve stated my intentions in my messaging below:
“We don’t believe in spam or wasting your time. James La Barrie personally publishes a newsletter offering free marketing tips for DZ professionals every four weeks. If you think the newsletter is complete rubbish, you can opt out at anytime, but we hope you don’t.”
Another technique often used to generate a database is to offer something valuable (in the form of information or to be entered into a competition) Here’s an example of this:
If you have a WordPress site, we’re fans of the Bloom plugin. Another good resource for custom Lightboxes is Privy.
2. Curate Content That Provides Value
If you give, then you’ll receive.
Time is short, everyone is distracted and our inboxes are overflowing with crap. Don’t be that business that sends out an e-mail to generate a quick sale. It’s a short term strategy with little return.
The biggest mistake most people make with e-mail marketing is it’s only used when you’re trying to sell something. Stop selling, start connecting.
The mentality for successful e-mail marketing should be that of nurturing. This may sound silly, but it’s not unlike parenthood in a way. Your audience must be nurtured and cared for and to do this is to share your heart, share information that’s helpful and to not harass. Respect your audience and give. If your intentions are good, you’ll see a return.
What Is Good Content for Skydive E-mail Marketing?
In the case of your tandem database, I would look to include content that is both interesting, personal, and value-filled. This would include:
- Staff Spotlights – learning about people who skydive is interesting.
- Good Info – Content on how to ensure a great skydiving experience / or how to shop for a great skydiving center.
- Behind the Scenes Information - The info you know and take for granted can make for great content. Take people behind the scenes and show them the rigging loft or a discussion on your jump plane, etc
- Provide a sale. Offering a promotion is a good thing provided that it’s not the only thing you use e-mail marketing for.
- Continuously build your audience. It’s an ongoing effort.
- Curate your audience honestly.
- Implement a Lightbox on your website.
- E-mail marketing is a long-term strategy.
- Treat your audience with respect.
- Provide Value