Wait? What? Email marketing is like marriage?
Marriage is nothing more than two people coming together and agreeing to spend a certain amount of time together.
Motivations for such a union are usually different, ranging from respect, love, millions of dollars or the desperate need for a green card.
Email marketing isn't really all that different. Email marketing is an agreement between a company and a subscriber where both parties hope to gain something from the partnership. Marketers hope for conversions; subscribers hope for great information and deals.
So, what can marketers learn from the old married folk (besides cynicism)? Tons!
1. "Just be quiet for a second and listen!"
Ever heard that in the middle of an argument? If you haven't, then you're god or not married.
Sometimes shutting up is the best policy, and listening is the second-best policy.
Not only is it a sign of respect, it also is an incredibly useful tool. If two people are arguing, then there's no end until hair is being torn out. And, there's no resolution. Someone has to be the bigger person, and that person is usually the one that shuts up and listens to what the other is saying.
The same applies to email marketing.
As a company, you think you're right and what you're doing is in the best interest of your customer and your bottom line. Sure, that's true. Sometimes.
And, sometimes, an argument isn't actually an argument but a cold war. Inaction speaks more than action. By listening to what the other is saying, you'll learn what their beef is.
First, give your subscribers a chance to voice their opinions, thoughts and feelings. Being listened to is incredibly powerful.
Second, look at your subscribers actions: if they're not doing anything at all and ignoring you, then you know something's up.
2. Be your own person
You've seen this in person: a new couple springs up, and one of them completely adopts the other's traits, mannerisms, likes, sports teams and way of dress. Instead of two separate people being together, the couple morphs into one.
These relationships are doomed. Clearly, one partner is stronger than the other, virtually swallowing them up into themselves. Two people for the price of one.
This is entirely applicable to email marketing. There's a tendency to follow the old rule that the customer is always right. Sure, that's fine, to a point. But, remember, it's your company, and you're meeting the needs of the customer, not the other way around.
Keep to what makes your business special and have it flow through into your emails.
3. Sweetness gets you everywhere
Everyone loves gifts, especially the unexpected kind.
The best, strongest marriages are based on sweetness, but sweetness without expectation. Meaning, giving flowers because it'll make the other happy, not because you'll get some snuggles later as a form of payback.
No! No! No!
Be sweet because you can. Be sweet to show your subscribers how much their loyalty means to you. Don't give a gift with strings – that's phony and will get you into a lot of hot water.
Give a gift just because. Don't give a gift – whitepaper, e-book or video tutorial – and stipulate that in order to earn it, they'll need to make a purchase, "Like" you on Facebook or recommend your company to a friend.
That's just wrong, and you'll be right back at #1 of our tips because you'll be in one hell of a fight.