HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

Tips on how to improve your email strategy and customer response with Kate Barrett

  • The trend is about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are, respecting that, and then delivering on it.
  • In my view, I think you should have a repliable email address and I think that somebody should be monitoring that or at the very least if you had some kind of automated response that directed them to how they can get further help.
  • When you get really engaged with people when you can encourage their engagement through communications that really makes sense to them, that's where you see the best results.
  • Because somebody unsubscribes, it just means that they don't necessarily want to receive emails from you at this time.
  • I think bad advice would be anyone who tells you not to focus on email and just to focus on social media or any channels like that
  • One of the things that I talk about in my book is understanding where you are. It's the very first chapter. It's knowing what you've got in your business already before you move on to optimizing and then adding to it.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today in studio joining me, I've got Kate Barrett. Now, Kate is the founder of a company in the UK called eFocus Marketing and the Email Marketing Academy. She provides specialist email marketing, consultancy management, and training services to companies all around the world.

Doug: Now, I had Kate on my podcast very early on. You want to check out episode seven, which is the Keys to Email Marketing in a Snapchat World. I really enjoyed my conversation with her then and I wanted to have her back on because she has just written a new book on email marketing, which we'll talk about shortly. She's got a proven track record, she's got over a decade experience in the email marketing arena and specifically increasing results from opens to clicks, to sales. Her expertise and passion has helped a very large range of companies develop their comprehensive strategies to target subscribers with the right message sent to the right person at the right time and she helps them with all the implementation optimization of those campaigns.

Doug: Some of the companies that Kate has worked with, just to give you an idea of brand and perspective are Nissan, Marks $ Spencer, Argos, Vision Direct, Soletrader, Photobox, My Voucher Coupons, Adidas. She's worked with a number of large brands as well as a number of new companies that are just moving into the email marketing to help them grow their business up. She's walked in the shoes of everybody from every kind of a startup to large companies, she has been elected as a member of the DMA Email Marketing Council for the last three years, and she regularly speaks around the world.

Doug: She's a blogger, and she's a contributor to Smart Insights as well as a trainer for the IDM. I look at her as someone who does a very good job in her space and is up on the latest email marketing trends. Today, I'm super excited because I want to have her on the podcast and have her talk about the changes in email over the last year and how we believe it's become more valuable, and also to share a little bit with you about her new released book, which is called ETelligence: Email Marketing Isn't Dead, the Way You're Using It Is

Doug: With that introduction, I'd like to welcome Kate to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today. Well, Kate, I'm super excited to have you back on the podcast. So welcome back to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today.

Kate Barrett: Thank you so much for having me Doug, is an absolute pleasure to be back.

Doug: Well, I just remember as I shared with you a little earlier how much value you brought last time. I'm so excited to have you back and just kind of update people on kind of what you've been doing over the last year since we last spoke about email marketing.

Kate Barrett: Fantastic.

Doug: What are you been doing the last year? I mean, the industry has been changing and there's lots of stuff going on. I know that you've released a book, but it sounds like you've been a very busy person in the last few years working in the email space.

Kate Barrett: Absolutely. I'm so lucky that having my own business growing agency, I get to work with so many fantastic clients, doing so many brilliant things with email from just getting started and learning how to really communicate with their customers, how to make the most of this amazing channel that consumers really want to receive information through to those really big companies who have the ability and the data to get so personalized with how they're speaking to people and really optimize and make the most of the channel.

Kate Barrett: I think that over the last year, year and a half, we've had so many amazing developments in email marketing. We're not necessarily a channel that adapts quickly to things. If we take perhaps Outlook, there are never many massive changes there, but even Outlook had a change with them, thank goodness the final being able to support animation in some cases in Outlook. We do get there eventually, but I think the last year in particular in Europe with GDPR, it was such a trauma for people when those regulations came in. But for me, I think it has been so positive on our industry. It's things that you and I have been talking about for many, many years and other consultants and experts that we'll work with have been talking about for so long in terms of really respecting the people who are on your email list.

Kate Barrett: I might think that GDPR has pushed the industry to make that change and getting in line with what we would see as a best practice, and the way to really maximize your engagement, anyway.

Doug: Yeah, I know it's been interesting watching that from afar and then looking at that now kind of seeping across the ocean and into California and different states in the US that are looking at a very similar legislation to make sure the consumer data's protected and how we engage in the permissions are there. So, you said there's a number of changes that you've seen in the last year. GDPR obviously I'm assuming is the big one?

Kate Barrett: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. But there are many others, and I think they come off of the back of GDPR and having to be clever with how you're using your database. Whether you're in Europe and you're under that legislation or whether you're in America or wherever you are around the world. Really, the trend is about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are, respecting that, and then delivering on it. We know that that's how you're going to see the best return on investment from your campaigns.

Kate Barrett: When you get really engaged with people when you can encourage their engagement through communications that really makes sense to them, that's where you see the best results. Certainly, in terms of the strategies behind that, really trying to understand the customer journey, how you can communicate with people through automation throughout that journey, really hitting on that personalization right message, right person, right time. That classic saying that we all know we should be working towards.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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Kate Barrett: I've certainly seen more of a trend of people even just starting to move towards that if not really getting involved with technology that's coming out such as artificial intelligence, the rising companies who are able to help you do that from a basic level whether that's product recommendations based on what you've bought before or … We spoke about this before, Doug, in terms of Amazon have been doing this for years. You bought this, you may also like this or other customers who viewed this product also went on to buy this product. We've had this around for a while.

Kate Barrett: Then on the advanced side, understanding the nuances between what customers have bought and what they may go on to buy as an example. But it's about data analysis. It's about understanding your data. It's about finding that correlation between different data points. If you buy a red skirt, there's a line, it's knee length, it's wool material, all of those different data points will go towards giving you a different output as to what you may be more likely to buy in the future. So, that's just an example.

Kate Barrett: But personalization has definitely started to come to more to the forefront than it ever has been, and I think also allowing people to interact with your email's easier. I think that in a lot of cases, we are guessing better at adapting our designs. We're not there yet and there will be companies that will take a long time to get there and companies that are at the forefront as with anything but allowing people to interact within your email. Gmail has just announced its support for AMP and email allowing a lot more interactivity.

Doug: Yeah. I saw that. That's cool.

Kate Barrett: I mean, that's just Gmail. Don't get me wrong. Gmail does its own thing and has its own little Gmail. It's intuitive of where the industry is really moving towards and helping people to better engage with your content when you send them the right content.

Doug: So, quick question, just kind of on topic, what's your feeling on people who are mailing using a do not reply address?

Kate Barrett: Oh, okay. So-

Doug: Sorry, I just kind of snuck in out of blue. How do you say people being more responsive? I can go first, you can go first and I'm happy to-

Kate Barrett: Yeah, sure.

Doug: … I think to see your thoughts.

Kate Barrett: Yeah, I think this is a really interesting one because in terms of deliverability and what the mailbox providers are looking at, being able to reply to a message and the action of replying is a really positive engagement metrics. We've got one side for allowing a reply is really good. But if you're a company who actually doesn't have somebody who is monitoring those replies, you almost kind of negate that in terms of customer experience, pulse the inbox.

Kate Barrett: In my view, I think you should have a repliable email address and I think that somebody should be monitoring that or at the very least if you had some kind of automated response that directed them to how they can get further help. But certainly for a mailbox provide a point of view replying to an email, I certainly wouldn't discourage it because it is a positive engagement.

Doug: Okay. Now I was just curious. I mean, you've been in this industry a long time and speaking and teaching and work with huge brands. I look at my inbox and lots of the emails I get to come in and say, “Do not reply.” I'm thinking, “Man, how do I contact you-

Kate Barrett: That's true.

Doug: … I just want to hit reply. My understanding is still with applications like the G Suite with Gmail, is that a reply indicates that there's engagement, which will help your deliverability?

Kate Barrett: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. I think the reason that a lot of brands do go down the route of having a “no reply” is resources. They don't have somebody on the other side who is going to monitor. I've also had clients where they're perhaps in the insurance industry or banking or something like that, where legally they've had customers previously when they have had a reply address, you've actually replied with personal inflammation.

Doug: Don't go.

Kate Barrett: With GDPR … I know, right? With GDPR, with all of these things, you don't want that to happen. I think that as with any of these things, there are circumstances in which you wouldn't want somebody to reply to your emails. But if you're a retail brand or something like that, at the very least have an autoresponder on there that replies and says, “Hey, if you need help, here's how to get in touch with us.” That links straight through to your contact form or something that will then help people to get to that end result that they wanted by replying.

Doug: Yup. Fair comment. I asked you earlier on when we were speaking before we started recording and I had a question for you and that is, do you think that email marketing is … and I know this is a loaded question because we're both works in this space, but do you think it's more valuable today than it was a couple of years ago?

Kate Barrett: No. Absolutely. I think the part of that is because we are using it more efficiently on the whole. Obviously, there are brands that meet those and don't meet this. But if we look at the statistics out of the UK that has just come from the Direct Marketing Association and their marketing email tracker return on investment has gone up to 42 pounds 24th every pound spent from last year where it was 32 pounds, 28. We've got like 10 pounds-

Doug: That's a huge increase. Yep.

Kate Barrett: It's enormous. I mean even since 2015, we've steadily increased from 29 to 31, to 32 but we've had that 10-pound increase, and I think there's a couple of reasons for that. I think with GDPR in the European Union in the UK, we are certainly down to marketing lists that want to receive our communications and that are more engaged, and I think that's one reason for it.

Kate Barrett: The other is I think that we are getting cleverer with how we calculate return on investment. We're getting more efficient with how we actually review what we're sending. I do think the email certainly is a massive part of any marketing mix. The same report showed that 91% of people reported email as being very important to their business. We see across multiple different reports and statistics and directly with my clients, they make such a large proportion of their revenue through email marketing.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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Doug: Sure.

Kate Barrett: That's why GDPR was such a big thing for everyone in this country because the revenue … and they've just been relying on it. They'd been relying on email to do its thing. It was bringing in a lot of money. No one thought about it because of that. GDPR has really made us think about what we're doing actually think, “Oh yeah, email is one of my major revenue drivers. I need to actually divert some resources and budget to building this backup and understanding my customer list and how I can best serve them.” So yeah, I think email is just getting more and more important within that whole marketing mix.

Doug: One, I think that when we look kind of at the industry like you said, the industry isn't always the quickest to adapt and to move. But I'm thinking back to somebody asking Gary Vaynerchuk a question about email marketing is it valuable, and he said, “Yeah, you have to have email.” Then the question was, “Do you think is going to be more or less valuable in three to four years?” His comment at that time was he thought it'd be less valuable then I'm not picking on him. I really liked his foresight and he's been releasing a lot of old interviews where he's been bang on with his predictions. But I don't think we could see AI coming in and I don't think we could see GDPR coming in at that point.

Doug: We couldn't see the lack of trust with some of the social platforms. I'm not going to name with all the various lawsuits that are going on. I agree with you. I think the GDPR kind of hope is instilling trust in the consumer that it's a medium they can trust that the data's been looked after properly. Then the ad, all the restrictions now with the social channels in terms of what you can and can't advertise. You can't advertise … Weight loss is difficult, supplements are difficult, CBD is difficult, cryptocurrency all these that have been actually banned where you're not allowed to use Google, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin to advertise. So, yeah, I agree with you. I think email is really enjoying a resurgence right now.

Kate Barrett: Yeah. I think that the important thing is to understand where the different marketing channels fit into your strategy. Email underpins everything else that you're doing, helps you to nurture those subscribers, helps you to lead them through to make a sale, socials more about conversations, and that in the moment kind of conversation. I think that there is a place for everything, but I think email will forever underpin what you do. The title of my new book is E-Telligence. It's using email intelligently is email marketing isn't dead, the way you're using it is.

Kate Barrett: We need to adapt as marketers to make sure that email does stay relevant, the email does stay at the forefront of what consumers want to receive and how they want to consume that inflammation. Everything that we're seeing at the moment really puts email at the top of the return on investment as the number one channel that consumers want to receive those offers, and news, and information from brands. We have to make sure that we are using it in the right way to continue to meet those needs and wants, so the email does stay at the top of all of those charts.

Doug: Yeah, and it's been interesting, like you said, watching kind of the trends and the best practices. I just had interviewed somebody in my podcast that has a CRM that is using AI and it's heavily reliant on email, but it's using is gathering data. They're using AI to understand the sales cycle, the language in the email between you and your clients back and forth. That way, it's scoring those people very quickly and easily identify who are the most likely people to buy this next. You spend and invest your time with your sales team in the right area.

Kate Barrett: Oh, and this is where email gets so exciting for me. I think most brands aren't quite there with it yet. If you're one of those brands and you're listening, don't worry, one step at a time and keep moving towards that. But again, if you are a brand that's listening and you're at that point where you do have the resources to do that data analysis to get so deep within to your emails and to your strategy that you can really focus on that one to one personalization, that understanding and deliverance of what the customers want and need before they even know that they want and need in many cases.

Kate Barrett: Whether that's through email, which it primarily will be as the number one marketing channel. But of course we have to also understand that our consumers, our subscribers, our audience don't care that we work in email marketing, don't care that we work in social media or search, they don't care what our day to day jobs are. What they care about is the interaction with the brand. So yes, on the whole, 91% rated email as massively important to how they want to receive that email from organizations. But we have to make sure that we are honoring that and giving them the right information and having those kinds of messages internally, those communications, those strategies where we can understand that consumer down to that my new level and use the technology to help us do that and then deliver it. That's really exciting.

Doug: Yeah, it's funny too. I mean even in my own email list, I've gone through this transition of thinking. I used to get most excited about seeing new people subscribe, and I used to be most upset about seeing people unsubscribe because I'm thinking, “Well, why are you unsubscribing?” Now I just told somebody last week, I said, “I think I'm more excited to see people unsubscribe then new people join.” Because what I'm doing is I'm finding my tribe, so I'm mailing and respecting the people on the list and providing information and benefit to help them improve their market and their business.

Doug: If it doesn't fit, like if one I'm sending doesn't meet their needs, then I'm happy to have them unsubscribe posts, ignore my email because I want better deliverability, I want to engage with people, like you said, who want to have that interaction connect and have a conversation.

Kate Barrett: As an email marketer, I probably shouldn't say this, but just because somebody unsubscribes, it just means that they don't necessarily want to receive emails from you at this time. They might still engage with your brand directly, they might still engage with your brand through social media. It may just be the email isn't quite right for them right now. We have to respect that and respect what is the right channel for them at the right time.

Doug: Yeah. One of the articles I published a while ago was kind of the interaction, how email played so nicely with social media. We've taken now with our clients to recommend that in their welcome message, they right away ask to have a deeper connection with them on the social platforms.

Kate Barrett: Absolutely. Again, it's a different relationship from email. It doesn't take away from email, it adds to email. It adds to the relationship with your brand. All of these channels work better when they work together. When your email marketing advertises your social media, your social media advertisers your email marketing, it advertises that connected journey with the brand across all of the channels, so I totally agree with that.

Doug: Well, and I think there's no different. The relationships that we have of people that we work with so often we have a conversation on the phone or we have an email or we have a video conference and then we might be in a board room, so we're in a formal business setting. That is one style of communication like you're saying, which is more business transactional focused. Then there's the opportunity where you may have a client or supplier, you may go for dinner, you might go to a hockey game or a football game or whatever, a totally different environment and it's more social. So yeah, I mean it's just taking the relationship to a different, a deeper level.

Kate Barrett: Exactly. Yes. Totally agree.

Doug: What are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months in the email space?

Kate Barrett: Oh, that's a question and a half. I think the continuance of my clients to want to better understand their customers and better target them with the right content at the right time. I think for me, that's something that I'm always going to see as different brands come in at different levels and want to improve what they're doing. That's a kind of an eternal excitement for me is always seeing somebody who wants to move to the next level. I think in terms of something more advanced, obviously artificial intelligence, but I think the interactivity in the inbox, it's been brewing for a few years now in terms of videos playing any email on certain devices in terms of being able to buy directly from the email, kinetic design, having companies out there now where you can vote on polls and have the results come up straight in your email.

Kate Barrett: That for me, I think is going to be over the next few years a really interesting space to watch and again is how do we make those interactions as easy as possible for people and give them the ability to get to where they want to go and the action that they want us to take and that we want them to take right there in the email? For me, that's what I'm really watching at the moment in the industry.

Doug: To steal a Tim Ferris question, what's some of the bad advice you're hearing right now? I'm not asking you to name names, but what are some of the bad advice you're hearing? I just want to clarify that I didn't want to put any pressure on you-

Kate Barrett: Absolutely.

Doug: … in the industry right now as it goes or maybe just in the direct marketing industry as a whole as it relates to email.

Kate Barrett: Yeah, I think bad advice would be anyone who tells you not to focus on email and just to focus on social media or any channels like that because of everything that we've already discussed. I think new needs, that multichannel strategy you do need to connect it together. I think that's probably the biggest thing. Anyone who is advising too, just send the same message to everyone, the batch, and blast. There's a place for messaging that surprises someone with something that is outside of the realm of what they expected because that's where the advertising industry was born was suggesting products and services to people that they didn't even know that they wanted or needed.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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Kate Barrett: I think there is a place for cleverly including suggestions to people, but batch and blast is absolutely for me. Not where it's at anymore. We've got to get personal, we've got to really consider what the customer needs and then build that into a targeted strategy.

Doug: Well you can't see me because obviously, we're just using audio. But I'm just smiling because I just read an article. It was just published a couple of days ago and it said why the email batch and blast practices are addictive and how to end it.

Kate Barrett: Nice title.

Doug: I'll send you a copy of the article when we're done recording here because they said as they call it, the junk food of marketing and why you don't need to do that. That just emphasizes exactly your point that we've got the ability to use our email tools to segment our data and to treat our subscribers differently. Not treat them all the same with the same information at the same time.

Kate Barrett: Actually, I love that title and I truly understand how people are still in that strategy and so many people still do it. So again, if you're listening and that's what you're doing and don't feel bad about it, just work towards improving those levels, bring down the levels of batch and blast. But we are so up against it as marketers in our day to day roles when you're working company side. I've worked companies side for many, many years before starting my own agency and I totally understand the pressures.

Kate Barrett: You've got pressures coming down from up above you in the business to do more, send more, make more revenue and with the resources that you have and the budgets that you have internally, the easiest way to do that is just to send more email. But we've really got to send more email more intelligently, and I think what we really need to do and what I'm really passionate about, not just because I'm an agency owner and obviously I need people to increase budgets to come in and take on my services, but I think we really need to be able to improve how we champion email.

Kate Barrett: We know that it's one of our top performing marketing streams. If it's not one of your top following marketing strings, that in itself says a lot and that you need to be investing in it. If it is one of your top performing marketing streams, why aren't you investing more in it to make it even better and grow it as a channel? We really need to be able to get behind email and make sure that within the marketing budgets whether that's for internal resources or external expert resources to come in and assist you with those new campaigns, those new strategies. Moving forward, we've got to be the champion for email. We need to be able to fight for that budget over the new and shiny and sexy because generating revenue is what is the sexiest to a business. Email's got to be there at the forefront.

Doug: Yup. Yeah. I mean, I'm not going to pick on social because I like social.

Kate Barrett: Absolutely.

Doug: But if you look at your Instagram account, doesn't matter how many followers you have. At the end of the day, you're CFO is looking for as how many orders did you get from it?

Kate Barrett: Absolutely. As we said, they all have a place in the marketing mix. They all have their own way of improving and working towards those business goals. But email's got to be your foundation.

Doug: Is there one easy tip you could share with our listeners now in terms of how to get out of the batch and blast? What's kind of the first step you want to take to do that, to move towards a more personalized approach?

Kate Barrett: Okay. One of the things that I talk about in my book is understanding where you are. It's the very first chapter. It's knowing what you've got in your business already before you move on to optimizing and then adding to it. One of the ways to do that is to conduct a data audit to truly understand what data you have, what data you're using for your email marketing right now, what data you have in your business elsewhere, but you aren't using it for your email marketing right now, or perhaps you can't access it. It's not available, it's coming to your email marketing platform, your marketing automation system.

Kate Barrett: It's somewhere else in the business, but it is being collected. Once you know that, you know, “Okay, so I've got this data but I can't access it right now. I need to put a job into the business to allow me to get access to this data.” Doing this kind of data audit will allow you to see where the gaps are in your data, what kind of data might you want to collect going forward in order to get more personal with your campaigns. It all starts with knowing what you've got, what you'd like to have, what you need to have, and where it all is in your business or if it's missing. That's the first place that I would start.

Doug: Oh, there you go. That was a pretty simple thing. As you're saying that, I'm thinking that's a pretty obvious step that you need to figure out where you are before you try to plot a course to where you want to go.

Kate Barrett: Exactly. But so many businesses forget that. I think also when you have a turnover of staff, whether that's yearly or five yearly, there's going to be information that's lost. Making sure that you have documented what you have sending where, the amount of companies that I've seen who have triggered communications, for example, transactional messages that are sending from their sales systems and not their email marketing platform, but they don't have access to them, they don't know what sending, they don't know why it's sending.

Kate Barrett: Having all of this information documented is so important so that you can say, “Hang on a minute. There are gaps in my strategy. Here in areas in that customer life cycle where I'm not doing my customers justice. Here's the low hanging fruit where I could be making a lot of revenue.” Retail companies who haven't implemented an abandoned basket or abandoned browse program yet, really low hanging fruit. But unless you know what's in place in your business right now, why you are sending each and every one of those campaigns, how that relates back to your marketing objectives, and your bigger business objectives, and then the data that's feeding into all of that.

Kate Barrett: Unless you have that mapped out and you can understand it, that information can so easily be lost with a turnover of staff. It's the first place to start really important.

Doug: Well, and it'll also show where you're not congruent with your brand. As you said, if you've got transactional emails coming out from your eCommerce platform, it would make sense to have all your messaging be consistent and the same voice and the same brand look and feel because there's probably a high likelihood that it doesn't all look the same.

Kate Barrett: Definitely. I think if you are a big brand, big business that has hundreds or thousands of different email campaigns that are happening, this is a big task. But exactly like you said, some of those campaigns may have been set up a year ago, two years ago, more than that. Are they still in the right branding, the right brand tone, right message, the right information? You've really got to start with knowing where you are to give you a solid foundation so that you can move on to the sexy stuff and start to optimize what you're doing and then add to it with really customer-centric campaigns that are going to help you to meet those business objectives.

Doug: Well, that's a good segue to talk about the new sexy stuff. Let's talk about why email marketing isn't dead. It's the way you're using. Let's talk about the new book that you've written. Why don't you share with us your thinking behind the book and just to give us some details on what people could expect to find when they open it up and start digging in.

Kate Barrett: Fabulous. The reason that I wrote the book was that I think that in our industry there is a definite lack of knowledge. We don't know what we don't know. Yes, there are blog posts and so much content that we could consume. I think that sometimes we need it laid out for us in a really easy to follow a strategy where we can really understand each of those elements and give us actionable steps to move forward. So whether you're a marketing exec just coming into the industry who wants to adapt your knowledge and really push your career forward and show what email can do. Or if you're the director of a big marketing department and you want to be able to improve your knowledge in those specific marketing areas, in this case, email to help your team move forward, this is definitely the book for you.

Kate Barrett: What I do with the book is to lay out those five key elements, the five steps that I think are really important. When I work with my clients, these are the five areas that really help them to move forward with what they're doing and increase the revenue and get the fantastic ROIs that they see. Those five chapters are knowing what you've got already. When doing that, it's about doing an audit and we do audits for our clients all day, every day to really understand what's there and what the opportunities are.

Kate Barrett: When you know what you've got in place in your business, you can then direct your resources and budget strategically to target those areas that are going to have the most impact for your business. Chapter two is really about improving what you've got now. For example, if you've already got an abandoned basket campaign set up, but you're only sending one email, expand that, do a series of three emails, understand the content that you're putting into that email series.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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Kate Barrett: I think this is a really great example of where a lot of people go wrong with these types of communications that they think that just by reiterating you've left products in your basket or whatever it might be, that people are automatically going to come back and buy. But what we need is again, go back to that understanding of your customers. Why are they abandoning their basket? Is it because they're still looking for the right product? Is it because they've actually found that product elsewhere and gone and bought it from a competitor of yours?

Kate Barrett: You need to understand those points in the journey at that stage for that customer and reiterate the right message to them. So yes, saying you've left your items in your basket might be one of those emails and part of the content that you put out there, but it could also be recommending other products that other people who viewed those products also went on to buy or to view.

Doug: Sure. I'm taking a more personal approach to understand that they had a problem they wanted to solve.

Kate Barrett: Oh, absolutely.

Doug: So yes, there's stuff in their basket. But the problem that they're trying to solve is probably still a problem today if they haven't bought the product.

Kate Barrett: Exactly. Exactly. Maybe another problem came up while they were trying to solve that problem. Maybe-

Doug: That's right.

Kate Barrett: … they didn't understand there was something about your purchase process or something about the product that they weren't quite sure about, so how can you offer them the help for them to understand that that product meets their need or their problems. You've really got to understand your customers. Knowing what you've got already, improving what you're doing now, and then going onto the new shiny stuff. Chapter three is all about filling in your gaps. It's about identifying those areas in the customer journey that you're not currently serving campaigns and starting to build out those journeys and how you can better enhance that experience that they have with you.

Kate Barrett: Those are kind of the first three chapters, and I think that they are so critical. Again, these are things that I work on with my clients every day that I wanted to give that knowledge to other people who are just starting out or who want to expand what they're doing with email marketing and don't know where to start. The first three chapters really drill down on those elements.

Doug: Well, I think like you said, understand the customer journey thing often. I can't speak for anyone else. I'll speak for myself. I assume that by the time somebody hits my website or client website, I mean, where they've come in, I've got in my mind where they are in the customer journey. But like you said, people come in and meet your company in different places and if you're using some intelligence and you're using some web data, you can help move them along the journey. They might be doing some initial research or they might be at a point where they're ready to buy and you've got the ability to be smart about it and maybe using AI and some of the tools are out there identifying where they are and give them the information that they need to make the decision to go forward with you or not.

Kate Barrett: Exactly. That's why it's so important to understand the data that you hold on people and then how you can utilize that data, analyze it, find those correlations, find those behaviors and nuggets that are going to point you in the right direction as to where they are in the journey, but also who they are and how you can best communicate with them. Definitely, starting with that data order. It all comes back to who those subscribers are on your email list. Chapter four is all about growing your audience, but growing your audience with the right kinds of people.

Kate Barrett: We give a top-level walkthrough of your signup process, making your [inaudible 00:37:03] attractive, all of those elements. Then, of course, it's all about reaching your audience. Chapter five is all about deliverability and an introduction to what those elements are. Because again, in terms of marketers, what I often see is a lack of understanding of those basic elements that come into deliverability and inbox placement and the difference between the two as well. I wanted to have a high-level introduction around growing your audience with the right people and reaching your audience with deliverability in those last two chapters as well.

Doug: Yeah, that's a great point. I mean, drawing your audience I think we've all fallen into the trap at some point of more is better, but I think as you said, it's having the right people on the list. It's not to offer up something to entice somebody to sign up. No, you may be doing yourself a disservice if your enticement is so good that you feel your list, but you don't feel your list full of people who are interested in your brand, your product.

Kate Barrett: Absolutely. Definitely, GDPR has helped us with our list quality. Overall, it's about making sure that the people who are coming onto your list want to be there, know what to expect, and then you deliver on those expectations, so really, really critical.

Doug: Well, I got the nicest email from somebody that's in our email group that you and I belong to it, the only influencers and his comment was, “I like your welcome message because you set expectations very clearly of what I was going to get.”

Kate Barrett: Love that. Yeah, it's so critical because we don't want any nasty surprises. We do want to let people know what we're going to send them. If you're hiding behind that, you need to think about, are you actually sending what people want?

Doug: That's right.

Kate Barrett: If you're not willing to put it out there and explain it well, maybe you're not sending the right thing in general. We shouldn't be hiding behind this, we should be really transparent about what's going to happen.

Doug: Absolutely. Where can people find you and how can people get a copy of your book?

Kate Barrett: Sure. It's on Amazon, it's on Amazon in the UK, and it's on Amazon in the US. If you just search for E-Telligence on Amazon, you will find it or you can go to my website, www.e-focusmarketing.com. Of course, I'm on all the socials as well, so just search for E-focus marketing or search for Kate Barrett on Linkedin and you will find me.

Doug: Well, excellent. Hey, thanks so much for taking time just to share a little bit more with us and our audience of what's happened in the last year, and where you're at, and what you're doing and the excitement about email as it continues to grow against what many experts have said. It was dead and it's all working and clearly, the numbers are showing an increase of 10 pounds per dollar spent is a pretty nice increase. There's a little bit more interest than you'd get at the bank.

Kate Barrett: Absolutely. As the book title said, it's all about E-Telligence. Email marketing isn't dead, the way you're using it is.

Doug: There you go. Couldn't have said it better. Thanks so much, Kate. Appreciate your time. I'm looking forward to digging into your book. Thanks, audience for tuning in. I hope you found some good value here, some new information. I've really enjoyed the conversation with Kate. Offline, we're involved in an online group where there are lots of discussions. She's got lots to offer. She's a really smart marketer and I encourage you to check her out. Head over to our website and go to Amazon and buy a copy of her book. Thanks, Kate. Thanks, audience for tuning in and we look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY AND CUSTOMER RESPONSE

It's about being customer-centric, understanding what your customers' needs are and then delivering on it.

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