5 Important factors when building your email timeline

As if deciding what to send, and then drafting an email  to a client wasn’t hard enough, deciding when to send it is equally difficult. You don’t want to scare your prospective away with a barrage of emails, let them feel ignored, or send them something they’re not really interested in. So what do you send?

Fortunately, most of the homework’s already been done for you. After, signing up for any well reputed (or competitive) service, you’ll get a string of emails. Giving you some clues as to what everyone is sending, and how much is too much (or too little).

I wouldn’t recommend copying somebody’s else timing & format, but it’s great inspiration, and you can certainly learn from it. The summary below details the set of emails received from FuzeBox after signing up for their Free Trial.

  • Day 1 – Automated, Welcome Email
  • Day 1 – Automated, Welcome to the 14 day free Trial
  • Day 1 – Personal email, introduction & courtesy email
  • Day 3 – Automated, Training email, how to host meetings
  • Day 5 – Automated,Training email, how to ensure high quality audio
  • Day 8 – Automated,Promotional email, why it’s worth doing
  • Day 11 – Personal, Promotional email, benefits of the service
  • Day 14 – Automated, Reminder that the trial ends
  • Day 29 – Personal, follow-up email to check if we’re still interested

When conducting your tests, and planning your email timeline, I’d recommend  keeping track of the following factors:

  1. Type of email; how would you classify the email? Personal, obviously templated, informative, promotional, etc.
  2. Sender; who did each mail come from? Was it from a no-reply address, signed by an individual? What happens when you hit reply?
  3. Design; are all the emails following the same style/format? Are they mobile friendly? Are they easily readable in various clients?
  4. CTA; what did the email want you to do? what message is it trying to communicate?
  5. Stop date; when do the emails stop? At what point is your “lead” disregarded?

An example of great content marketing by Hamleys

This is an excellent example of content marketing. Pun intended. Hamleys knows precisely what it clients enjoy, and is happy to give it away for free.

Stories being told to children at Hamleys

They keep the kids entertained, buy some incredible good will, and all but guarantee some repeat sales.  After all, what child can sit in a toy store listening to stories for an hour without buying anything?

It wouldn’t surprise me if every parent that got this was planing a trip. I know I am.

Offline ‘content’  marketing is just as powerful, if not more so, than its online counter part. If you know your audience well, developing content that gets attention will be easy.

Yes, it will require you to invest upfront and there is some risk. But hopefully cases like this will help you convince your stakeholders that investing in content is worth its weight in gold.

We got some publicity!… Now what?

Getting an article published about you in a newspaper, trade journal or online is a big feat. There’s no doubt that you put in lots of effort, and you’re going to enjoy the extra publicity. It’s not time to rest on your laurels though!

Any article published about you or your business can keep working for you long after its initial circulation has finished. Instead of just filling some space on a pin-board, you can use the articles to build your brand credibility and to give reporters a good reason to write a little more about you.

The number of articles/mentions you get in the media should also be a key metric you use for tracking your marketing agency/team’s effectiveness. Even b2b companies can benefit from media coverage.

Recording the details

The first step is to make sure that all your article details are properly recorded so that you can cite them properly. There’s nothing worse than saying “yeah someone wrote about us, but we can’t remember who”. Wikipedia has a great mechanism of citation that you can refer to, but as a general rule for any type of publicity you get, remember to capture the following details:

  • Name of the author(s)
  • Title of the article within quotation marks
  • Name of the publication in italics
  • City of publication, if not included in name of publication
  • Year&month/date, of publication
  • Volume number, issue number, and page numbers (article numbers in some electronic journals)
  • Scanned copy/pdf copy of the article itself (really handy in case the original publication disappears)
  • URL of publication (if also published online)

Your article citations should look something like this:

Blogs, Joe. “Gourmet Cooking in Hotel”. The Acme Trade Journal. New York.  1999/12/31, Vol 1, Issue 2, p3

Try to fill all the details in, but don’t worry if you’re missing a few details. It becomes considerably more difficult to get some of these details as the articles age, so it’s best to record the details as soon as the article’s published.

Building Credibility

If you have a Wikipedia page, put your articles as references or external links at the bottom of your Wikipedia page. This not only makes your business look more well established, but the chances of editors removing well cited/referenced pages is much more limited (as long as the rest of the page is still in compliance with Wikipedia policy).

At a minimum, add just the citations with a link to the online version (if available) or the scanned copy, on the Press/Media page of your website. If you don’t have a Press page, this is perfect time to create one. Journalists are always more comfortable writing about a business that’s been published before.

Shout about it

Of course, remember to tell the world 🙂 Someone wrote about you! It’s a big deal. Talk about it through all your social channels, send out an EDM. Let people know you’re a little bit more famous. The extra attention is what you’re looking for!

What are you doing to make the most of your media coverage?