In the midst of early summer half marathon training, I realized that these worlds of mine — running and email — aren’t quite so different. In fact, many of the secrets runners use in their training can help us be significantly better marketers when applied to email.
Runners rarely dive headfirst into running without a goal or strategy. For some, it’s achieving a certain pace. For others, a distance. The goals and targets vary but they do exist and are constantly used to measure success. Mailers can benefit from a similar strategy. Don’t simply send mail for the sake of sending something. Know, clearly, what you want to achieve from each communication with your audience and which set of measures you’ll use to track its success. Doing so will help you to gather the necessary data to assess your campaigns, optimize your mailings and fuel stronger decisions down the road.
Train for Endurance and Strength
Running requires multi-part training — the most basic of which is endurance and strength. To run long distances, the runner’s body must be conditioned to exert quite a bit of energy over what can be a very long time. Building strength helps to fuel that endurance, but also creates a foundation for power and structure in the body helping to avoid injury. Email marketing strategies must do the same. Through list cleaning, list management and attention to industry best practices, marketers can condition their email marketing strategies to achieve long-term success. At the same time, it’s important to mind those goals I mentioned earlier and ensure that your optimizations are helping to get as close to your target numbers as possible. This will help to provide strength and effectiveness in your mailings — ultimately achieving amazing efficiency!
Mind Your Pace
I’ve seen it time and time again — a department gets extremely excited about an email idea, rushes to deliver a message a few times over a couple months, then quickly looses steam and the project fizzles into the obis. Ultimately, these types of things are extremely uneffective because they don’t take advantage of one of email’s greatest strengths: it’s a welcomed, long-term touch point with an attentive audience. If you aim to maintain regular, consistent communication with your audience, you’re likely to see dramatically better results. The same is true in running. It’s all too easy to start a race much too fast — bursting from the starting line with extreme energy and adrenaline. But, it will serve you better to find a steady maintainable rhythm to tackle the entire race with more pep.
Watch Your Form
The greatest runners in the world don’t get to where they are by wasting energy with sloppy form. No — they meticulously look at each and every element of how they run and optimize regularly. Take a look at your email efforts with an equally meticulous eye. Look for even minor flaws in the user experience, content, layout, calls to action and code. Update and optimize as needed to see your success measures continue to rise.
Get the Right Gear
Any runner will tell you that what you’re working with makes a huge difference. You can train your body all day long — but if you don’t provide it with the necessary shoes, socks, clothing, water or supplements to help it stay in great shape, you’re throwing precious effort out the window. The same can be said for email monetization. You can have an excellent list and fabulous concept — but if you can’t get it into an inbox or return a profit from it, you could be wasting a lot of time and effort. Make sure you’re using the right email service provider to fit your needs and that they provide all of the features you’re most likely to use. Partner with the best email monetization solutions to make sure that you make money each time you send a message. And, make sure you’re making the appropriate investments in design and development to ensure your message lands right where it should — in front of your audience.
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