Two types of email marketing – Sales Activation and Brand Building

There’s two types of email marketing – Sales Activation and Brand Building

The first type, a Sales Activation email is ideal for short term growth byway of a sales uplift to satisfy an existing demand. What they don’t do is typically create a longer term demand, whereas the second type of email; a Brand Building email is for longer term growth by creating a demand and capturing it when the recipients are more ready to buy further into the future.

The answer to the obvious question is do both! Find a balance.

Generally, and it is a generalisation, that a mature business can afford to invest in brand and future sales, where a less mature or new business needs sales and hence lean towards sales activation.

Are the recipients In-Market and Out-Market?

In-Market; is the recipient ready to buy?  Out-Market means they’re not ready to buy.

Amazon Deal of the Day type emails are aimed at recipients who are identified as being In-Market, or ready to buy so get sent sales activation emails usually based on rational win, free or save type promotions e.g. win a bike, a freebie would be to enter a draw for a weekend away, or a simple save 20%. The Metrics for the campaigns are based on number of emails sent, number opened, number clicked, number of sales and profit giving us a benchmark ‘cost per lead’. Store and compare each to give an average. 

Brand building is when you see a meerkat promoting an insurance product. It’s based far more on emotional responses. They repeat, repeat, repeat with consistent messages to a broader less targeted audience, i.e. the audience isn’t ready to buy (Out-Market) but you want your branding to build recognition. Branding metrics are based on recall. 

Next time you sit and watch the ads on telly – think of this and they’ll never be the same. Tell the children and they’ll just look at you even more strangely than they did before! It’s the ads that seemingly don’t make a deal of sense!

The purpose of a brand is to help people make faster decisions. A brand is a mental shortcut and aims to capture a share of mind. See share of mind in 3 distinct aspects:

  1. Fame – is the most valuable – Apple, Amazon – everyone thinks of the brand all of the time.
  2. Salience – mid range share of mind. You think about the brand in a buying situation – I’m hungry; I know I’ll go for a KFC.
  3. Awareness – we all talk about awareness but in effect it’s the lowest form, or least valuable of share of mind as it’s only recalled when they see or hear the brand. 

The key is to get your brand considered. Famous brands are always considered. Their ads tend to be distinctive, memorable and even weird, but they are consistent.

B2B ads are typically much too forgettable – aim for fame 😊 

Does it need to be rational or emotional? Head or heart, features and benefits?

In-Market Sales Activation leans towards rational in contrast to Out-Market Branding can be far more emotional. 

Emotional triggers:

  • No one ever got fired for….
  • ….. your partner in a tough world
  • We know it’s lonely at the top …
  • Fear of missing out
  • Champion of the entrepreneur
  • Humanity in a tech obsessed world

And finally, do businesses grow most by customer acquisition or customer loyalty?

The simple truth is that big brands get big by selling to as many people as possible.

There will always be churn; people move jobs, move companies, retire, change priorities, so if you focus solely on customer loyalty then that’s a mistake.  LinkedIn stats show that 40% of people change their jobs, company, or industry every 4 years.

Customer penetration, land and expand, etc.  can offset the problems of churn, but acquisition is key.

A broad strategy combining both is most effective. So have a plan to focus efforts on new business and to encourage existing customers to buy what they can.

The old chestnuts still hold true that customer experience is key as is the quality of the product and support.