My 2020 Email Campaign Strategy for Nighthawk
A strong email campaign is crucial building block for your overall marketing strategy.
I love having a career in marketing, but I hate to use that term: marketing. It turns people off. It frustrates business owners and customers alike. Everyone is trying to minimize the ads and distractions that fill their world—who wants to interrupt their customers’ valuable time any more than absolutely necessary?
But the more I learned about effective marketing, the more I realized that the idea that marketing is shoving ads in front of customers is a misconception.
Marketing is relationship building.
Marketing is effective – that is, it results in new customers – when it earns your audience’s trust. You earn your audience’s trust by being worthwhile of their attention. You are worth their attention when you are sharing values that they have in common with you, when you give them information that they find useful or interesting, or most importantly, when you help them solve their problems.
This post isn’t about the foundations of successful marketing strategies, but I felt a little bit of background on my marketing philosophy was necessary before I jumped into my 2020 email marketing plan. (Note, if you do want to learn more about the foundations of effective marketing, my workshops are a great place to start. Otherwise, here’s one of my resources that you may find helpful.)
The Strategy Behind This Email Campaign
A bit of honesty: This is my first year to have a full-out email campaign for Nighthawk. I work with such a small number of clients that it just didn’t seem to be a crucial need, and frankly, that’s still the case. But I have loads of information that I’ve learned so far in my professional career that I think could be truly helpful for my audience, so why not share it?
And a bit more honesty: As I mentioned, marketing is relationship building. I’m trying to solve my clients’ problems, not trying to push a sale for something they don’t need. That’s why you’ll never hear a cold sales pitch from me—I don’t think it’s necessary. Instead, I want my audience to know that if they need help with a specific project or big-picture planning, I’m available to guide them in the right direction. And that’s the purpose of these emails: to give my audience tips that apply to small businesses in birding and ecotourism and show them that I understand the challenges and frustrations that they face, and so that when they need marketing help, Nighthawk comes to mind.
Preparing the Emails
For several months, I’ve kept written lists of tips and information that would be helpful for my audience. I categorize my notes into two lists: quick, practical tips, and big-picture marketing concepts. My emails are going out twice monthly.
On the second Tuesday of each month, a quick tip email goes out. The design of the email is very simple, with the tip listed in the header and a short paragraph of text explaining it below, with a link to more information and usually a video explanation of the tip. That’s it for the body of the email. I’m keeping it as simple as possible, and specifically selecting tips that are easy to convey quickly to not take up more time than necessary from my audience’s inbox scan.
On the fourth Tuesday of each month, a big-picture marketing concept email goes out. These emails will contain slightly more content, usually starting with the introduction to the topic with a link to read the full text on my site. The email will also contain a few links to other references that I’ve found in the past month that I thought would be helpful for my audience, and sometimes have a paragraph about what I’ve been up to as well.
Schedule of Email Topics
I’ve mapped out the topics for several upcoming months. Since I already have a list of topics for each type of email, and because I’m keeping the emails simple, it’s pretty easy to create the content and emails. I tend to set aside a full day every few weeks to write content, because I prefer to do a lot of writing in one sitting, so I’m working ahead and scheduling emails in advance, too. Here are my topics so far:
Quick tip: How to Post Multiple Times about One Topic on Facebook
Big-picture concept: Why You Need a Blog (or at least a version of one)
Quick tip: How to Easily Match Colors from Photos in Your Ads
Big-picture concept: Marketing Mountain: A New Take on the Marketing Funnel
Quick tip: A Checklist for Your Festival Booth Needs
Big-picture concept: Why Collecting Emails is Important
Quick tip: Not decided yet
Big-picture concept: An Alternative to Watching Your Competitors
Quick tip: Not decided yet
Big-picture concept: How to Feel Good about your Marketing
That’s my email campaign strategy in a nutshell.
I’ll continue to update this post as my campaign develops. If you aren’t on my email list and want to be, you can sign up right below this paragraph. I have the form connected to Mailchimp, so as soon as you enter your info, you’ll automatically be added to my email list. I’m automating as much as my business as I can, and I suggest you do the same to save time and have peace of mind!
See this Email Campaign in Action
I’m happily transparent about my own marketing process for Nighthawk. That’s why I love marketing: I’m able to be truthful and helpful, and that makes both me and my audience feel good. If you have questions about my process, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want help designing an email or general marketing campaign for your business, my consultation packages are a great place to get started.
Now get out there and get to marketing…the right way!