What Magic Johnson Can Teach Email Marketers



Image courtesy of Cliff

When it comes to effective email marketing, it often pays to think in terms of assists, not slam dunks.

When marketers plan communications, they often focus on optimizing each touch for conversion. That means we typically make sure emails have a solid call-to-action or well-defined next step in order to move the prospect along the buyer’s journey. And when we report on the success of a campaign, we often focus on how many click-throughs, form conversions, or marketing qualified leads (MQLs) each touchpoint has generated.
However, when we place too much focus on the end game, it’s easy to forget about the individual touch points that help build up to the eventual conversion. That makes it incredibly difficult to move the ball forward in any consistent, reliable manner.

Don’t Try to Drive Straight to the Basket: Focus on the Assist

Another way to think about touch points is by comparing them to assists — that critical pass in basketball that sets up the teammate to score the goal. In marketing, great examples of assists are the pieces of content, emails, phone calls, or other touch points that earn you the prospect’s trust and primes him or her for conversion down the road.
Think of it like Magic Johnson passing to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from half court. And in fact, it’s often the opposite of an email with a well-defined call to action. Instead, it’s an email that impresses your prospect enough to get them to open the next one. Maybe it was because you used a catchy subject line, took a chance with a witty image, or relayed a relevant story. Whatever the tactic, piquing your recipient’s interest with a fun piece of content can go a long way towards building trust in your brand.

Don’t Let Big Data Psych You Out

The big data movement and increased reporting capabilities from modern marketing automation platforms have made us feel obligated to measure the conversion of everything. But that doesn’t mean you need to adopt that ideology all of the time. Sometimes it’s okay to forget about the hard metrics and plan for something that will “wow” your prospect into waiting for your next trick — which could be an incredibly well-timed and compelling call to conversion.
Marketing leaders, this isn’t a free pass for your team to forget about their goals, but rather a reminder to make sure you allow for freedom to plan for the assists that help reach them.

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