As a digital marketer, I’ve had the privilege of working with entrepreneurs and organizations all of whom have one goal in common – to leverage on the internet to promote their goods, services and other offerings.

From the point of the initial consultation, it is evident that the purpose of engaging my service is to deliver results – in whatever dimension and context that it applies to their specific brand.

However, with time, I have observed that what a large majority of these clients want is swift results (even when this may not conform to the natural order of things). For instance, I once met a young entrepreneur fresh out of graduate school. Having been trained in confectionary services, she was looking to start a bistro in one of the nice, fancy neighbourhoods of upscale Lagos, Nigeria.

Beyond the 180 followers on her personal (and may I add, private) Instagram page, the word of mouth publicity she had done and the expected goodwill of friends and family who had eaten her cakes and pastries, there was nothing much she could lay claim to in terms of branding and public recognition.

However, at the time of our first meeting, she stated that she simply wanted to build an online community in time for the official launch which was to come up sometime within the next month.

I told her that while she had good plans, building the community is only one aspect of digital marketing and it could as well be both a means to end and an end in itself for her. As a means, she could use the online community to reach out to other prospective audience; and as an end, she could continually engage them as the inaugural customer-base.

Together, we discussed and formulated a social media strategy which was eventually executed and yielded the expected results in the long run.

 In light of this and many other experiences, here are five simple lessons I have learned from digital marketing:

–        There is a process. Like life, email marketing is not automatic. More so, email marketing works on a prerequisite basis as you need to have a ready list of email receivers; so if you’ll be getting the expected results, subject the process to time (without forgetting to play by the rules). Anything short of that, like the Nigerian lingo says, will ‘end in tears’.

–        Relationships are an essential part of life, especially long-lasting ones. Just like your ‘boo’ and inner circle in real life matter to you, your community of readers, customers and subscribers should also feature on your top-priority list. Consistent engagement over an extended period in email marketing is no doubt an asset because having it preserves your relationship with your end-users which comes with endless potential.

–       Unfounded predictions are just that. Not every time, ‘why didn’t you pick your call?’ Doubt or dismissal are fatal blows to any relationship. Likewise, email marketing has got to be one of the most underrated digital marketing platforms; yet, it remains effective. With a highly predicted demise due to the growth of alternative marketing channels such as social media, email marketing continues to deliver impressive ROI of up to a whopping 3,800% according to this Hubspot stats listing!

–        Accountability is key. Just as when your partner asks ‘Where were you last night?’, you honour them with the truth, in email marketing, you can evaluate the success of your campaigns and direct the outcome of subsequent activities. Because the truth is inevitable. With the help of automated mailing platforms, you can enjoy a metric tracking system that helps you see how many emails were opened, and their click-through and conversion rates. This can help determine what works for your audience – in terms of copy, content, and design, and guide you into making any needed changes.

–        Longevity is only a matter of time, literally. Do you see all those IG couples that are goals? It took time to get there. Yep. The most profound thing about longevity is consistency. While it is a popularly held belief that email marketing has been around for so long, there’s nothing more erroneous. Email marketing has proved to be a great option for businesses looking to maintain correspondence at pocket-friendly costs.

–        Worth every bit: When your boo brings something to the table, chances are that you’d find them valuable. The first thing about great emails is they must be relevant and useful to the intended audience. Otherwise, there’s a high chance that they’ll find it unnecessary and send it to ‘Spam’. Secondly, deliver value and insight. Although there’s no doubt about the ultimate goal, endeavour to create value around your message. The eventual target may be to close a sale, however, a freebie doesn’t hurt. This is a good place to chip in a free resource for your “loyals”. After all, who no like better.

–       Sensitive and gives room for differences. Be sensitive to the audience’s preferences like two accommodate their unique peculiarities. From the timing of receiving the email to the ideal layout that they favour, learn to listen to what your audience wants. Audience segmentation can help to determine what category every audience or customer falls into so you can create personalized experiences for each one. Also, be open to incorporating other marketing channels that may be better suited to meet your audience’s preferences.

In closing, love in its realest and truest form is profitable – isn’t it an irony that something that may seem hard to achieve is still one of the top quests of many around the world today?

Just like love, email marketing plans, prepares for the future and relies on foresight. We do hope that in this season and beyond, you find your exclusive ‘one’, reach and engage them and keep them updated in your heart for endless possible transaction in the future.

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