Email Marketing: Who’s on First and What’s on Second?

Abbott and Costello for those of you too young to remember made the title of this article famous.  Their comedy bit about baseball and Who’s on First (see below) is a classic.  When it comes to email marketing, remembering those two lines might just help you with your next campaign.

When you plan to send an email marketing campaign ask yourself:

Who’s on first? Who am I sending this email to and why.

What’s on Second. Is what I’m sending relevant and valuable to the recipient?  If you’re still working with the one list approach, it’s time to make a change.

Most likely your list is comprised of current, past and future customers. All of which you need to address differently with customized content.  Current customers have seen your value and have acted on it.  Past customers saw value but have since lost faith.  Future customers haven’t yet seen the value or are on the fence.

Current customers are the most valuable of all.  Customer acquisition is important, but customer retention is really much more important.  It is much cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.  The messages you send to these customers must reinforce your value and benefits, as well as educate and inform.  The upsell opportunities are there, you just have to make them realize the value.

With past customers you may want to send a message asking for their business again as well as asking how you can provide a better service/product that will meet their needs.  Asking them for their input can re-engage some customers.  It shows you value their opinion.  But be prepared to respond to their comments and questions.

When it comes to prospective customers, you need to sell your product/service and show its value and benefit to the customer.  Maybe their reluctance is price; offer a special targeted discount to these customers.  Maybe they need additional education about your product/service.  You have to test to these customers to see what makes them react.  While they are learning about you, you need to be learning about them.

We are all different people and we react differently to offers and information.  Where I am a value shopper, I don’t mind paying more for a product or service if it offers better features or benefits.  My dad is a price shopper, he will almost always pick the cheaper model.  We are who we are.  Sometimes you can educate a price buyer by showing how much better your  product/service is, sometimes you cannot.

If you’re wondering about third base; I don’t know is on third. If you don’t know what your customer wants, why are you sending them the email?