Do you get better at writing your company's marketing emails the longer you've been doing it and the more familiar you become with its products and services?
You'd probably think so. And you might very well be right.
But from the moment we start becoming familiar with a product we also start losing something. Something you can never, ever get back no matter how hard you try.
And that something is the memory of the sense of mild bewilderment we had when we encountered the product for the first time!
And it turns out that this state of bewilderment was good. It was healthy. And when we lose memory of it we become complacent, we take it for granted that our audience possesses knowledge that, in reality, it probably doesn't.
Let me give you the background to why I'm writing this blog.
A couple of years ago we launched Campus. Campus was (and still is) something completely unique. A piece of software specially designed for businesses that sell to schools. Something that fulfils all of their marketing and sales processes.
Basically, it's extremely cool. However, when I first encountered it and was told that I'd soon be selling it to clients, I was scared stiff. I was scared because it was this big complex beast of software that I frankly didn't understand.
So, I did what anybody would do in that situation. I threw myself into learning all about Campus. I was determined that I wouldn't start selling it to clients until I knew it inside out, until it felt as familiar as an old pair of jeans.
And I got there. In a couple of months its functions and the way in which the different modules knitted together became second nature – something that I didn't even have to think about any longer.
I was also pretty pumped. I saw how awesome Campus was and, as Head of Content at Sprint Education, I wanted to market the hell out of it. So I worked day and night creating a series of eBooks and Infographics that celebrated what Campus would enable you to achieve, focussing on the coolest, most advanced features that really floated my boat.
Then we started sending this marketing out. And the enquiries didn't flood in. I didn't really understand it.
Then Guy, who had clearly been having the same concerns, said to me, “Have we actually told them what it is yet?”.
And I realised straight away that he was right. I'd become so comfortable and familiar with Campus that I was giving the audience credit for having a similar level of understanding.
Basically, I'd forgotten that sense of utter bewilderment that I'd had when Ben and Guy first told me about Campus. The phone wasn't ringing because the audience didn't have a clue what I was talking about! They were probably feeling just as daunted and overawed by Campus as I had been three months earlier.
So, I had to backtrack and create much more basic marketing emails that simply told people what Campus was and what it did in its most basic form.
The interest started to build and Campus took on a life of its own. However, I'd made a bit of a botch of the marketing launch.
Is it possible that you are making the same mistakes with your marketing to schools? Has your product become so ingrained on your consciousness that you're crediting teachers with a similar level of understanding?
I don't know the answer to the above. But I strongly recommend asking yourself that question and trying to recapture some of that beautiful bewilderment that you once had. Try to look at your emails to teachers with fresh eyes and imagine that you're somebody that has never heard of your product or service.
It might just be the catalyst you need to create better performing emails to teachers.
Database of Schools
Marketing to Schools
Selling to Schools