Don’t Forget About “H2H” in Email Marketing

Everyone talks about B2B and B2C when talking about marketing campaigns. And while these distinctions are still important, we can’t forget about the “human to human” (or H2H) component of marketing. However, it seems like many marketers have. Today’s marketers are rushing to talk about analytics, mobile applications, or customer journeys. But in all of these strategies, what we’re really trying to do is answer the following question: Who is our customer?

Indeed, every successful marketing strategy aims to make a human connection between the customer and the product. Whether this is an emotional connection or one based on need or understanding, we’re trying to tap into it. This is where email marketing can come into play and have a big effect on your customers’ views of your brand—and, ultimately, turn a one-time customer into a lifetime customer.

But there’s a challenge. With technology now at our fingertips—and its accessibility growing with every passing day—consumers are becoming more critical about how companies market to them. Are they too intrusive? Are they sending too many irrelevant communications? Are they too pushy?

Because of this hurdle, marketers need to remember that we’re still dealing with humans and, therefore, the messages within each campaign need to treat them as such.

That’s why it’s so important that email campaigns are genuine and authentic. After all, communicating to your customers shouldn’t be difficult, and it shouldn’t feel cluttered or confusing for your customer. Instead, it should feel easy and sincere. The same goes for social media, direct mail, display advertising, or anything else in your marketing portfolio. So, if you’re struggling with what message will most resonate with your customers, distance yourself from your product or business, and think harder about your customers’ needs.

Marketers recognize that email continues to play a key role in most companies’ marketing strategies. According to Salesforce’s “2015 State of B2C Marketing” report, 73% of B2C marketers agree that email marketing is core to their business, and 78% consider their email’s content and design the most important feature to creating successful email campaigns.

So, when we talk about H2H, email marketing can have a big impact on your business if it makes your customers feel: included (like the email was tailored to them alone), motivated (like they’re part of something big), familiar (like it was personalized to them), and like it solved a problem. That’s not B2B. It’s not B2C. It’s H2H. And it should be part of every marketer’s vocabulary.

PS: Bryan Kramer wrote a great book about this subject titled “Human to Human: #H2H,” which goes into detail about how communication today needs to keep up with the fast-paced digital space. Not only does he reference things he’s learned as president of a Silicon Valley marketing firm, but he also provides practical tools to help you think like a human marketer again. I wholeheartedly recommend reading this book if you’re serious about making serious connections with your customers.

About the author

Gabriel Villablanca is director of digital marketing for O2E Brands, parent company of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? He’s responsible for all digital marketing initiatives, including back-end development work that impacts internationaland local marketing tactics. Villablanca has more than 12 years of international digital marketing experience, helping to build and establish brands across Australia, Canada, the UK, and the United States.  Prior to joining O2E Brands he worked as the VP of marketing for Brafto Inc. and as the head of sales and marketing for Castleford Media in Sydney, Australia. 
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