According to Merriam-Webster, motive is a noun defined as “something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.” Everything—and I mean everything—we do in life is dictated by motive, from dragging our butts out of bed in the morning to putting that pint of Ben & Jerry’s back in the freezer without polishing it off. And while the need or desire behind any action may differ between individuals, one thing remains the same: without it, we’d do nothing.
What’s the difference between an ultra-marathoner and a man who spends his weekends on the couch? The answer is motive. The first wants to test his limits, pushing his endurance to the breaking point and then beyond. The latter does not. How about a CEO and a long-term mid-level manager? Again, motive is the answer. You don’t become a Chief Executive Officer without the desire to do what it takes to make it to the top. Long-term mid-level managers, on the other hand, are often satisfied with the status quo.
Motive dictates your business marketing approach—or lack thereof—as well. If you want to reach as many prospects as possible and increase sales, you may choose to use a variety of tools to do so, from email marketing to Google Adwords to social media. If your desire is to coast along, doing little until sales dry up, then find yourself without any money in your pocket and wonder why, I would venture to say you had no motivation to ensure you had enough money in your pocket and dictated your own future. In the first case, your motive dictates actions that will lead you to success—and in the second, to your eventual downfall.
Let’s assume you fall into the first group. The fact that you’re reading our blog, leads me to believe you have at least some interest in exploring new ways to reach prospects and customers. Email is certainly an effective one. According to one recent survey, 66 percent of respondents reported that their email campaigns deliver an “excellent” or “good” return on investment. Eight percent of their businesses earn more than half their sales through email marketing channels.
More sales is an excellent motive for adding email to your marketing mix. Use that desire as fuel for the following actions:
1. Start collecting email addresses. Add an email newsletter sign-up to your website. Ask customers to opt in to communications when they make a purchase. Put those addresses in a database, whether that means customer relationship management software or a good old-fashioned spreadsheet. It sounds like work, but it’s worth the effort. Check out Calculating the Value of Your Customer Database if you don’t believe me. Without this information, your email marketing efforts are dead in the water.
2. Get to know your customers. If you don’t know the people who buy from you now, how can you expect to identify those who will purchase your product or service in the future? Now that you have their email addresses, consider surveying your current clients to gather pertinent information. Include questions that will assist you in identifying specific criteria to enable you to target them with custom tailored content. Make sure you store all of this information with your customers data record.
3. Enlist a managed email marketing service. Planning, creating, broadcasting and tracking email campaigns is time consuming work that requires expertise for maximum success. Find a reputable managed email marketing company who can help you with everything from strategy to email validation to conversion studies. Once you provide them with your database, they can help you determine the types of email content that will best resonate with the customers who make up your list.
4. Broaden your scope. Now that you’ve perfected your approach on your current clients, you can expand your efforts to include prospects. A professional third party email marketing company can use your current customer demographics to help you select the proper email list rental of prospects who will also likely be interested in your products or services. Reach out to them regularly and watch your business grow.
What will your motive dictate today? Will you do something beneficial for your business or nothing at all? Success, failure, excellence, mediocrity—the choice is ultimately up to you.