Marketing Tools Don’t Replace Marketing Skills

There is a LOT of talk in marketing today about tools. And that’s because (YAY!) here we are in this amazing time when the tools to produce exceptional marketing collateral, videos, websites, etc. are readily available and fairly cheap. I’ve noticed that my beloved marketing profession loves to talk bout tools SO much that they often miss why we create marketing in the first place.

Recently, I saw this thread on LinkedIn entitled — “What’s the best way to create a great email campaign?”  Simple enough, we do it all the time for our clients. Would you believe that there were 87 posts from various digital marketing agencies talking about which software to use? Wow! Would you also believe that not ONE post mentioned the message, the subject line, the content of the email or the audience? WOW!

So allow me to fix this. THE most important thing when creating a great email campaign is the story. We must INVITE the AUDIENCE/CUSTOMER into a story where they star as the hero and our product/service solution gets their problem solved and allows them to complete THEIR hero’s journey. The MINUTE you stop talking about the customer’s problem, they stop paying attention – Bank on it.

Which brings me to the subject line. So my client emails (which I write) generally have about a 45-48 percent open rate. The industry average on marketing emails is 2 percent so I feel like I’m doing something right. That something begins with the composition of an EXCEPTIONAL subject line.

This is NOT the last thing we write when we create an email — it’s the FIRST thing.  And this line MUST (again) open a STORY loop with the audience that makes them want to open the email. Great subject lines (with high open rates) I’ve written lately include these —

Solving VR’s Nausea Problem

Who is THE lawyer in COVID cases

COVID Litigation Isn’t Dangerous Anymore

See Fewer Defaults Using AI

The point is to open a story — and then pay that story off inside of the email. I’m not sure everyone understands how to do it. It’s a skill, not a tool. Could a tool write this way? — possibly. But from what I’m seeing in my own inbox (most of which is complete garbage) this skill set needs to be used MUCH more often.

I like tools — they make us more efficient, faster, and just better. But if people are using them without even understanding what they’re doing or why, we have a problem. And don’t let AI write for your brand because AI writes in a style that is WAY too formal, uses WAY too many words and honestly, the output just LOOKS like AI. —Be better than that.

One thing I mention in my book (Just Stop It) is that we should assume our audience doesn’t want to hear from us. That’s a useful mindset to use when crafting something for them. If they don’t want to hear from us, how could we be valuable and great enough to EARN it? If you begin with this idea in mind, you will probably come closer to creating something great!