It sounds obvious but so many of us forget to focus on the objective whatever we are working on, an email campaign, a newsletter series or a solus email.

If you state your intent from the off, your path and destination (usually to conversion) are set. 

It often helps me to think of my objective as being two sides of the same coin. My aim is to sell to interested customers and those same customers are also looking to make a purchase of the product I am selling. 

Two sides of the same coin

Focusing on the end goal helps me to achieve my objective, as well as helps my customers achieve theirs.

To apply this line of thinking, I suggest that for every email programme we design, we name it according to the objective we want it to realise for us.

This might sound pretty obvious and perhaps insignificant, but bear with me. You might be surprised at the results possible by spending a bit of time to more carefully name your email programme, something we don’t usually given any thought to.   

As an example, here are two very common email and programme types that we all know and love (maybe): step in the Subscriber Welcome Programme and the Customer Welcome Programme.

Any kind of welcome, especially a warm one is generally a pleasing experience (to most of us). However – do we want the welcome part to be the main objective of this email programme? It’s most certainly a sub-objective, but I question whether it’s the main aim of the budget and energy spent setting your welcome programme up. 

Getting your subscriber to make their first purchase is usually the primary objective of a Subscriber Welcome Programme, to successfully convert them into becoming a customer.

This is why I like to call such programmes by their core objective - 1st Purchase Programme. Aligning the objective and the name of the programme helps maintain focus on the end game. It also empowers you to become the director of your programmes destiny to achieve this objective. 

To bring this to life, the Moosejaw email below not only ticks the welcome box as well as conveying their brand voice, but it also focuses on driving the first purchase with a coupon code offer to entice the recipient to buy from them for the first time.

Moosejaw Welcome

Also taking this approach is fashion retailer Boden, with a four-part Welcome Subscriber Programme (1st Purchase Programme) that is completely focused on converting their subscribers to customer status.

They do this very much in keeping with their brand values and style, as they communicate the benefits and offers available to new customers in a relaxed yet persuasive visual and conversational tone.

Boden 1st Purchase Programme

This logic can also be applied to the Welcome Customer Programme – or the more appropriately named 2nd Purchase Programme.

Most online retailers will be all too familiar with the SOC (Single Order Customers) and used to this particular customer segment taking up much more of their customer database than they would like, rather than the much more desirable MOC (Multiple Order Customers). 

So to get back to basics and look at why we implement an email programme to welcome new customers - are we just following the advice of all the experts out there that recommend it as best practice?

Or is it more likely due to the long term business need to nurture and convert SOC’s through to MOC’s? In which case, I recommend you try naming your programme so it aligns with the objective you want it to achieve.

As we can see with the example below from Etsy, it’s thank you for your first purchase and then offers you some other items you may be interested in. It’s obvious the aim of this email is to drive you back to Etsy to purchase for the second time.

Etsy 1st Purchase Programme

Here comes the science bit… Our use of names and the language we use determines our view on things, as well as what we choose to focus on.

The power of speech and the words used is well documented, as Lera Boroditsky, one of the world’s experts on relationships between language and cognition, explains “if you change how people talk, that changes how they think...”.

Using an objective focused name for your email programme, instead of just describing what the emails are, can encourage action-driven thoughts and intentions. A person’s behaviour can change in line with the positive outcome you are trying to motivate through your email.  

To take this a step further, let’s look at another email programme that many ecommerce marketers will know well – the Cart Abandonment Programme. The act of abandoning a shopping basket is the flag that triggers the series of emails sent to the abandoner with the aim of recovering lost revenue.

The name of this programme focuses on the negative - the cause of the problem, the abandonment – rather than on the objective of the programme, to recover revenue.

Why refer to it as a Cart Abandonment Programme? When it makes more sense to call it a Cart Recovery Programme. Our objective is to recover lost revenue, so why not name the programme to be more closely aligned with our objective?

Made Jewellery

So, to answer my original question within the title of this post “why is the name of your email programme so important?” The name of your email programmes is powerful.

Naming your programmes after their objective help us to maintain focus on what we are trying to achieve with not only the email programme, but also as a business.

So why not give it a try in your business and how you make the most of this opportunity.

Kath Pay

Published 29 May, 2015 by Kath Pay

Kath Pay is founder & CEO of Holistic Email Marketing and a contributor to Econsultancy. She also is the Trainer for Econsultancy's Advanced Email Marketing and Email Marketing courses and has authored Econsultancy's "The Fundamentals of Email Marketing" report.

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Comments (3)

Serene Wakelin

Serene Wakelin, Administrator at Elastic Email

Hi Kath - I enjoyed your article and would be tempted to take it even further. The psychology that surrounds our use of language and how it changes the way we think can also be connected to how our senses perceive information. In any moment, this combination of language, thinking and perceiving can completely change how we emotionally (potentially physically according to some studies on interoception) feel and then action follows those feelings - maybe purchasing from that now recovered cart!

almost 3 years ago

Kath Pay

Kath Pay, Snr Consultant at Holistic Email MarketingSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Serene - absolutely! Human Beings are complicated and interesting beings! For example, studies have shown that if on our way to the shops we help someone, when we're at the shop we're more likely to buy something as we want to continue the momentum of helping someone...As marketers, there's so many things that we can use to help our customers and ourselves achieve our objectives

almost 3 years ago

Nirav Sheth

Nirav Sheth, CEO at Maven Infosoft

Interestingly, it’s somewhat a logical approach than the technical presentation instead that enlightens huge sparks. Intent recognition and trying to promote one’s services ever is a success. A transparent email programme that is near to viewer’s specific perceptions (or organizational purpose) is a hit perfect to get potential conversions!!

almost 3 years ago

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