One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life.
From “Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
In 2021, I’ve set a goal of reading at least one book per month. First, I finished one I started this past summer (“The Institute” by Stephen King).
My plan is to alternate between fiction and non-fiction books.
For my first non-fiction choice, I read “Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott.
In an effort to write more this year, I’m going back and reflecting on sections that have intrigued me. The quote at the beginning of this article is the first item I highlighted in the book.
The idea of finding inspiration by doing things, going places, exploring, and looking more closely at life reminded me of when I first started blogging.
Since blogging is something you do on a consistent basis you’re always looking for inspiration. Or connection to an idea you’re trying to get across.
For example, I’m currently working on a project where I’m looking for a way to explain a new ecommerce marketing tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze customer data and then predict the next best email message and when you should send it at an individual contact level.
It’s pretty awesome because it allows you to approach email marketing in a new way.
Traditionally, you’re likely going to approach email marketing in one, or a combination of the following two ways.
Email marketing approach one
You send messages to a large group of contacts. Hopefully, you do this on a consistent basis. You’re probably not doing any segmentation, and any automation you’ve got going on is relegated to a welcome email.
Let’s be clear. This is good. And a lot more than many businesses do (to their detriment).
If you are in this group you’re building relationships, staying top of mind, and driving sales. Good. Better lies in the next approach.
Email marketing approach two
Here you’re getting more precise. You’re thinking about different people on your list and the characteristics that allow you to group them together.
For example, you may group customers based on demographics or purchase behavior.
You create messages that are specific to each of these groups. That specificity allows you to create email messages that speak to and grab the recipient’s attention, leading to better performance both in engagement and driving action. You’re not gonna stop there though.
You’re thinking more deeply about automation and how you can use these tools to save yourself time by putting things on autopilot. You’re creating series of emails that allow you to tell a story and bring someone to an outcome that benefits your business. Better.
But there’s room for a third approach
This ecommerce marketing tool allows you to get to best. It let’s you treat your contacts as individuals and send the best messages for them at the right times. And it does so without requiring intense devotion to sifting through data and making sense of it, AI handles that for you. Then automation takes actions at the precise moments to capitalize on what it’s learned and predicted.
Looking closely at life to explain the advantage of this third approach
My daughters have been obsessed with “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix. Have you seen this show? It’s about a young woman who becomes a world-class chess player. And now my girls are trying to learn chess.
My daughter, Emily and I were playing the other day. And we were talking about how chess is all about thinking ahead. You need to anticipate the moves your opponent may make and think of the moves you’ll have to answer what they do. And you need to think many moves in advance.
If they do this, I’ll do that. Or if they do that, I’ll do this instead.
There’s that phrase about someone playing chess while their opponent is playing checkers to illustrate when someone is operating at a different level.
The third approach to email marketing reaches level: chess
The first two approaches to email marketing…it’s kinda like playing checkers. There’s nothing wrong with it. And you’ll do good. But it’s not playing chess.
The third approach to email marketing gets a chess designation because you’re using all the information you’ve gathered on your customers, analyzing it, and then anticipating the next best action to take based on what they’ve done or what you predict they’re likely to do.
Granted this isn’t easy to do. Especially, when you’ve got, er, other things to do.
But that’s where an ecommerce marketing tool that uses AI and predictive analytics comes into play to generate additional revenue. The tool eliminates the guesswork in deciphering the data and uses automation to send email messages at an individual contact level rather than the groups of people you were working with before.
You set up the components or “plays” and the tool takes care of the rest. Allowing you to live into the idea of the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
The tool makes it possible for you to play chess, while others are playing checkers.
My questions to you are…
Do you think this observation works for this scenario?
And, how have you looked more closely at life to inspire your content?