If your content is in someone’s email inbox, it may be referenced over time.
All content is not equal. Some of it may be a hot flash where timing is extremely important. If you don’t post the right tweet at the right time to the right people it is buried in the stream forever. Some content may persist a bit longer like a news article on a popular site.
For the long-term strategy the biggest asset you can have over time is your online content that is optimized and indexed by Google for its authority and relevance. It can be strategically used in different ways to get leads and make sales.
But one often overlooked distribution channel for content is the email inbox. While many pundits like to speak of the demise of email, it is still the killer app. We work and live out of our email because it’s convenient, personal and a unifying platform. Everyone has an email address and knows how to use it without extra training or commitment.
Just look over any business person’s shoulder, and you will find their email program open throughout the work day. It’s why you can send an email, and it is read or replied to quickly. It’s efficient and easy.
But the use of email has layers to it that are important for effective and strategic marketing efforts. It has to do with how people interact with their email.
The Inbox as a Hard Drive
Most people are not efficient with their emails. They have hundreds and even thousands of emails in their inbox. Some are better at organizing email than others, but the continual barrage of communications does make it hard to keep up. Few maintain a zeroinbox.
Regardless of how people deal with their inbox, they do save their emails. It is why there are storage limits on Outlook servers and Gmail quotas.
The saving of those emails allows people to open up past emails. This happens in a variety of situations. Their minds might remember a resourceful article, and they search for it and reread it.
They may want to share something that has helped them previously with someone else and simply forward it.
It is effectively a hard drive that stores a lot of valuable information relevant to a person’s work. They draw on it when issues, problems or circumstances become relevant. This is where timing becomes so important. The email inbox is an incubator of great content.
Timing In the Sales Process
With some of the systems we implement for our content marketing customers, we can see when a subscriber is getting ready to take action. They have digital body language that accelerates around content. They are reading, researching and deciding on a course of action. More often than not, this happens weeks or months later than when there was an idea proposed or a sales proposal sent.
This is the majority of people and why it is so important to have marketing systems in place to nurture leads. The vast majority of buyers are not ready. The timing is not right. A lot of things have to line up such as clarity of information, buy-in from others, and overall emotional readiness.
When your customer becomes ready, they read past content and review your content system online. Timing is critical in this process.
So, your content engine sets you up. What you share gets saved and becomes a part of people’s archives and library that they tap into as a personally collected piece of information.
Just as strangers might find your optimized content assets online, recipients of your content save and reference past information in their inbox as part of their pool of resources to address the problems they face.
This is why it is critical to have an overall strategy that focuses on the picture of how people buy. The email inbox is a critical part of how they connect with you over time.