Randy Litchfield has grown accustomed to change. The CEO of digital messaging firm (and PROFIT 500 veteran) Inbox Marketer Corp. has seen his business grow and evolve tremendously. “We began as an email service provider 12 years ago, when email was the only digital channel,” he explains on this week’s BusinessCast. “Since then, we’ve added mobile and social media.”
And the changes haven’t just been made to keep up with changing technology. Recently, the 50-employee firm introduced Umpire, a messaging platform that’s shifting Inbox Marketer’s focus away from being quite so service-heavy.
“With Umpire, we’re productizing’ what we’d sold as a service,” explains Litchfield, who also happens to be a former editor of PROFIT. It’s a big shift, but it’s the right way to go to keep the firm’s growth sustainable, he says: “With a service company, you’re not as scalable as you’d like to be. You get a new client, you hire some people, so on and so forth. By productizing yourself, you’re able to serve many, many more clients with the same number of people. We don’t have to grow the premises or staff as much as we’d have to with a full service offering.”
For a company that has had to move four times in 12 years, that’s a relief.
The core intent of Inbox Marketer remains unchanged: getting the right messages to the right people in the most effective manner possible. Litchfield acknowledges that is something a lot of companies—particularly small and mid-sized enterprises—struggle to achieve.
But some simple tweaks can change all that—at least, when it comes to email marketing, the preferred method of many entrepreneurs. It’s not difficult to get more people to click through, open and read your content, Litchfield says. You just need to integrate the following two steps before you hit “send”:
1. Test your content
“Testing is the single most important thing anyone can do,” says Litchfield—and most people don’t do it. “By testing, I mean testing different subject lines or different content. Have a controlled test. Segment your audience. One gets Message A; one gets Message B. You’ll almost always be surprised by the results.”
2. Tailor your messages
In many cases, you’ll have a reader base that’s wildly varied; it may be made up of readers in different industries, in different regions or in companies of different sizes. “My advice would be to segment into a few basic segments,” says Litchfield. “Target the content accordingly to those segments. That will almost always make opens and click [through]s improve, along with readership and retention.”
For more of Litchfield’s advice, listen to this week’s BusinessCast. To download the full podcast, click on the iTunes logo below:
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