As I sit in the waiting room of the Baltimore City Courthouse, packed to capacity with potential jurors like myself, I find my mind wandering to my preferred day job of email marketer. While I understand that jury duty is my civic obligation and responsibility, it doesn't mean that the process will be exciting, engaging or really anything other than boring. So instead of watching the 2004 hit romantic comedy “13 Going on 30” that’s playing on the 28 inch television, I’ve decided to think about the similarities between the jury selection process and email marketing. It sounds like a stretch, but follow me for a few paragraphs and I promise it will make sense.
In both the jury selection process and email marketing, there are various steps you must guide your audience through to achieve a “match”. For jury selection, that match is simple: a qualified juror for a courtroom case. In email marketing, that match would be a customer, someone who purchases the product or service that you are promoting. The process in which you arrive at this match is a series of steps, with each step of the process affecting the next. Let’s do a step by step comparison so you can see exactly what I’m talking about.
Step 1: Selected for Jury Duty/Subscribing to an Email List
In both of these situations, you have agreed to be a part of a large group of candidates. With jury duty, it's an agreement you make as an American citizen to perform a duty for the city/county that you reside in. By showing up, you are volunteering your time and attention. The same thing goes with subscribing to an email list. You are volunteering a portion of your time and attention to read the emails that you receive.
Step 2: Called into a Courtroom Case/Opening an Email
If you have ever served jury duty, you know that for most of the day you and the rest of your fellow candidates are going to be sitting in a waiting room in the courthouse. The next step of the process is actually having your number called for a courtroom case. This is similar to a portion of your subscribers opening an email because in both scenarios you are only selecting/capturing a percentage of your total audience. In both scenarios, it is more beneficial to have a larger portion selected as it gives you more options.
Step 3: Meeting the Qualifications to Serve on a Jury/Clicking an Email
Once you are guided into a courtroom, the judge will ask a series of questions ranging from: Do you personally know the plaintiff, defendant or any attorneys involved in the case? Have you ever been convicted of a crime similar to the defendant's alleged crime? Have you ever been the victim of a crime similar to the defendants alleged crime? These are all qualifying questions that help determine if a juror candidate is in fact fit to serve on the jury for this case. Compare this to the copy of an email broadcast. If you are promoting a product that helps with eyesight, a good question to ask would be: Is your vision worsening with age? If you are promoting a weight loss program, a good question to ask would be: Are you struggling to lose weight? These questions help identify qualified candidates and encourage them to click a link in your email to learn more about what you are promoting.
Step 4: Being Selected as a Juror/Converting a Prospect into a Buyer
Once the prospective jurors are asked all pertinent questions, a select few of them will actually be selected to serve on the jury. These are the most qualified candidates to serve on the jury, as decided by the judge and their counsel. Once these individuals are selected, the case can begin. Compare this to an email subscriber making the decision to purchase the good or service you are promoting: They have read through all of your promotional material, resolved any objections they might have to your product/service and decided that they are willing and able to make a purchase. Once they have made that purchase, they can begin reaping the benefits of your product that interests them.
As you can see, each step of the process feeds into the next step. You cannot skip any of the steps if you want to reach the desired outcome. Additionally, you want as many individuals to make it through each step as possible. This ultimately gives you a bigger pool of potential “fits”. In the instance of jury duty, it gives the judge a bigger pool of potential jurors. In the instance of an email promotion, it gives the email marketer a bigger pool of potential customers. Therefore, optimizing each step of your email promotion is imperative to ensure you aren't losing any potential candidates throughout the process.
Make sure your subject lines are relevant and engaging to ensure a high open rate. Make sure your email copy is clear, concise and intriguing to ensure a high click through rate. Make sure your sales page and check out page are easy to navigate and answer any common questions/objections that your potential buyers may have. Optimize each step of the process to maximize your success. If not, you may be guilty of losing out on revenue and engagement, a crime no email marketer wants to be charged for.