It’s 10:10 a.m. on Tuesday. All the experts say, “Send your sales emails NOW!” You frantically push the “send” button while you watch the back end of the email marketing program to see who’s opening your email. You get a decent open rate, say 15% and, forever more, you mail at 10:10 on Tuesday morning.

Let’s reverse engineer this thing.

Do you really want email opens? Is that the goal of your program? If so, you’re missing the Big Picture. The big picture is, of course, Sales.

Now, for sales to happen, your prospect has to trust you, like you, have confidence in you, and, in many cases, know you.

With email marketing, you can facilitate the process of earning trust, being likable, engendering confidence, and building a personal relationship.

But email won’t let you take any shortcuts. It’s still a very impersonal medium.

For that reason, I recommend the 1-2 punch of Email+Print. If you’ve been reading my series on this topic, you’ll know that I recommend integrating email with a strategic print follow up.

We’ve talked about using direct mail to accomplish that.

Today I want to talk about delivering print in person.

I’ll give you an example of how this was done brilliantly. Krispy-Kreme-doughnuts

It was 9 a.m. (not 10:10) on a Thursday morning (not Tuesday). Based on strategic email testing — what I call “email intelligence” — the salesman knew we would be at our desks.

On the computers in our work area and two in the other room, we heard a simultaneous gong, signaling the arrival of email. Of course, I looked at the email.

I always look.

Subject line: “Go out in the hall and take a whiff.”

I laughed and asked my co-workers if they had gotten the same email. They had.

Curious, we opened the door. Standing outside was our favorite salesman with a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, still hot.

We took deep breaths of the doughy, sugary aroma and invited him in.

He gave us a small box that said “Doughnut Patrol.” It was folded like a doughnut box, hinged the same way, and with that same, flimsy cardboard. It had similar brand colors — including the green dots and pink script type — as a Krispy Kreme box, but it had his company name on it. Inside were his samples and business card, along with toy police badges and cute, scented erasers shaped like doughnuts.

He didn’t stay long, but it was a nice break. And later we ended up buying a significant piece of equipment from him.

Was it because of the doughnuts?

Or was it because he took the trouble to find out a little about us and not just assume we were like the statistical majority.

This Email-to-Print experience worked on so many levels. It had humor, print, packaging, personality, smell, taste, touch, perfect timing…and, of course, doughnuts.

He could have sent us a mass email at 10:10 on Tuesday morning. When he combined Email+Print and a personal visit with doughnuts? Now we’re talking Big Picture.

Sandy Hubbard loves salespeople and, especially, print sales professionals. And she loves to help companies use technology to find and win new business. Combining email with print is just one of many creative ways to engage with customers. You can find Sandy on Twitter at @sandyhubbard. Read more Print Media Centr articles in the Email + Print series by typing “Sandy Hubbard” into the search box.


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