For four quite remarkably difficult years, I taught. The period has left its mark on me, and not only to the degree of respect for those who do it day in and day out for their working lives. It was, without a doubt, a good grounding for email marketing as many skills are transferable.
I was told to section the class in my mind, each group eclectic apart from certain characteristsics in common, and ensure that I spoke to each group in a manner that they would understand. I used different phrases to suit their preferences. I might say, to those who worked well with jargon: “We are talking about ejusdem generis,” and then add for those who preferred a translation in the vernacular: “Sort of go with the flow.”
I worked alongside the best facilitator I have ever seen. Many called her a natural but this ignored the degree of effort she put into planning her lessons.
I suppose it shows a weakness in my character to admit that I was irritated by the fact, and her acceptance of it, that her knowledge of the subject was probably the lowest of all instructors, outside those who didn't care. Even more upsetting was that her students would be in the classroom half an hour before the start time whereas I would sometimes slow my pace so as not to pass some of mine.
Whilst her experience of previous courses was an indicator, her tactic was to ask the students what they wanted to discuss. They would explain what they couldn't understand on their pre-course study and by the following day she would have a fully formed lesson plan. As I said, natural or not, she put the work in.
She went on to greater things, now being quite famous in her field. Had she taken up email marketing she would have been terrific as her skills were perfect for the craft.
By asking the students what they wanted, she gained information on the individuals. She would discover what worried them and their levels of knowledge would also be clear. She knew exactly who she was trying to teach and how to solve their problems.
She could tell by their responses what they disliked and what their values were. Whilst it was superficial, it was enough for her to know how to make the lesson content relevant. Not only that, she generated anticipation and the students looked forward to her lessons.
You can, no doubt, see the similarities with email marketing. Knowing your audience is the way to success. We have a distinct advantage over any instructor walking blind into a classroom to face a new set of students. We have our returns from previous email marketing campaigns, from web visits and replies from surveys.
Mind you, that alone isn't enough. It is what every company is doing already. To get ahead we need additional sources of information. We need to know what their problems are? What keeps them awake at night? What would get them in the classroom early, or rather anticipating your marketing emails?
The information is out there, and in a future article we will show you how to harvest it.