With inspiration from a post by one of my fellow Swifties and as mentioned in a previous post, Colorado Fly Fishermen are on the water as much as possible before the winter runoff makes the river banks swell and gin clear water turn opaque. While preparing inventory for my fly box I was thinking that hoping for tight lines and a heavy net is not unlike how we should approach targeting and sending an email campaign.
The most crucial factor to filling your creel is knowing which bugs, and in what lifecycle the fish are feeding on. This will change throughout the day and it is important to have planned with a variety of patterns. Knowing what a fish may be interested in at this time of year is not unlike knowing what you want to say to your targeted list. You have to choose the right message and should test different versions of that message to understand how you will boost open rate, click rate and ultimately conversion.
Now that you have crafted versions of your message to appeal to the proper audience, you need to mine your database to select the proper targets. My favorite spot to fish in Colorado is the Cheesman Canyon. This portion of the South Platte cuts deep through the mountains and Boulders look as if they have tumbled into the river, making for many nooks and crannies for fish to lay. You can perch at a high spot and watch fish move in and out of channels and riffs as they get fat on the insect of the season. This is an important step as it is ever more challenging to see once you’ve dipped a toe into the water. If you know where the fish are feeding, you will have a much better chance of success. If you keep your database organized, you will have a simpler time finding the right targets to serve your tailored message.
Once you’ve spotted where trout are feeding and have selected the perfect fly for the moment, you have to deliver a cast that will entice them to sip your hook. Wind, current drag, the tree you hook in your backcast, boulders and so on all effect whether your fly looks like a fly or not. When sending your campaign, you must take into consideration the best time, the right subject line and a credible “from address” to get your email opened. Get all the factors right and probability of promoting the behavior you are hoping for goes up.
If all things line up and the stars align, your hook may find the lip of a trout. But it doesn’t end there, you need to gently and artfully apply pressure, but not too much to run the fish into your net. Too much and your line will snap, too little and a smart fish will shake and spit the hook out. Once you have the interest of your contacts, understand the frequency and message types that cause the behavior you are looking for. Think about a software trial process you went through recently – was their heavy sales pressure and too much information that led to a poor experience or no information or communication at all leaving you in both scenarios to walk away?
Snap! In the heartbreaking event that your fish breaks the line, you must pick up your pride, learn from your mistakes and go through it all over again. Digital marketing is a beautiful thing in that you get real-time reporting of your results. You know where you are winning and you have insight into what is not working so well. This insight is where you truly start learning your customers patterns and behaviors and know exactly the right message to send to the right audience and the right time to elicit a successful response.