The beginning of this tale starts like the rest of the gentrifying neighborhoods in NYC. In the late 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, a large influx of new residents and businesses descended on Fort Greene. While the spectre of gentrification was raised, the outcome in Fort Green has been different.
As GQ puts it succinctly, “it's getting white-ified but isn't there yet”. The New York Times supports this point of view, in a broader context as a “prevailing sense of racial amity that intrigues sociologists and attracts middle-class residents from other parts of the city".
The Barclay center is testing this theory. They promised over 2,000 units of affordable housing and 10,000 jobs. Development, however, has been behind schedule, so only time will tell if the promise is kept.
There is an active community in Fort Green that is noticeable. Successful businesses would be wise to build a relationship with this community, supporting its efforts to keep the character of the neighborhood while raising the standard of living for all.
In a gentrifying neighborhood, your challenge isn’t so much in targeting as it is in standing out. A fast, beautifully designed web site can help you get your message out.
According to research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 51 percent of all U.S. online readers identified a compelling headline as the reason why they clicked on a given story.
There were a number of key points, which cover in detail in our post small business email marketing. However, today, we will touch on three
We only have a 55-60 character subject line, so this is why we chose to narrow the list.
This is one of the hardness tasks when creating a headline. It is a balance between not being too concise as to be generic and overly verbose that the headline is truncated.
Conciseness is generally aided by the next two points, utility and urgency. A concise headline tells me what value it brings to me and why I should read it now.
Utility means ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘why should I care?’. These are the two questions your headline should answer. This seems simple enough. However, it can be very challenging to boil down a complex subject into 3 or 4 words.
Even people who do this for a living find it challenging. Add it cultural differences, context, and other general noise, and you see why communication is so messy. Keywords can be a useful place to start, as this the language people are using to search for content like yours.
We live in a society of urgency. Everything is now, don’t miss out, etc. that we are almost numb to it. A genuine sense of urgency based on a limited time value or event can still catch someone’s attention if it is tied to a clear benefit (utility).
As you can see, all three of these elements are tightly bound. It is nearly impossible to do one without affecting the other. This is why we have them as our top 3.
Email design follows the same principles of web design. Communication is messy, and design helps aid in getting our intended message across quickly and efficiently.
An email is an intrusion. We need to recognize this fact. Therefore, we need to make that intrusion as brief and clear as possible by sticking with one clear message.
We cover email design in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. We will just touch on the high points here.
A grid pattern is the most common design tool. There are several elements to a grid. First, there are rows and columns that break the page into equally sized blocks, called modules. Rows or flowlines aid in reading. Columns aid in organization. Headers, footers, and margins give structure.
For an intuitive email design, a hierarchical design is very effective. With an e-mail, we chose to communicate one thing, and one thing well. In this case, a hierarchical design can be very impactful.
The hierarchical pattern that is the most pleasing to the eye follows the golden ratio. The golden ratio is a pattern common in nature. It is a fixed ratio of 1.618, which means the size of the more important block is 1.618 times larger than the less important one.
Our eye is naturally drawn to this pattern, so it is very useful when communicating a simple, focused message.
According to Best Designs, original graphics are the most successful.
“Original graphics make up 40% of all successful visual content that accomplishes marketing goals, but 43% of marketers struggle with the consistent production of captivating visuals.”
Since we are communicating one message, the artwork that supports it must work very hard to support the message. This is where local market know-how can really help. Original photos and images of your business in Fort Greene interacting with your neighborhood can add value.
It also helps with when your calls to action focus on local events in and around Fort Greene or at your business location.
Every email, no matter how trivial, should have a call to action. This is where all the hard work above pays off. If we omit one, we just wasted resources that could have been spent more cost effectively.
We cover email list building in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. Again, we will just hit the highlights here as it pertains to Fort Greene. Every neighborhood has summer fairs. While these were severely impacted by COVID, in our post COVID world they should roar back with a vengeance. It would be smart to see if you could piggy-back off one or more of them.
Incentives, deals, free trials, and samples are all great options when developing your calls to action. See if you can partner with your neighbors to create a shared promotion. This way one shopper in Fort Greene has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
In a gentrifying neighborhood, your challenge isn’t so much in targeting as it is in standing out. Local digital marketing can help you get your message out.
This should go without saying, but I still see it used every day. Never use SPAMmy tactics. They do not work. Plus, they can damage your credibility.
Take the time to build a legitimate list. There are a million “how to” ways when you search Google for this term. We use two for reliable results:
If the reader finds value in your offer, they will give you their email. The key is not to abuse it, which leads to our next topic.
An email has value, so we need to treat it as such. We have seen that value squandered time and again.
As a small business owner, it is hard to dedicate the time to do all that is required for the proper care and feeding of your email list.
Full disclosure, we are an agency that does this work. Therefore, it will not surprise you that we advocate for finding the right partner to do it for you.
However, to provide fair balance, there are marketing automation tools that can help you. They tend to rely on email templates and automated emails, but for many small businesses this is enough.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with these three thoughts.
If you're thinking about finding help in Fort Greene for your small business, here are the things to keep in mind.