Harlem's history is long, starting in the Revolutionary war and continuing until today. However, the heritage most associated with Harlem is the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920-30s, which encompassed an explosion of artistic, musical, and thought orchestrated by the African American community.
Harlem, like the rest of New York City suffered from the post-war suburban movement. But, like many of the other neighborhoods in NYC, albeit, slightly later, saw a revival in the past 20 years.
Gentrification poses a challenge to Harlem. Can it hold on its history and cultural significance and benefit from an increase in the standard of living? Like many gentrifying neighborhoods, it's a tough marketing challenge. Do you stay true to who you are or change?
Harlem business, like most areas facing gentrification, have a choice to make - gentrify, remain true to who they are, or perhaps both? Regardless of the decision, your site needs to broadcast it.
Over 50% of people will open an email if it has a compelling headline as reported by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
We believe that there are three essential elements to a good headline:
Headlines are very hard to write well because there is a lot of information to squeeze in a 55-60 characters. This is why we narrowed them down to 3.
Of the three, utility is the most important. Making it clear that this email is worth reading is job number 1. If your title doesn’t make it clear to the reader what is in it for them, rewrite it.
Many people can write the headline so the utility is clear but the headline is too long, which leads the next point.
This is where it gets even tougher - how to condense your utility in 3 or 4 words. This is where keywords can be helpful. People are searching every day for information about your topic, so you can leverage those searches to see which terms they use most often. They are generally a very good predictor of which words will work best.
Now, we come to our last point, urgency. Of the hundreds of emails a person receives in a day, we need to convince them as to why they should read ours now. We’ve become so desensitized to “now”, “today”, etc. that they have lost their impact.
Real offers with deadlines do still work. Deals or other incentives or limited access to an event still deliver.
The last thing you want after creating a great headline to boost open rates is to lose them with poor design.
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.
Using color remains more of an art than a science, even though we have studied it since the ancient Greeks.
The challenge with color is context. Some colors, such as blue/green, are seen as pleasing when in an environmental setting, but as disgusting when on bread as mold.
Therefore, the first thing we need to consider with color is context. The next is harmony.
Color should enhance, not detract or compete with your message. Color used well can be attention grabbing, which used poorly can be overwhelming.
Tools like the color wheel can help. The color wheel is based on the harmonics of different wavelengths of light. Just like music, some notes sound better together, while others sound like noise.
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 Kipps Bay interacting with your neighborhood can add value.
It also helps with when your calls to action focus on local events in and around Harlem 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 Harlem. 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 Harlem has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
Harlem business, like most areas facing gentrification, have a choice to make. Do they stick with their old models or cater to the newcomers? Can they do both? The question is partially about the brand. Can the brand be authentic to both, or do you have to choose?
When building a list, the worst thing you can do is use SPAM like tactics. It can harm your credibility and damage your brand. However, it is good to be aware that others will and do, so it is alway important that we focus on our value.
There are two main tactics that we have seen work time and again.
As we mentioned, one of the beauties of email is its low cost However, there is a hidden cost, which is the caring and feeding of your list.
How you go about list management depends on how much of the steps above you plan to do in house.
As a small business owner, it is hard to dedicate the time to do all that is suggested.
Full disclosure, ProStrategix is a full service digital marketing agency, so this is what we do. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that we advocate for the use of a knowledgeable 3rd party.
That said, there are many software programs and marketing automation tools that can help manage your email marketing campaigns. You would have to invest the time and energy in writing and developing the emails, but the tools could manage the campaign.
In closing, I hope you see how these 3 email marketing email marketing hacks can help. To review: