Many Game of Thrones fans are still reeling from the season premiere. The much-anticipated fifth season of the hit HBO show is known for its twisting plot lines and conniving characters, but it can also teach us a thing or two about email marketing.

Sure, email marketing isn’t exactly the preferred form of communication for those in the Seven Kingdoms, (they tend to speak through sword fighting) but there are hidden marketing gems in the series. Take a look at four things that Game of Thrones can teach you about email marketing:

1. Keep your eye on the goal

If there’s one character that’s dedicated to a goal its Bran Stark. That lad sees a three-eyed raven in his dreams and becomes obsessed with finding it. It doesn’t matter that he can’t walk, or has no idea where to find this creature. Nope, these issues don’t phase him. After trekking thousands of miles in a wheelbarrow with a mangled group of friends, he reaches his goal. He finds the three-eyed raven.

Bran had a goal, which is exactly what every one of your emails should have. It’s a simple notion, but sometimes we get into an email routine and send the same old emails without really knowing our end game. Before your next message lands in an inbox, ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with this email?” Your answer should dictate what’s in the email, when it’s sent and who receives it.  A more targeted approach will yield better results. We’ve got 9 emails you should be sending to give you some great ideas.

2. Get feedback and listen to it

The Night’s Watch fell short on its listening skills. The elders sent Jon Snow out to investigate the movements of an enemy tribe, the Wildlings. When Jon returned, he advised the elders to seal the tunnels so they could protect the wall. The elders chose to ignore the information and basically got their butts kicked in battle.

As a small business, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback from your customers. One of the most effective ways to do that is through an email survey. However, creating the survey is just one step of the process. Sometimes small business owners take the time to create the survey, but don’t use the results to their advantage. The survey results could have a major impact on your business. You could find ways to improve your products, enhance customer service and increase your sales. The takeaway message is to act on feedback, like the Night’s Watch should have done.

3. Focus on what makes you different

In email marketing you want to focus on what makes you different. Daenerys Targaryen does an excellent job marketing herself as the Mother of Dragons. A family of three dragons, yeah, that certainly sets you apart.

You should do the same in your email marketing. You might not have a team of scaly, flying reptiles at your disposal, but that shouldn’t stop you from focusing on your unique traits.

The Dollar Shave Club does a great job with this. They have created a unique voice and it carries into their email marketing. Check out the example below.


4. Build your contacts

Having a healthy list of friends is the best way to grow a business. Lord Varys, the master of whispers, knows this. He is constantly building his Rolodex, and because he’s willing to cultivate relationships he has quite a network of people he can reach out to when he needs something out of the ordinary, like stowing Tyrion Lannister in a cargo ship to escape his death.

Like Varys, we suggest constantly building your email contacts. Of course, the reason you want to gather contacts isn’t about political gain, it’s about growing your business and engaging with your customers.

One of the best ways to grow your contact list is to set up a sign up form. VerticalResponse has a sign up form that you can use. With a few simple clicks, this form can live on your website, your blog and even your social media channels and encourage visitors to submit their name and email address. When they do, that information will go straight to your contacts within VerticalResponse.

Can you think of another email lesson that’s connected to the Iron Throne? Share it in the comment section below.

Send your emails for free using VerticalResponse.

© 2015, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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