Guerilla marketing is a term that can loosely describe a type of marketing ideas and tactics that look a little like David attacking Goliath: No strength in numbers, but the lack of tactic and excessive creativity more than makes up for this defect.
So, when we talk about guerilla marketing, we talk about marketing actions that are so creative, your audience won’t be fazed by how affordable, simple, or plain they are. On the contrary, they’ll love that, and you will cut back on costs, making this a win-win.
Guerilla marketing creates buzz and has people talking for days without you having to give up a huge chunk of your marketing budget – which is especially useful for a small business’s online marketing efforts.
And with an outcome like the following, the implementation of guerilla marketing seems to be a one-way street:
More importantly, how can your email content – and your email marketing as a whole – benefit from the best guerilla marketing tactics?
Let’s find out.
Guerilla Email Marketing: Coming in With a Bang
Lasting impressions with cost-effective and whimsical content can be possible – and are also the whole point of guerilla.
But what could you implement in your email marketing game that would make a lasting impression on your subscribers to begin with?
1. The Perfect Toolset and Perfect Email List
Marketers are forever on the lookout for tools and tactics that will make their marketing message stand out. And email marketing is no exception.
The desire to deliver a message that will be personalized, tailor-made and relatable, has led marketers to invest in tools with specific features. AI, machine learning, laser-targeting, and the smallest segments possible are prerequisites to creating an email marketing campaign that will be as human as possible.
You can’t establish your authority without a human message that will look and feel like a direct consequence of your prospects’ actions. This is why tools like autoresponder software and subject line testers are nothing short of prerequisites when it comes to hunting for a newsletter platform that will further a marketer’s email game.
Tools aside, though, there are some things a marketer can ensure to play a fair email marketing game that will keep their CTR high and their brand’s authority higher. And list pruning is undoubtedly one of them.
So, let’s assume that you create an online form and gather emails of potentially interested people who share the same core values as your target audience.
This audience will receive your curated email with clear, actionable verbs, colorful CTAs, and a killer mobile version. And let’s also assume that they love your content, and they think your graphic design and visuals are to-die-for; however, at some point, they start getting increasingly disengaged. What then?
Then, it’s high about time you pruned your email list.
Some email addresses may be throwaways, whereas some may be old email addresses that are no longer in use. Send an email stating that you’ll delete said prospect’s address if they don’t engage one last time. Like so:
A clean email list means that your message will reach people that are one hundred percent interested in it, making sure you’re not wasting time or resources. Not to mention that some ESPs charge for many unsubscribers and that too many “SPAM” flags won’t do you any favors.
So, a clean list will lead you to achieve this:
Which is the end game for pretty much all email marketers, whether they decide to use guerilla tactics or not.
When Frontline wanted to promote its flea and tick spray, its marketing team came up with a beautiful guerilla marketing idea:
The approach is pretty simple:
- Print a massive poster with a dog and place it on the mall’s floor.
- Have people walk around and step on it.
- See what happens.
And boy, oh boy, do humans look like fleas on this poster! The key here was the fact that some people would inevitably look at this poster from above, making the brand’s core message very clear just by pulling a stunt that could easily be a part of the brand’s social calendar as well. So, what did Frontline do that you can utilize on your email marketing campaign?
Frontline’s guerilla marketing approach focused on how audiences may interact with its marketing campaign. Note: Not the marketing message. Frontline doesn’t have a clever tagline plastered across the poster.
So, this is what you should aim to do for your email marketing campaign as well: Figure out how your audience may like to interact with your email marketing campaign.
Is it through a quiz that users will interact with without ever leaving their inbox? Is it through using “scratching cards” and sending people to your website for some extra website traffic?
A look into your data will help you figure this out.
3. Shaking Things up One Step at a Time
We all know Burger King, right? This brand has surprised me many times with its guerilla marketing tactics. Even more so, since it recognizes that great guerilla marketing is, nowadays, digital-first.
At some point in 2019, Burger King began doing something very unusual: The account started liking Tweets of various influencers from nine years prior:
Naturally, people began speaking up, exchanging opinions, and wondering why a brand like Burger King would dig so far down to just like one Tweet. What did these tweets have to do with the brand’s pr efforts anyway? This move started a commotion. Only to end with this statement:
A genius move to talk about a limited item that Burger King decided to re-launch, right? But how can the logic of this move be integrated into your email marketing efforts?
Think of the digital channels your audience frequents. Are they more into Instagram, or does Facebook have their heart? When you figure out what the best communication concept is and the platform your audience likes the best, do the following:
- Start creating posts that will be engaging and cryptic at the same time
- Let your audience know that you’ll reveal everything in an email only your email list’s subscribers will receive
- Provide an easy way for them to subscribe to your email list and incentivize the effort for best results
The above steps will ensure that this guerilla type of move will help you with lead generation and, ultimately, allow you better market penetration.
4. Listen to Your Audience
Guerilla marketing is all about using unconventional means to promote your marketing message. And this means that you’ll need to touch upon content that reflects the present. Like so:
Your brand needs to adjust its tone to incorporate topics that your audience cares about. Some members of your audience will love your effort; however, you may lose some prospects along the way as well. Either way, you’ll generate a buzz that won’t go unnoticed.
Of course, you can’t utilize controversial content and leave things to fate. You’ll need to use A/B testing, social media monitoring, and social listening tools to figure out the cause about which you’d like to voice your opinion.
In this day and age, brands are expected to be human, and so is their email marketing content. Even more so, consumers are looking for a brand they can relate to, a brand that cares about the causes they care about. In the end, they’re looking for a brand they can “converse” with.
The cause your brand decides to focus on can be paramount, as social justice can turn a prospect into a repeater. If your brand loves what your audience loves, if your brand speaks up for those matters your audience speaks up for, you’ve earned yourself a customer for life, as it can create the perfect customer experience.
5. Peak Curiosity
Can you think of a better way to engage your audience than a scavenger hunt? I think not.
Imagine this scenario: You want to promote your new product, but creating an email marketing campaign with just a promo code and some content will look blunt, won’t it?
When Microsoft was trying to promote “Titanfall”, it came up with a series of TV ads that all ended in binary code. This code led users to apply for a “Glitch Contest” to win an Xbox One.
See where I’m going with this?
Imagine, now, planting small clues that lead to your email newsletter campaign.
Don’t give all of the information. Start with a cryptic message that could go through your social media, a link that can lead to a high-converting landing page, or a microsite that could help you gather the clues.
This would have your audience on their toes, looking for new clues and guessing what the prize could be. It would have them look for further clues through your social media pages and would increase website traffic. You only need to “hide” the answer – or the prize – into your email marketing campaign and keep them guessing.
So, here’s what you should do:
- Start with creating a cryptic Instagram post that will state that the answer will be revealed in a series of emails.
- Then, include a link to your landing page.
- After that, find the perfect subject line to your email. You need to stand out in a full inbox and bring in more leads.
- Scatter clues around your website, affiliate websites, social media, and blog posts.
- Create tasks your audience should complete, and present them through your email marketing campaigns.
While doing that, make sure your emails and your website are creative, optimized for mobile, and responsive.
Guerilla marketing is a bit ridiculous, a bit off the charts, a bit unhinged. It needs to surprise the audience. This element of surprise should appeal to your ideal customer while simultaneously, have the non-ideal customers talk about you all the time.
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Guerilla marketing is not something all brands can pull off. It can bring in many bad reactions, and it takes a very experienced marketer to know how to do it. But it is very cost-effective and engaging.
Make sure you have the right tools and a perfect email list ready to receive your content. Use interactive content, social listening, and social justice issues, take your efforts online, and, finally, don’t be afraid to stir things up and make people wonder.
Guerilla is all about testing your audience’s limits and being a little playful, a little cheeky, and very, very adventurous. For those that love these qualities, your message would be golden. For those that hate them, your message will need to be banned.
Either way, you’ve got people talking. And that’s what guerilla is all about.
Written by our guest writer Téa Liarokapi, Senior Content Writer for Moosend
Téa Liarokapi is the Senior Content Writer for Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas – and cats – to play with.