Plan a Vertical Email Marketing Strategy to Help Grow Your Business

Vertical email marketing: what is vertical email marketing and how does it different from your typical email marketing campaigns? Vertical email marketing is the gold standard of email marketing strategies because it employees all of the so called “white hat” email marketing solutions that can help you turn a very handsome profit in your business.

Vertical email marketing is broadly defined as selling goods or services to a repeat customer base…your repeat customers. Vertical email marketing is not an email marketing campaign that you can typically start on DAY 1 of your business, but it is a strategy that you will begin preparing for the moment you open your doors-whether they be brick and mortar doors or internet doors. Vertical email marketing can be used in a b2b business (business to business) or a b2c business (business to consumer).

The vertical email marketing approach differs from the horizontal email marketing approach. Here are two examples to help define a typical horizontal email marketing program and the vertical email marketing strategy. 

In the first example, you have an internet e-commerce site that sells financial accounting software to small businesses. Perhaps several months before tax time, you send out an email detailing the top 10 benefits of the latest version of the software to a broad segment of the small business community. This is a horizontal approach. 

Here is an example of a vertical approach that is also selling a computer program. In this example, you have a website devoted to helping landscapers and pool and spa builders build their market share and profits. In this example in your email marketing enewsletter, you talk about the latest upgrades to a computer design program used to realistically design landscaping, including pools and spas.

Landscapers and pool builders install this program on their laptops and take it on sales calls. As the customer and the landscaper or builder decide what should be included in the project, the builder is able to create the backyard setting right on the spot. When the homeowner is finished telling the builder what he wants, the drawing is complete, a beautiful visual of the customer's backyard. Now the owners of the software program have announced an important upgrade to the program: now, once the drawing is complete, it can come to life with the sights and sounds of running water, fire crackling in an outdoor fireplace and even birds singing in the trees. What's more, you yourself have tried out the program and find it easy to use and one that has exciting potential for closing more sales. On your recommendation alone to this opt-in list of customers to your website, many people will buy this new version of the software because they know you and trust you. As you can imagine, this is an awesome email list.

Vertical marketing is selling a niche market like this, but you have to be the real thing to gain and maintain your reader's respect and trust. Some marketers try to sell a niche market by sprinkling in some niche keywords, but you have to be the real thing. Remember, you are not simply selling a product at this point...you are solving a problem for your readers who trust you.

As we said at the onset, vertical email marketing is not for everyone and it is not for DAY 1 when you start your business. But as we also mentioned, on DAY 1, you must plan for the eventual vertical email marketing program that you will launch. It all starts with developing a great opt-in email list. Many small business owners get annoyed and impatient with the idea of developing an opt-in email list, but it is the only way to fly today. There are companies out there that will supply you with innumerable email addresses, 5,000 Twitter followers, 10,000 Facebook people, or 1,000 inbound links to your website. Do yourself a favor and stay away from it all, because it will all come back to bite you.