Email Marketing – the 3 little steps that will help you build relationships (and gain sales)

Given the wealth of information available online, building strong and meaningful relationships with customers proves to be more and more important. It is about developing strong connections with clients and prospects, and directly providing them with information that is tailored to their needs, wants and interests. To get the sale, you’ve got to build relationships, foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement.

Email marketing gives you one of the most personal methods for doing so. For one, it is amazingly cost effective. With a ROI of up to 4300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association) done right, email more than pays for itself.

Email marketing’s main strength is that it takes advantage of a customer’s most prolific touch point with the internet: the in-box. Why do you think every social network in existence asks for an email when you sign up? Because email is still the best way to connect with clients. You just need to know how.

Start with a good Database

Data is a strategic business issue for every organization and if you are not compiling data about your customers, you are missing out on some valuable information. As a small business owner you spend plenty of time creating compelling campaigns to send to customers, but if your data quality is not up to speed, your overall marketing effectiveness will suffer.

What is the point in creating a beautifully designed email campaign only to send it to the wrong people? You are wasting your time and your money.

That is why it is of paramount importance to keep track of your customers, who they are, their preferences, purchase history etc. If you own a shoe shop, for example, and you have noticed that someone has bought 3 pairs of running shoes in the last year, well don’t send them a newsletter about your new range of dance shoes! Simple things like that make all the difference when it comes to customers choosing you over your competitors.

Remember, that data is everyone’s responsibility and should be treated as an asset to your company. It helps you achieve better business results and marketing effectiveness.

Assuming, you have got a good database with plenty of information about your customers, their needs, wants, interests and preferences. Now what. Well, you probably have more than one cluster of clients. Some of them may be interested in a certain service you offer, others in a completely different product, some may be loyal, others may need a bit of pushing through the sales funnel. What to do?

Segment and Personalize

Segmentation

If you are not doing it already, you have to start right away! Why? Well, think about your personal experience. Do you open every single email that makes its way into you inbox, or do you only select few of them that address your needs and interests.

Your customers use the same rationale when they choose which emails to open. In fact, studies have indicated that segmenting your emails can improve your click-through rate by 50%. Segmentation gives you the opportunity to send out more targeted and tailored messages. By sending out campaigns that better relate to your customers interests you are deepening and strengthening the bond between you and our clients.

Personalization

The question- How important is personalization to your email marketing campaign? Short answer – Very. Longer answer – Very very important.

Very rarely do emails sent ad-hoc without any level of personalization get opened by the recipient. As a matter of fact, more often than not, messages that do not refer to the recipient by name are getting discarded, and deleted… and marked as spam. You have to be on first name basis in order to make the cut.

How to make a personalized email – use the name of the recipient, mention their last purchase (if appropriate), offer content that resonates with them and their preferences; and finally keep a personal tone. Write to your recipients as they are walk-in-customers in your store. By conveying a sense of familiarity in your email, you strengthen the connection with the customer.

Your content – engaging & relevant

Content is a struggle for many, but it can be quite effective at informing and monitoring your audience along the purchase path. As a general rule of thumb, ensure that the tone and substance of your content sit correctly with the subscribers you already have or you want to attract. While this may seem rather obvious, it nevertheless requires that you really do put yourself into the shoes of your subscribers.

Think about it as a value exchange. Your valuable content for the customers’ valuable time.

STOP – This point is worth reiterating “You are exchanging your VALUABLE content for their VALUABLE time.”

Probably the biggest mistake, you can make when sending out emails is to include nothing of value. What do you offer in exchange for the client’s attention? It doesn’t necessarily need to be something of actual value such as a coupon or a discount voucher every time, but must at least have a perceived value. Offer an insight into the industry, trends, something that is both engaging and relevant to your customers and prospects. How to know what to write about? Use your database to fuel content. Focus on something your audience will appreciate. Your story must convey personality which means while you are trying to communicate your value proposition, you must present it in a way that is compelling too.

We hope that you now feel more confident about sending out emails to customers and prospects. Do you have any tricks up your business suit’s sleeves? Let us know what your experience is in developing relationships with customers!

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