Email's Timely and Personal Touch Strengthens Customer Relationships
Fourteenth in a Series
A tried-and-true way to keep prospective customers from getting lost inside your sales funnel is to stay in touch and email is still a powerful tool for doing just that.
Everyone gets too many email messages, yet we still see most of them, open many of them, and take action on a good number of them. Digital Marketer says that this year 300 BILLION emails will be sent and received EVERY DAY! If your business isn’t taking part in this marketing tool, you’re missing out on a prime method for reminding your prospective customer about how you can help solve their problem.
Why should you use email?
While there are now better options for getting paid ads in front of the right audience, you’re still broadcasting, in the most agricultural sense of the word. That is, you’re tossing “seeds” onto the ground, but not all of them will land where they can take root and grow. Email, on the other hand, lets you nurture those seeds so that they come to fruition.
Where do you get email addresses?
Of course, people can be very stingy about sharing their email addresses, but it is essential to keep building that list. Start with your current and previous clients. It’s a sales truism that finding a new customer costs much more than re-selling or up-selling a current one. And don’t forget to ask for referrals, maybe even by offering an incentive.
Next, review your networking events. When you’re exchanging cards, meeting new people, or working through business expos, get in contact with them right away. It’s not okay to just add them to your email list, but you can certainly email them, personally, once. Remind them about how you met and invite them to subscribe to your list. They will no doubt need a good reason to do that, so be sure you provide one. Offer a discount or a freebie of some kind and assure them that you will treat their email address with respect.
Finally, use your paid advertising to collect email addresses by making that the goal of your Call To Action. Again, smart folks like your customers aren’t going to be eager to share that info without a good reason. Take care to create the most compelling offer you can think of to convince them.
What’s new in email marketing?
Like all digital marketing, email has had trends. The current big trend is “personalization.” Since we are all bombarded constantly with ads, the natural response is to tune out as much as possible. Even so, something personal is likely to get our attention such as our name or hometown or favorite team, and so on.
Even though it sounds contradictory, email tools today are better than ever at automating personalization. Sure, your message can start with “Dear [first name],” but that’s just the beginning.
Segmentation can sort your list into groups that get different kinds of emails. For instance, all the people you met at the last convention can be in a different group than current customers so they get an introductory message instead of a resell message. Or maybe you want cities in separate groups or customers sorted by the date of their last purchase.
Appreciation emails are another great way to personalize your message. Membership anniversary discounts, birthday wishes, abandoned cart reminders, and more can be automated and sent at the appropriate time.
How cost-effective is email?
There are free email platforms, although you’ll pay more as your list grows and the best tools might cost extra. Still, email is cheap compared to most other marketing options. HubSpot says that the ROI is $36 for every $1 spent.
The true cost isn’t necessarily in the tool itself, however, but in the creation of your email campaign and content. It does take effort and/or budget to come up with a winning strategy, a compelling message, and eye-catching graphics. Fortunately, you can take more than one shot at this type of marketing and learn as you go. Even if your first attempt doesn’t break sales records, you have successfully reached out to remind prospective customers that you’re serious about doing business.
Next time we’ll do a deeper dive into what the most successful marketing emails have in common, but here’s one tip early: Your emailed Call To Action needs to link to a great landing page. If your website disappoints, you’re just wasting all that marketing effort, so call us now for a fresh look and updated capabilities.
Photo by mododeolhar