With the right tools, emails can help you give your online customers the same special treatment you’d give them in person. They can be like a virtual handshake, a familiar living room, a surprise delivery, and a thank-you note all in one.
But if you want to find new customers and keep your current ones happy, you need to look at the big picture and set up a strong email marketing strategy that will guide every message you send.
Before we talk about the four most important parts of your strategy, let’s go over some questions that every marketer should ask before sending:
Does this message set up your company to provide long-term value or is it just a one-time interaction with less meaning?
Is this email in line with your short-term or long-term goals?
Do you judge success by how engaged people are?
Is your content providing value to your potential customers?
Is your content relevant to the person you’re sending it to, or do you send everyone the same message?
- Make a plan for your customer’s journey and set goals
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Think about each choice your potential customer will have to make on the way to doing what you want them to do.
For example, if you work for a university, your target audience will be potential students and their parents. They will have a lot of questions to ask before deciding where to go to school. Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure book that starts with questions like “Do I want to go to college?” and “How much will it cost?”, “What programs does this school offer?” and “What’s the food like?” The more you can answer these questions right away, the easier it will be for your customer to decide.
- Connect the dots
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Let’s say someone signs up to get your emails for the first time. Great! But you still have work to do here. In fact, you’re just getting started. You want them to feel comfortable with your brand and know why they should subscribe. One of the best ways to do this is with a welcome email that is sent automatically.
A welcome email tells people about your brand and who you are and what you do. The best way to start off strong with a new customer is to send them a welcome email. Not only that, but its open rate is 4X and its click rate is 5X that of other bulk emails.
- Nurture and provide value
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Every healthy relationship needs care and attention. You meet up with friends over coffee and call those who live far away, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your loyal customers? The best way to keep a strong relationship is to give each subscriber an ongoing, personalized experience. Email service providers give you information about your customers and the tools you need to group them by what they’re interested in, make content they’ll love, and test the messages that work best.
Customized experiences go beyond the “hard sell” of cold calling and focus on turning subscribers into brand advocates for life. Let’s say that your customer signed up for a pet-related newsletter. First, you’d address the subscriber by name, and then you’d keep “wowing” them with choices based on what they liked before.
This makes sure that your email is full of personalized content that makes it feel more like a letter from a friend than just another business ad.
- Listen and take notes
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Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, so let’s not do that in your email campaign. Instead of ignoring people who choose not to receive your messages, you should be willing to find out why they left. Take it as a challenge to re-engage subscribers and customers who haven’t opened your emails in a while, and spend some time learning what kind of content they’d like to see.
Make good tests to find out what’s working and what methods and messages could use improvement. This will help you get more out of your work and success over time.
Now that you know the four best ways to use email to build relationships, you’re ready to fill people’s inboxes with the same friendliness and professionalism that are at the heart of your company. Have success!