“Would you mind giving me a ride to the airport?”
The answer to this question relies on one very important factor—who’s asking?
Your reply to a complete stranger is going to be different than the reply to a long-time friend.
It’s the nature of the relationship that colors the response and the actions you take.
The better the relationship, the easier it is to say, “Yes!”
The same is true for email marketing. When you allow your email contacts to get to know, like, and trust you, over time you’ll find yourself with more relationships that lead to, “Yes.” This means repeat purchases, referrals, and long-time loyalty.
Let’s take a look at how to make the most of your email marketing relationships so you can grow your organization.
Understanding where email fits in
Many online relationships begin on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter. Each social network offers its own strengths. And these networks are great because of the social word-of-mouth that happens when you’re engaging with your connections. This engagement does two things:
1. Strengthens relationships with your existing audience
2. Puts you in front of a new audience
Both good things, but due to the nature of these networks, you don’t have much control over who sees your updates or even when they see them. Not to mention these connections aren’t necessarily yours. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other network can make changes that impact your ability to connect. And in a worst case scenario, the social networking site could go away completely, which means you’re left with nothing.
This is why you should always be looking to eventually move these social connections to your own turf, your email marketing list. Now you control the experience and you don’t need to worry about losing these connections because they’re your contacts. The only way you can lose them is if they unsubscribe.
How to entice social connections to become email contacts
In most cases, you’ll want to offer some type of free resource on your website in exchange for an email address. This could be a special report, a guide, behind the scenes information, or some type of special discount for email subscribers. Choose something that gives immediate value to your email subscribers. And in order to keep them on your list long term, you’ll want to think about how you can consistently deliver information that keeps them engaged so they want to come back for more.
Treat your email contacts special
Chances are you already provide a great experience for your customers when you’re face-to-face. Let email marketing extend that experience. When someone takes that step to subscribe they’re saying, “I’d like to get to know you better.” They’ve invited you into their inbox. You don’t want to abuse that relationship by constantly promoting your products and services.
Create a compelling newsletter
You want to create a newsletter with content your subscribers aren’t going to get anywhere else. What this information is depends entirely on your industry, your company goals, and what will move your readers to action. A great rule of thumb is to create relevant content your readers will find interesting, useful, or otherwise entertaining. Stuff that could stand on its own even if you had nothing to promote.
Over the long term you’ll build a stronger connection
As the connection with your subscribers grows, so does the likelihood of them connecting with your business or organization. And the benefits of this connection can come in many forms, possible collaborations, new opportunities, people spreading the word about you, and gaining new and repeat customers, donors, or volunteers.
Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing relationships
- Email marketing allows you to control the message, when it goes out, and who receives it.
- Subscribers have actively made a decision to give you permission to contact them which means they’re interested in what you’re offering.
- You’re able to build stronger relationships with people, and people do business with or help people they know, like and trust.
Someone has made the choice to join your contact list. They’ve given you their email address and most importantly, they’ve agreed to give you their attention. That attention can prove invaluable if the relationship is treated with respect.
So if you work hard at building these relationships, you’ll not only gain more customers, but you might even be able to get a ride to the airport next time you need one.
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