Thursday, August 4, 2011

Relationship vs. Engage to Marry your customer to your brand

Email marketing is NOT a one way street: Have a conversation!

Let’s talk about a marketing myth I heard in college:

Email marketing is ineffective since so many people receive truckloads of junk mail to their inbox on a daily basis.

To deny some truth to this myth would be absurd. While it might be true to some extent however, on the flip side email marketing can be very effective when you use it consistently, correctly, and as a part of your overall customer relationship management strategy.

So how do you avoid the divorce and work towards a relationship based marketing experience?

One of the reasons email communications tend to be ineffective is because it is too impersonal and constantly a selfish tone from the business side. On top of that, adding a touch of bulk emailing software, misspelled titles and altered subject lines that looks suspicious and unprofessional are just a few things that spam filters are physically attracted to. Who wouldn’t delete at first sight. The odds of a second date are pretty much slim to none.

On the other hand, if you receive a more personalized email designed specifically to you, wouldn’t you be more open to that experience? Imagine receiving a personal email from a trusted source on a consistent basis, catering and adding value to you and not constantly asking you to give give give. You won’t be able to help but develop a relationship with the sender.

Here are a few tips to a successful email courtship:

  • Take a quick look at Email Service Providers – Do your research, understand what an email service provider is (ESP). Many can send but only a handful can strategize. Here at KobeMail we focus on your goals and strategy.

  • Get Inside your Customer’s head – Understand what they want and need, get to know them. Personalization needs to be felt by your recipient and at the same time showing them the ways your product will benefit them.

  • Personalize the Subject line but keep the From name consistent for branding- The subject line is the first thing your recipient sees when they open their Inbox. Once you are familiar with the needs and wants of your customer you can write subject lines that appeal to their expectations and that serve as a reminder you are focused on their needs. A consistent “From Name” makes your IP a reputable source and will decrease bounce. Not only that, the customer will recognize your brand because of consistency.

  • Offer value at the right time - Messaging customers at the right time is another key way to add value to communications. No matter what your industry, there are messages that can be automated, particularly around a conversion. Ex: Flight updates and alerts, in-stock notifications.

  • It’s a 2 way conversation – Listen to your customers, it’s a conversation. Use social media to offer your customers a voice. Ex: Provide an ability to share stories, send reviews, “like us” on Facebook.

  • Give a little – A little goes a long way! Just like any relationship anything given is always appreciated (or so I hope). Consider running promotions or giveaways. A sweepstakes of some sort can increase response rates and user engagement.

Adding a touch of personalization will help get to a customer’s heart. Maintain a relationship by paying attention to their likes and dislikes. Also keep in mind to keep space at times. Just like any relationship, too many email messages will eventually make them immune and they will eventually tune you out.

Happy Messaging!

Author: Rebecca Allas
Editor: Roopal Rawani

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