When you’re a small business, you have one distinct advantage over the big guys: customer relationships.
Every time you’re talking with a customer in-store, emailing someone who has a question, or answering the phone, you’re building a relationship. It’s almost impossible for bigger companies to establish the same connection with customers (that’s why those that do really stand out).
Want The Really Good News?
It’s never been easier to grow the relationships that are so crucial to your business’s success.
Email marketing is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox. Email makes it easy to build customer relationships because you’re able to stay top-of-mind and build trust and loyalty with the people who matter most to your business.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association, 2013). Or that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers (McKinsey, 2014).
With a little bit of planning, you can use email to deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time. This will help turn new visitors into loyal customers, and turn new customers into loyal advocates for your business.
Follow this 3 step plan for building long-lasting customer relationships with email marketing.
- Ask for permission
Before you add a name to your contact list, ask the customer for permission.
When you ask permission, you’re able to build a list of subscribers who are interested in your business and are excited to hear from you. They’re more likely to open your email, less likely to mark it as spam, and will stay with you longer than contacts that are added without consent.
Permission-based email marketing is the best route to developing long-lasting customer relationships that can drive repeat sales and valuable word-of-mouth for your business. These practices also keep you in compliance with legislation like the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
- Treat your email contacts with care
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.
Instead of making your newsletter all about you, think about how you can offer your subscribers something of value. Whether you choose to send them useful information or a special offer, having their interests in mind will show you care.
- 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.
Think about what your readers will find interesting, useful, or otherwise entertaining. Stuff that could stand on its own even if you had nothing to promote. Encourage subscribers to connect with you beyond your newsletter by linking off to a recent blog post, a useful video, or a social media channel that your business is active on.
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 your audience — and people do business with or help people they know, like, and trust.
Put these tips to work!
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a small business owner with little marketing experience, Constant Contact has the easy-to-use tools, KnowHow, and coaches to get you started with email marketing. Best of all you can try it free for 60 days.