One of the hardest parts of email marketing is building a subscriber base and getting them to open your emails but that’s only half the battle. Once you have a solid subscriber list and effective onboarding process, what’s next? Well, it’s simple, retaining that list and ensuring your subscribers are engaged and coming back. As we move forward in this digital age, attention spans are shortening and a need for value is growing. A simple direct response campaign that might have worked in the past won’t necessarily get the same results today.
The goal of email marketing is opening a conversation and turning that conversation into a relationship. Email marketing is unique from most other marketing channels because it allows you to establish and build upon an ongoing relationship. And that is exactly how we should treat this alliance, as a relationship. Customers are savvy and can tell when you’re treating the relationship as a one-way sales funnel. Using email marketing to create a conversation allows both parties to gain familiarity, opening a path to a potentially long and lasting relationship.
Here are a few tips to remember when building a relationship with your subscribers.
1. Keep In Touch
The easiest way to lose subscribers is for them to forget who you are. Keep in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis to remind them of your service, product or brand. Even if you don’t have a direct purpose, you want to keep the conversation going. You shouldn’t talk to your subscribers only when you have something to sell, instead, hit them with information that is valuable to them and relatable.
2. Say My Name
We all know that we aren’t the only ones being targeted by marketers but it doesn’t change the fact that being singled out makes us feel special. Increase open and click-through rates by personalizing your subject lines and speaking “directly” to those who are getting your emails.
3. Build Trust
Position yourself as an expert and a trusted resource by sharing content that is both relevant and helpful. No matter what you are selling, there is a story behind it. And where there is a story, there is a problem — a problem that you can solve. Help your users solve their problems by providing your expertise and the next time they face a similar problem, they’ll look to you.
4. Be Mindful
Be mindful of how much you are selling to your subscribers. Think about their lives, they may not be ready to buy…yet. There is no way to tell when they will be but you can position your campaigns to make sure you aren’t pushing to those who aren’t ready and not neglecting those who are. Something to think about is the 80/20 rule – 80% of your marketing efforts should be focused on content that takes up mindshare and leaves your brand and your content in the subscriber’s minds so that when they want to make a purchase, they come to you. The remaining 20% should include direct sales. Now that the user knows your brand, has a relationship with you, they will be more likely to make the purchase. Selling 100% of the time is like tapping on a friend’s shoulder over and over when you want to tell them something (but ignoring what they might want to talk about); chances are they’re just going to smack your hand away.
5. Rewards, Rewards!
People love gifts, end of story. Of course, you don’t want to give too many or your customers may come to expect them and wait to purchase only when incentivized, but well-timed rewards help to praise those who do purchase and build loyalty. Don’t forget to thank your subscribers with discounts, special offers and relevant rewards.
The more the customer thinks they can lean on you as a friend and thought leader, the more they will look to you to fulfill their needs. Just remember, personal = profitable.