You've probably heard, if not from me, other marketing experts talk about how effective email is at building relationships with potential clients and customers.
On the surface this sounds right, especially when you factor in stats like this...
Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders (Source: Image Pub).
But when it actual comes down to the how of it all, do you know where to start?
Well, my friend, let me help you...
I wanted to write this blog post to give you some super actionable tips to instantly improve your relationships with your customers and leads using email marketing.
As we all know, business is about building relationships.
Let's jump in...
It starts with a smile
Smiling doesn't just help lift your mood but lift the mood of those you are smiling at.
Many business deploy a front of house smiling policy. This is essentially just getting customer facing employees to smile at customers as soon as they walk in the door.
Smiling builds relationships, it let's people know that you like them and helps to build trust.
This is all well and good but you might be asking the question, how do you smile over email?
Email is just another medium like any other online digital marketing platform.
Think about your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. What do they have in common?
Hopefully, a picture of you smiling.
Email should be no different to your online presence. Include a beautiful image of you with a giant smile on your face in your email signature.
This simple step will help you to bring a little bit of joy to everyone who opens your emails and build better relationships.
If you want to learn more about the power of a smile. Check out this article from Talk Business where they write about all the benefits smiling brings to you and your business.
Don't just sell
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see business make when undertaking email marketing. All they do is sell, sell, sell.
I know this is usually the end game but people don't like to be sold to, especially if it is all you are doing with your email marketing.
This is the quickest way to get people to unsubscribe from your list.
Practice the principle of reciprocity. Bring people value upfront before trying to sell them anything.
This is vitally important if you are using email automation in your sales funnel.
As soon as someone lands on your list, you should be delighting them with something valuable.
If you are a service based business, this could be a blog post or infographic.
If you are a retail or eCommerce business, this could be a money off coupon.
By taking this simple approach, you are doing two things.
1. Making people want to open future emails
If people know they are going to receive valuable content or discounts from you, they will be more likely to open your emails in the future.
2. Building goodwill with the recipient.
As I mentioned before, reciprocity will help you to build goodwill with your potential customers.
If they receive something valuable before being asked to hand over money, when it comes to making your sales pitch they are more likely to listen and want to buy from you.
Would you like to find out more about how this could work for you business?
We put together more information including a few videos about attracting customers to you business with this method. You can learn more here.
Use the recipients name
Do you know what our favourite sound is?
Our own name.
It's like sugar for our ears. We love it and can't get enough of it.
According to this NCI study, something special happens when you hear your own name.
It triggers greater brain activity, especially in the middle frontal cortex which is associated with social behaviour.
Now when it comes to email, although you are not necessarily hearing a sound, think about what happens when you read.
Most people will read in their head, so it make sense that when emailing someone to always use their name.
This is really easy to implement in your email marketing as well.
All you have to do is collect the persons first name when generating a lead and use a dynamic personalisation tag within your email marketing software.
This simple trick is going to help you to win over more people with your email marketing.
Provide a genuine compliment
People love receiving compliments.
They give us a greater sense of importance.
However, people do not like insincere flattery. This is important to understand as there is a fine line to tread between the two.
Compliments are sincere. So, if you really mean it then it will come across as a compliment.
If you do not mean it, it will come across like flattery which people pick up on very quickly.
The easiest way to get around this is to not use the word 'I' when giving a compliment.
By using 'I' you instantly make the compliment about yourself and your need to provide gratitude to that person. Instead focus on the individual.
Check out the difference between these two sentences...
"I really like your dress."
"You look lovely in that dress."
See the difference.
By moving the emphasis from yourself to the person, your compliment will sound more like a compliment and not just flattery.
If you want to learn how to make your compliments sound more genuine, check out this great article from Fast Company.
To do this in email marketing is easy as well. You already know all about your target audience's goals and values.
If not, read this article on how to research your target audience.
Use the information you know about your audience to your advantage.
If they are a business owner and you are selling SEO services, you can say something like this... "Your website looks amazing."
This then opens you up to lead into telling them more about your services.
By using a compliment up front they will be more receptive to read the rest of your email.
Send emails consistently
Many businesses do not send enough emails.
They are worried that people will perceive them as spam or they just don't have a good email marketing plan in place.
Either way, this has a negative impact on building relationship with your leads and customers.
By consistently showing up in your subscribers inbox over a prolonged period of time you will start to see this amazing change in their perception of your business.
You go from being just an email list they subscribed to, to a trusted confident whose every word they listen too.
If you are worried about sending too many emails, here are a few stats to put your mind at ease...
According to a Marketing Sherpa study 91% of users have no issues with promotional emails.
The same study found that 61% of users prefer receiving promotional emails at least once a month.
And 15% of users wouldn't mind receiving daily promotional emails.
So, instead of shying away from sending emails, perhaps it's time to send more.
Your subscribers will appreciate it.
Now it's your turn...
The steps I have outlined in this blog post are so simple that you can implement them into your email marketing today.
Here is a quick recap of how you can instantly improve your email marketing relationship building...
Include an image of yourself smiling in your email signature.
Don't just sell with email. Use this channel to provide valuable information.
Use the recipients name as this is the sweetest sound to us all.
Pay people a genuine compliment that is focused on them and not you.
Send more emails, more consistently.
By following these steps, you are sure to see an improvement in your email marketing.
P.S. Thank you for reading this blog post. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to do so and hope you found value from it. :)