Whether you are a small shop or a large conglomerate, just starting out with a few customers, or have been in business for years with more customers than you can personally know — you need to maintain a relationship with each and every customer. The name of the game is keeping your product and services in your customers’ minds. A complete marketing strategy utilizes different mechanisms from printed to online materials.
Intuitively, email is a natural leap for any online presence. It’s easy to write an email and send it to your customers. In fact, it’s so easy that every day we are all bombarded with so many emails we rely on services to filter out the junk or spam from the wheat. With the emails that do make it to our inbox, most people quickly delete emails that appear to be junk or not relevant to their interests.
It is estimated that 80-90% of all email is either spam or junk. Based on my experience, 95% of all email I receive in a given day that is not from friends, is probably junk at best, if not outright spam, which I delete before even opening the message.
With so much email bombarding a user’s inbox, how can you make sure your email is delivered and then read? Books have been written on this topic and the latest marketing wisdom is always being refined. However, they all have a single concept at their core:
Relevance. The email must be relevant to the recipient. If your company sells pet care supplies, make sure the emails to your customers provide information on pets. Sending your customers an email out of left field about something unrelated like gardening, will not only be treated like junk, but you will increase your chances of being marked as spam significantly. And once your reputation with the large email hosting companies is known as a spammer, your legitimate email will have a harder time getting through.
Keeping your emails on point about your topic area is an important key to getting it read. The email subject is important; however, if the customer knows you have good content in the email, they are more likely to open it.
Everyone will open an email from a friend – almost regardless of the subject. They do so because they know the sender. They want to find out what they wrote.
Being an information marketer is a bit harder as you don’t have that immediate trust level. Over time you build the trust of your customers by providing them with good content that informs them of something they don’t know. The relevance of the email in both time (is this old news or current information) and topic (is the user interested in the content) will build that trust.
Email marketing is not a magic bullet to ramp up sales immediately. If used correctly, it can build a bond of trust between you and your customers and that is half the battle. Having customers that trust you will in the end drive more sales to your company.