In today's world, "Don't Blink" marketing tactics and nanosecond technology are not just becoming the norm – they are here and now. We have the ability to provide information and sales tools to our customers with the click of the Send button. And we can do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The opportunities are mind-boggling!
But so are the pitfalls. If we allow ourselves fall into the trap of trying to move at the speed of sound (or close to it), we quickly lose sight of our core values and what is most important to our business: our customers.
So how do you nurture and get to know your customers in this fast-paced world? We have the opportunity to use email marketing as a positive tool to gain customer confidence and information. If you do email marketing correctly, the customer will receive the specific information he or she was looking for, and you'll gain valuable insight into your customer's needs. If you keep hitting Send with information they don't need or want, you'll see your customers opt-out in rapid succession. Let's look at ways you can encourage your customers to opt-in to your email campaigns, without asking too much of them or sacrificing your desire for more knowledge about them.
1. Make it easy for customers and leads to register. Create your forms so that they are easy and don't require a lot of time to fill out. Are you going to call or email your customers or leads? Ask for their preferred method of contact. in this way, you'll be reaching out to them in the manner that they want, not what you want – and you'll be demonstrating respect for their time and preferences Do you really need a company physical address? Perhaps you only want a location so you can determine where interest is coming from geographically. Don't ask for the whole address if you don't plan on mailing anything (this is an email prospecting tool after all). Customers are giving you their information and trusting you to give them what you say you will. Give too much and you've broken their trust. Too little, and, well, they will quickly become disinterested and move on.
2. Give your customers control of what they want. Just like building a traditional CRM database, you want to be able to segment into lists of who wants what. Did the customer sign up to receive HTML newsletters or just information in Rich Text format? Do they want your weekly e-news blasts or just promotional specials that are announced randomly. Keep track of the information that your customers are requesting and then give them what they want, when they want it.
3. Get personal. Always personalize your emails. This could be right down to the recipient's name at the beginning of the email. Or it could be information in the lead of your email that is specific to the customer's business, needs, and interests. Ultimately you will increase the value of your email's message if you can demonstrate that you are talking directly to the recipient.
4. Give them something every single time. Perceived value can go a long way toward building great customer communication and loyalty. Make sure each piece of communication offers something of value to your customer. Is it an insider's tip on the latest innovation? Or maybe a special promotion exclusively for your online customers? Whatever the offer, be it monetary or informational, your customers must perceive a value in it, otherwise it's worthless to them and you're just wasting their precious time.
Email database CRM is really no different than traditional customer relations management. Your ultimate goal is to know your customers' needs. By gathering this information in a way that they choose however, you have the ability to build trust and confidence with your customers at the same time. And this will allow you to build a loyal following as well.