6 Ways to Connect with Customers through Email
By Tom Kulzer April 8, 2015
Email marketing is so much more than sending weekly flyers to subscribers – it’s about delivering valuable content to your fans, and building relationships based on trust. Read on for tips on how to connect with customers through email.
If you learn anything about email marketing as a business owner, let it be this: You are not “blasting” prospects and customers.
You’re sending emails in order to make personal connections with people.
It’s common to view email marketing as just another way to show ads to customers and prospects. If that’s the case, you’re likely achieving drastically reduced results. Why?
Because email marketing is so much more than sending weekly flyers to subscribers. It’s about delivering valuable information to those who want to hear from you. It’s about building relationships based on trust. It’s about improving lives through conversations that can happen anywhere, at any time.
And if you truly want that kind of relationship with your email audience, it’s essential that you keep this in mind before hitting “Send” on your next message.
Take It Back to the Basics
Everyone wants to make money. But when it’s the only thing you’re thinking of, it can cause you to lose sight of what matters most: your customers.
So let’s take it back to the basics.
When communicating with customers through email, it’s important to remember that while you’re sending an email to hundreds or even thousands of people at once, each subscriber is reading your email on his own time, while he’s doing his own thing. Email is your opportunity to talk to Mary who opens your email on her train ride home from work; Alex who reads your message during his lunch break; and so on.
But why is this important?
The way we communicate with others often changes, depending on who and how many people we’re talking to. The way you speak to an audience of a thousand is probably different than how you would talk to a friend or co-worker, for example. And unless you’re aware of how you’re talking to customers, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to truly connect with them.
Create Messages that Resonate with Your Audience
It’s easy to say you’re going to start sending emails that connect instead of blasts that repel. But how can you put this philosophy into practice?
To ensure you send emails that connect you to your audience, here are six easy tips to keep in mind:
1. Bring Value to Your Readers.
Your subscribers are busy people, and they won’t always consider your emails a top priority. To work around this, make sure your emails are worth your readers’ time. Every email you send should serve the purpose of helping your audience, whether you answer common questions they might have about your company or product, or solve a problem.
In the example below, craft blogger Nikki, In Stitches provides a step-by-step guide on how to create an aged picture frame. Talk about value!
2. Remember Your Subscribers Are People.
Too many business owners view their subscribers as walking dollar signs — and it shows. As silly as it sounds, remember that your subscribers are real people, and they want to know you have their best interest at heart. If you’re in this mindset before you begin writing emails, it becomes a lot easier to identify what type of content is valuable to them.
3. Make Your Emails Interesting.
As you provide your readers with helpful tips and updates, keep it engaging. Think about the environment your readers might be in when they read your emails: a busy office, a loud coffee shop, a couch watching TV with their kids, etc.
To stand out, keep your emails concise and relevant to their lives. And feel free to liven it up with a little bit of humor, engaging visuals, and more to capture their interest!
4. Curate Content You Already Wrote.
Have a tendency to get stuck the moment you start writing an email? Chances are, you already wrote what you’re trying to say somewhere else.
Many business owners have the content they need — it just might be in a social post or an individual email to a customer. As long as it’s something that has proven customer engagement, you should include it in an email.
If you talked to someone about ways to work through a problem they had with your product, that’d probably make for a great email topic!
5. Talk to One Person instead of One Thousand.
No matter how many subscribers you have, every email should be written as though you’re sending it to one person at a time. If you think about writing to one individual, the message will likely translate to everyone you hope to address.
Veronica Grace, who runs the blog Low Fat Vegan Chef, often uses email to answer questions commonly asked by her subscribers. In the email below, she explains in layman’s terms what gluten is and what it means to go gluten free:
Reading the email, you can tell she’s probably had this conversation many times with her blog fans — and it still comes across as if she wrote it for a single person.
Tip: Include a first name field to create a truly personalized experience for your subscribers.
6. Choose HTML and Plain Text Emails Wisely.
Whatever your preference, consider the way you send your emails and how each might convey your message differently to subscribers.
While either email type works, many business owners tend to prefer sending plain text messages because they feel more personal than the slick “brochure feel” of an HTML email.
Tip: If you still want the design of the HTML email, try writing your message out in plain text format to help reframe the way you approach writing to your audience.
Start Connecting Today
When you reframe the way you view email and your subscribers, it can have a long-lasting impact on the way you communicate with your customers, which can do wonders for you and your business.
Remember, your success lies in the hands of your customers, and you should make it a point to nurture each and every one. Over the next month, try sending a few emails to your subscribers using the tips above. If you get stuck along the way, reach out to our team of email experts for support.