A New Approach to Email Marketing
There’s a ripple moving through the marketing world, and it’s bringing change.
According to industry experts, customer service is “the new marketing“. When you take care of your customers, they feel good about you. When they feel good about you, they stick with you.
With business email marketing, thoughtlessly pushing the same message at your entire customer base is no longer enough. It doesn’t take care of them. It doesn’t show that you recognize and respect them.
Let’s take a look at how you can apply the new marketing approach to revolutionize your email campaign.
It’s About the People
According to media marketing expert Chris Brogan:
“Old marketing would be: find buyers for my product. Hunt them down and relentlessly hit them with messages until they buy. The bigger the number of prospects, the better the yield.
“New marketing is more like: find people who make more sense. Start relationships with them before selling to them. Learn more about them. Make the offer – if it makes sense.“
Broken down step by step, this advice holds several useful suggestions for email marketing in ways that serve your customers.
“Start relationships before selling to them.”
In a video interview, AWeber customer Chris Guillebeau says about his subscribers, “I’m going to be in these relationships for years.” So he invests time courting each one.
- He sends each new subscriber an individual message to thank them for joining. It’s quick and small, but an appreciated personal touch.
- In his first autoresponder, he candidly expresses hope that they’ll find his emails interesting.
- In the next few emails, he challenges readers to reflect on their lives and goals – no sales yet. A few messages in, he invites feedback. And then he responds to it.
“As you gradually introduce products and services,” he explains, “many of those people will end up purchasing and supporting you.”
“Learn more about them.”
The best way to learn about your customers is to ask about them. You could:
- Send out surveys that ask for preferences
- Engage your subscribers on social networks
- Use a from address that invites replies, instead of refusing them
Guillebeau suggests the question: “Why do you read my (emails)?” The answers he got from his own readers helped him entirely reconceptualize his content.
“Make the offer – if it makes sense.”
Make sure each product you introduce is something your audience wants. Then, make sure you get them ready for it.
- Guillebeau leads up to the launch of each product or service by introducing it ahead of time.
- Flint McGlaughlin of Marketing Experiments suggests thanking existing customers for their past purchases. This establishes a level of intimacy and reminds them that they trust you already.
- You could also segment – split your list into new, mature and veteran subscribers. Each segment might appreciate different offers. Every few months, reset the segments.
Keep in Mind
The key to new marketing is building two-way, trusting relationships with your subscribers. You want their purchases, yes. But you also need their word-of-mouth support, their ideas and their goodwill.
“You must overcome the resistance before you can even start the sale,” says McGlaughlin. “Don’t ask me to kiss you before we’ve even gone on a date.”