Despite the explosion of social networks, checking email is still a top online activity for most Internet users.
Email marketing actively reminds your customers of the value your brand offers (hopefully, encouraging them to buy from you again). And when you show up regularly with a quality message, you strengthen their relationship with your brand.
That combination of relationship and value encourages customers to come back for repeat business.
Sending valuable content regularly associates your brand with quality in your customers’ minds. That association builds trust, which breeds that repeat business. Customers want to buy from businesses they trust.
So what does value look like in an email campaign? Simple: the right message at the right time.
The “right message” can be a limited-time sale, a timely announcement, a special promotion tailored to subscribers’ interests or simply the kind of information you promised to send your customers when they signed up for your emails in the first place.
The kind of messages you send is partly up to you and partly up to your subscribers. You’re not limited to strictly promotional emails. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Send weekly newsletters with updates about your industry
- Use follow up messages (autoresponders) to walk your customers through a how-to series about your product
- Make your emails relevant to your subscribers’ interests. You can segment subscribers based on their preferences to send more personalized content.
The “right time” means setting a schedule your customers can anticipate: same time of day, same day of the week. It means sending time-sensitive emails before your offer expires. It also means studying your customers’ buying habits to know when to target certain offers or promotions.
Value equals timeliness and information your subscribers care about opening and reading. Ask them what they want to see, either with a few questions on your web form or through a survey in your campaign.
Through delivering that value regularly to your customers, your campaign helps to build relationships between your brand and your subscribers. Showing up in their inbox consistently reminds them of who you are and what you have to offer.
Keep these relationship-building points in mind for your campaign:
- Be mindful of your frequency: email your subscribers too often and you’ll tick them off. Email them too infrequently and they’ll forget who you are between messages. When in doubt, ask your subscribers how often they want to hear from you.
- Email campaigns encourage conversation. Your customers can respond to your messages with their concerns and you can easily reply. Showing your customers that you care about their feedback fosters a loyal relationship.
- Emails give you room to establish your brand’s personality. Use a tone that’s consistent with your message, your audience and your online presence. If you’re marketing to other businesses, keep a formal tone. If you’re targeting a hip, young customer base, get more casual. But make sure you stay consistent. Consistency builds trust.
Putting It Together
Relationship + value = trust. An email campaign that inspires your subscribers to trust you increases their loyalty to your brand. And loyal customers who trust you mean repeat business.
Engage your customers in the inbox, and you’ll keep them coming back to you for more.
About the Author: Rebekah Henson is a published playwright and SEO writer who blogs about building an online following through email marketing at AWeber, the leading email service provider for small-to-medium businesses. You can find more tips on marketing with email at the AWeber blog, or see how you can grow your own business with email at aweber.com.