If you’ve been given your ideal customers’ email addresses so you can stay top-of-mind, keep them informed about your brand, keep them engaged, convert them to customers, and then continue to sell to them…well, then I have some important news for you:
You have been gifted with something very precious.
You have been trusted to handle those email addresses with care—not only to keep them to yourself (not sell them), but to uphold your reputation as the brand your ideal customer wants to see in the world.
You see, they haven’t given you their email addresses so they can be pummeled with hard-selling propaganda, empty promises or redundant inaccuracies masquerading as news.
Instead, they are giving you a piece of themselves…and trusting that you will recognise this as a privilege.
Build your Email List by Building Trust
There are lots of different ways you can abuse the privilege of having an email list. Here are a few examples:
- Share, rent or sell those email addresses.
- Offer no value.
- Shamelessly self-promote.
- Attempt to sell something in all (or most) communications.
- Deliver content that is not relevant to your audience.
- Obtain email addresses in any way other than deliberate opt-ins.
- Refuse to honour opt-outs.
- Mislead with subject lines.
- Provide content that is haphazard, nonsensical or grammatically messy.
Not only are these things annoying to your list, some of them are illegal.
Here’s the thing to remember: If you’re building your list honestly, filling it only with those people who are genuinely interested in hearing from your brand, you will have brilliant opportunities to not only connect, but to convert. Here’s my advice for doing just that:
- Consider yourself a guest in your recipient’s space. Let’s get something straight: The email that you send is a visitor in your recipient’s space. It can be a welcomed guest, or it can be an intruder. Be polite. Don’t barge in. Respect your boundaries. Aim to delight, rather than dominate. Remember they can click on the Unsubscribe link at any time. Too many complaints about your emailing etiquette won’t just stain your reputation among your audience members, it will be reported to your marketing automation software provider (e.g. InfusionSoft), and you’ll be flagged as a spammer.
- Don’t be a snore. You are the entertainer, the informer, the engager. You might be a visitor, but in this case, it’s not your host’s duty to amuse you. You must earn that spot in their inbox, so do your research to learn about what they want and give it to them.
- Serve, rather than sell. Since I’m directing you to give your email marketing recipients what they want, it would make sense to tone down the hard sell. Send no more than one selling email per week, and fill the rest of your mail days with nothing but pure service. Go ahead and include the occasional P.S. pointing them to one of your products, but keep it low-key and low-pressure. Putting serving before selling has a strange, but pleasant effect: It Sells!
- Customise your email marketing content. Not every email recipient will be at the same point in their journey; therefore, it’s important that every reader feel a sense of exclusivity…as if the email was written just for them. For this reason, I recommend segmenting your audience by whatever factor, relevant to your brand, most greatly divides them. That could be level of expertise, geographic location, specific problem, immediate need, etc.
- Be the friend they need right now. What problems are your ideal customers experiencing right now? And what can you do to help them? What pain is no one else acknowledging? What ideal relief can you offer? Speak to your readers as if they’re human…because they are. Speak to them as if you are a human, too…because you are. This is something that’s missing from many marketing communications. Be the person to provide it, and you may be surprised at just how many solid connections you’ll make.
- Do away with the hoop-jumping. Make it simple to unsubscribe. Make the next step obvious for anyone interested in learning more. Make your content easy to read. Don’t ask your recipients to solve Da Vinci’s code just to learn something new. Here’s the key: GIVE it to them. They deserve it…and you deserve the results.
These tips should get you started on the road to a more effective email marketing strategy. Understand that the purpose of email marketing is to stay top-of-mind, but that’s not all. It’s also meant to stir emotions, forge relationships and serve people. Do all of this right, and your sales will tell the happy-ending story.
Want to learn more about email marketing, and how it fits into your overall business strategy? Then click here to learn about the Master Your Message™ 3-Day event. In it, you will create a branded message that speaks to your ideal customers, on a level that moves them to action, and then learn how to send it out through all the right channels.