In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In e-mail marketing it’s relationship, relationship, relationship.
If you’re helping your company design an e-mail campaign, one of the primary questions to ask the marketing group is, “What do you want to come of this? What is our ultimate goal?” When the final discussion closes, what you want to hear is … building relationship.
Like all things on the internet, e-mail marketing has evolved. More people understand the value of having a direct, interactive connection with their marketplace through e-mails.
You may be thinking why, then, do companies…and individuals…continue to use a broad-brush stroke approach to their e-mail design? Why are so many e-mails sent that have no connection to the person receiving it?
Is it because they don’t understand the meaning…and value…of relationship?
Time is considered an extremely valuable commodity by nearly everyone today. “There’s not enough of it; It goes too fast; There’s too much to do and so little time” are frequently-heard comments on the streets today. Why, then, do marketers ignore what is clearly a predominant thought in the marketplace today, which is “Value my time. Respect it. Send me ONLY information that is meaningful to me now.”
Perhaps the reason this rule is so blatantly ignored, even by marketing experts, is that e-mail marketing is easy to execute. Once someone gives you permission to send them e-mails, you have instant access.
I’ll take just a moment to digress and reiterate that I consider “Once someone gives you permission…” as a given in your e-mail marketing program. Good e-mail ISP programs and oversight, along with the CAN-SPAM ‘teeth’ to bite into Spam attacks, have helped marketers significantly increase the potential for instant access…if the marketer has verified permission.
For some, however, permission is like giving a small child the key to a candy store and not sending a responsible person to help them make choices.
When you imbed ‘relationship’ into the hearts and minds of the marketing group, you remind them that permission is not a key to the candy store. You remind them that effective e-mail marketing is targeted. Its purpose is to build relationship…and to do that, it must deliver value to the subscriber.
You can segment the offers and information you share by buying history, location, demographics or whatever data sorts best fit your target marketplace. You can offer customized content that has been selected by the recipients. There are many programs available, or programs you can build, that will help you connect in a more personal, time-respectful manner that adds real value to the recipient.
If you don’t currently have a way to sort customer data on this basis, you may have to invest a little bit of money to determine exactly what your customers will respond to.
Most people are familiar with the Law of Reciprocity. This is the Law that says we feel obligated to return favors. When you take the time, and make the effort to find out what is the most valuable information you can provide your e-mail subscribers, and then provide it, the Law of Reciprocity says that they will return the favor. They’ll read your e-mails. They’ll buy your products.
You will have e-mail relationship…and the potential for a great ROI.