What About Your People in Email Marketing?

You’ve probably seen the Ellen Degeneres/Beyonce Knowles television ad for American Express…with the “Have your people call my people” quip in it when the two stars discuss arranging a luncheon date.

When you think about it…which Ellen flippantly suggests in the ad…is we all have people.  As marketers, your people are your vendors and your clients.    In your business, as in your life, all your “people” are important people. 

You will, undoubtedly, then, agree that once you have people, it’s important to keep them.

As an email marketer, your most important group of people is the group that constitutes your subscriber list.  That group of people that signed up to receive emails from you and looks forward to receiving your message.

At least…you hope they look forward to receiving your message.  Because what you don’t want them to do…is to quit being one of your “people.”

So how do you keep your people from unsubscribing…from asking to get off your mailing list? 

The best ways to keep people from unsubscribing…and to keep your people suggesting to their people that they join your group…is to…let your people know…what to expect.  Here are three tips to get prospects to be “your people”:

  • Ask for necessary information only.  When signing up, or opting in to receive emails from you, prospects may not know you well enough to provide a lot of details.  Many email marketers ask only for an email address as most people are willing to provide it.  If you ask for more than an email address, and perhaps a first name (so you can personalize your email), you must demonstrate the value of the added information.  For example, if you own an online plant and seed store, you might ask the prospects to indicate a weather zone…from a map you provide…so you only send information and offers for plants that will grow in their weather zone.  Once you’ve sent an email, you can ask for further information through a website form, or a preference center, as long as it’s easy for the recipient to see the value of the information they’re providing.
  • Set clear expectations.  Make sure your people know what you will be sending…the type of content…and how often you’ll be sending it.  Make sure you’re clear about both the opt-in and opt-out process.  If there are choices for what a person can receive, like emails for newsletters, emails for special offers, emails for catalogs, and emails for coupons,  make sure the sign-up process to differentiate is easy…and that they can change their choices later if they want to.
  • Send only relevant, timely information.  Send a Welcome email first. Stress the benefits of the information you’ll be providing, and how they can use it to improve their life or business.  Start your email campaign slowly so you don’t overwhelm them, and ask often…”Are you getting what you want, when you want it, and how you want it?”  This process is normally done through simple surveys that can help you identify and correct anything in your email relationship before it’s too late. 

Enough about your email people on the receiving end.  What about the people on the vendor side?  To maintain a great relationship with your vendors…again…set clear expectations.   Say “Please and Thank you”,  and provide them relevant,  timely information so they can make you look good…to your people.

Now then, what about your family and friends…they’re your people, too.  If you set clear expectations in the relationship, and say “Please” and “Thank you” …and “I love you” when appropriate,  (maybe throw in doing a few chores, a teddy bear or a bouquet of flowers) you’ll always…have people. 

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