On the Mark: Building a Powerful Email Marketing Strategy
If there’s one thing that the pandemic is showing us is that we need a variety of processes to stay in touch with clients, and having a robust email strategy is just one of them. Just like the spray and pray analog strategies that have been embraced by many as their only method, email marketing has many facets that can be used effectively. No one email marketing strategy fits every business, client, or prospect.
To make an impact, you must test various styles and messaging content to find out what works best for your audience. As you find which ones are effective, add it to your list of processes, and your email marketing efforts will provide benefits. Let’s dive into some of the details about the marketing emails you send.
While many businesses use email marketing, the goal is not clear on what the email is supposed to accomplish, nor is it clear on the action that they want the recipient to take. Breaking down your emails into categories and types can help.
The New Client:
When a business gets a new client or prospect by either an in-store visit, phone call, or they connect with you digitally, sending a set of “Introduction” emails is the first step in solidifying that relationship. You may have noticed the word “set” in the previous line. That’s because only one welcome email won’t have the same power as a series of emails that are designed to introduce the client to your showroom and how things work there.
The first email to send is what I call “Welcome to the family.” This email is about building bonds, expressing the expert status of the business, and laying out what the experience they should expect when working with you and your company. Include links to recommendations from your clients, what they say about you is called social proof, and if you can make these recommendations in a video format, they supercharge the testimonials even more.
The key here is to have links to theses testimonials that reside on your website. Do not just include the client’s words in the email. You are looking for click-through rates (CTR) when prospects click through the email link; they are becoming more engaged with you.
To get to know a client better, ask direct response questions that give you better insight into how the client would like to be worked with. Businesses today have a variety of ways that they can work with clients, whether in person or at a distance.
My preferred first question in the initial client engagement is: “Do you prefer in-person visits, virtual visits, or both?”
I think today; many clients would opt for both to save time and be efficient. In any event, when the client responds to you, you have begun the relationship.
Another essential component in the first email contact is linking to the simple and easy policies that allow the client to do business with you. This action requires a reliable CTA, “call to action” similar to this:
“Discover why our clients love our easy to work with policies! Click here.”
Warm clients that are interested in working with your business want clear and simple policies when they buy from you. Simple policies can define your difference and separate you from the competition. You must monitor the “CTR,” as well as this client, which is closer to buying.
In this first series of emails, the goal is not to close the sale. The intent is to wow the client and solidify the relationship by sharing the positives that your business experience and expertise provides. Now is an excellent time to give a gift or incentive to the potential client that is unique to you and your company.
In any type of selling environment, I would send the client a coupon that is redeemable for a high-touch high-quality item like a branded LED flashlight, travel mug, water bottle. or car phone charger.
Let the investment in the incentive be relative to the value of the products you sell. Providing value from the start encourages the client to engage with you either for the first time or the second.
A word of caution: do not cheap out with the gift. Use your own experience, what have you done with cheap promos? Don’t let that happen to your gift, add the cost of a good quality gift into the client acquisition column and only issue the coupon to strong prospects.
The Existing Client:
There are two distinct categories when we look at existing clients, those that are in the buying cycle currently and those that have already bought from you; we need to stay connected to both of them.
We know staying in touch with the clients that are in our sales funnel is an essential requirement and has a different process than the one we use with clients that have previously purchased from us, which is the focus.
When people purchase from you, they are highly likely to buy from you again. It is crucial to stay on their horizon or “Top Of The Mind Awareness” (TOMA). Email is the cost conscience tool to keep that connection alive.
Let’s begin with a word of caution. Don’t be overzealous when it comes to emailing past clients; quality is much better than quantity in this strategy. That does not alleviate the requirement that the procedure requires scheduling, like all other types of marketing. Sending “retention” emails should be limited to 6 times a year, once every eight weeks. This strategy operates in conjunction with other email campaigns.
Now that the logistics have been addressed, the question becomes; what types of “retention emails” can be created to send? The answer is that it depends on the timing of the client’s last purchase. The first contact we make post-sale is by old fashioned snail mail.
This age-old method is when we send a proper and personal handwritten thank you card when your project is complete, or when an order is received. You can include any sales event that is either an ending or beginning that triggers a grateful response.
With the above process in mind, send the clients an email ten days after the thank you card. The first part of this email is asking the client to provide you with any feedback they may have to make a better experience. Do not use “info@Idontcaredotcom,” give a real name of a real person that will be contacting them. The next part of this email is a solicitation for positive reviews on the digital platforms that the showroom is listed on.
A template for the social proof request email is:
I want to thank you again for being one of our great clients. To continue to make (business name) a great place for people just like you, I would like your help. My email is included so that you can share any feedback with me that you may have.
As you know, we are a local business that supports and is supported by our community, and I ask that you share your good experience on these social platforms. (provide every link to every digital platform that you are on.)
Thank you in advance for sharing your experience with me and others.
Eight Weeks Later:
The second email has a goal of anchoring the client in our ecosystem. We can accomplish this when we let the client know they are members of an exclusive club, by making a purchase from you in the past.
The email comes from the same address as the “social proof” email.
A template for “Welcome to the club” email.
As a new member of the (company’s name) Preferred Buyer’s Club. We have several benefits we will be extending to you. (List 3-5 benefits that fit your model.)
First, we offer all members advance notice of sales and special events. Next, you can take advantage of… (a standing incentive to previous clients that they can always take advantage of, be it a monetary discount, or a free service.)
As a member of the Preferred Buyer’s Club, you are automatically enrolled in our social referral reward program. If you have left positive reviews about (Company Name) on three social platforms, we have a gift for you (don’t be cheap here). All we have to do is be able to login and verify you left the reviews.
You can list between 3-5 benefits in this email that fit your business model.
The strategy requires you to send a piece of content to your past clients every eight weeks, and after the first two emails, you can begin to include sales and promotions for the “club members.” These items or specials must only be available to your previous clients that are on your email list. Make sure that one of these items is an impulse buy. The only decision to make is what the item will be. The impulse item will drive footfall or an online purchase.
Statistically, two-thirds of clients will purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message.
Having a blog on your website has been a mandatory requirement for businesses since 2015, and many do not have one. Having an excellent blog that focuses on the industry, current events, and local happenings will draw eyes to your website and company. One way to be effective with blogging is to email your clients the blog links that you created during the eight weeks between contacts. The blogs must reside on your website and be of interest, not just product or buy me posts. One hot topic with a population that is getting older would be any aging in place information you can share. Of course, promote how you can help this segment, but also promote any local companies or tradespeople that are relative to the article’s content. You are now promoting other local businesses, and that’s good.
The Devil is The Details:
It is not only the topic of the email that is important; you must focus on grammar, stylistic components, and the tone of the message. This activity is sometimes a killer for businesses of any size and maybe the reason you outsource your inbound email marketing strategy. When constructing any communication, email, blog, social post, having a sloppy, incongruent structure will drive clients to the unsubscribe button. If this type of work is not your thing, there are only a couple of knowledgeable industry agencies that can do this properly for you. The idea is to blend the silos of sales and marketing, and a traditional marketing agency can’t do that.
The subject line needs careful attention. The average person takes a second when scanning their inbox to decide if the email you send will be read, deleted, or if they unsubscribe. The subject line matters; this means that care is taken when crafting these short blurbs, so they are intriguing and openable. Character count, word count, power words, and emotional words all play a part in having a high open-rate. You must impact your clients emotionally or logically so they open the email.
Email is your best connection with your loyal tribe. Do not waste that resource by sending image ads that say buy me; this is the time to build that ever-important relationship.
As always, happy selling.