Email marketing has been proven over the years to have numerous benefits for business owners. If you are struggling to improve customer relationships, especially as a small business owner, email marketing can be your next best stop. With email marketing, you can make $38 for every $1 spent, which delivers the highest ROI for marketers. The graphical illustration by Statista below gives more details.
Why is Email Marketing Important for Customer Relationships?
While you may have heard a ton about the benefits of email marketing on businesses, not much is said about customer relationships. To increase conversion from leads to customers and see results in your marketing efforts, you need to improve customer relationships. The long-term success of your business highly depends on how many customers trust you enough to buy from you again and recommend you to potential customers.
A study by McKinsey also shows that email delivers better results than any other channel, as it is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. An illustration is shown below.
There are also other studies pointing towards how much improvement in customer relationships one can get by being intentional about email marketing. For example, you can get about 69% more orders when you send an average of three abandoned cart emails than a single reminder email, following a proper timing schedule.
This then begs the question of how you can maximize email marketing to your benefit, such that it improves customer relationships and ultimately, your ROI. You want to ensure you are not spending the bulk of your time and resources sending random emails that do not yield results.
8 Ways to Improve Customer Relationships
To improve customer relationships, you must be strategic and deliberate about every email you send out and how you send it. Here, we have highlighted some of the key things you need to know and work on to ensure you’re not slacking in customer relationships.
1. Be Sincere
When a customer or a random person from your audience signs up for your newsletter, it’s because they expect something in return. The onus is now on you to deliver what you have promised. Under no circumstances should you promise ABC and deliver everything else except ABC. Not only will this make your subscribers lose their trust in you and your brand, but it will also affect your metrics. Your open rate and click-through rate will continue to drop and subsequently, you might record a high number of unsubscribes, which isn’t good for your email marketing strategy.
When someone signs up for your newsletter, let them know what to expect in the welcome email and commit to delivering as promised. This will help you build trust and loyalty to your brand, thereby resulting in more paying customers.
2. Deliver High Quality
Once you have managed to get subscribers, you should do everything possible to ensure they stay and this includes delivering high quality. This encompasses everything, from your choice of an email service provider to the email design, and the email content. Leave no room for mediocrity. Remember that you must constantly fight to be seen, especially if your business operates in a large industry. If your competitors are playing big, you can’t afford to play small.
Regardless of the kind of content your company covers, ensure it is relevant and interactive. Your subscribers should be able to find your email content worthy enough to stick with you and look forward to more. You can use the storytelling format and also introduce images, videos, and gifs, to make it more interesting.
Gone are the days when we delivered bland emails. Create responsive email designs and ensure your fonts are legible enough for the average reader; you can also create a unique brand identity. The goal is to stay top of mind with high-quality emails.
3. Know Your Subscribers
In email marketing, you are primarily creating for your subscribers. To improve your relationship with them, you have to start by knowing them. This includes who they are, where they are from, what they like, the kind of content they would love to see, and more. Creating buyer personas makes this easier but another way to go about this is by reviewing past campaigns. From your analytics, you can tell if your email marketing strategy isn’t working. This gives you insights into which email is doing great and which isn’t, to help you adjust accordingly.
For example, if you noticed that personalizing the subject line by including their first names had more open rates, you can incorporate that strategy more into subsequent emails. Also, if the emails with a story-like intro had more responses, you might want to do more of that. You can also send them a survey to know what they would like to see more and if done properly, it can make them feel seen and heard. Never make the mistake of creating content without knowing your subscribers and how they interact with your content.
4. Provide Value Immediately
Your first goal is to retain existing customers, so if you have managed to get subscribers, you have to do everything possible to not lose them. A quick and easy way to do this is to provide value immediately. This can be through the welcome email, which they can get immediately, in a few hours, or 24 hours post subscription. However, 74% of consumers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe.
Automate the email, such that every time someone subscribes, they get a welcome email from you. This email should introduce them to your brand and tell them what to expect. To wrap it up, you can add a gift or coupon, or a small discount for their next purchase from your site.
In many cases, subscribers tend to judge a brand from their welcome emails. If you send a crappy email that provides little to no value, chances are that they would never look forward to the next or would unsubscribe immediately. According to Campaign Monitor, welcome email read rates are 42% higher than the average email. The emails also have on average 4x the open rate and 5x the click-through rate of a standard email marketing campaign. You shouldn’t sleep on this!
Also, be careful not to spam your audience with a truckload of emails at a time, as it can get overwhelming. If you use MailDrip, you can easily create a drip campaign where emails are delivered at intervals. This helps you to space out the emails and ensure that your subscribers don’t get overwhelmed with too much information.
5. Add a Personal Touch
The fact that you are sending an email doesn’t mean you should sound strict and cliche at all times. You can add spark to it by being personal, which is what many email marketers lack. This doesn’t mean you have to share all your life stories but you can send emails that connect a bit to your personal life.
Sharing a personal story in your emails will help your readers connect with you better. They can now read emails through the lens of the human who wrote them. It’s not uncommon to read random emails as though robots wrote them. However, you can change that by ensuring your subscribers feel the human side of your brand. Humanizing your brand can improve customer relationships, as your readers tend to interact with your emails better, knowing that you would respond.
6. Allow and Encourage Feedback
One of the best ways to let your customers know that you care about them and they are heard is by encouraging feedback. This is not the time to use a do-not-reply email address. Your email marketing approach should include using a functional email address, so your customers can easily respond to your emails and connect with your brand personally.
It is more effective to send with your name or a name that would strictly be for email marketing purposes. According to a Litmus survey, the sender name has the largest impact on whether someone will open your email, followed by the subject line and preview text. Add a sender name, so your recipients would know who to address should they need to respond.
At the end of your emails, you can encourage them to respond to the email or leave feedback when necessary. If you feel you might not be able to keep up with the responses, hire someone to take care of it for you. Remember that you are building for your audience and their feedback matters, as it ensures you are right on track and can improve sales in the long run.
7. Don’t Make Everything About Sales
Yes, we get it, you started this to make sales. Don’t we all? However, you don’t have to make it obvious in all your emails that you are trying so hard to sell. No one enjoys being sold to but you can be creative and still get them to buy from you. You might turn off your audience if all you do is sell in your emails.
To encourage email engagement, try to build a relationship by sending relatable emails that aren’t always about selling. Sometimes, tell a story or offer advice. Provide answers to possible questions you think they might have or based on what a customer has asked you before.
If it’s all about sales, your subscribers might stop opening your emails or even unsubscribe or report you to spam. You need to learn to create a balance by using the 80/20 rule, where you have 80% non-sales content and 20% sales content. As much as you want to engage your audience, you also shouldn’t lose sight of why you started, which is to make sales.
To create a perfect balance, you can mix both in each email. Introduce your content with a story or advice and find a way to include what you’re selling in between. This will improve the relationship between your customers and your brand and subsequently, they will stay top of mind and want to buy from you.
8. Be Consistent
Above all, you need to be consistent to see results in your email marketing efforts. Research done by Lucidpress in 2019 shows that customers appreciate it when a business has a consistent brand.
You will not stay top of mind if you only show up once in a blue moon. Have a schedule to work with to ensure that you are not slacking in email intervals and at the same time not overwhelming your audience.
Another approach to consistency is to ensure you maintain the same brand voice and identity throughout your marketing channel. This is in the details. You can’t use blue colors for your website and social media pages, then switch to yellow for your emails. You also can’t pass different messages across different channels. You must stay true to your brand by ensuring you keep your brand consistent wherever it is found.
This is to ensure that wherever your logo or any of your brand identity is seen, your customers can easily point it back to you. This helps you not only attract new customers but also maintain existing ones.
Improving customer relationships is not a walk in the park. You must be deliberate about it and this article already provides insights into how to go about it. An additional tip is to make it easy to unsubscribe. Hiding your unsubscribe button won’t help improve customer relationships and might worsen them, as they could report your emails to spam.
Now that we have established the most important things you need to build a solid customer base, you should also know that you can’t do this without a working email marketing strategy.
We understand how overwhelming it is to come up with one, so the team at MailDrip designed a template to guide you. With this template, you can get started on your email marketing journey knowing that one difficult part is ticked off. All you have to do is fill out the form below and we will be in your email!