Keep Your Customers Close, and Your Prospects Warm
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced he wanted to shunt ads out of the Facebook feed. He wanted Facebook to return to its roots. It would again become a place full of family photos, cat videos, and continual outrage.
Marketers panicked. How would they reach their customer base without ads in the news feed?
Smart marketers didn’t panic. They still had their email list. Reaching their customers was as easy as hitting ‘send’.
86% of consumers want monthly promotional emails from favourite companies. 15% would like daily emails.
We advocate automated emails rather than scheduled newsletters. But that’s a lot of consumers who want contact with the brands they use.
So how can you improve your email marketing to benefit your customers and your prospects?
Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Customers Closer
You’re in the market for an expensive piece of software. After speaking to several salespeople at different companies you feel well-informed. You could recite their different features in your sleep.
One salesperson is friendly and asks how you’re getting on following your initial chat. He gives you plenty of time and dispenses tons of valuable advice. Another piece of software does the same thing for less money. But you’re so impressed by his attentiveness that you buy from his company instead.
Then you never hear from him again.
When you need more software, do you think you’ll use his company again? No.
No Customer Likes Being Ghosted by a Salesperson.
You try the other companies again and take a risk on a different company. Their saleswoman is in your inbox less often than the first guy.
But a week after you’ve installed the software, she emails to ask how you’re getting on. A month later, she sends you a cheat sheet of awesome features to try out now you’re a pro with the software. A few weeks later, she contacts you again to say hi.
When she emails with a discount code for an add-on, you’re far more likely to buy from her.
The difference between these experiences is the attitude of the salespeople. One is only interested until they get the sale. The other one doesn’t see you as a single sale – they see you as a customer. They keep you close.
According to the famous Pareto principle, you’ll make 80% of your income from 20% of your customers. It’s cheaper to keep customers than it is to find new leads. That’s a strong belief here at Websand, our background is in loyalty marketing, so we’ve built in our own way to help you identify your own ’80/20 rule’.
The audience is already identified, so it’s easy for you to set up an email sequence for new customers. That’s a tried and tested way to turn that new buyer into a loyal customer.
Using Email to Keep Your Prospects Warm
Not all visitors to your website will buy something the first time they visit.
You don’t just have customers to worry about. Now you’ve got prospects too.
A visitor to your website becomes a prospect once they sign up for your list. They’ve shown an interest in you and what you offer. Even if they only want your lead magnet, they’ve still handed over the keys to their inbox.
But they’re not all going to buy something the first time you offer it. How do you turn a cool prospect into a warm lead, and then a customer?
This might sound controversial, but you don’t have to push for a sale in every email.
Think about it. Say you have two friends, and they both sell products in a home-based business. One of them shows no interest in what you’re doing. Every conversation is an opportunity for them to sell their skincare range.
The other one sends you funny memes and great discounts for your favourite products. They ask you for your opinion on things. This friend mentions their skincare but only sometimes asks for a sale.
Which one are you more likely to keep as a friend?
Be a Friend, Not a Fiend, to Your Subscribers
Send them valuable information between sales messages. Content could include;
- Product tutorials for getting the best out of your range,
- Thoughtful articles about the history of your niche,
- Surveys asking for their opinion, particularly on your product range,
- Suggested listening in the form of useful podcast episodes or YouTube videos,
- Holiday-related greetings, and so on.
What you send will depend on your business and the subscribers you attract. A hotel might send info about places to visit in the vicinity. At Halloween, they might send a list of the spookiest places nearby.
Brian Clark at Unemployable sends emails rounding up useful content for entrepreneurs. It’s a great way to build up goodwill between those emails that reference products or services for sale.
Don’t feel compelled to send them everything they ever need to know about your product in one go. It’s too overwhelming.
You’re better off dividing that content into a series of bite-sized emails. Drip-feed them across a couple of weeks. The series will lead the subscriber along the path from ‘I don’t need your product’ to ‘I can’t live without it, where do I buy it?’
We’ve talked before about the cold-hot customer spectrum – this is where it comes into play. Ask them to do one thing per email. Even if it’s hitting reply and letting you know where they’re at on that subject.
Whatever you send, link it back to your product or service. But you don’t always need to ask for a sale. Keeping yourself ‘top of mind’ keeps your prospects warm. Remember that getting subscribers to ‘know, like, and trust’ you is the #1 goal of your marketing.
That way, when you do ask for a sale, they’ll be more predisposed to say yes.
How Do You Achieve Both Goals with Your Email Marketing?
Simple. Segmentation. New customers need different things from you than existing customers. They’re at different points in their relationship with you.
Sure, you could blast them all with the same email newsletter you send at 4:54 pm every Friday.
Or you could be the smart marketer we know you are (hey, you’re reading our blog, aren’t you?) and segment your list.
Existing subscribers receive the warm, chatty emails that treat them like old friends. These subscribers already know and like you. They just need regular attention to top up the warm and fuzzies.
But new subscribers need informative, useful, and fun emails. They’ll move them along the spectrum from ‘newbie’ to ‘raving fan’.
Likewise, customers need different things. New customers need the offer of support. Existing customers want to know what they can do with your product or service.
Use your data to set up triggers to move subscribers from one segment to another as they progress along the spectrum.
Don’t Ghost Your Subscribers
Sending your audience, the right email at the right time is the best way to keep your customers close and your prospects warm. And segmentation is the key.
If your email marketing platform doesn’t help you do that, then speak to us. We can get you set up with Websand, a data-driven solution to help you 1-up your email marketing game.
They say the money is in the list, so stop frittering yours away. We’re standing by!