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  1. 3 Ways to Build Relationships (and Gain Sales) through Email



    Ok, you’ve got your social media marketing in action. You’ve built your leads through super awesome social media contests, coupons, and free email-gated content. Your Likes are up, your email list is massive. Now what?

    To get the sale, you’ve got to build relationships. Let’s face it, there’s a slim-to-none chance that just because someone Liked your Facebook Page they’re going to immediately buy your product or service.

    That’s where email comes in. Email marketing gives you one of the most personal methods to keep in touch with your people. You just need to know how.

    Here are 3 simple ways to nurture your leads - and increase sales.


    1. Keep it Personal


    Email gives you some of the coolest ways to directly connect with your customers. You’re sending your brand message to people, and making that message personal massively increases the chance of a click-through and eventual conversion.

    There are three main methods to keeping your email personal:

    • Segmentation
    • Personalization
    • A personal tone


    Segmentation:

    If you’re not doing it already, you’ve got to start right now: segment your email lists!

    Why?

    I know it’s not just me, but I tend to open emails that address my interests and problems. Your customers do too. In fact, studies from Marketing Sherpa have shown that segmenting your emails can improve your click-throughs by 50%.

    Segmentation gives you the opportunity to send out specific emails catered to get results from:

    • Particular demographics
    • Certain drop-offs in your sales funnel
    • People interested in the same product/ service
    • Prospects who came from the same source (ie your Facebook coupon, ebook downloads, or webinars you hosted)


    By sending out multiple email campaigns to distinct segmented lists, you can send out messages that better relate to the specific needs of your consumers. That’s going to deepen your sales relationships, and that’s what goes a long way to generate your next sale.

    Personalization:

    Additionally, use meta tags to insert personalized info about your recipient. Send out emails that include:

    • Your recipient’s name
    • Their last purchase
    • Their interests
    • Frequency of engagement


    The more you can show you understand your customer, the more likely they’re going to want to keep engaging with you. The more interactions you have, the easier it is to turn your prospect into a loyal, returning consumer.

    A personal tone:

    A third - and super simple - way to keep it personal is to write your emails in a personal tone. Use personal pronouns, like “you” and “me” (not “they”). And skip the formal speak (unless, of course your market caters to the more formal approach - such as if you’re a lawyer or doctor, for example). Write to your recipients like they’re walk-in-customers to your store.

    People respond a whole lot better when you write to them like they’re people.

    Here’s an example of a segmented, personalized and personal email from KISSmetrics:



    2. Be Sure to Keep in Touch


    Once someone is compelled enough to give you their email, it’s in your best interest to keep that relationship going.

    I know this sounds kind of obvious, but make sure you’re actually connecting with your email leads. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from businesses disappointed in their sales results. A lot of them have done all the right things, and they’ve accumulated a enviable prospect list.

    But they’re not using it. Well, they’re not using it to keep in touch on a regular basis.

    Now, not everyone wants to get all of your emails all the time. That’s why you segment (as above). But you do need to send out messages, to keep your brand front and center in your lead’s mind.

    There are a number of ways to do this:

    • Send out regular newsletters or blog posts
    • Set up a short email automation campaign
    • Use triggered emails


    Regular Newsletters:

    When you want to build relationships, you stay in touch. The same is true with your email leads.

    Send out scheduled, regular emails. And keep the format of your emails pretty consistent. Keeping consistency lets your prospects build familiarity with your business.

    There are lots of ways you can keep your content fresh and dynamic. For example, email out:

    • Weekly blog post summaries
    • Bi-weekly newsletters
    • Interactive surveys
    • Sales and events notices


    Sending out regular emails keeps your brand front and centre, too.

    As with any successful email marketing campaign, test, test and test again. Monitor and optimize your results for:

    • Best times to send
    • Best days to send
    • Best content (and subject line)


    Email automation campaigns:

    It really surprises me that only 35% of B2B’s have an email automation program in place.

    Email automation is one of the best ways to:

    • Send out pertinent messages
    • Promote a marketing campaign
    • Or just keep your business top of mind for a particular time frame


    To make an email automation campaign:

    • Use email software (like Wishpond, Marketo, or Salesforce)
    • Set up a series of 3-6 emails
    • Make each email progressively directed towards your ultimate goal (i.e. a sale, a contest participant, or a walk-in customer, etc.)


    By sending out a few well-timed, well-crafted, and well-segmented emails, you are creating more touchpoints with your potential consumer. Those touchpoints work to develop familiarity, trust, and ultimately result in a sale.

    Triggered emails:

    Employ triggered email tactics to send out a series of messages based on prospect behaviours. This method of keeping in touch works incredibly well for:

    • Shopping cart drop-offs
    • Downloaded content
    • Completed purchases or other goals


    I love this example triggered email example from Boot Barn, and reported in the study done by Marketing Sherpa.


    Boot Barn is a US-based outfitter, with on online ecommerce store. They set up a triggered email to send out three messages, and retarget shopping cart drop-offs.



    They sent out three emails as summarized:

    Email 1, sent 20 minutes after the customer dropped off: They asked the customer empathetic questions, to get the ‘why’, and find out what went wrong in the sales process. Open rate: 46.04%

    Email 2, sent 23 hours after the shopping cart drop-off: This email appealed to the prospect by outlining the benefits of shopping from them. Open rate: 40.04%

    Email 3, sent one week after the potential customer left: This email invoked consumer fear by giving the lost prospect a final warning that they were about to lose the items in their shopping cart. They made sure to format a clear CTA to make it easy to click through to their shopping cart, and revise their products. Open rate: 27.45%

    These types of triggered emails are a retailer’s dream come true. To have the ability to tap into potential buyer’s remorse, or remind a busy person to come on back and make that purchase…. it results in sales, and builds relationships for future repeat buys.


    3. Show You’re Human and Gain Trust


    If you’re well versed in email marketing, you already know that sales through email adhere to same principals as sales in person.

    You’ve got to build relationships, show you understand, and gain your prospect’s trust.

    Ok, getting to know your customer through email is a little different than getting to know them face-to-face… but there’s tons of ways you show you’re an actual person sending the email, and develop the trust needed to achieve that sale.

    Here’s three:

    • Humanize your ‘from’ line
    • Use faces
    • Create message consistency


    Humanize your ‘from’ line:

    When you’re sending mass emails (that are well segmented, personalized and personal) take it a step further. Use your name (or your sales lead name, or your CEO name) in the ‘from’ line of your email.

    It may be a small detail - but hey, small details matter in marketing.

    If your names aren’t recognizable, use your company name too. The point here is to increase the trust level from your recipients. You need to get your email opened, and people trust people more than just a faceless company.

    Here’s how we send out regular updates from Wishpond:



    It’s a lot more person-to-person than if we simply sent out our updates from “Wishpond”.

    Use faces:

    The power of seeing someone’s face goes a long way in marketing. Use this in your email marketing. You can gain an immediate sense of trust - without writing a thing.

    Include your headshot in your email ‘from’ line. Ok, not every recipient will see your headshot - depending on their email service provider - but anyone with a gmail or yahoo mail account will (for example).

    Check out how the very personable and hugely popular Mari Smith uses her happy face to instill trust in her email recipients:



    She uses both a headshot in her ‘from’ line, and in her banner. (I’ll also note, that as a gmail user, I see Mari’s face from Google+ too.)

    Seeing someone’s face landing in your inbox on a regular basis breeds familiarity.

    Don’t miss out on this connection opportunity.

    (Oh, and some trendy emailers are even starting to send out faces in gif’s, and the really hip are embedding short videos…)

    Create message consistency:

    There’s nothing worse than promising a customer one thing, and then giving them something completely different. Has this ever happened to you? You likely didn’t stay on as loyal customer, did you?

    When you’re crafting your email, pay attention to the flow of your message. You definitely want to avoid affirmative answers to these questions:

    • Is your subject line making an offer too good to be true?
    • Is your email copy lacking the offer?
    • Does your landing page show absurdly different visuals from your email?
    • How about your CTA? Is your email’s “ask” disappointedly different than your landing page request?


    If your message is not consistent, you’re going to lose the trust of your lead. When you lose a customer’s trust, the reality is, they’re not going to buy from you.

    Instill trust by keeping your subject line, email body, CTA and landing page a clear and cohesive path. Get the sale.


    Conclusion


    Building customer relationships is the key to increasing your sales. Email has proven an effective method to nurture your leads. Do email marketing well, and you’ll get results.

    As with any email campaign, be sure to A/B test and track your results. It’s very simple to tweak a campaign, so keep testing, measuring and improving your sends. It’s not expensive, but it’ll likely get you a whole lot better returns on your investment.

    Check out more email marketing articles:


    What do you think? How do you develop sales relationships through email? Do you use email automation? What success have you had?

    Written by Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond