Stop Talking to Yourself: How to Send Better Emails and Humanize Your Customers
The success of your business is built on the success of your relationships. Keeping in touch with customers via email is a proven, useful tool to build trust and credibility. But not all email communications add value, so how do you know if you are doing it “right”?
On average, a person receives 416 commercial email messages each month. What’s the difference between messages that get read versus those that get skimmed or simply sent directly to the trash? Relevant content! The definition of relevant content is simple: sending the right content to the right people at the right time. Think about the regular e-publications or blogs that you enjoy reading. Ultimately, consistently good content is what brings you back and builds your loyalty over time, and the same principle applies to your business—what you provide to your customers can either add value to your relationships or take it away. Make sure your email messages inspire the former.
Think like a customer
So, how do you know what content is relevant from your customer's perspective? To get inside their heads, the simplest thing to do is to think like they do. If you were your customer, what information would you find useful? What trends or information are worth sharing? What types of challenges are they facing? How can you help them stay on track to achieve overcome their challenges and achieve their goals?
Asking and answering these questions are the cornerstones of building an engaging email marketing communications plan.
Segment by similarities
To build a referral-worthy email communications plan, organizing your customers by any number of similarities, such as business type, job title, location, challenges, business life stage, etc., allows you to target relevant email communications to each group’s needs and interests. Spending time to strategically plan whom you are sending which communications and when will keep your marketing plan humming along. Keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to build a drip campaign focused on just one niche or group if that approach makes better sense for your business.
If you’re investing time to plan and send strategic marketing communications, you want to make sure you see some return on that investment. According to Mail Chimp, based on a study of hundreds of millions of emails distributed to more than 1,000 users through the firm’s system, email open rates for the Business and Finance segment averaged 20.68 percent, and click-through rates were 3.14 percent. While higher-than-average open rates are nice to see, the best indicator of engagement is the click-through rate. A strong click-through rate makes it clear you have accomplished your ultimate goal – providing your customer information of interest.
If your monthly newsletter or other communications are not sparking positive conversations or your click-through rates are below average, send a brief client survey to solicit feedback. Asking shows you care and will give you valuable insight into how you can better support and enhance your customer relationships through relevant communication.
And in addition to providing the right content at the right time, a proven and simple trick to boost engagement is changing up the subject line of your repeating messages. For example, the subject line “June newsletter – 5 retirement savings hacks and your financial mind” is much more enticing than “June newsletter.” Put subject lines to work for you, and watch your engagement rates climb.
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