Sending an email newsletter to existing and prospective customers can be a very effective way of building trust, establishing a relationship and generating new business. I say “can be a very effective way” because success can often depend on ticking the following boxes;
- Ensure your mailing list is clean and up to date
- Ensure your content is interesting and offers value to your recipient
- Ensure you are consistent with your message (branding and delivery)
Before you send your first email campaign it is important to establish who and why you are sending it to. Ensuring your mailing list is up to date can sometimes be a big job depending upon the volumes on your database. This is one area where using an email marketing service provider offers a great benefit as their list management software will cleanse your list after the first send, removing those whose details are incorrect and providing you a report on undelivered emails.
Growing your list is also vitally important. Adding new recipients to your campaigns can only have a positive effect as it no doubt brings greater exposure to a bigger audience and more chances of your email campaign being forwarded on to a friend.
TIP: It is vital that you have a data capture form on your website. Statistically, around 92% of traffic passing through B2B websites goes unknown. We know that they are browsing our site, but we don’t know who they are. This shows that visits to your site could be out of intrigue (potentially competitors) or research (potentially customers). By offering the visitor an opportunity to be kept up to date with the latest news and insight you are giving yourself more of a chance of finding out who they are and also a chance to build a relationship with a potential customer.
Once you have your list up to date and you are adding to it weekly, it is time to consider your content. First things first, make sure you don’t bore the pants off your recipients. Too much self promotion and blatant selling is a major turn off. It is important to provide informative content that your recipient will find of value.
TIP: Use the following pointers to help when preparing content;
- Keep it interesting. Test content with colleagues and friends to see if they find it interesting
- Offer exclusive information, something of value to the recipient that they can’t get elsewhere – maybe a white paper
- Don’t talk about yourself too much. Show offs are a turn off.
- Don’t use language that your recipients are unfamiliar with. If it is difficult to read then it is destined for the deleted items tray.
Building trust with both existing and potential customers will propel you towards success. Quite a statement you might feel, but one that can be justified quite easily. Ask yourself: Have you ever bought something from somebody you don’t trust? In most cases, the answer is no. Why would we buy if there were no trust? Email marketing is a great way of building trust but it important that you commit to the following;
- Only send emails to existing customers or those who have opted in
- Set expectations of how often recipients will receive your email campaigns during the sign up process
- Only send content that you would be happy to receive yourself
- Keep your branding consistent at all times. Recipients are much more comfortable receiving emails from those they recognize.
- Send your email campaigns consistently – at least once per month. Don’t be forgotten.
TIP: Use the same branding for your online communications that you use for your offline communications. Ensuring that your email campaigns use the same logos and fonts as your website will help establish your online brand no matter what size your company. People like dealing with what they know and what they recognize.
Article: By John Coyne, Head of Campaign and Marketing Experience, Adobe
Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.