What is one of the most effective tools for strengthening your relationship with prospects and customers so that you increase retention, repeat sales, and referrals?
The answer may come as a surprise…
It’s email marketing.
To clarify, I’m talking about email marketing to your own “house” list of prospects and customers, not to a list you rent or buy.
When you use email marketing effectively to build rapport with your target audience, then three things will naturally happen:
- Your sales team will spend less time selling because your prospects will be pre-sold on doing business with you. This means reduced sales cycles and less costs per sale, which leads to more profit.
- You can generate leads and sales on demand. In other words, you’ll be in complete control to schedule and run email promotions to any segment of your list, whenever you want. If you didn’t just have an “ah ha” moment, then read that sentence again… Email marketing is the only tactic that puts you in the driver seat to create leads and sales whenever you want.
- You’ll build a “wall” around your customers to protect them from poachers. Every day your competitors are actively trying to poach your customers. If you’re not investing to strengthen your customer relationships, then eventually your competitors will steal them. Again, email marketing is one of the best tools available for building a strong relationship to fend off your pesky competitors.
Of course there is one little catch…
You Need a List of Email Addresses
For the remainder of this article, I’m going to assume you already have a list of prospects and customers. If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, then you do have a list.
Your list might be in your head or on paper or buried in an Excel file on an old, dusty desktop. Regardless, I’m sure you have a list and it’s just a matter of tracking it down.
(For more ideas for how you can build and grow your email list, go read the 3 ways to build your list.)
For the remainder of this article, I’m going to focus on the 5 types of email promotions every small business can use.
#1. The Warm Up
The first email campaign is for all the businesses out there that have a list of contacts they haven’t emailed in a long time. For example, if you have a list of prospects and customers, but have never formally sent an email newsletter to stay in touch, then you need to start here.
The Warm Up as you can probably guess is geared toward warming up your “cold” list.
This is essential to do before you try to use one of the campaigns below, unless you’ve continually stayed in touch with your list.
The goal of the Warm Up campaign is to reintroduce your business, provide context as to why you’re reaching out, and explain how you’ll be following up with even more valuable emails in the future.
What should you send in your email?
A good tactic to use when running a Warm Up campaign is to run a survey to gain feedback from your audience. Remember, the goal is to reengage your audience so you’re not going to try to sell anything.
When done right, the Warm Up campaign will get your list ready and looking forward to your next email where you can start to incorporate more sales tactics.
#2. The Tee Up
The goal of a Tee Up campaign is to “tee up” leads for your sales team.
At any given time there are contacts on your email list who are ready to buy and it’s your job as a marketer to make it as easy as possible for them to raise their hand.
The Tee Up campaign doesn’t directly ask for the sale. Instead, the email is positioned to help anyone who is in need for your product or service. The most basic example is to simply email out the question, “Are you still looking for help with
Anyone who replies “Yes” is now a reengaged lead in your sales pipeline.
#3. The Flash Sale
Just about everyone is familiar with the Flash Sale campaign because it’s by far the most popular (and often overused). Any time you get an email touting a limited-time sale, then you’re experiencing a Flash Sale.
The beauty of the Flash Sale is that you can literally generate sales on demand with the click of a button. Simply type up the terms of your sale, select the segment of your list you want to email, click send, and sit back as the orders come in*. :)
*Again, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of your relationship with your contacts and customers. If you do not first build your relationship, then none of these campaigns will work for you.
#4. The Referral
Every contact on your email list needs additional products and services that your business does not provide.
For example, prospects on a real estate agent’s email list likely also need help finding a reputable moving company and an attorney. Although a real estate agent doesn’t provide those services, she can offer those services to her email subscribers by forming a partnership with local businesses.
Once you establish your partnerships, then you can run a referral campaign to generate leads and sales for your partner.
This should be a win-win-win situation because you’re helping your contacts get what they need, your partners get a new marketing channel, and depending on your partnership you could earn commissions or reciprocal promotions where your partners promote your business.
#5. The Launch
The last type of campaign is the new product or service launch.
With this campaign, you’re building up excitement and anticipation for your new product or service to increase sales on the launch date.
Study the marketing campaigns for the big Hollywood movie releases and new iPhone launches to see this in action. Before the launch day, information is sent (in our case via email instead of TV commercials) in waves to build up the value, explain all the benefits, and lay out the details for exactly how and when to buy.
The result is often a “feeding frenzy” the day you open the doors to take orders.
Want More Email Marketing Tips?
You’re invited to register for our in-depth email marketing master class:
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You’ll get step-by-step training, plus hands-on implementation help and expert consulting from our team.