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As you fight to get your new business afloat, the goal of your e-mail marketing campaign must be to begin community-building. A startup needs to build a loyal customer base, and this post will focus on writing customized e-mails designed to bring people into the fold.
Write About What They Want to Read
A lot of the hand-wringing about e-mail marketing—and premature reports of its imminent demise—stem from the misguided perception that e-mails in your campaign have to be straight marketing in nature. People may assume that if you’re not sending out full-fledged sales pitches, your marketing e-mails will, in the bulk of their substance, at least tout your business and services.
But you may be familiar with content marketing—sending out articles and other relevant information to your audience. This is the way to go at the startup stage, establishing, from the word “go,” that your brand delivers useful information to users.
One technique that has shown quantified results is sending out great information in serial form, breaking it into parts that you send one by one, at intervals of a week or so. This shows that you are willing to spend your marketing time and efforts on items other than aggressive sales pitches. It shows, in short, sacrifice, and the psychological benefits of this on your audience should go without saying.
Remember to Keep It All About Your Audience
The idea is to try to make the reader—each reader—of your e-mails feel like an individual and not have the deflating sensation of reading a faceless bulk correspondence.
There are a few ways to personalize e-mails that go out. One is to have e-mails that are triggered by a certain action on the part of a customer—browsing products on your site, putting something into a cart, etc. Now, this doesn’t mean, necessarily, an admonishment that the customer put something in the cart and left it there, but it can involve a slightly more developed discussion of your products and services, an account of the recipient of the e-mail having shown an interest.
And this e-mail—in addition to all of them—must never be addressed to “Dear Customer” or any other bulk group of people. You may have success with a friendly “Hi.”
We’ve talked, above, about sending information about the subject that applies to your brand rather than that which aggressively touts your brand. But at some point, you will be discussing your products directly. But when you do this, do it through offers, which is a way to keep things all about your audience and make them feel engaged. These can involve special offers available only via the e-mail, sneak peeks, special access, free shipping, etc. This serves the dual purpose of giving incentives that should drive in business and also building engagement and good will.
A brand new report from Monetate shows that e-mail marketing continues to lead to conversions better than social marketing and google searches. It also projects spending on e-mail marketing at $2.5 billion by 2016. E-mail is still in full force, it’s just a matter of how you use it. Personalization can create the kind of audience engagement a startup needs.