When one thinks about email marketing, warm and fuzzy images are not necessarily the first things that come to mind. Yet making personal connections through automated email programs and applications is actually easier than you may imagine. Contrary to some opinions, email marketing is not going away anytime soon. As such, it’s important to use email marketing to fullest extent in order to reap its benefits. Let’s look at four ways to forge personal relationships with customers through email while using automation to simplify the maintenance and delivery of the communication.
Use a CRM to track important dates and triggers, and then build communication pieces that pivot around that information.
A robust CRM will allow you to set automated responses to specific events, conditions, actions, or inquiries. As such, you can create targeted email messages that speak directly to the customer based on an action they took. For example, if a customer had his first engagement with your company on April 1, you can set an anniversary trigger in your CRM to automatically send an email to that customer every year on April 1 with a message that says, “Thank you for being a loyal customer for one year…” While this process is automated, it can very much be a personalized message to the consumer.
Be conversational and talk to your customers with a personal tone.
You don’t have to sound like a robot just because you’re using automated email to communicate with a customer. Use a friendly tone when talking to customers. Use their first name in a salutation (e.g. “Hi John!”). Talk to the individual as if you’re having a conversation. Consider sharing a few personal sentences in the email’s first paragraph before you get to the remainder of your message. Ask your customers questions and encourage them to reply back to the email. And always use a real person’s email instead of a “noreply” address in the “from” field. Readers will respond to your friendly nature; and often times, they won’t even realize the email is automated.
Segment email lists based on relevant information.
There’s no greater turn-off for a customer than receiving an email with irrelevant content. For example, if you live in California, you don’t want to get information about a sales event happening in New York. It’s not personal and gives the customer the impression you’re not paying attention to where he lives or his interests. To avoid this, take time to segment your email data as much as possible. Then create automatic emails and campaigns based on that segmentation. Geography is a big segment, but you should also consider gender, age, parenting status, and more. Remember the more specific you can get, the more personal you can make your email communication.
Design email communication that doesn’t look out-of-the-box.
We’ve all received email newsletters that use the same logo, cookie-cutter templates and text boxes. Rather than constantly sending customers designed emails, go back to basics and integrate some plain-text messages into the mix. Customers are so used to receiving the same template-type email that everyone else receives. Instead, send people a friendly, text-only email that’s one to two paragraphs long. You may be surprised at how many people respond or interact with this message because it feels so much more personal. Email is still one of the best ways to convert prospects to sales. As such, developing an automated email marketing strategy is a must-do for any successful business. You can create personal relationships with customers while keeping marketing automation intact simply by tweaking the way you send emails.