Start building relationships with email marketing

For small businesses email marketing should be all about building relationships with clients and prospects. It is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to keeping in touch with them and can give you significant rewards if it is done well. It should enhance your other marketing activities and work with your website. This will be an ongoing series of posts that will take you step by step through the process of building those relationships through email.

Key to email marketing success

The key to success for creating a successful email marketing program to clients and prospects is to make sure that you are adding value. Make the email useful and relevant to your audience and you will keep your open rates high and your recipients happy. It’s really not rocket science, but if you don’t do this, your email marketing campaign is doomed, whether you are selling through your email, relationship building or sharing news.

The First Step to email marketing success

Email marketing can be a little intimidating if it is not something that you’ve done before and undoubtedly you’ll be concerned about spam and how to avoid being labelled a spammer. The easy answer to this is to only send emails to people that have personally given you permission to do so through opting in to your list, and to make sure that you add value with each email that you send.

The first step when thinking about using email marketing is to identify your purpose. Think about what you want to achieve and your long term objective.

What do you want to achieve?

There are many objectives for choosing to communicate with your audience by email. Some of the more common ones are:
1. To build a relationship
2. To develop your brand and brand recognition
3. To create direct sales
4. To share news and major events
5. To educate your audience about your product or industry
6. To keep in touch
7. Add your own reasons here…

Customer First

Each of these objectives can be achieved by doing one thing each and every time you decide to send a an email to your list … Think about your customer first. If you take an audience or customer centric approach you are much more likely to build loyalty and create an ongoing buying relationship than if you take an ‘own business’ approach.

The mistake that I have seen time and time again with email marketing is that the business owner creates ‘this is what I want to tell them’ content rather than ‘what is going to be valuable or useful to my customer’ content. The end result of this is that their open rates decline with each corresponding email as their customers become less and less interested in what they have to say. So if you only take one thing away from this article, remember this, CUSTOMER FIRST. Email marketing can be a great way to build trust and it is very important that your emails are relevant, targeted and valuable.

So, let’s get started

So, to get started, first identify what is going to be useful and valuable to your customer. If you don’t know, then the easiest way to do this is ask them. You can do this a few ways:

1. Create an online survey using Survey Monkey or even the survey element of Constant Contact or IContact

2. Hold a focus group with some of your clients and prospects

3. Go onto some relevent forums and engage with the people that are talking on there

4. Yahoo answers – what questions are people asking and information are they looking for

5. Email or telephone some friendly customers and ask them what they would like to see from you. Sometimes the easiest way is just to ask.


Constant Contact: Free trial and has an email survey tool

Survey Monkey: Free online survey tool

Tips on how to write a market research survey

Example survey questions

Julie Hall

Business Mentor & founder of Women Unlimited

Julie is the founder of Women Unlimited and a business mentor to women who know they are ready to step into their leadership. She works closely with them to help them remove the blocks that hold them back and achieve their business goals. Clarity, Focus, Strategy, Mindset and Marketing.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.