Why is it important to build relationships through email marketing? Email is a critical form of communication because it’s the lowest common denominator. According to some statistics, the number of email users is 4 billion globally is as the same number as all the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest users combined. The first check of the day for people in business is their email inbox by 58%, whilst internet search engine is by 20%, social media by 14%.
Pretty much everyone is on email. Email communication is a wonderful way to directly communicate with your audience and to build relationships in a more personal approach.
It All Starts with Building Relationships Over Email
There are some really important things you want to think about when building and developing relationships through email marketing or email communication. The most important thing is to keep your expectations realistic and recognize that building these relationships takes time.
A lot of people starting out in digital marketing think that relationships happen immediately—that they develop over the course of a sales page and a single email or email sequence.
While you might be able to get buyers and people who are excited about what you’re creating, developed and nurtured relationships build over time. The best relationships are going to come from your audience who listen to you on a regular basis.
They’ll start to value what you continually provide, and they’ll keep looking to you for ongoing information. This is why we recommend providing value to your audience over and over and over, in a steady stream.
Get them Excited
If you think about those people whose emails you regularly open, whether it’s a guru or a thought leader or a service provider, those are people who are providing you information that you’re actually excited to open.
You’ve been reading their emails and paying attention to them for a long period of time. That’s the type of relationship that you want to develop with your customers.
One of the things this will eventually provide is a really hungry, attentive, interested email list. On the other hand, if you’re not providing a lot of value and you’re just creating a short flash-in-the-pan type of relationship, you’re less likely to get high open rates.
Common Pitfalls of Building Relationships Through Email Marketing
The three main pitfalls of email marketing are:
1) Too much selling.
2) Too little to no value. Or even spam: irrelevant/unsolicited information. (AVOID)
3) Information overload and lack of story.
Too Much Selling
Nothing is going to scare your audience off more than if the place is to only sell products or get affiliate offers, and it’s always sell, sell, sell, sell. The free line has moved. We need to provide more content.
One of my favorite thought leaders and content providers these days is Marie Forleo. And one of the amazing things about Marie is that she sells one product once a year. Every so often she’ll recommend some other things, but it’s very rare when she does.
For about 40 weeks of the year she simply provides great content and great information to her audience over her email list, her weekly blog, and through her vlog “Marie TV.” She’s got a huge audience that’s ravenous for more of her information. So she really takes her selling to a new level.
As a general rule for content success, you want to provide value, value, value, offer. So give at least three pieces of value for every offer. Some people even recommend it should be eight to one.
Too Little Value, or Irrelevant Information; SPAM
A lot of times, people who start an email list aren’t really clear who their audience is, what their audience is about, and what their audience wants. That’s an easy way to turn off your readers.
You want to provide relevant information that your readers are excited about and interested in. They’re taking the time to read your emails, so provide great value and give them relevant information.
Say you’re a business coach who specializes in rapid growth and scaling. You don’t want to provide your email list with dating and romance information—at least not on a regular basis. Every so often you can throw in the odd article that isn’t completely in your niche, but it still needs to be something that’s relevant.
I’ll sometimes throw in a productivity article or an article about confidence, with regard to content marketing and building your audience. While it’s slightly off topic, it remains relevant to my audience.
Information Overload and Lack of Story
I am a person who is really interested in raw information and the details on how to get things done. I’m a bit of an information junkie. I love continuously learning how to do things, and my tendency when teaching is to often regurgitate this information.
That straightforward approach can be valuable to a portion of audiences, but truthfully, human beings learn through storytelling.
If you’re not telling stories and all you’re doing is providing information, there’s a huge portion of your audience that you’re turning off. So tell them stories. Integrate your information with anecdotes of success, failure, and trial as it pertains to your niche. People will remember those stories.
Listen to Your Audience
Listen to the way your audience responds to what you’re putting out there. So often I work with gurus and thought leaders who only communicate with their audience in a one-way flow.
Ideally, you want to shift this experience so that email becomes a two-way flow. A Ping Pong type of conversation. People will respond. They’ll talk to you. They’ll tell you what they’re interested in and what they’re not interested in.
Pay attention to what your audience is saying via email and on social media. Listen to the responses, pay attention to those responses, and shift your content accordingly. If you only have a one-way stream of conversation, it’s not a relationship.
You can reply individually, via email, or social media. But dialoguing in a blog post as a response to some of the feedback can also make your audience feel really valued and listened to.
A close friend of mine told me that she likes to think about her email list as her close friends. I thought this was brilliant. She wants to communicate with them on a regular basis. She wants to dialogue with them. She wants to share with them. She wants to provide them with what she can do great for them (value).
Thinking about them not only as customers or clients but instead as close friends, and building real relationships through email marketing. It’s a better and longer lasting way to build relationships through email marketing because it will help shape your email marketing success in the long term view.