Building Relationships with Your Customers and Prospects
A fundamental principle that profitable companies follow is to maximize their advertising expense. This doesn’t mean that they’re doing their promotion for free. Their focus is to build into their marketing system those ways that customers will naturally be inclined to make purchases.
An easy way to put your company in position to make additional sales without ad spend is to be in routine contact with customers and prospects when they’re not at your location. Historically this has been done with telemarketing and direct mail. Companies would collect the contact information of their buyers and pass it over to either staff or an outsourced sales team to make offers relevant to things that customers had already purchased.
But this kind of advertising has always been cost prohibitive for small companies. It takes significant financial resources to be able to contract consistently with a telemarketing firm.In the same vein, each direct mail promotion has a significant costs.
The benefit of both of these methods is that they are trackable. The business owner would be able to tell very quickly whether or not a buyer came as a result of these two promotional efforts.
However with the advent of the internet and mobile marketing, this kind of contact can be established for little to no cost. Companies can very easily open an account with an e-mail database company (like Aweber, GetResponse and Mailchimp) that will allow it to communicate with its customers and/or clients by e-mail. Companies can then take every opportunity to collect e-mail information from potential prospects that visit their website and use.
The key to this process is giving the prospect a reason to give you their e-mail address. You can do this most effectively by knowing the problems that prospects are trying to solve or the goals that they’re trying to reach. By creating either free information to be given away in order to move them to their desired result, you will have given them an incentive to trade their e-mail address for what you’re offering.
Once the prospect is in position to begin receiving e-mail from your company, you’ll want to determine how to provide value to them in their mailing. Unfortunately, one of the downsides to using e-mail in order to market your business is that customers find it easy to ignore. In fact, the average open rate for e-mail worldwide is about 19.7%. That means that on average, most of your e-mail won’t be read by your prospects and customers.
Therefore, you will want to be able to establish a relationship with them that is to their benefit and createa desire in them to anticipate and open your emails.
If everything that you send to them is selling them something then you may run the risk of having them leave your e-mail list to find one they feel is more beneficial to them. The relationship that takes place through this contact medium of e-mail can be maximized by companies when their orientation is toward the customer.