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The Power of Email

(And why you should give your best ideas away)

Why Do Your Customers Buy From You?

“People buy from you for one of 4 reasons…”
This was a powerful lesson that I learnt very early in my business development career.
I worked for a great manager, Colin – one of the best business development leaders I have known. He was always ready to listen; always ready to show you the way forward. He was a man whom you felt comfortable asking advice.
It was Colin who taught me that very useful lesson.

“People buy from you for one of 4 reasons:

  • Because they like you
  • Because they trust you
  • Because they have to
  • Because they see a genuine benefit to themselves”
This lesson has served me well for 25 years – and if you think about that list, the way we interact with our customers can have a huge impact on the first two reasons they buy.
It’s a lesson that still holds true in the Digital Age.

Building Relationship Capital

I am a member of several marketing groups, including Digital Marketer Labs – founded by industry leader Ryan Deiss. DM Labs helps me keep up to date with changing technology and marketing best-practice.
In February, I travelled to San Diego to attend the Traffic & Conversion Summit – Ryan’s flagship digital marketing conference.
In his keynote speech, Ryan talked about the idea of “Relationship Capital”.
Relationship Capital is like an account with your customer in which you have to build credit before you can spend it.

Giving your customer useful, relevant information builds your Relationship Capital; sending sales offers reduces your Capital.

It’s a bit like a loyalty card – you have to earn credits before you can use them!

Don’t Let Your Credit Expire

Now, I have a loyalty card for the Odeon cinema. Every time I book tickets, I get more points. I can use the points for cheaper tickets, or additional items like snacks and drinks.
Last time I went to see a film, I had a surprise - my points had expired! I’d left it too long between visits. I discovered that you have to keep adding points or else the old ones expire.
It’s the same with Relationship Capital.
Unless you stay in regular contact with your customers, your Relationship Capital diminishes. You need to keep adding credit by staying in touch.
And that is where Email Marketing can help

Sending Emails to Build Relationship Capital

Sending regular emails – of a truly interesting and beneficial nature – both maintains and increases your Relationship Capital.

Providing useful information is a great way to increase engagement with both potential and existing customers but must be done correctly.

You may know that I’m a keen sailor and boat owner.
A couple of years ago, I decide to convert all the lights on my boat to LED bulbs.
I found a small company during a visit to the Boat Show whose owner, Paul, was brilliant!
His help in replacing four different types of bulb with the equivalent LED technology led to a lasting friendship, several “offsite meetings” and a keen discussion about Email Marketing.
Paul’s aim was to increase the number of enquirers who went on to purchase LED bulbs for their boat.

Understand their “Why?”

Paul thought one of the main reasons people convert to LED lights is to reduce the power consumption on their boats.
His initial idea was to send marketing emails explaining how little energy was used, comparing traditional bulbs with LED’s. He could follow up with examples of which products were required for different fittings.
“But,” I objected, “that’s jumping straight to selling, without building Relationship Capital first. It will work in some cases, but the results won’t be as spectacular as you hope.”

You needed to understand why boat owners want to reduce power consumption, before you tell them how.

The answer, in many cases, was to allow them to spend more time at anchor, without draining their batteries.
Our plan to address this “Why?” and build Relationship Capital, was to create an email series providing details of little known but scenic anchorages.
Providing useful, interesting ideas built trust and gave us the right to send the product emails to a willing and engaged audience.

Planning Your Email Marketing Campaign

By now, you’ll be thinking about your own email marketing campaign.

To maximise the impact of your Campaign, follow these four simple steps:

  • Build a picture of your intended recipient
  • Understand their “Why?” – the deeper reason to buy from you
  • Build Relationship Capital with Engagement Emails
  • Once you have their trust and interest, explain how your product helps

Above all, with all your Engagement content, address the “Why?” before you start on “How”

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