Mark Twain once quipped that, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said for email as a marketing tool. Complaints of spam and over-full inboxes still abound. And it’s true that recipients of unwanted email find it very easy to hit the delete button without a second thought. Despite those things, however, email can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. Of course, it has to be used correctly. And here is one of the cardinal rules of effective email marketing:
Email is not for everyone.
Sounds simple, right? But what does that really mean? Email is a terrible tool for prospecting. Nobody wants to get an email message from someone they don’t know. It’s not just the fear of computer viruses that makes unsolicited email a pain. People simply don’t want to deal with random emails that contain absolutely nothing of value for them. It’s a waste of their time—and an invasion of their privacy.
That, however, doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t use email to stay in touch with potential customers—potential customers who have indicated that they’re really interested in what a business or organization has to offer.
Here’s an example. If a prospect has requested or downloaded a free special report from your website (in exchange for giving you their email address), they have identified themselves as someone with more than a passing interest in what you have to offer.
If they download more than one, they’re (digitally) waving their hand at you and inviting you to interact with them. That’s when a personal email to them is not only appropriate, but most likely welcome. It could be as simple as: “We’ve noticed that you’ve downloaded two special reports about how to use widgets to improve customer satisfaction. Would you like to talk to someone about how our widgets can be adapted for your specific situation?”
This is where lead nurturing comes in. Nurturing the leads you have is critical for moving potential customers along in your sales pipeline—and email is a great way to do it. Here are some great tips on how to create a lead nurturing email strategy for potential customers who have responded to you.
Part of being appropriate, however, is responding immediately to a request to stop sending emails. Anyone you contact needs to be able to unsubscribe at any time, and have his or her request honored right away.
Email is not for everyone. But it can be a powerful way to reach out to people with whom you have established a relationship—and move that relationship forward.