8 Email Tips for Building Customer Relationships

4 Things to Do – and – 4 Things to Not Do

With the fast pace that has become part of our high-tech world, today’s consumer craves a relationship.  It is possible to develop good customer relationships using high-tech tools like CRM programs and automated email.  It is also possible to alienate customers if it is done incorrectly.  Here are a few things to remember:

Do This with Email Marketing:

1. Use words sparingly.  Avoid any unnecessary fluff and get to the point of your message, beginning with a succinct subject line.  It will do no good to send out automated emails if no one sees a reason to open them because they are boring or too long.

2. Show benefit to the reader.  Once they have opened the email because the subject line was interesting, it becomes really important that you make it worth their effort.  You want to offer valuable information in a well-organized and concise format.  Use bullet points and bold fonts to make it easy to scan quickly.

3. Think like your customer.  Use the data generated with CRM technology to develop the persona of your ideal client.  Speak to that person directly in your email message.  Take what you know about their preferences and target all your automated emails to that perfect customer.

4. Put the recipient’s name in the subject line.  People may logically know that computer software enabled the personalization.  Still, they are much more likely to open a message that appears to be written specifically for them.

Don’t Do This with Emails:

1. Don’t over-promote.  If your customers find that your emails are all about touting the ongoing promise of “Special Offers” they will quickly see nothing special about it.  An occasional promotion that truly gives value to your list of email recipients is great…but go easy on this part of email.

2. Don’t feed them spam.  There are certain words and punctuation methods that can trigger spam filters.  They also will instantly turn the reader off of what you are trying to say.  Be careful if you use any words like “free, order now, urgent” and other excessively aggressive statements.  Using unnatural punctuation (like capitals and exclamation points) can have the same effect.

3. Don’t try to trick them.  A popular method used to bamboozle a recipient is to use “RE” in the subject line to indicate that it is part of an ongoing conversation.  When the reader sees it as a ploy, they will feel mislead and it will backfire.  The recipient may become annoyed or angry and it can lead to a request to be removed from your distribution list.

4. Don’t change the subject.  Writing a catchy and engaging subject line is critical to increase your open rates.  However, clever subject lines that are not in keeping with the email contents degrade the reader’s opinion of the sender.

The goal of using CRM programs to send out automated emails is to seduce the prospects into a relationship with the sender.  It is about building customer relationship, visibility and top-of-mind awareness.  Experts say that email marketing is more like farming and the old sales techniques resembled hunting.  Today, combining the magic of good sales systems and nourishing email messages using tools like CRM, can significantly add to a company’s bottom line.