“Beyond the Age of Information is the Age of Choices”
You might find it strange to quote the words of Eames in an article about email marketing. After all, most people only are aware of the world renowned Eames chair. It became an icon of mid century practicality and was produced by Charles Eames. He is also quoted to say: “We wanted to make the best for the most for the least.”
In the new consumer-centric world of commerce, responsive email marketing is an efficient and effective medium for making the shift demanded by customers. It involves listening more than expressing the desires of the seller. To design an effective email campaign, it is important that you implement tools for listening within your online CRM and email platform.
Ways and Means to Connect
A lot of words are tossed around about the customer relationship. In fact, one of our most essential tools for business is our Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). Early in its lifecycle a CRM was simply a repository for information about the prospects and customers. Today, it is so much more.
Let’s define “Ways and Means” in the context of connecting with customers for a relationship. Merriam-Webster uses these words: “the methods and tools used for doing something”. So, if a connection – real relationship connection – with your sales leads and customers is the goal, anything you are doing to reach them are part of your Ways and Means.
Charles Eames would have been a great marketer with the online CRM and email marketing tools we have today. Even in his low tech world of the mid-century he said, “The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.”
Anticipating Customer Needs
Many companies are hung up in the traditional way of bringing in new business. You’ll hear the excuse that they don’t have time to develop an email marketing strategy. They need good sales leads today – not tomorrow. While the situation they describe is real and valid, it is a screaming example of missing the point of relationships.
Buyers want to be in total control of the buying process. Since it is their money that funds your company, it makes sense to pay attention to what they want – rather than focusing on what your company needs today. Failing to make the shift can lead to absolute failure in today’s marketplace.
Simplicity is Divine Art
One reason why email marketing is not embraced by companies is because it is so easy. Filling the needs of sales leads and customers at the elemental level where they spend their time is all it takes.
In other words, when you design an advertisement it is about complex elements like where to advertise, how much to spend on what media and which channel will yield the perfect sales leads.A company may be obsessing over these complex questions, while customers don’t care. They avoid all advertising…in all media.
The most personal “digital real estate” is email. Sure, inboxes are bulging and people want to be freed from the feelings of overwhelm that comes from too much email. Still, they get excited about an email from someone they know and trust. With smart phones, people have trouble going more than five minutes between email check-ins. They love their email…it is that simple.
Question: How do you get on the “know, like and trust” list?
Answer:Simply be valuable.
What would your sales leads and customers benefit from knowing?
If your sales leads knew what you know, how would their purchase decisions be different? Consumers want to be smart, well-informed buyers. They like it so much that they will “share” what they have learned in social media when you furnish critical, useful information.
It’s really that simple. Set up your email marketing to be useful. Make the information so engaging and beneficial that they will share it with others. Set up your online CRM to track what they like. Respond to their engagement by improving what you give them in the next email marketing message.