Wrong… email can be developed into a great lead and sales driver, but first and foremost, email out as a relationship building tool. Just because you have someone’s email address does not mean they are going to give you the privilege of communicating with them in their inbox. You have to earn that right developing trust and a relationship with them over time.
The “first contact” is so critical, as it’s your first impression to make on them, introducing yourself, your product/service, ultimately asking them for permission to start developing a relationship via email. One of the best ways to develop a relationship is to give the email recipient something of value, such as advice or a tip; something the customer and/or prospect can utilize. Connecting with the customer and/or prospect in this manner will allow you to build trust and develop a relationship with them. By following this method your customer and/or prospect will look forward to your emails.
We have seen great success with various clients by developing a program which provides a recipient with a monthly tip as a relationship building tool. For example, one of our client’s target audiences is local business owners, so we developed the Monthly Business Success Strategy, which provides these business owners with a tip or best practice to help them. As the relationship develops, we can see an increasing number of each emails’ readers, which positively effects the click through rates allowing us to directly target the interested people with very specific and targeted “Drill Down” email campaigns.
In your “first contact,” make sure you do not overwhelm recipients with over the top and loud sales offers. You do want to have sales offers, but you don’t want to be offensive.
Prospecting email, if done properly works great, if done improperly, can be considered spam. Email is a relationship building tool, if you approach it that way, you can develop a prospect into a customer. Remember, developing a relationship online is no different than doing it offline. One of the most important aspects is trust. You have to “say what you do and do what you say.”
In closing, the process is simple; you need to date before you get married. If you rush the relationship, it can crash and burn. Start slow, build trust and develop a relationship.