After doing a good job building an email database, you’ve got a decent list of prospects and clients to contact. You know what you want to say and you believe you can remain relevant and interesting. You’ve got ideas for list segmentation and data tracking is in place. You think you’re fully setup for email marketing success, but are you missing something?
Chances are, you haven’t fully devised a plan for maximizing your email marketing strategy by nurturing your database. Rather than just sending information to a list of contacts who have varying degrees of interest in your products or services, you need to look at email marketing as a form of relationship management. The goal of your campaigns is to develop relationships with the people in your database and, over an unspecified period of time, connect and nurture them to a point of sale.
Instead of thinking about your email database as a certain number of people, try assigning the value of a modest sale to each customer ($50). All of the sudden, a list of 10, 000 contacts is worth a sum of $500,000 to your company!
So, here are some tips and tricks for effectively uncovering business opportunities by nurturing your email database:
Believe the Potential
Never underestimate the number of potential sales you could make from just nurturing a database of existing contacts. No matter how far off you think a potential client is from making a purchase, you need to start seeing the dollar value and potential revenue of every person in your database. While it might be frustrating to see the big picture value of contacts who need a lot of nurturing, the simple fact is that the stronger your relationship with the people in your database, the more valuable they become to your business.
Create Nurturing Content
In order to constantly nurture your database, you’re going to need a library of content from which you can pull monthly or even weekly. Since you’ll be reaching out via email, you can often use material you have already created for other campaigns, such as blogs and whitepapers. Here are some ideas for the types of content you can put towards nurturing your contacts with constant connection:
- Customers testimonials, case studies and success stories
- Videos and podcasts that highlight your products and services
- Social media connection callouts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, etc)
- Product offers
- News and updates about your company and brand
More Media = More Conversions
Including videos, webinars and podcasts in your communications will increase your conversion rates. Seeing and hearing from a brand and its representatives first hand often enhances the trust level of a potential customer and definitely increases the likelihood that they’ll purchase your products or services.
Determine Optimal Timing
There are a couple aspects of timing that are extremely important to the successful nurturing of your database: how often you send emails and the time that you send them. In terms of how often you should touch base with your subscribers, well, it isn’t an exact science, but more than once a week is overkill and less than once a month and they’ll forget about you. The sweet spot is somewhere in between. You could also just ask your customers when they first subscribe (this would also give you another way to segment your lists!).
As far as time of day goes, it varies according to type of promotion. In general, it’s a good idea to collect your own data and analyze your growing relationships with your database to determine the most effective time to communicate with them.
Your email marketing database isn’t just a list, it’s a group of people who are very valuable to your business. The best way to tap into their value is to treat them well, get to know them, and be willing to lead them all the way down the path to a sale.