Email Marketing – Professional Email Newsletters in Knoxville TN | Greenlight Email Marketing http://greenlightup.com Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:54:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.7 MailChimp Marketing Automation http://greenlightup.com/mailchimp-marketing-automation/ http://greenlightup.com/mailchimp-marketing-automation/#respond Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:00:24 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=670 GL mail chimp logoUsers of MailChimp will rejoice because of the new automation features called workflows!

While autoresponders have always been one of the many features MailChimp offers, they’ve taken the feature a few steps further by allowing companies to offer workflows.  These workflows can be powerful marketing tools, and they can greatly increase sales.

Specific Product Purchase

A workflow is like an autoresponder which means it will automatically send a message when certain conditions are met.

For example, the workflow may automatically send an email when a customer buys a specific item.  You could use it to suggest complementary items, or you can send the email several weeks or months after the purchase when the customer might need refills or other consumable supplies.  Since you are targeting only customers who purchased that item, you’re more like to see sales from your email campaign.

Maybe you want to target customers who have bought from a category of items.  You can do that, too.  You can suggest related items or mention special deals on supplies that they may need.

Birthday Emails

Everyone likes to be wished a happy birthday.  MailChimp makes it easy to send an email on a specific day based on the subscriber’s information.  Reward subscribers with a special coupon code for their birthday, wedding anniversary, or even their anniversary of being a valued customer.

Website Activity

Maybe a customer hasn’t committed to purchasing an item, but he visited the web page for more information. Use this workflow to send an email to the customer with more information about the product, which will encourage more purchases.

Segments

You can create segments from your email list.  Sort customers by the site they purchased from, how much they spend, and even what rank they give items they have purchased.

You can use this to showcase new items or even send a coupon code to reward customers who have high order totals.

Send Times

When you send a newsletter to your subscribers is as important as what you send.

Since each company, and even different segment of your newsletter list, will have different times that customers are more responsive to emails, you can select the best day and time for each workflow.  You can even send an email immediately after a subscriber performs an action, such as subscribing or making a purchase. Not sure when the best time is to send an email? Ask the MailChimp Experts at Greenlight.

Educate

If you sell technical items or other items that customers might need some help with after their purchase, you can send out a series of emails after a purchase. This could be a getting started guide or even an online course through email.

Custom

Sometimes, these workflow options aren’t enough.  Maybe you want to pick the best features from each one.  MailChimp lets you do that with the Custom workflow.  This allows you to combine triggers and emails for a truly custom workflow.

These are just a few of the ways that you can use the new workflow feature at MailChimp.  Since you can combine workflows to create a custom workflow, the possibilities are almost limitless.  These are valuable features for a business to have, and when used correctly, they can help generate sales from new and repeat customers.

Need help setting up your workflows?  Contact the MailChimp Experts at Greenlight for assistance.

 

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Constant Contact consulting in Knoxville TN http://greenlightup.com/constant-contact-consulting-knoxville/ http://greenlightup.com/constant-contact-consulting-knoxville/#respond Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:00:38 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=616 Greenlight Is it time...Sorting through the various social media platforms to find which can be the most effective for marketing your business can be a frustrating exercise in trial and error.

After beginning to understand the basics of using applications like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, you play at launching different campaigns, and then sit back and hope they are successful.

Often it’s difficult to gauge the results and any of them can prove to be a vast time sinkhole for business owners and managers.

According to a recent exhaustive study by the world renowned strategic advisory firm, McKinsey & Company, not only is reaching out to customers via email more effective than Facebook or Twitter, but it can be as much as forty times more effective.

Contacting your customers on a regular basis with a company newsletter, catalog or sales piece can produce one of the highest ROI’s (return on investment) for your marketing dollars.

An email list of customers who have opted-in to receive your emails provides the contact info of your most loyal customers; not only can you be assured that they will do repeat business with you, they act as your brand ambassadors, and can often forward or repost your email to their own network, amplifying your marketing effort.

Doing a regular email newsletter or catalog piece can be a grueling task for a business owner; it takes time, an aesthetic eye, and constant management of a valid email list. Emailing advertising comes under fairly strict legal regulations today, and a business can be fined for ignoring the statutes.

The best approach is to have an email marketing partner, one that is hands-on so you can stay hands-off. You want a firm with a staff of professionals skilled in putting together timely, informative, and engaging emails designed to get a response from your contacts. You want a company that utilizes the best mail list management tools like Constant Contact.

To engage with the best Constant Contact consulting in Knoxville, Greenlight Email Marketing can be your off-site, full time email marketing partner.

Studies have shown that email marketing can produce up to $50 in revenue for each campaign dollar expended.

With Greenlight, you will have a team dedicated to designing, and posting your email campaigns, and analyzing those email campaigns for the highest generation of revenue. We are also able to assist you with your list building and purging, assuring that all of the email contacts in your system are current and valid.

Email marketing can be used to sell directly, but also to passively market your business to the community and, on another level, communicate with your employees. Reaching out to these four groups, customers, community, employees, and vendors, can substantially boost your profile against competitors.

Take your marketing to a new level, and hire the professionals. As the old axiom goes, “Do what you do best, and hire the rest.” Constant Contact email campaign consulting is easily managed by the experts at Greenlight Email Marketing in Knoxville. We make email marketing easy for you.

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Constant Contact Email Campaign Creation in Knoxville http://greenlightup.com/constant-contact-campaign-creation-knoxville/ http://greenlightup.com/constant-contact-campaign-creation-knoxville/#respond Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:00:03 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=615 Greenlight Constant COnstact imageWhen trying to establish your business’ foothold with consumers, you may be wondering what type of email campaign is best for your business.

The answer is almost always “Constant Contact”! But what is a Constant Contact email campaign, and why does Greenlight Email Marketing think it is the best solution for you?

A Constant Contact campaign is, like the name states, a marketing campaign that revolves around the practice of constantly contacting the customers on a mailing list.

The usual course of action involves regularly exposing them to the brand name, enticing them with sales and deals, and advertising new products. The ideal end result is a base of loyal customers who have established a solid relationship with the brand.

Here at Greenlight, we specialize in crafting Constant Contact email campaigns, and we take pride in doing it! Our campaigns allow you to access the consumer base you’ve always wanted to reach, with the simple push of a button once or twice a day.

With each email campaign, we start by establishing a mission or goal for each business that comes to us. There are a multitude of questions we ask during the planning of each campaign.

  1. *Who are we wanting to reach?
  2. *What demographics are within the groups we want to reach?
  3. *When are they most likely to read our emails?
  4. *Know your demographic, and know it well.

For example, if you’re offering a service to stay at home moms, you’ll probably choose to send out a major sales newsletter when children would be in school.

Some other questions we ask ourselves are:

  • *What products and services are customers most likely to take advantage of? (For example, we would email your younger customers coupons for products that are more popular with their age group, rather than the age of their parents.)
  • *What type of emails are your customers most responsive to?
  • *Is there a certain color scheme or image that will get your message across more effectively?
  • *What is the optimal way to word your message, so that it reaches as many people as possible and holds their interest?
  • *And most importantly, how do we show the consumer that we are relating to them while strengthening that brand relationship?

Have you thought about your business this way? If you’re not establishing a relationship with your consumers, you’re leaving cash on the table, plain and simple.

Be a business that offers direction to your customers and watch your business thrive!

At Greenlight we make it our priority to put effort and thought into every Constant Contact email campaign. If you have any questions about us, about what we do, or about how we can get started working with you, please call us.

Contact us at Greenlight today. We’d love to work with you.

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We’re Certified MailChimp Experts http://greenlightup.com/certified-mailchimp-experts/ http://greenlightup.com/certified-mailchimp-experts/#respond Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:06:44 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=581 MailChimp Experts Image

We love MailChimp – in fact it’s the email provider we use most with our customers and although we’ve used Hubspot, Infustionsoft and Constant Contact and are confident with any email system – more often than not, MailChimp is the one we often end up recommending when asked. They have the best ease of use, technology integrations and pricing that we like for most people.

We took the next step and became MailChimp Experts (you can view our profile here).  MailChimp reviewed our application, our campaigns, asked us a few questions and confirmed our Expert Status.

Great, wait why should you care?

For us, it means we’re listed in the MailChimp Expert directory and allows us to help more people with their email marketing.

For you, it means that you’re eligible for the MailChimp Expert Exchange – which is a program set up to be a win, win, win for everyone involved.

  • Win for MailChimp = You use it more and love it further
  • Win for you = You save 50% for six months on your MailChimp costs
  • Win for us = We met you, we get to do great work, and MailChimp helps cover our costs by lowering how much you pay them.

If you’re curious about the MailChimp Expert Exchange program, learn more here, or just shoot me an email.

We also took this opportunity to create a page featuring all the ways we can help you with MailChimp (and other email marketing platforms). While our bread and butter continues to be full-service email newsletters, we recognize that there are plent of people who need short-term help in specific areas with MailChimp.  It could be a new email design, or integrating your sales contacts from a CRM to a MailChimp list or just some training or troubleshooting.  If this sounds like you – we’d love to help, view the page with the full list of services or click below for the service you’re interested in.

MailChimp Expert Services

MailChimp Campaign Creation

MailChimp Custom Templates

 MailChimp Help & Troubleshooting

MailChimp Integration

 MailChimp Jumpstart Training

MailChimp Consulting

 

 

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How Gmail Actions Affect You (and your Favorite Marketers) http://greenlightup.com/gmail-actions-affect-readers-and-marketers-2/ http://greenlightup.com/gmail-actions-affect-readers-and-marketers-2/#respond Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:03:06 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=462 Gmail Actions for Marketers

Over the past year Gmail has been making changes that are affecting users and those who market to them. It has caused some consternation among email marketers, who are constantly worried about open rates and changes that may negatively affect them. Here’s a look at the changes Gmail has been making and how they may impact you.

385730-gmail-quick-actions

 

Quick Actions

Quick Actions allow users to manipulate or react to emails without opening them. According to Litmus, the four Quick Actions include:

  • RSVP Actions
  • Review Actions
  • One-Click Actions
  • Go-To Actions

Quick actions actually make it easier for email marketers to get a response from their emails as long as the Call to Action is clear and simple. Litmus also states they are not permitted for large promotional bulk email campaigns.

The Tabbed Inbox

As we’ve written about before, the Tabbed Inbox allows Gmail and the users to pre-sort emails under various tabs. This means that many marketing emails are now being sorted as promotional. Initially, this caused a great deal of concern for marketers who reacted by requesting readers sort their emails as primary. Mailchimp however, found the open rates were largely unaffected. The bottom line is as long as your emails are optimized and relevant to the user the Tabbed Inbox shouldn’t negatively affect you.

Caching of Images

While Gmails caching of images better protects users from viruses and malware, it can make it tougher for marketers to track true open rates. According to MailChimp, the change could prevent them from seeing multiple opens from users but will not stop them from tracking unique opens. It is now more important however, to make sure your emails are “image-off” optimized.

Automatic Image Enablement

Gmail users can now see images automatically. They have previously been blocked by default. According to Google, their caching and transcoding of images prior to delivering them to readers means three things:

  • Senders can’t use image loading to acquire readers IP addresses or locations.
  • Senders are not able to set or read cookies in the reader’s browser.
  • Gmail pre-checks images for viruses and malware.

This is good news for those who spend time creating beautiful emails that may not have been viewed.

Automatic Unsubscribe

Mashable states the Gmail interface now makes it easier for users to unsubscribe from mailing lists with a simple click. This should not be a problem for marketers who have good lists and who send pertinent and valuable information. It does mean that senders will likely see more unsubscribes.

Promotions Tab View

The new Promotions Tab Grid View uses graphics to display promotional emails. Litmus says Gmail is “taking a page out of the Pinterest playbook” with the feature. Gmail however is also including GoogleAds. This means that promotional emails are not only competing with other emails, but with those advertising with Google.

These changes are intended to create a better user experience, and those using email to market their products and services should embrace them.

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5 Methods to Engage Customers through Email Marketing http://greenlightup.com/5-methods-to-engage-customers-through-email-marketing/ http://greenlightup.com/5-methods-to-engage-customers-through-email-marketing/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:08:44 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=569 shareasimageAlthough other forms of marketing may be getting more attention in today’s world, email marketing can still be an effective tool for your brand. To get the most possible benefit out of email marketing, follow the tips below.

1. Offer something of value.

In the past, most brands used email marketing to send out promotions, information about new products and other blatant advertisements. Today, however, these methods are outdated and ineffective. Although an occasional promotion may help to move your products, most of your content should provide readers with engaging, valuable content that will keep them coming back for more.

2. Make emails scannable.

According to Forbes, one of the best tactics you can use to increase consumption of your content is to make the content scannable. Readers are in a hurry, and your email is probably just one of several they will receive in a given day. To grab their attention, make sure that your subject line is engaging, and break large blocks of text into several small sections with bold subheadings.

3. Make opting in and out easy.

Subscribers do not want their inboxes flooded with content they will never read, nor do they want to feel trapped. To prevent these problems, be sure to offer a clear, transparent method for opting in and out of emails from your brand. In addition, it’s also wise to allow subscribers to choose the types of content they would like to receive from your brand.

4. Be consistent.

Whether a user is reading an email, browsing product descriptions or interacting on social media, he or she should be able to recognize the mark of your brand immediately. Make sure that the graphics, fonts, logos and images you use in your emails are consistent with those used throughout your other marketing campaigns. You should also make an effort to send consumers regular messages at predictable times.

5. Establish a purpose.

Every email you send to your subscribers should have a defined purpose. For example, you may want to encourage readers to look at a new product, visit your blog or sign up to attend a marketing event. Each time you send an email, think about what you want the email to accomplish. To evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, measure consumer responses to emails and compare the results to your intended purpose.

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Chicken on Sundays http://greenlightup.com/chicken-sundays/ http://greenlightup.com/chicken-sundays/#respond Mon, 07 Jul 2014 19:35:56 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=474 GL chicken comfort zone“We always have chicken on Sundays.” As a child, this was my grandmother’s reply when I once asked if we could have pizza one Sunday night. And you guessed right…we did indeed have chicken that night for dinner.

I heard a similar response recently when I suggested that a friend give email marketing a try.

“Mmmm, I don’t know. We’ve always done it the old-fashioned way and done just fine.” The old fashioned way, in case you are a digital native, is print. You know…on paper. I wanted to ask him if he always had chicken on Sundays.

So, I said gently to my digital immigrant friend, “You know, technology is not going away.”

I could see the gears turning. After that settled in for a moment, I took a deep breath and stepped in boldly for the big punch. “And, our society is becoming more and more dependent on technology for all kinds of communication, even marketing.”

As the hush fell over the moment, I could see the light bulb come on. “You may have something there,” he said thoughtfully, nodding in agreement.

As a former teacher, I love that “aha” moment.

Recently, I came across a great e-book on the Copyblogger website. It’s called Email Marketing: How to Push Send and Grow Your Business. It’s all about how to use email to our best marketing advantage. I was excited to read it. After all, email marketing is the only thing we do at Greenlight.

So I sat down with my iPad to pore over the e-book and took notes like crazy. They had a lot of good things to say.

But, what I really wanted to know as I read the book was this:

“How do we get someone to read our emails and keep coming back for more?”

What I learned was really very simple:

  1. Draw in your audience with a fabulous subject line.
  2. Speak simply and warmly.
  3. Build your authority and their trust by giving readers something of value every time.
  4. Focus on your readers, not yourself.

Sounds easy, right? Let’s break these down one at a time.

Subject Lines

“Your open rates will improve based on the quality of your subject line.”

I thought about this for a minute and considering my own email opening habits, that seems right on. If I trust the sender, and have had good experiences with their emails, I will open the email because the sender has become like a good friend: trustworthy with relevant, compelling things to share. I look forward to hearing from them because they respect my time, sharing things that are valuable to me.

Make sure they know it’s from you.

I like this. It let’s the reader know right away that the email is from a friend, “a trusted source”, as my new Copyblogger friends put it.

Write an enticing, but brief subject line with a little “tease” thrown in.

Your subject line should be a hook, luring the audience to read your email. Make them want to see what fabulous things you have to share with them! When it comes to subject lines, smaller and more compact is best. If the subject line is too long, readers may not see all of it, especially on mobile devices.

Who’d have thought there was so much to writing a great subject line?

Speak warmly and casually to your audience. 

According to Copyblogger, when President Obama was running for reelection, his copywriters wrote and rewrote, tested and retested his campaign pieces.

What they learned is that readers responded best to a casual, warm tone and simple, succinct emails. Sound easy? I wish I could say it is, but as every writer knows, writing simply and succinctly can be really tough. Edit, re-edit, edit, re-edit, etc.

Establish authority and trust with your reader by giving them something valuable for their time, every time.

Become the “likable expert” from the beginning! Draw in readers with a sense of authority, offering value with each email.

A good idea: Include a valued “recipe” with each email. Some examples? A recipe for a sound friendship, a financial secret, a tip for getting a better job, an actual food recipe (Who doesn’t love to think about food?).

Focus the email on your audience.

I love what the Copyblogger folks say in their e-book:

“We give lots of advice, links (and not just to our own content), and useful information that is focused on helping readers get ahead.”

‘Nuf said.

One last tip: People love to belong to something exclusive and awesome. Give your audience a chance to be part of that something by including a testimonial section. Even if in the beginning your audience is made up of mostly your closest friends, nobody has to know but you.

Looking big and important is half the battle.

Want to read the whole ebook? Check out the Copyblogger website where you can register to read any of their sixteen content marketing ebooks for free.

 

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Why are the numbers different? Email Marketing Open Rates http://greenlightup.com/why-are-the-numbers-different-email-marketing-open-rates/ http://greenlightup.com/why-are-the-numbers-different-email-marketing-open-rates/#respond Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:45:21 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=457 why are the numbers different

Why are the numbers different? This is what a customer asked me last week after getting their monthly reporting email for their monthly newsletter. They were comparing their June reporting email to May and April reporting emails and noticed that the numbers reported for the two previous months were different.

OneMinute Report – Email Performance at at Glance

As part of our full service email marketing, we send your email newsletter at an optimized time and day. Then in the next 48 hours, send you a OneMinute Report – a detailed report and a summary analysis of how the email performed, the email addresses who opened it most and the most popular links that were clicked that gives you all the important information you need about your email campaign, in one minute or less.

Because email newsletter performance is relative, we always compare the current month numbers to the two previous months. For example if the open rate on your email newsletter (or email blast) this month was 42% and your click rate was 6%, those are nice numbers by themselves. But the next question you’d ask as a savvy marketer is “how’d we do last month?” – so we give the trailing two months as a comparison and to show some basic trending. Below is an example sentence from a OneMinute Report:

“This month your open rate was 38% which is up from 34% in May and 30% in April.”

Back to the Question: Why are the numbers different?

But back to the question they asked “why are the numbers different?” In their case for April and May’s reporting we’d told them their open rate for that month was 30% for April and 34% for May and 38% in June.

So they were expecting the following information in their report:

38% in June, 34% for May and 30% in April.

But instead the report showed:

38% in June, 39% for May and 35% in April.

Can you spot the difference? Both May and April’s numbers increased by 5%. They were quite surprised, and wondering why our numbers were off as they compared them between three separate emails, hence their question, “Why are the numbers different?”

The Answer

Here’s why they got different numbers in their reporting emails, when we pull the email performance report we are really looking at the open rate at a snapshot of time when the report is pulled. The first time we pulled the report it was 24+ hours after the send, and we got an open rate for May of 34%.

Then one month later in June when we pulled the report again, it is 5% higher at 35%. So over the last month, 5% more people have opened the email. The numbers aren’t wrong, they just have changed since people on the list are opening the email after our initial reporting. Most of our customers have an open rate that is 1-3% higher a month later.

For the most part we’re concerned with how an email initially does – our experience and anecdotal interviews show that the majority of an opens of an email happen within 24 hours after the send which is why we do the reporting after that point. In actuality, on a list without time zone differences, a very large percentage of the opens happen within the first couple hours of the send time as you can see from the chart below.

 24 hour email performance

Which if you think about your own email reading behavior makes perfect sense. We’re constantly on our phones, tablets or computers checking our email – in a quest for inbox zero or keeping an eye out for the next fire that needs to be put out.

Additionally, many email newsletters may contain information that is time sensitive, talking about an upcoming trade show you are attending, or a lunch and learn your firm is hosting, or perhaps on the retail side a coupon that must be redeemed in a time frame. We write the content with the expectation the email will be read before those things happen.

Getting back to the original question, “Why are the numbers different?” and the answer is because numbers of email opens (and clicks, unsubscribes, etc) are always dynamic – we are just taking a snapshot view. Is it a big deal that they change? Most of the time, no way. As I mentioned earlier, most of our customers see an increase in the open rate of 1-3% a month later. 5-6% of later opens needs to be monitored for additional changes. In the range of 7-10% is an area that needs further exploration to see what we can find out about the segment that is opening later. It’s possible that we may need to adjust the content, sending schedule or variables to better address this segment.

It’s not about the numbers – they are just indicators and we need to use them intelligently to make the most of our email marketing.

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Email Marketing in the Social Media Age: It’s worth it. http://greenlightup.com/email-marketing-social-media-age-worth/ http://greenlightup.com/email-marketing-social-media-age-worth/#respond Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:00:30 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=438 Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.50.19 PMSocial media marketing campaigns have indeed taken off in the past decade, as more and more people become linked into the Twittersphere and the world of Facebook.

This does not mean, however, that email campaigns should be abandoned.

Despite what may seem like an overwhelming presence of social media, email marketing is still the most effective online marketing in existence.

Facebook, the most popular social media site, has approximately 1.3 billion monthly active users. Twitter, by comparison, has approximately 645 million users. Combined, there are just fewer than 2 billion Twitter and Facebook accounts. This is a lot of people, and a huge audience ready for companies to tap into.

Making social media even more impressive, these numbers don’t take into account Instagram accounts, Reddit accounts, Tumbler accounts, or any of the other social media sites. And all of these accounts are accessible by mobile phone as well as desktop computers, making social media use a possibility for most people no matter where they are. Of course, many of these accounts may be held by the same user, but the number of people invested in social media cannot be ignored.

Interestingly this is put into a somewhat different perspective when one considers the 3.3 billion estimated email accounts in use worldwide in 2012. And while, like Facebook and Twitter, there may be multiple accounts commanded by one user, the number of users, estimated at roughly 2 billion, is equal to the number of accounts on Facebook and Twitter combined.

If those numbers aren’t convincing enough, consider this: the number of emails sent every day in 2010 was approximately 294 billion.

This means that for every second of the day, over 2.8 million emails were sent. Now, many of these are considered to be spam emails, but even if 90 percent of those emails are spam, that still leaves 29.4 billion legitimate emails sent every single day.

So, for all of those who believe that social media is the way to go, and email marketing is a thing of the past, it would be prudent to reconsider that position.

Email, in addition to being the most populated form of “social media”, is also the most personal and most used in business. When seeking to send a personal correspondence to a friend or business partner in a short period of time, does the average user choose to send a Facebook message or an email? In almost every case, emails are the preferred method of fast communication.

Despite the impressive rise of social media, the complete dominance of email communication has to be acknowledged.

While using social media as a marketing tool is certainly effective, eschewing email marketing in order to pursue other media marketing plans would be absolutely foolish. Even the most effective social media campaigns have not been able to match the amount of revenue generated from email marketing.

The fact is: email marketing remains 40% more effective than Facebook and Twitter, and companies are wise to use email as a primary marketing tool.

 

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The Importance of Building Relationships: Why Dialogue with Customers Is Important http://greenlightup.com/importance-building-relationships-dialogue-customers-important/ http://greenlightup.com/importance-building-relationships-dialogue-customers-important/#respond Mon, 09 Jun 2014 08:00:46 +0000 http://greenlightup.com/?p=411 GL customer dialogueMost companies are looking only to advertise new and better products when they send out information or emails to their customers.

But, the beauty of email and social media is that it allows for almost instantaneous communication between people all over the world.

For a large company, dialoguing with customers has never been easier, and it’s time to embrace this ability and make the most of it.

Customers like to feel noticed, and big companies are traditionally not well equipped to meet this particular need.

There have always been simply too many customers and not enough staff to listen to and hear every complaint or critique. That is, until the advent of the internet. Email and social media are fantastic tools for large companies to build up the type of customer relationships previously reserved for small, homegrown businesses.

Try one or all of these tips for reaching out and building up your customer relationships.

1. Listen to what they have to say.

Listening to your customers and striking up a dialogue with them is one of the most important factors in showing your clients that they are being heard, and that their advice or criticism is being heeded. This is different from merely giving customers a forum on which they can post their frustrations; it requires making changes to your policies, products, or services.

You will not be able to act on every criticism, and it’s important that customers understand that. You must cater to the majority, while still trying to satisfy the minority as much as possible. If a change cannot be made, make an effort to explain why. People like to have someone listen to them, and in some cases that may be all that is necessary to appease a frustrated customer.

2. Customize email content.

Alter a customer’s email content based on what they are interested in, or what they have purchased previously. A customer’s search history or purchase history can be very helpful in predicting future interests. Customizing your emails to suit those customer’s interests is a great way of keeping customers happy and letting them know you are invested in their satisfaction.

Reach out to customers who have been inactive for long periods of time. Remind customers of discounts, sales, and new products, and direct customers to products that they might like based on their previous purchases. Let customers know that you haven’t forgotten about them, even when they appear to have forgotten about you.

3. Branch out beyond email in your efforts to engage with customers.

One of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent history was Old Spice’s  “Man Your Man Can Smell Like”, featuring an actor who responded to customer’s comments and questions with personalized humorous videos.

Over the course of two days, the Old Spice Marketing team filmed 186 videos of actor Isaiah Mustafa responding to comments pulled from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites. This Old Spice campaign produced 1.4 billion impressions for the brand over 6 months.

Connecting with customers in a humorous and creative way is something that any company can do. The important thing is to engage customers in a dialogue.

 

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