Earlier this year, I shared with you my take on the poignant advice from Daniel Goleman on human relationships and how marketers treat their prospects and customers. If you haven’t read my previous blog post, you should, as this is a follow-up to that post.
Here are two examples for how marketers can strengthen their relationships with prospects and customers through email.
1. Gather Qualitative Data
When you get to know a person better, the relationship builds. If you want to market to people and treat them as a “you” rather than just a contact record, then you must have a system to capture the interactions of the relationship. In short, you need data.
Which data is important? Every marketer will have a different answer, but for starters, you need to know the products people purchase; the emails they read; the links they click on; the webinars they registered for and actually; the brochures, reports or whitepapers they download; and the promotions they responded to (and didn’t responded to). But even having all this information captured in a CRM system loosely connected with an email marketing or autoresopnder tool and a shopping cart won’t ever be enough. Though essential, these pieces are missing a key ingredient to successful, personalized marketing: marketing automation.
2. Take “You” to the Next Level: Automation
One way to stay in the “you” model of personalized marketing is to hire hundreds of passionate customer service folks to answer and proactively send personalized communications to each and every prospect and customer. This is unrealistic and practically impossible for today’s small business owners.
The other way is much more practical and realistic—design a marketing automation campaign around the needs, interests and actions of a given prospect or customer. It can be daunting at first, but our Perfect Customer Lifecycle frames it perfectly for business owners.
I’ll illustrate two examples on this.
A prospect purchases your product and is automatically removed from the prospects group and added to the customers group in your database. At the same time, the prospect-oriented autoresponder campaign is stopped, they are automatically emailed a personalized “thank-you” message, and they are added to the new welcome campaign that has four subsequent campaign steps (two emails, a text message and a direct mail piece) timed to go out over the next five weeks.
The emails, text and letter are all addressed to the customer by name and target relevant products or services that appeal to people who purchased product “X.” If the new customer doesn’t take any further action at the end of the new customer welcome campaign, they are added to the 52 week, long-term customer nurture campaign. This is social marketing to “you.”
Let’s take it a step further. Say you want to run a targeted promotion, so in your CRM you begin filtering your customers to include all those who purchased product “X”, but not product “Y.” You further segment the list for US-based customers that bought product “X” within a certain date range who also registered for, but didn’t attend, the webinar for product “Y.” You send the resulting set of customers a targeted, personalized and relevant email offer for product “Y” assuming they are familiar with product “X.” Again, this is social marketing to “you.”
These are just a couple examples, but the use-cases are infinite. I love seeing all the ingenious ways Infusionsoft customers automate their marketing, sales and other business operations with our software. If you don’t have an intelligent rules-based marketing automation engine linking your CRM, email marketing and e-commerce tools together, then it is likely that you are marketing to “it”, and your prospects and customers feel it.
Next time you send a marketing message, ask yourself if you’re treating the recipient as a “you” or an “it.” Are your marketing messages building strong relationships for your business, or are you just pestering people and training them to ignore you? Are you a successful business that is ready to graduate from starter email marketing, simple autoresponders or disconnected shopping carts? If you are, Infusionsoft welcomes “You.” ;-)
Image credit: derekskey