Hello Everyone, Today I am starting a new series of blog posts where I answer questions from my subscribers. Last day I invited our subscribers to post their questions on my facebook page and this post answers a question that came up. So if you are not a subscriber yet, please feel free to subscribe here.
Today’s question is from Johan from Sweden. I appreciate Johan for taking the initiative to post a question. Here is what Johan asked.
My Detailed Answer:
Email marketing is one of the most effective and ever green forms of marketing online. But the problem is that, your audience are not just getting emails from you, they receive emails from their friends, from various social sites, advertisers and from your competition as well. So your emails must stand out from the rest, to make sure that your emails get an unfair advantage over your competition. In today’s blog post I am going to show you how to offer the most value and make your emails stand out from the rest. For those who are new to email marketing, please read my video blog post on list building and email marketing.
What Is A Valuable Email?
To know what a valuable email is, you first need to know why someone subscribes to your business mailing list. Businesses exist because people have various problems that they can’t solve on their own. Businesses offer solution to problems in the form of products, services, information etc. So we as business owners are here to make life easier for our subscribers.
Like I said above, mostly people subscribe to your email list because they are looking for information on how to solve a problem. And how effective you are at communicating with them about your solution decides how valuable your email is.
Offer Value & They Will Stay
Because it’s the web, you might not be the only person offering the solution to the same problem on the internet. So the person subscribed to your list must have reasons to stay in your list rather than jump in to the other persons list and making him profits. You can only do it by adding value to your email.
Further I would like to define what “value” is with the eyes of a marketer. I would like to divide email messages in to three, based on the amount of value each email message holds.
Let’s see the 3 types of email messages and the response a business can expect for each.
3 Types Of Emails Based On Value
1) Valuable Mail – A valuable email message can bring more sales to a business. A valuable email is always opened and always gets read.
2) Less Valuable Mail – An email message of less value mostly gets ignored. Remember those never opened mails in your mail box ?
3) Junk Mails – A junk message ends up where it deserves, in the trash. These types of mails have high probability of getting deleted or reported as spam.
Valuable Emails Are Powerful
Like said above, people love valuable emails. These emails are opened and read as soon as it appears in the mailbox. More than that because they know and trust these emails, they do whatever is suggested in these type of emails. If the mail says to buy, the person reading the mail will buy. If the mail says to do something, the reader will do it.
Value Is Decided By Your Readers
When it comes to email marketing, the value of your email is decided by your readers. An mail you think is valuable, may not be of value to the reader. And the mail you think has less value may get the value treatment you never expected.
So now that you know the 3 different types of emails and what the value of an email is, now let’s see what you can do to make your emails valuable.
How To Make Your Emails Valuable
Like said above the value of your email is decided by your reader. So all your efforts should be to make your emails special to your email subscriber. You can do it by always looking for opportunities to make your subscriber feel special.
Email is nothing but a medium to reach your audience with your textual message. Let’s consider SMS, Facebook & Whatsapp – 3 of the widely used mediums available today to reach your audience with your textual message and lets see which ones are more valuable and why.
Analyzing Top 3 Textual Message Mediums To Find What Makes Value
SMS (Short Messaging Service) – 91% of all smart phone users have their phones within arm’s reach 24/7 according to Morgan Stanley. Messages on mobile phones still get noticed even-though advertisers are aggressively misusing this medium. Not only that, your friends also misuse the sms messaging system by sending you forwarded messages. Personally I don’t love receiving forwarded messages, I feel it’s just misusing the purpose of the system.
We are now trained to discern the valuable messages from the junk by looking at the sender’s name, if it’s from someone who always send forwarded messages we don’t give much importance to messages from them, also if it’s an advertiser mostly nowadays the message will get deleted. So as time goes by people will know how to differentiate a valuable message from junk and they get trained to respond immediately. That’s mostly in form of pressing the delete key.
Whatsapp – The mobile app that Facebook acquired for $19 Billion from the same guy who was rejected a job in Facebook. This platform has beaten mobile short messaging service because of it’s almost free nature and ease of sending files. Whatsapp has grown at a really exponential rate. Because you are getting these messages from your friends and because whatsapp is more preferred than mobile sms, whatsapp holds more value than sms. Eventhough whatsapp is free of advertising, the volume of forwarded messages received on whatsapp is more serious than that of in the sms system, causing a huge drop in perceived value of messages.
Facebook – A message that comes on Facebook gets more attention because you are getting the message directly from your Facebook friend, occasionally you might get some spam messages from someone you don’t know too. But just like discerning junk on SMS you can discern junk on Facebook as well and act accordingly. Either way, Facebook gets more attention and since they are your friends, these messages carry more value. Advertising and forwarding junk has not yet taken over the Facebook messaging system yet. So still very effective and is one of the highly used textual message medium.
Now after analyzing sms, whatsapp and Facebook, we can come to the conclusion that the value of messages comes from the relationship and the trust factor you build up with your audience. This is true with emails as well. To be more precise -
Value of your email is directly proportional to the relationship you build with your subscriber.
The Only 2 Ways To Build Relationship
With Your Email Subscribers
So the value of your email comes from the relationship that you build up with your subscriber. Now how do you build that relationship ? First and foremost, know your audience. Know who they are, what their likes and dislikes are, what they want to hear from you. Once you know that, use that data to build up a good relationship with them.
On a broader sense, when thinking of ways to build relationship with your subscriber and making them feel special, I can only think of two different ways. These 2 ways are infact two different levels of building relationship with your subscriber. They are…
1. Inside Your Email
2. Outside Your Email
Now let’s look at the two different levels on how to build relationship and add value to your emails, one by one. Relationship building is not rocket science. Just stop for a moment and think about how you would want your friends to treat you. Take some time and really think…
Don’t set your expectations too high.
Anyway these expectations apply to your email subscribers as well. So all you need to do to build a good relationship with them is to just act in the same way you want your friend to treat you.
You wouldn’t want to admit someone to be your friend if they only come to you to sell something, if they always tell lies, if their motives are not proper, if they don’t value your time, if they treat you as inferior, if they act in an indifferent manner, if they are too talkative.
Same rules apply when building trust and relationship with your email subscribers as well. So let me try to give you some ideas to build relationship on each of the levels of building relationship.
7 Ways To Build Relationship Inside Your Email
Inside your email is simply referring to the content of your email. Here are some ways to do it on an email level.
1) Be true and loyal to your subscriber. Don’t tell lies just to make a sale. Today’s business world lacks truth and integrity. Show a high level of integrity and sincerity and your subscribers will stick with you no matter what.
2) Be who you are on your emails by displaying your personality in the words you use in your emails. The goal is to connect to them on a personal level.
3) Offer more than what is expected of you. Give your email reader a free trial of your product, offer an extra discount, do a contest, put your subscriber on the hot seat, feature them on your emails, answer their questions.
4) Don’t email them just with the “buy this” tone. They will simply unsubscribe and move on.
5) Value your reader’s time. Someone is taking the time to open your email and read it, don’t take it for granted and use it just as a way to fill your pocket, but go out with a sincere attitude to help.
6) Make sure that your email subject line evokes curiosity to make your readers want to open and read the mail. Subject lines are important, if you can’t even get them to open your email your whole effort is wasted.
7) Make your emails short and sweet. You don’t like someone who keeps on talking, right ? The same is true with your friends, keep your email short and simple.
Now that’s just some tips for building the relationship inside your email. But to build a real relationship with your subscribers, get outside of your email boundaries and connect with them. A true relationship is built when you connect with your subscribers in whatever ways they appreciate. So let me try to give you some tips for building relationship with your subscribers outside email.
7 Steps To Build Relationship With Your Email Subscribers Outside Your Email
1) Make relationship building as one of the main focus of your business.
2) Relationship starts not after they subscribe, but the moment when they read, watch or listen to a piece of content by you. So treat every piece of your content on the web as a medium for building relationship with your audience as your audience are your future subscribers.
3) Be everywhere so that your face or brand will be familiar to your subscriber. This is so that they won’t feel like you are a stranger, when they get an email from you.
4) Connect with your subscribers socially on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest etc.
5) Relationship is all about communication. Interact with them, ask questions, reply to their questions, answer doubts, make them feel special.
6) Create a community around your subscribers. Make use of mediums like your facebook fan page, blog commenting area, forum inside your site, all of these can help.
7) Finally work all of that together to build up a good friendship with your subscriber.
Once you start implementing the above steps to build up relationship with your audience, you will start to see more subscribers and since they know you already, more of them will give high value to your emails by keeping your emails in their special list which they always want to open and read.
Once you build that kind of a relationship with your readers, that’s when they truly start to trust you, buy whatever you recommend, do whatever you tell them to do. And more than that, they will be privileged to receive emails from you.
That’s it. Hope you liked my very first blog post for my subscriber question series. Do you have a question that you want me to answer using an exclusive blog post featuring your name and your question ? Then simply use the comment box below to post your question. It can be anything related to internet marketing or running an online business. There are no stupid questions so be bold to ask. There is more chance that I will answer your question on an upcoming episode in my blog post. On the other hand, if you would like to be more special and would like me to create a video of myself answering your question, simply use the red “Send A Voice Message To Dr.Spencer Jones” button on the right side of the screen. I will be personally replying to your question on a video, featuring your question in your own voice and my answer to your question.
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