Overcome inbox overflow. Develop conversational e-mails that are right on target.
There’s a growing crisis in e-marketing. You’re a victim, so am I, and so is everyone else in the business world. We’re overwhelmed with email.
It happened with voice mail, until email came along and granted a reprieve. It was short-lived. People get increasingly more email. The important messages get lost among the not-so-important ones. Today, if someone wants me to pay attention to an email, she’ll leave a voice mail message to tell me to read my email. How ridiculous is that?
Much of the blame goes to spammers. They’re the ones who, through a deluge of irrelevant email, drove many business correspondents to consider email more of a nuisance than a help. E-mail is becoming less effective. It’s losing much of the impact it once had.
Do Your Bit -- Stop Spam
When it comes to spam, it’s easy to point a finger at some nameless person. Stopping spam is a collective responsibility. Spam is a plague infecting all forms of communication. If we don’t all acknowledge this fact soon, we’ll be the poorer for it. Over time it affects our ability to build a trusting relationship with our customers and prospects.
How do you ensure your communications don’t fall into the "irrelevant" bucket? How do you get through to the inbox, time and again? How do you avoid losing loyal customers?
Engage in a Dialogue
The best way to engage customers and prospects is through newsletters. Newsletters allow you to create conversations with prospects and customers that rise above plain old email. Customers who previously felt inundated will instead feel they’re engaged in a dialogue with you and your company.
To accomplish this, simply match customers’ actions to the content you send. This shows you understand not only their actions but also their motivations for responding or not responding.
If you can conceptualize and implement this ongoing conversation with prospects and customers, you’ll be able to maintain their interest through lengthy sales cycles and sustain customer allegiance and loyalty.
Please remember spam is the enemy. Building better conversations with customers means it’s possible to send less email. Those you do send are better because they contain information that’s more relevant to the recipient. This ultimately means better return on investment (ROI) for you and your company.
Meet Kathy at ClickZ E-Mail Strategies in New York City on May 19 and 20.
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Kathleen Goodwin is the former CEO of IMN (formerly iMakeNews), specializing in customer acquisition and retention through permission-based e-newsletters. For nine years, she was vice president of marketing for Ziff-Davis' publishing division, where she oversaw the marketing of all print publications and their early online siblings. She also serves as an advisor to early-stage companies and has been responsible for several successful new-business launches.
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