Valentine’s Day: Getting customers to fall in love with you

Rechenda Smith, head of email marketing at Ipswich-based little green plane, marks Valentine’s Day by sharing her top tips on building a successful and long-lasting relationship with customers

Valentine’s Day is here yet again and the shops seem to be bursting at the seams with roses, chocolates and cards. Although this once-a-year event is a chance for us to show our nearest and dearest we care, for a business loving your customers should be a daily occurrence.

However, do your customers love you? You need to make your customers your not-so-secret admirers – and one way of doing this is through effective email marketing. Get this right and your email marketing can help build and nurture a beautiful and long-lasting relationship – get it wrong and your customers will look elsewhere.

: : Ask them out

You wouldn’t go up to any Tom, Dick or Harry in the street and ask them out unannounced, so why do so many businesses think this approach works with their email marketing? All successful relationships are two-way affairs, so ensure your email marketing is permission-based.

: : Build up a rapport

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of light-hearted flirting with your new subscribers in the early days. You don’t want to bombard them with too many offers or mailings too soon as you might scare them away. Take some time to nurture your new subscribers with helpful information they can use – they will start to recognise your name in their inbox and be more likely to open their mail to see what you’ve got to say.

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: : Wine and dine them

When we go on a date we turn up dressed to impress – and the same should be true with your offers. Present your best offers in a presentable, eye-catching and engaging manner. Make sure your email matches the brand guidelines of your organisation with a tailored template. Also impress them with your knowledge, your range of wares and what you can offer them that no other business can. If they think you’re the bees’ knees you’re one step closer to stealing their heart.

: : Declare your love in public…

When we fall in love we want to shout it from the rooftops – but the same should be true of your emails. Rather than keep your love hidden, publish your email newsletters for the world to see. Sharing them on social media websites will not only encourage other people to sign up it can do wonders for your SEO too.

: : But don’t be clingy!

Being too clingy in the early days of your relationship will inevitably lead to being kicked to the kerb. You can reduce the chance of being dumped by sending personalised offers, letting your subscribers choose when they want to hear from you. Being reliable yet respectful of their privacy and personal space will keep you away from their delete button.

: :Be spontaneous

When all’s said and done your customers know that you’re in business to make money, but if you give something to them for free, they will take notice. Think about what special offers you can give to email subscribers only – it will tempt others to sign up too. The best-performing email campaigns are ones that speak directly to your customers’ individual needs and are incentive-based.

: : Remember your anniversary

It goes without saying that you need to remember your anniversary. Sending a simple thank-you to your customers on the one-year or six-month anniversary of their first purchase lets them know they’re treasured. You could even offer them something tailored to their past purchase which would really make them feel special.

: :Always listen

Successful relationships only work if you listen. You could create short, simple surveys and ask your customers what they think of your relationship. Is it working out or does it need a makeover? Do they want more space? Are there things you used to do that they miss? Now is the time to find out the honest truth and work it out.

: : So long…but can we still be friends?

It’s always sad when a relationship comes to an end. If your customer wants to break up and say goodbye, you need to accept it, thank them for the special time you shared together move on. Don’t try and hide the unsubscribe option – be clear and open. On the opt-out page why not give them the opportunity to be your friend on Facebook or follow you on Twitter? If you end the relationship with dignity there may be a second chance down the road.