More Than Just an Email

email tabletRecently, I received a couple of unrelated emails that contained great content.  One email was from a promotions vendor and they were promoting a sell on a cool promotional item.  The other was an email for a local advertising agency that contained some excellent content.  When I read the emails, I immediately wanted to share the information on Twitter and Pinterest.  The problem was the emails didn’t have a “share” link and I couldn’t find a webpage or blog post dedicated to it.

Positive Take Aways

I know hindsight is 20/20, but here are some points that got me thinking after reading these two emails.

Measuring Success

Measuring TapeOdds are, these two companies are measuring success by open rate.  Though this is a good metric, it shouldn’t be the only one.  Others to consider are:

  • Sales Conversion
  • Building a Prospect List
  • Click-Through Rate

Of course the first metric, sales conversion, is the Holy Grail of measuring success, but the other two are just as important.  One way to help improve sales conversion in the long run is to track the other two metrics.

Building a prospect list allows you to eventually convert a lead into a sale.  The click-through rate shows how engaging your email message is.  Depending on your tactic and overall goal of your email strategy, this can be a source of information with regard to what gets your customers to act.

Most third party email marketing providers (i.e. Constant Contact and Emma) measures your click-through rate and gives advice as to how to effectively build a prospecting list.

Online Content

Have you ever considered blogging your email content?  For many businesses that consistently sendkk newsletters to an audience, this is an easy transition.  Even if your business doesn’t produce a newsletter, consider blogging what you currently send.  Depending on the size and consistency of your email content, this too can be an easy process.  But be careful, no one wants to keep reading about advertisements on a blog.

When creating an email message that will translate to a blog post, keep these three points in mind:

  1. Tell a story, but cut the fluff
  2. If the message is too long in an email, add a “read more…” link
  3. Make sure you focus on your audience and not your ego

Getting a wider reach

A big positive about converting your email content into blog content is the opportunity of gaining a new audience.

Real Life Example: Live on Location

wbir4During the fall of 2014, my company, a local community bank, hosted a fundraiser tied to a high school football game.  The high school football game is played every year and each high school participates in a food drive for a local food bank, the Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County.  To help support the fundraiser, we hosted a tailgate themed event at our bank office.  We emailed our customers to let them know about the event and sent a press release out to local media.  Since written content had already been created, I was able to take the press release/email and convert the text into a blog post.  Once the blog post was created, a few tweets were sent out on twitter about our fundraising event.  Our local NBC affiliate, WBIR, was actually going to broadcast the football game and one of their news anchors, retweeted the message.  Word spread and WBIR broadcasted live on location during their Live at Five at Four program. The event raised roughly the equivalent to 3,760 pounds of food for the Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County.

Share it

So if you have news you are communicating to your current customers, and think others will benefit from it, then share it.  That benefit can open the door to opportunities that were not possible before you started sharing.

Customer Service vs. Customer Respect

Rodney Dangerfields Board GameWhen it comes to serving your customer, do you give them respect?

In sales, the most important aspect is getting the sale, but what happens afterwords is just as important.  Making sure your customer is treated well after the sale can lead to additional sales from the customer and create a strong referral source.

So, what do you do after the sale is done?  Most will answer with,

Give great customer service.

But what is great customer service?  A great answer will, at least, include the following these three items.

  • Customer Acknowledgement
  • Customer Resolution
  • Customer Appreciation

Each item is just as important as the other and together proves to your customer that you respect them.

Customer Acknowledgement

Do you call your customer by name?  Do you know what your customer does for a living?  Customer acknowledgement starts with knowing your customer’s name but goes way beyond that.  In banking, we use the term know your customer.  This means exactly what it says and, when done correctly, has a positive impact on customer service.

  • Compliance: When you know your customer you have done your due diligence by finding out important information.
  • Marketing: When you know your customer you can create target marketing and cross selling opportunities that have a higher Return on Investment value.
  • Service: When you know your customer you can provide extra services like Cash Management, Remote Deposit Capture and Mobile Deposit.  These services have a higher risk than standard bank services, but when you know your customer you can limit the risk factor while providing exceptional customer service.

Even though these examples come from the banking industry, it doesn’t mean they are exclusive to banking.

Customer Resolution

Regardless if you are selling a product or a service, a customer is going to run into an issue or problem.  What you do at that moment can have a lasting impact on future sales and successful referrals.

  • Speed: How quickly do you resolve the issue?  Quickly resolving the issue goes a long way for a customer, but “quickly” can mean different things.  Be sure to define what “quickly” is for your customer and get to it.
  • Accuracy: Does it take only one time to resolve the issue?  Issues that are often repeated can cause a headache for a customer.  Do your best to solve the whole problem the first time, so there won’t be a next time.
  • Empathy: How do you empathize with your customer?  Showing empathy is just as important as speed and accuracy.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand why the problem is such a pain.

These three examples in customer resolution ultimately boil down to communication.

Customer Appreciation

Everyone loves being appreciated.  Here are just a few examples of small tokens of appreciation.

  • Cards: It only takes a few minutes to mail a thank you card, a birthday card, or an anniversary card.
  • Meals: Taking a customer to lunch, hosting a lunch and learn or host a cookout at your office.
  • Gifts: A gift during a special occasion or holiday.

Of course there are other ways to show appreciation.  Just remember to keep your customer in mind by doing something they would see as appreciation.

So, do you give your customers respect, or do you leave them feeling like Rodney Dangerfield?

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