Email Marketing: Where the sidewalk ends the relationship begins

What do the book “Where the sidewalk ends” and the songs; A Boy Named Sue, and The Cover of the Rolling Stone have in common?  They were all written by Shel Silverstein.

In the mid-90s while living in Key West I had the good fortune of meeting Shel through a good friend and got to spend some time with this amazing individual.  My buddy Michael, Shel and myself would meet for breakfast on Saturday when he was in town.  Usually we would discuss music, news on the island and life in general.

While talking to him about my new internet business and sales, Shel gave me some advice I still hold dear to my heart.

He said, “Selling is easy. There are only two reasons people make a purchase. They want something or they need something. Every sale is emotional, whether someone is buying a car, a pair of socks or even a website.  At the moment of the actual sale, the person buying has started a relationship with you and will continue that relationship if you hold-up your end of the relationship.  They also think this is a one-to-one relationship.”

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Mind Your Marketing Manners! Say Thank You!

Marketing manners matter!

Unless you were raised by wolves in the wild, at some point you’ve learned it is polite to say “Thank You”.  Not only is it proper etiquette, it’s just downright considerate and gracious.  Yet for marketers, saying thank you is about much more than just being polite.  If you’re in the business of building lasting, loyal customer relationships (and if you’re not, please question why you’re bothering to be in business at all ) it’s an essential practice that pays both monetary and good will dividends.  Without it, you’re both at greater risk of customer flight and a sitting duck for the competition.

If you don’t already have a “thank you” process in place, it’s easy to begin one.  I suggest matching the format of the initial thank-you message to the channel in which someone first did business with you, then expanding that over time.

For example, did someone purchase from you online? If so, email them a thank you with an offer to re-visit or purchase again, ideally with a coupon or free gift to entice them into action soon. Did they buy in your store or office? Postal mail them a thank-you follow-up.  Did they do business with you at a conference, fair or trade show? Email and mail them an invitation to engage with you at either your physical place of business, your online storefront, or both.  And keep the follow-ups coming.

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