How to personalise your email communications to build trust and improve results

5 minute read

This is the second post in a guest series from marketing expert Richard Lomax, Managing Director of Common-Sense Marketing

“Sales and marketing is a numbers game”.

That’s a fair comment providing you already have a system in place that profitably generates enquiries and converts then into loyal customers. When that happens, then yes, the bigger your prospect list, the more money you will make.

It’s great news for email marketers and list owners who have thousands, tens-of-thousands, and even hundreds-of-thousands of subscribers.

But what if you are just getting started and don’t have a big list? Can you still generate profits with a small email marketing database?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes.

The reason why is that there is another key factor that determines how much sales revenue you can generate with your email marketing, other than the size of your list. And that is the responsiveness of the list. Usually, in Internet marketing, responsiveness refers to how many people are opening your e-mails, clicking on your links, and taking action on what you want them to do (subscribing to your newsletter, for example, or making a purchase). The more people who do these things, the more “responsive” your list is.

Many factors affect the results you get from your email campaigns – but one of the best ways to increase your responses is by developing a personal relationship with your subscribers.

The easier you make it for them to know, like, and trust you, the more likely they will be to open your e-mails, click on your links, and eventually purchase the products you are selling or recommending.

So, in today’s digital world, how, exactly, do you develop a relationship with the people on your list?

Here are three specific things you can start doing right away to help create a bond with the users on the other end of your e-mails (and web pages) and naturally increase the responsiveness (and profitability) of your list.

• First, get personal.

Whenever you are writing copy for your e-mail, write it as if you were having a conversation with your reader, face to face, one-to-one. And look for ways to incorporate your personal story and your own personality into the copy. For example, you could share the reasons why you started your business, or developed a specific product or service. Or you could provide your take on a popular news story or current business issue.

I make my websites and e-letters personal by keeping my readers updated on where I am and what I’m doing. Recently I shared information about my summer holiday, but I made sure it related to a specific business issue (the importance of getting away from your business to think and strategise and plan for the future).

A good format is to start your e-mails with a quick personal update, (e.g. this week/month I’ve been ….) then go into your content or sales message.

• Second, put a face to the name.

Be sure to have at least one photo of yourself on your emails and website. Your readers want to know that there is a real person at the other end.

• Third, use video.

Having a video screen image or icon on your emails that links to your website is one of the best ways to connect with visitors (other than meeting them in person and shaking their hands). Soon enough, online video will be the rule, not the exception – because it’s not as expensive or as difficult as it used to be.

One tool to try is a Flip – an inexpensive camera you can use to record video and upload it to your website with the click of a button.

All three of these simple strategies can help you and your email marketing stand out in a cold and crowded digital world. By taking advantage of them, you’ll quickly discover that (providing it is permission-based) the bigger your database, the more enquiries and sales you’ll generate, the real secret to making more money lies in your relationship with the people on that list.

Richard Lomax is Managing Director of Common-Sense Marketing

Read Richard’s blog