The rules of (customer) courtship

4 minute read

This month has seen Valentine’s day come and go and it seems that we’re now one very loved up company, with no less than 4 members of the team now engaged to be married.

Great Permission Marketing is a courtship between you and your customer and with so much love in the air we thought it a good time to take a more detailed look at the process and explain the art of good customer relationships and the rules of the Permission Marketing game.

rose.jpgRule 1 – Getting their details
The first step in building your relationship is getting the other person’s permission to talk to them. There has to be an initial spark of interest and consent, otherwise, you’re basically stalking and could end up getting a dodgy reputation, or at worst facing legal action.

There are lots of ways to get permission (think online and paper forms, text-in etc.) but remember that it needs to be explicit consent – by all means incentivise the process but don’t try and hide your intentions.

And remember – they’ve asked to hear from you, not your best friend, so keep those details to yourself!

Rule 2 – Getting to know them
Once you’ve got the initial OK to talk to someone then the real courtship begins. Use your communications to delve deeper into their interests. Find out what it is about you that they like most and then make sure those qualities are apparent. Use your email tracking reports to see what they’re responding to and use that to help you craft future email campaigns that will interest them. Make yourself irresistible!

Rule 3 – The first kiss
This is what you’ve been working towards – that first transaction. All of your previous communications should have been building up the trust levels to lead them to this point. Be it a sale, a donation, a referral or a request for a quote, you’ve now taken the relationship to the next level. The work isn’t over yet though!

Rule 4 – Everlasting love
Remember, you’re in this for a long term relationship, not a one night stand. A long term relationship is much more fulfilling and a lot less expensive than going through the whole courtship process again. Make sure you keep them engaged with relevant messages and by paying attention to their needs – keep an eye on those campaign statistics as interests can change. Watch out for danger signs like falling open rates which suggest you need to re-invigorate your relationship.

Rule 5 – Avoiding a messy divorce
Sometimes a breakup is inevitable – people move on – but there’s plenty you can do to make it less likely. Make sure you stay in regular contact (you don’t want to be forgotten) and keep things interesting (don’t keep repeating the same old lines every time!). Don’t give them any nasty surprises and if you want to change the nature of your relationship (content or frequency of mailings for example) make sure to ask permission and give them plenty of warning.

Finally, don’t try and sell your partner to someone else – it’s you they have the relationship with, you can’t sell that on!