Build relationships through emails

1. Use double opt ins to get people you want on your list.

People who work a little bit harder to join your list are dedicated and interested enough to complete the subscription process. This in turn leads to higher open rates, click-throughs, better deliverability, and fewer spam complaints. Use an attractive lead magnet to encourage users to complete the double opt-in process.

2. Establish common interests and shared values with your subscribers before moving on to interactions.

Talking to people you have nothing in common with does not make you closer and just annoys them.

3. Email only when you've got interesting stuff to say and don't send for the sake of sending.

Don’t waste your users’ attention on a message that doesn’t add value.

4. Set up 2 email lists and A/B test them to determine the best email frequency and ensure you're not emailing too often.

A/B test your email subscription forms, so that 50% of the subscribers are added to list A and the other half to list B. The forms can be identical. Send different amounts of emails to each of those lists. For example, email list A once a month and list B four times a month. Wait at least 3 months to check the stats and compare average open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and sales figures (if you can).

5. Segment your list and send tailored emails to each segment instead of using subscriber names in your greetings.

A study drawn from a sample of 10 million marketing emails sent to 600,000 customers showed that 95% of customers respond negatively when an email starts off with a greeting that includes their name. Don’t try to fake being personal when you’re not and don’t assume using your subscribers’ names is personal.

6. Test your own email schedules and ignore The Rule of Seven.

The Rule of Seven essentially states that prospects need to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you. There’s no research to back this up; it’s nothing more than an observation late internet marketer Corey Rudl made about his own business and promoted in the pre-2005 era.

7. Continue talking to your subscribers after they sign up or buy to build stronger relationships.

For example, Olark sends this email once you sign up: Hi – I saw you just signed up for, let me know if there is anything I can do to help. You need them to actually use your products and services, and benefit from them. Educate them about your product and give them the know-how to get the most out of it.

8. Add value to you your email by teaching and educating or entertaining and informing your subscribers.

There’s no magic sauce to relationship building. Just like in real life, relationships get build over time by adding value to each other. Be insanely useful, cool, or entertaining in your emails and you’ll do all right. Before sending out a promo email, ask yourself, Would I want to buy this?