I was at a concert last weekend, shaking my booty and singing badly. I try to make up for talent with enthusiasm.
Several sponsors were there doing their best to promote their brands and gather email addresses. The Finlandia Vodka girls were working the crowd passing out cards to fill out with your information. In return for your email address, zip code and age, you were rewarded with.....a straw. I passed.
Lots of other groups came around with various giveaways. All were trying to collect email addresses. The only one who got my info was, actually, the Finlandia girls on round two when they had really cool beach towels. And then, they got a fake age and my throw-away aol address.
You want my real email address? One I actually check? You have to build a relationship with me first. My email is sacred space. I actively comb it for unwanted messages and report spam diligently.
If we've actually started a relationship, and I agree to let you send me email, you have to respect that relationship. Too many companies take advantage of my permission. They bombard me with emails day after day after day. I feel smothered. I feel taken advantage of. Especially since the vast majority of these emails are pushing me to take an action I don't want to take. What part of "no" do you not understand?
Are you stalking your customers?
No one likes their personal space invaded, but I would argue that women are especially sensitive to it.
Vehicles like email and live chat are very powerful and can help build relationships and increase conversion. But they can also destroy relationships. And just like a bad boyfriend, she is likely to warn her friends about her bad experience.
So what can you do to make sure you are not stalking your customers?
- Give her the option of how often she wants to hear from you (every day, once a week, once every two weeks, once a month, etc.)
- Send her relevant information on topics she is interested in. Don't just constantly ask her to buy products.
- Keep it short (especially with newsletters) She doesn't have time to read a lot of material, keep it short and keep it relevant.
- Stay away from "sales-y" language. You are building a relationship. Use a more conversational tone.
For some great ideas, specifically on newsletters, read Karen Gedney's article on "in box feng shui."
Email is just one area you need to be very respectful of. Watch out for other ways you are pissing your customers off.