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How To Build Strong Business Relationships Through Email Marketing
Lots of people claim you can’t build strong relationships online.
Some of the very best business relationships I have started off and progressed significantly before we ever spoke or met face to face.
Now, of course, relationship building online isn’t easy, especially if you’re trying to do it through a “mass” medium like email marketing. But it can be done. Here are some strategies for building strong relationships online that you can put into place immediately.
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Hi it’s Ian here. Welcome to another 5 minute marketing tip. I often hear people saying that you can’t build business relationships online. Or, what they actually say is you can’t build real relationships online. Absolute tosh. Some of the best and strongest business relationships I have started and progressed significantly online long before we ever spoke on the phone or met face to face. Having said that, it’s not easy and relationship building online is a bit different to relationship building face to face. In particular, when you are trying to build relationships through something like email marketing. In today’s video, I’m going to show you how to accelerate relationship building through email marketing. See you after the swoosh.
Hi, welcome back. When it comes to business relationships, there are really 2 sides or 2 angles on strong business relationships. One angle is credibility, so before anyone’s going to do business with you or buy from you, they have to know that you know your stuff, particularly if you’re in a service type business where the delivery of the service or the product, if it’s an information product depends on your expertise or your knowledge. They have to know that you have the right capabilities, the right credibility, the right skills, the right competency and expertise.
Now, that’s actually relatively easy to do online. If you’re sending someone an email once a week, 2 or 3 times a week, with useful valuable information in it, then that’s going to build your credibility fairly quickly. In fact, for me it’s often easier to build credibility like that online than it is offline where often you have more limited spaces of time. Meet someone for a little bit of chit chat before a networking meeting once a month. Very difficult to get across your credibility there, much easier through regular email marketing.
The other side to any business relationship is the more personal side. Before someone’s going to hire you as a coach, they’re going to need to know that they’ll get on with you personally. You’re the sort of person they’ll feel comfortable sharing their challenges, their problems, their inner thoughts with. Before they hire you as a consultant, they have to know that you’ll be able to work with them and their team effectively in partnership. Before they’ll hire you as a trainer, they have to know that you’ll be able to feel confident, that you’ll be able to stand up in front of a room of them and their team, and deliver that training course and it’ll work. You’ll click.
In fact, any service or personal relationship in this business obviously needs a personal relationship. That is harder to build online. When you’re face to face, you obviously get a chance to interact. They can look in the whites of your eyes. There are all those subtle kind of clues going on that makes it easier to build relationships face to face. However you can do it through email marketing and other online techniques. Here are some tips for how to do it.
The first is the style of your emails. This is where a lot of people go wrong. When normal people in business get emails from their friends and their colleagues and the people that they know well, those emails tend to be written in a fairly casual style. As if you were writing friend to friend. The emails that you get in business that are more formal tend to be from people they don’t know so well. It might be the bank. It might be someone trying to sue them, or whatever it might be, but formal emails equals people I don’t know well. Informal casual emails equals people I know well.
If you’re doing email marketing and you’re writing in a stiff formal style, it’s automatically positioning you as someone they don’t know well. Someone they don’t have a personal relationship with. On the other hand, if you’re writing in a more casual informal style, as if you were chatting to them over a coffee or a beer, then it psychologically just positions you as someone they know well, because those are the styles of emails they get from people they know well.
The 2nd thing you can do to build a relationship faster through email is use different medium. Yes, send emails with text, but also include an occasional picture with you in it, or you doing something in it. Maybe even smiling or doing something silly. Link to a video or an audio of you online. One of the reasons I do these 5 minute marketing tips is when you get to see me on video, it helps to build a stronger personal relationships, makes people more likely to hire me. Break the format every now and then, and use video or audio. By changing that medium, you’ve got multiple modalities coming at people in terms of communication and it helps them feel as if they know you better.
3rd, is in the content that you use. Don’t make all your content in all your emails where you’re sending useful information all dry and factual and statistical try and use stories, ideally stories about you or maybe when you’re working with clients. Ideally, be brave enough to have some self disclosure, and share some stories of things that didn’t go brilliantly. Share some of your failures and what you learned from them. Those help to build a closer personal relationship when you open up and admit things like that because the people who open up and admit things are friends. They’re our colleagues. They’re the people who we know these sorts of things about. We tend to feel closer to people if we feel they’re being open and honest with us. If you’re open and honest and you share some of those stories and those examples in your emails, people will feel they know you more.
Final one, interaction. Now this is a huge advantage we in smaller business have, especially when we are trying to win larger value clients. If you’re Amazon for example the last thing you want when you’re sending out emails to people is for people to reply and expect a personal response. For a $5 eBook on Kindle, it’s just not worth the time of someone to type a response to them personally.
But if you’re selling $2000 worth of coaching, $20,000 of consulting or whatever, it absolutely is worth your while to reply to people personally, because those personal replies where they reply back to you and then you get discussing lead to stronger relationship building. Deliberately try and provoke personal responses. That can be as simple as when people sign up for your emails just saying “Hey, did you get the report?” if they reply and say yes, then you start a conversation. Thanks very much. Try and look at this, etc. it can be asking them a question. What’s your biggest challenge with x right now? Or just asking for their feedback. You write a story or an article in your email, and say what do you think? What have your experiences been in this area?
Now, it’ll only be a small percentage of people who actually respond to you, but when you get the discussion going, that leads to a much stronger relationship. Of course then you can being to see maybe this is going quite well. Do you fancy getting on a phone call and chatting about it? Talk over what your needs are in this area. Etc. try and do what I call breaking the automation, or breaking the sequence. Use your automated emails to trigger more personal, tailored interactions by asking questions and provoking people to respond. That’s it for this week, see you next.