In my last post, I offered the first three keys to establishing a rapport with your prospects using email marketing strategies. I called it “e-rapport” because it is a different animal than the kind of rapport that traditional sales professionals are trained to develop during face-to-face meetings and networking events. I talked about infusing sincerity into your emails, making your emails look spiffy, and how your emails should ooze an appropriate amount of charisma – all things you would do if you were in front of a potential client.
Today, I continue the tips for nurturing prospect relationships through email-only channels. Here are three more tips to help you nurture your prospects and solicit the kind of relationship that will help you grow your business.
1) Use Active Listening Skills
This might sound counterintuitive for email marketing, but trust me, it’s true. You have a vast array of online marketing tools that you can use to “listen” to your prospects’ needs and desires. Use them. Here are some ways you can listen to your email prospects more effectively:
- Allow your subscribers to select the type of content that interests them when they sign up
- Track their click activity and adjust the content you send them accordingly
- If they stop engaging with your content, ask them what they would prefer to receive from you
- Switch to a personal approach when subscribers begin demonstrating a devout interest in a particular topic or subject area – get your lead team or sales people involved
Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you are finished.” Successful content marketing requires you to continuously listen to your prospects through their behaviors and actions (or lack thereof) and respond by adapting your strategy and messaging accordingly. Listen. Your prospects are trying to tell you what they want.
2) Mirror Your Prospects
Again, this is a technique that at first glance may not seem applicable to email marketing. Yet, mirroring your prospects in your email messaging is essential to establish that bond that lets them know that you understand them. Most people perceive mirroring to be a purely physical phenomenon: copying or emulating someone else’s body language. We regularly see examples of physical mirroring by politicians, couples who have been together for years, and celebrities (or others) seeking acceptance.
With email, you do not have the opportunity for physical mirroring. Instead, employ an equally effective form of mirroring: emotional mirroring. Here are some tips for applying this technique in your email marketing to prospects:
- Use the same kind of language that your prospects use (sentence structure, terminology, pain points, etc)
- Empathize with your prospects’ emotional states
- Give them the content they want (see above)
- Echo your prospects’ feelings
- Match your prospects’ “tempo” by adjusting the frequency and urgency of your messaging
- Repeat their needs back to them and supply solutions
Giving things away with no strings attached can subconsciously solicit feelings of obligation from the recipient. Your prospects have demonstrated an interest in your company by subscribing to your email campaign. Reciprocate by giving away freebies that will help you subtly cultivate a sense of loyalty and commitment. This is an easy strategy to implement and follows all content marketing best practices. Here are some examples that will not only help you evoke faithfulness, but also increase your credibility as a trusted advisor:
- How-to content on topics that your prospects value
- Content that is genuinely helpful
- Meaningful content that offers insight into a particular problem
- Content that is available in several formats (such as a whitepaper, webinar, video, etc)
- Timely content that addresses current and/or time-sensitive matters
- Content that shows commonality between you and your prospects
- Entertaining content that gives them a fresh perspective on a tired subject
- Content that solves your prospects’ problems
Providing content that has no inherent or perceived expectation of a purchase will dramatically enhance the rapport you develop with your prospects through email. As your nurturing campaign progresses, begin to add in client reviews, case studies and testimonials to also augment your trustworthiness.
Better Rapport = Quicker (and Bigger) Sales
Patience is essential when developing rapport and credibility through your email campaigns. It won’t happen overnight, but if you follow the suggestions listed here, it will happen. And more of your prospects will convert into warm leads that your sales team can connect with while you continue to nurture them electronically. Grow your business through rapport-building email marketing.
To learn more about cultivating relationships with prospects via email click here for access to our free whitepaper.