How to Build Relationships with Your Email Subscribers

Countless entrepreneurs and ecommerce experts attest on a daily basis to the effectiveness of mailing lists in boosting ecommerce sales and conversions. But successful ecommerce marketing doesn’t end with just a compilation of emails. The key to reaping continual and long-term rewards for your online store is to build an ongoing relationship with your email subscribers.

If you’re new to ecommerce and crafting newsletters, and a bit hesitant as to where to start first, here are five simple steps that’ll help you build strong relationships with your audience.

Introduce Yourself

It’s important to begin your first few emails with short tidbits about yourself and your experience in the niche. If you’re running an online store, take the time to introduce your business and emphasize what makes your products stand out. Provide the basics, just as you would introduce yourself when meeting someone for the first time.

Discover What They Need and Want

Before you even start sending tips and helpful articles, you may want to first find out what your subscribers need and want. Acquiring this information will allow you to easily connect with your audience, who’ll be eager to receive additional content of high-value. You can do this through surveys and polls, or by simply asking them to email their concerns and interests.

Give Amazing Value and Surprises

Don’t think of your email subscribers as potential cash or profit. They may be consumers, but they’re ordinary people first and foremost. In order for your business to move forward, you need to establish and maintain a good customer relationship just as you would with your own family and friends.

Take measures to provide amazing value through your emails – send practical tips, creative ideas, and useful information related to your niche. You’re aim is to show your audience that you’re not only concerned about securing their next purchase, but that you’re genuinely invested in their happiness and satisfaction, too.

Feel free to throw in a few surprises every now and then like a free treat, an exclusive offer, or a bonus webinar. These are sure to keep things interesting and exciting so that they’ll always look forward to your emails and will want to stay on the list.

Stay in Touch

Email marketing is only effective when an audience is continually engaged. Sending a newsletter when the mood strikes you, which could be every several months, won’t yield tangible results for your business. On the other hand, you don’t want to spam your subscribers either, sending emails every single day or even 2-3 times a day! That’s bound to annoy your subscribers and drive them to unsubscribe from your list. Send a weekly, biweekly, or monthly newsletter for optimal results.

Get Feedback

Once you’ve tried your hand at the above tactics, remember to acquire some feedback. It’s important to know what your subscribers think of your tips, messages, and offers. Ask for their input every now and then.

For example, if you’re in the weight loss niche, you might want to ask your subscribers for additional tips on exercises and diet plans they’ve tried in the past. You can also feature some of those who have successfully achieved their weight goals. Such input and interaction will foster a better relationship between you and your subscribers.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll not only grow a bigger mailing list, you’ll also secure their interest and loyalty for the long-haul.

What does whitelisting an email mean?

Whitelisting an email means adding it to a “whitelist” of email addresses that are always allowed through all filters. A whitelist can also be called a safe sender list, an approved list, or other similar titles. This generally varies with the email provider, but they all function the same way.

Being added to a whitelist by a customer means your emails will always get through to them, even if something changes in their spam filter. Some email providers have more aggressive spam filters than others, so certain customers may have trouble getting your emails even if they want them. To avoid this problem, make a small note in your emails to remind subscribers to whitelist your email address. You can add this note to your email template, e.g. in the footer.

As you might imagine from the name, a whitelist is the opposite of a blacklist.

What is an email blacklist?

An email blacklist is a list of email addresses that a person or real-time database has determined to be a source of spam. Some blacklists are built through automation, and will blacklist emails based on characteristics that match content or behavior associated with spam emails.

For example, many spammers send emails to lists of email addresses that have been scraped, purchased, or otherwise obtained in a way besides legitimate signups. Many of these lists contain old, outdated emails that produce a high rate of failure to deliver. Some email addresses also set up as spam traps and placed on web pages that are likely to be scraped, thus ending up included in the type of list spammers use. If an email address sends a large volume of emails, has many delivery failures, or sends to a spam trap email, it meets the characteristics of a spammer and can be automatically added to blacklists. If recipients mark your emails as spam, this also contributes toward you being potentially blacklisted.

To avoid being added to an email blacklist, always remove outdated email addresses from your mailing list, and never send emails to anyone who hasn’t opted in on your website. Avoid purchased lists and don’t add “found” email addresses to your list. Reserve your eCommerce emails for your opted-in subscribers only. Pay attention to your metrics, too — too many customers deleting without opening, or marking your emails as spam, are both signs that you should work to improve your newsletter content and evaluate whether you may be sending too many emails in too short a time.

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