By now, your email marketing tree is growing bigger and stronger by the day, flower buds are starting to bloom, and all the other surrounding trees are starting to take notice. So far, so good! You have all the know-how needed to maintain your tree. Maybe it’s a good time to plant another tree next to it to add to your collection!

Think of it as a special side project. Sometimes, after gaining a solid reputation and name for itself in the industry a company will began working on a customized product, just as their customers requested, to show appreciation. Lots of businesses have done this and many have gained more loyal followers afterwards.

In planting terms, your soil is already an adequate environment to plant a seed. To further enrich it, a small gardening tool such as a spade or even a shovel can be used to dig deep into the soil and turn it over to bring in air circulation and nourish the seed. [Switch back to email marketing mode] This means that when you dig deeper to find out what else your customers need from your company, it will benefit your customer, which in turn, benefits your business.

Michelle Phan is one of the most popular beauty gurus on YouTube, cranking out dozens of tutorials on how to create different makeup looks. From a natural everyday school look to extreme avant garde looks for special occasions. Since her first video in 2007, Phan had exploded in popularity and her tutorials have been featured in several media outlets (Search ‘Lady Gaga Bad Romance tutorial. It’s the one with only a mere … 40 million views!).

Because Phan’s work takes places primarily through social media, her success on YouTube is directly proportionate to the amount of views and comments her videos receive. Subscribers and fans appreciate Phan for her openness and for always engaging with them and answering their questions. Her philosophy is that her fans are “the ones steering the ship –they ask the questions, and I create my videos to answer them.” As her career skyrocketed, Phan began partnering with major cosmetic companies for collaboration videos, and eventually got a chance to create a makeup line of her own.

To show her fans her gratitude for their support throughout the years and to make customize products just for them, Phan and her team traveled abroad to visit her local and international fan base to hear firsthand what kind of products they are looking for. They even included them in the design process. Phan flew to three top art schools and hosted design challenges where the students had to create the packaging within in 48 hours. The winning college was rewarded a scholarship. Since its launch, Em cosmetic have seen tremendous success in the beauty community and is continuously growing. Especially due to the fact that customers have products that they were able to help create.

Using a product that people themselves had input in gives that product much more meaning and deepens the existing relationship between customer and company. Only good things will come when you show customers that you care and will create products based on their needs.

Maybe you aren’t able to travel around the world to meet each person one-on-one, but acquiring feedback about what they want is simple. You can add a small survey on your website asking what are their favorite products and why, or what are their least favorite and how would they want it to be improved. Or you can do something fun à la Phan and hold a contest where the winner’s creation will be made into an actual product!