Picture this: you’re out at the local electronics store and the floor salesman is trying to talk you into buying the latest greatest gadget. All the while, he’s carrying on about the super low price and all the amazing features, yet failing to reveal how you can specifically benefit from the product. The employee is doing his job, but whether or not he’s doing it well is up for debate.

Some throw it hard, others take a more subtle approach, but the underlying intention is always there and quite frankly, obvious. Even when you know it’s coming, being sold to can make for some of the most aggravating moments you’ll ever experience. Guess what? That’s how your customers may feel when you constantly shove offers down their throats. But consumers are gradually gaining the upper hand. If we as email marketers want to keep up, we need to shift the focus from promotion to engagement.

Lending a Helping Hand
Engaging customers in a way that maintains a high level of satisfaction and builds the brand in the process is a skill several marketers have a hard time mastering. For an email marketer, it could be as simple as becoming a useful and helpful resource to their audience. Many people have computers that suffer from performance issues. A company that sells PC optimizing tools could include links to their published articles that teach users simple tricks on how they can troubleshoot and tune-up their computers without having to pay for service. This company is engaging the consumer beyond selling by being helpful. When the consumer needs more advanced optimization, this brand will likely be the first that comes to mind.

The Gift of Giving
Engaging customers is all about putting the consumer first. There are many ways to do this, but appealing to your audience with gifts and incentives is never a bad idea. What can you give away to score goodwill points with your customers? Is it free software they can put to use? Free shipping on their order? An invite to visit your restaurant and have dinner on the house? It’s just human nature – people love to receive nice stuff without needing to pull out their wallet. The email marketer who indulges in the offering of freebies isn’t selling, but they are engaging in a way that can dramatically boost their sales in the long run.

Learn the Rules of Engagement
Using email marketing to promote your products or services is not a crime. You’d only be missing out on a golden opportunity to sell them if you didn’t. With that said, having success in this arena is much more than selling. Not everyone is going to jump on your offer, so what you must do is convince them why they should keep coming back. Change up your approach, show them the benefits and they will have a reason to do exactly that.


作者 Denise Keller

Denise Keller is CFO and founding partner of Benchmark Email and a passionate philanthropist who has raised money for fresh water wells in Africa, grief counseling for needy children and a variety of other causes. A former accountant and an accomplished expert on enterprises, Keller showed solid business acumen at just 10 years old, when she started an arts and crafts babysitting service called “Daytime Playtime.” These days, you’ll find her detailing her newfound passion for Lean and the successes and tribulations as we make Benchmark a lean company.