When I really connect with a brand or organization, I want to support them until I’m blue in the face. My home base in Austin, TX, is full of awesome local companies that get me going, like Alamo Drafthouse, Real Ale Brewing Company, PRIZE Boutique and Sweet Leaf Tea. This also makes my job in business development here at Emma that much more fun: I get to talk to brands I love about what email marketing can do for them and their burgeoning audience.
People become brand evangelists by connecting with the brand and its people. I'd prefer to become acquainted with a company’s culture, values and people, rather than be greeted with a coupon or sales announcement in my inbox every other day. Sales shouldn’t be the primary focus of your efforts; it's the byproduct once you've built a relationship.
Share your story and your people
Your marketing plan is about growing loyal followers and fans while upholding and solidifying your brand's style and values. Instead of sending a plain ol' email with your new inventory, have staff members share their picks of your new products. Likewise, ask colleagues to write blurbs about upcoming events or menu items that excite them.
Sending these staff picks every other month could be just the right formula to add some quirk and personality between your regular newsletters. Who doesn't like learning unexpected (and even embarrassing details) about the people behind the brand? (Take Emma's people page, for example.)
Use the right tools to stay relevant
While spinning a yarn, fully utilize all that your email marketing platform has to offer. Segment the audience you’ve built, and send targeted messages to unique groups.
And take advantage of autoresponders – they're easy to set up and get the right message to the right people at, well, the right time. Let's say your campaign includes links to various offerings on your website. Set up link-based triggers that go out to folks when you have a special price on the particular product they showed an interest in.
Keep in touch
Hosting a Friday happy hour? Send an email invivation with a link to an RSVP form. Later in the week, check in to see who hasn't RSVP'd, and send them a heads-up to let them know what they’ll be missing. You can even set up an email reminder to those who did RSVP to make sure they're still attending.
And if you'd like to stay up-to-the-minute on survey replies, be sure to turn on notifications in your Emma account.
You can't be expecteed to remember every detail about your contacts or customers, so use your Emma audience section to store important information like company name, birthdate and next appointment time. Then, use those date fields to set up autoresponders that send when a person's birthday or appointment rolls around. Set up easy personalization in the email, too – it's an easy way to snag their attention and keep them engaged.
What do you think of these simple tips to add personality, get your audience engaged and keep them connected? Have some of your own? Ask your social followers what they think, and share in the comments here. You’ll have your audience evangelizing from the steps of their fire escapes in no time.