As previously discussed, one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging portions of the customer life cycle is the process of acquiring new customers.
Customers who have not yet developed a relationship with your brand, product, or business need to be convinced not only that they need to purchase or register for your offering but also that they can trust you with their money, personal information and expectations. How can you use email marketing to help with converting leads and prospective customers into active and paying customers? Here is the most common (and successful) technique for doing so.
Provide Leads and Potential Customers with Valuable Content Free of Charge via an Email Newsletter or Auto Responder Series
Many times, potential customers or leads may not be ready to make a purchase, but they will have an interest in information that you can provide that is relevant to their lives and related to your field of expertise.
For example, if you sell farm equipment, potential customers may not have an immediate need or comfort level purchasing a tractor from you. However, those potential customers or leads may have a significant interest in valuable content that is related to farming, such as weather predictions, crop prices, and updates on legislation about agriculture.
A common technique for using email marketing to convert prospects or leads into active or paying customers is to offer a free auto responder series that provides valuable information along with promotion of your product in the body of the auto responders.
To get prospective customers or leads to sign up for this email product, you can offer a sign-up directly on your website. Pay for advertising on AdWords or other social media sites in order to directly solicit prospective customers or leads to sign-up for your email list.
If you develop your lead or prospective customer list by including a sign-up on your website (or by collecting emails at a physical place of business), then there is no cost associated with the emails you collected and any customers that you convert to active customers will be pure profit.
However, if you build your email list by buying advertising, then you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend per email sign-up to break even on your conversions.
The key to successfully using an information-based auto responder series to convert customers involves two elements:
- The information you provide must be useful, engaging and valuable to your subscribers
- You must integrate product promotions into your emails in a way that will convert without being obtrusive to the subscribers
The first point is, in fact, the more important point. The only way to convert leads or prospective customers to active customer via an information-based email program is to ensure that subscribers continue to open your email and then begin to feel a relationship between themselves and your company or brand. If you do not provide valuable and engaging content, your subscribers will stop opening and reading your email long before they convert to paying or active customers.