Last week I attended a business professionals networking event in my hometown. The event was extremely well attended and actually turned out to be a lot of fun (I am not saying this just because I was on the planning committee). I met a lot of great contacts and I caught up with some old connections.
As the week went on, I noticed something happening in my email inbox. All of a sudden, I was receiving newsletters and email campaigns for the businesses of the new people that I met at the event. In exchanging cards, other professionals took the liberty of adding me to the their mailing list.
I am sorry, but in my book this is a no-no. I can appreciate that many businesses want to grow their mailing lists and customer databases, but I feel that someone must sign up to receive email campaigns. In other words, a person must opt in to get your newsletters and emails blasts.
Too many times, I “like” a facebook business page or hand my card to another biz person, and POOF – their business starts having a relationship with my email inbox. If not anything else, this is impolite. Do you have an intimate relationship with someone you just met?
For effective and well-received email marketing, a rapport must be built among the parties involved.
There are a number of ways that you can build a relationship with a customer or another biz professional after initially meeting (virtually or in person):
Proof Is In The Follow Up – You meet another professional or potential client at an event/conference or maybe you realize that you have an amazing new virtual follower…..Send them a personal email or message. Please do not send an automated message, but a quick few lines on how it is great to be acquainted and a compliment on some work of the new contact (a blog you enjoyed, a seminar you loved hearing, a product that you cannot live without). Adding a compliment means that you have taken the time to get to know the other’s work.
Do Unto Others As You Would Like Done To You – Make it your business to engage over the next few months with the new contact. Follow their website, work, and social media stream. Comment here and there on a post, etc. Perhaps, join the mailing list of your new biz acquaintance? Role model the type of engagement that you would like to see.
Hand Out Free Samples – If you are still struggling with getting a contact to subscribe, send out a taste. Just a taste! Of course, make this sample as personal as possible and state that you are sending out a little sample of what your newsletter is all about AND have a link available to subscribe if the person wants a larger bite.
Just like you may start a new relationship slowly with only a cup of coffee, build a biz relationship in small increments AND it will have a lasting foundation.
If you are anything like me, if I did not ask to be signed up for a particular email campaign, the email ends up in the junk. Nobody wants their work to land in the junk pile!
I am off to another conference this week, and I will be handing out cards and hoping that it leads to many fabulous relationships based on continued conversation (and not just with my inbox).
Follow my latest adventures at http://backngroovemom.com – Rachel