Jul 18, 2005

Use Emarketing to Create an “Emotional Bond”

CherriesI love Whole Foods. Even though there was that one time I scooped a bag of cherries, and the cashier told me it was $18 (note-to-self: always check the per-pound cost at Whole Foods).  I never did buy those cherries, but I still shop there all the time. Something about that place makes it feel ‘better’ than the other grocery stores in town.

Here’s a nice article about how Whole Foods really doesn’t spend a large proportion of their time or money on traditional marketing and advertising.

Instead of newspaper ads, coupons, and discount cards, they focus most of their time on the "customer experience." Kind of like how Starbucks isn’t so much about great coffee as it is a nice place to hang out (the caffeine-addiction part helps, too).

Walter Robb, Whole Foods’ co-president, says, "Most of our success has been because we deliver an emotional bond." Isn’t that always the case, with brands you love? How can we use email marketing to form an emotional bond?

The ability to form an "emotional bond" with your customers is one of the great things about email marketing. But somewhere along the way, marketers forgot the "R" in CRM, and got really caught up in the numbers and stats.

Instead of focusing so much on opens, clicks and conversions, let’s spend a little more time on the relationship. Here are some quick ideas for your email campaigns:

  1. Don’t make them too "corporate" and stodgy. Save all that for your website, or print ads. Be funny. Be a smart ass. Be goofy sometimes. Let your personality shine. Show your readers that a real-life human being is writing those emails. Don’t be afraid to make people smile or laugh—that’s how viral marketing starts.
  2. Don’t have that much to say? Don’t say anything. If you can’t think of things to say every week, make it a quarterly. At least it’ll be more interesting to people when they get it.
  3. Make it helpful. Include some tips, how-tos, recipes, case studies, etc. When your recipients can actually learn from your newsletter, you’re going to get some great response.
  4. Get personal. Share a little about yourself, or your company. Show some pictures of your staff, let them talk about what they do, how they help customers, etc. We liked this picture from Velocity Kickboxing’s eletter.
  5. Keep the look and feel "fresh" and new. Sure, you should keep the same template, but swap out the header graphic with something fun and relevant for each issue.