dean-martin-youre-nobody-tiThis morning I was listening to Pandora, to my friend Kevin’s Dean Martin station while reading my incoming mail. I was delighted to see my first email from my new favorite health food store, Earth Origins, having just visited their new outlet just a few miles from home. What caused the delight, you may ask? How about a title of, “Customer Appreciation Day – 20% Off!” Health food is expensive, and 20% was music to my ears.

Now for the bad news…they didn’t appreciate me quite as much as I’d thought. The 20% off was for their non-outlet stores, none of which are even remotely close to me. So what started out as a delight quickly became disappointment. I felt like the girl who sees the cute guy walk across the dance floor only to ask her what time it was.

Just then Deano began to croon out, “You’re Nobody ‘Till Somebody Loves You.” How sinchronistic is that? Deano, you never said a truer word, especially to email marketers, and here’s why:

  • I was prepared to love Earth Origins for making this first email so special
  • I get tons of email daily, and Earth Origins was one of the few that I opened
  • I went from “feeling the love” to feeling like nobody
  • I felt a bit cheated and mislead by that title
  • Earth Origins’s status went from “loved” to “spam” (less than nobody!)
  • I scrolled to the bottom of their email to unsubscribe (the last thing they would want me to do!)*
* Fortunately for them, they are not CAN-SPAM compliant, and don’t have any unsubscribe links in their email. Unfortunately for them, that’s not a good thing!

What are the take-aways?

Here’s how to get the customer love going and keep that open rate high:

  • Make that first email count big time. You only have one chance to make a first impression, right?
  • Give a little gift to show that you appreciate being invited into your customer’s inbox. A discount or a coupon. Extra points if it’s relevant to that customer, too.
  • A blanket discount is a good option if you can’t filter your customers by demographics or buying habits.
  • Can’t afford a discount? Give Information. You’re likely an expert in something, so share some news or advice that your customers want to know.

What have you done in your introductory emails to cement the relationship with customer love, so that they love you back – for a long time?