How to Use E-mail to Make Better Connections

Afraid to look at your e-mail inbox every morning? There’s no need to fear your e-mail. When used correctly, you can harness its power to build a strong network. The truth is, you spend a lot of time checking your e-mail. Why not make it work for you? From direct e-mails to co-workers to huge mailing lists and newsletters, there’s a lot to glean from e-mail marketing.

1. Figure out who your most important contacts are. Think about your co-workers, customers, mentors, and influencers, and decide who will be the most beneficial to your career and goals. Regularly keep in touch with them via e-mail. Send them updates on your progress, connect to find out how things are going with them, and just generally stay in touch. That way, when one of you does need something, the e-mail won’t come out of the blue.

2. Segment your contacts, especially if you have an out-of-hand mailing list. Different newsletters should be sent to different categories. Your friends and family members may want an e-mail every time you post a new blog, but your customers may want to only hear from you once every week or so. Your influencers won’t be interested in your views on the industry, because they have their own, but they may want to know how you can join forces. Figure out who your different audiences are and what they want.

3. Find easy ways to engage your contacts. By providing links to your social media accounts, questions that encourage feedback, or incentives for signing up for a mailing list, the people who you e-mail will do some of the work for you. Add links to your signature, for example, so every time you send an e-mail, the recipient has the opportunity to continue connecting with you.

4. Find a way to help people. If you think of a great blog topic or come across a useful app, pass the information along. You don’t have to hoard information and keep everything for yourself! By showing that you want to help others without asking for anything in return, people will look forward to hearing from you. Plus, you may get some hospitality back, too!

5. Always be intriguing. If you don’t have something interesting or useful to share, wait until you do. When it comes to e-mails and newsletters, aim for quality over quantity. Sending weekly newsletters is a waste if nobody bothers opening them. It’s much better to send monthly or seasonal newsletter that result in a lot of new customers. Plus, this is less time-consuming. In the meantime, work on building your mailing list.

6. Give something away for free. Use your website and social media platforms to promote a free product, like an e-book or a great coupon code. Encourage people to take advantage of the deal and make signing up for your mailing list a prerequisite. Then, keep the freebies coming. Otherwise, people will unsubscribe as soon as they get what they’re after. If you create monthly freebies, nobody will want to jump ship!

7. Don’t shy away from forming a connection with someone at the beginning of their career. Sometimes, helping someone out who’s just starting a business means that they’ll be there for you once they’re successful. Relationships should be beneficial for both parties. Never underestimate the power of a new contact.

8. Give more than you ask for. Most of your connections with people should be for their benefit. Every now and then, ask for something in return. For example, you can promote your album by telling people they can listen to your songs for free. Then, once in a while, post a link to where they can purchase the tracks.

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