As an internet customer and web surfer, you no doubt have signed up for mailing lists, web site “memberships” or to buy something online and experienced an email verification process. The process is pretty straight foreword and most of us follow the instructions of the web site without giving it much thought…
. You sign up to have an ID on the web site. This is a common practice so you can make posts on a web site’s message boards or get notifications of changes to the site or news about the web site topics.
. You provide the safe information including what nickname you want to use, a password, perhaps your zip code and your email address. Because the web site doesn’t require phone number or address, you don’t mind giving them this information , especially if they post a notice that they will not sell your email on a mailing list.
. Once your registration is processed, the web page instructs you that a verification email was sent to assure that the email adders you gave is valid. You are then instructed to go to your email address and find the verification email, open it and click on the link to complete the activation of your membership.
. You are obedient and complete those steps and you are done. You might get a “congratulations” email letting you know that you are ready to use your new membership on the web site.
Have you ever thought about why the web site owners created this system? It might be to limit the people who can post on their message boards or change their wiki pages. But that probably is not the reason. The real reason is to establish email communications up front to head off any problems with email deliverability issues and to encourage you to add the email address they will be using to contact you to your preferred users list in your spam blocking software so their emails will get through.
This technique for overcoming the email deliverability problem is probably one of the best of the current thinking on the problem. That is because the solution is not based on assaulting the machinery in place to handle spam emails. The solution is based in building a relationship with the customer from the ground up. And by starting that relationship out with an enticement, you start them communicating with them via email early on so that channel of communication opens up.
However, I have often thought that the web site owners miss a golden opportunity when they guide us through this process. If you are like me, you are happy to go through this verification process because it makes sense. And in a way it makes you feel good that the web site owners want to know you are for real and they give you a chance to opt out during the email verification process. You are in a cooperative and partnering mood with the web site owner which is a business providing you with a product or service, whether you know they are that or not.
But the online business that just did such a good job of starting you communicating missed the chance to keep you communicating. Yes, the congratulations email is a nice follow up. But this is s a golden opportunity to start a dialog of communication with each customer that not only keeps that email channel of communications open, it builds that customer relationship so you can exploit it for more sales, greater participation in the web site and for referrals.
At that moment when the congratulations email, what if you put a coupon for 15% off a newsletter subscription or from something in the catalog of products? Immediately are drawing the customer to a buying relationship with your internet business. And by drawing them to your sales page, you can market all your goods and services to them as they claim their prize.
There are dozens of ways to tease further communications with the close of each successful transaction. You already have the customer’s attention when you step them through the email address validation process and you know you have a “hot” email marketing contact point with an active customer. Don’t miss out on using this hot channel to build and expand that relationship and make it bigger and better with each exchange of emails with that customer.