If you have a company and wish to bring in a lot of traffic on your webpage (and obviously profit), then what you need is most probably a strong customer base. It doesn’t really matter what your purpose is, customer bases work for everything from blogs to huge design companies and volunteering actions.

They say it takes a long time to build a business and who wouldn’t agree? Even with all the money in the world you still can’t have everything up and running (and working properly) in few days – everything needs time. Making your brand visible and giving users access to you is what will help you achieve a strong customer base.

E-mail marketing is probably the most successful way to achieving profit on the internet nowadays. I wrote in the past month a guide on how to make clients and users read your e-mails instead of just marking them as spam or deleting them. You can start everything from there.

However, you first need to start setting some objectives for you and your company. Without a strategy there is no way you will be able to achieve success. You also decide upon your strategy based on the goals you have.

The first long-term process you need to follow is creating a powerful brand for your company. People are more likely to spend money on your products or services if they know who you are. They are also more likely to stay subscribed to you if they bought from you before and are very pleased with what you sold them. Always having good content in your e-mails is crucial. You will never be able to turn hits into money if the content is not worth following. People should never delete your e-mails because they think they are not interesting. This is your goal, to make them interesting. If you manage to keep their interest, be sure they will forward the e-mails to their contacts and will do some free advertising for you as well (also called viral marketing).

As I talked in the above-mentioned article, having catchy and interesting subject lines is very important. Using that space properly will make people read your e-mails – don’t forget it is their first contact with whatever it is you send to them, so make a first good impression – a second chance might not arrive.

If you wish to keep your users interested, you need to avoid sending way to many e-mails. Knowing exactly the number of e-mails to send is important. If they think you are more of a spammer than somebody offering them something, they will unsubscribe, or worse, they will mark you as spam. Few of those and soon you will find yourself in the middle of an unwanted war. You also need to avoid sending too few messages.

This is something many people ignore, but having lists and groups of people is definitely more effective than sending the same e-mail to all the people, regardless of their demographics, interest or psychographics. If you wish for quality, and not quantity, having lists and groups is crucial. Talking about objectives and strategies earlier, your final goal is most definitely to make profit. Properly done e-mail marketing usually increases traffic and therefore gives you a better chance of selling more.

If you feel the need to offer even more information to your subscribers and don’t have enough space in an e-mail, then there is no shame in including links to your content. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, as you might get marked as spam not only by recipients, but also by e-mail engines or anti viruses.

In this fast-moving world, making something too complicated and slow will not bring you too much success. It is exactly therefore you need to keep everything simple (look at Apple) and please your users with easy-to-follow tasks. If you offer coupons, offer them by phone, so the user has them all the time. Allow online registration and payment and, more important, home delivery if you sell physical products.

Making people feel they are in control over a situation is what will make them come back to you. You can make them feel this way by allowing multiple options such as for payment (debit card, credit card, PayPal, payment after delivery), ordering (by phone, e-mail, registration form) and so on. Offering people options might be a bit more difficult for you, but it will make them come back – which is what you look for.

Assuring a customer about his importance is something else which will facilitate further business between you two. Establish a better relationship with your clients than others do and never forget about them. Send them an e-mail now and then and make sure to keep in touch. Staying out of touch for too long will decrease their interest into you and your products. You need to avoid fading from customer’s minds – and make sure it is always something interesting going around; never be too boring or irritating.

Regular customers need to be rewarded somehow – use the same concept as flying companies do. Customers flying regularly with a specific company get more benefits than one-time customers. Another way of keeping people close is to give something away. It may be free gifts or coupons; it doesn’t really matter, as customers always come back for free stuff.

If you got the concept wrong, then I want to tell you again that a customer base is a list of people who you’ve done business with in the past. It is not a list of potential customers. In that list there are people whom you dealt with in the past.

There are two basic things you need to explain to your customers: why should they choose you instead of some other business and why does it make sense for them to buy your product. Always give account editing options to your users. Let them change their e-mail addresses and phone numbers, otherwise you will find yourself sending e-mails to non-existent users or old addresses. Losing customers is not an option for you, so make sure to keep their information updated.

Sending interactive e-mails to your customers is also something that will make them remain interested. Ask them a question, ask for some feedback, anything like that. Most of the time automated e-mails do not make a good impression, so keep them interactive and unique.

Having a powerful online presence is also something that will make clients come back to you. Whenever they see you somewhere online the purchase they made from you will pop in their minds and this will trigger different emotions – some of them might make them go to your page again or even buy something from you again. Update your website and information often and, in general, be active on social media.

Very important, never ignore a question from a client, this is fatal.

Conclusion

As you can see above, there are many rules for maintaining a customer base. The prize are probably lots of money and a good profit. If you don’t manage to maintain this base accordingly, it is very possible to lose clients. Therefore you need to pay a lot of attention when you deal with such a concept, but don’t worry, it will pay back in the end if you invest time into it.