Building Relationships With Customers

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Every business needs to build strong relationships with its customers. But if you’re an FBA seller, that’s difficult, as you don’t control the relationship. The customers are Amazon’s customers, and your ability to interact with them is strictly limited.

So you need to look for ways to build those relationships outside Amazon. That means building on your customer’s common interests rather than on the transaction. In some cases, you’ll be building relationships with people who aren’t customers, but might well become customers.

First of all, you’ll want to set up your own web page. Even if it’s quite limited in content, you want to have a way for potential customers to sign up to an email newsletter. Email marketing can more than double your revenues; it has a high rate of efficacy, because it’s permission based. People actually want to see it, so they’re already fired up before your news about a new product arrives.

It can help to be quite explicit about how often you send out the newsletter – every month, every two months, whatever. Many people have unpleasant memories of a company that sent them three mails a day and didn’t have an unsubscribe button, so if you say your newsletter comes out once a month, they know they don’t have to worry.

Now get ready to create some content. Go off to forums, subreddits, and Facebook groups in your product area, and find out what people buying your product care about; or pick up a hobby magazine. )You can find forums with a Google search – “forums: yo-yews” will get you everywhere that yo-yo obsessives hang out.)

Write down keywords, typical concerns, and ‘hot’ topics. For instance for cat owners you might find concerns like scratching sofas, climbing curtains, or being picky about food. ‘Hot’ topics might include particular breeds of cat, such as Norwegian Forest Cats, Bengals and Savannah cats. Keywords might include cat food, cat toys, catios (outdoors closed areas for indoors cats to use), cat house, cat tree, scratcher, cat names, breeds, pedigree, funny cat pictures, funny cat videos, cute kittens, grumpy cat, and so on.

Now you have a good idea of what your potential customers for a cat scratcher really care about. If you use a lot of content on “funny cat pictures” it’s quite relevant to your product. On the other hand though your scratcher is made out of a special kind of corrugated cardboard, putting a load of stuff about cardboard in your newsletter won’t appeal!

From what you’ve written down, you can now generate content. Think about lists.

•            Top ten cat toys

•            Five smart ways to keep your cat from being bored

•            Top cat breeds of 2022

•            Funniest cat videos of the month

Based on your work, you could create and schedule an entire year’s content in a week or so. 12 monthly email newsletters, and say 24 to 50 pieces on your blog or website (that is, every week or every other week).

You might want to make videos rather than simply write articles. Talk about your customers’ needs not your products. So for instance if you were selling children’s books, you’d do well talking about how to get boys (in particular) to read, what age to introduce particular books, meeting the needs of fast and demanding readers, books with POC role models in, and so on, because these are all issues that the buyers (teachers and parents) are going to care about.

You should also go back to the forums and get involved. Don’t try to sell your product; instead, ask open questions to get people involved – “Hey folks, what’s your experience been like?” “What’s your top place for hiking/walking the dog?” or whatever.

Make some informed comments in the forums – you don’t have to be an expert, but you’ve gathered a lot of information already. Or you could take a side angle. Maybe you’re a keen photographer and you sell cat toys. Well, why not contribute “How to take better photos of your cat”?

Build up your following. Next time you have a product launch, you know just who to promote it to.

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