There’s a distinct difference between marketing emails that get deleted and marketing emails that are opened and read: appeals to consumer interest.

A recent Guitar Center case study demonstrated that marketing edge. A customer purchased a microphone shock mount and, in the following weeks, Guitar Center sent him emails that informed him about related recording equipment deals and free recording lessons at the store.

Guitar Center paid attention to what the customer was interested in. And the customer responded positively, pledging that he would open Guitar Center emails in the future.

More Than a Store

The basic lesson here is this: The customer is a real person with unique interests. And if you can let people know that you value their interests and care about providing them high-quality products and services that foster it, you gain their trust. See, you can be more than a store, and email is a great way to let consumers know you care about more than pushing a product. You care about their satisfaction.

When you speak to customers at a physical location, the first, most common thing you say to them is, “How can I help you?” And, in doing so, you begin building a community with consumers. So, how can you ask that question in email form?

What They Want to Buy

When you market what you want to sell rather than marketing what your customers want to buy, you lose their trust. So you should send information about what the consumer wants, not whatever’s been on the shelf a little too long. That means promoting products that relate to what your customer purchased last. In the case of Guitar Center, they went even further. By offering something free—recording lessons, in this case—they appealed to the customer on a personal level to get them back in the store.

And, as the case study told us, the more often you get consumers into the store, the more often they will make purchases.

What Your Sales Can Tell You About Your Customer

Guitar Center is a perfect example of what happens when a company shows its customers personalized attention. What’s the best way to do that? Businesses should know what their customers bought so they can know what their customers are interested in.

When the case study customer purchased a microphone shock mount, Guitar Center didn’t send him an ad for drum sets. Instead, they directed specific information to the customer, offering free recording lessons and recommending well-reviewed recording equipment.

The more you know about your customer, the better you can help them. And the customer will appreciate your sincere interest, as well as your targeted email marketing efforts.

Beyond Content

How your customer receives information about your company is just as important as the information itself. You should have a strategy for consumers who read emails on their mobile device rather than on their laptop or desktop. Again, if you are thinking about your customer’s interests, you will be thinking about the easiest, most effective way to communicate with them.

Appeal to the consumer’s interest. Find out what they enjoy, what they care about, and base your email marketing on that foundation. It’s fairly simple. Remember your customer is a real person with real interests.