DIGITAL CASE STUDIES: How to Strengthen Customer Relationships Through Email Marketing

Zeeland Lumber & Supply’s email includes lumber prices, product updates, vendor provided content, as well as store contact information.

Current Situation:
Plenty of LBM dealers have launched email newsletters, only to use them to send out an offer to customers periodically, or alert subscribers to the week’s sales. Many LBM email newsletters are providing little by way of nurturing relationships with customers.

Increase email newsletter value by providing content and links that readers look forward to receiving and don’t view as a gimmicky. Provide a newsletter that subscribers view as a go-to source for industry information, thereby increasing your thought leadership in the LBM category and becoming the supplier that customers turn to and talk about as experts in the field.

Tony Huver, marketing manager at Zeeland Lumber & Supply in Michigan says Zeeland’s email newsletters are a big part of the company’s overall digital marketing strategy. Huver makes sure that Zeeland Lumber & Supply’s email newsletters speak directly to the customers they want to reach.

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“Specifically, we talk a lot about lumber prices,” he said. “Our target audience is made up of professional builders. It’s that traditional business-to-business mindset that we want to communicate with them. We want to give them an idea of where lumber prices are headed.”

Zeeland Lumber & Supply sends its emails every-other week, but will occasionally change up the pattern if there is a particular event to promote. Huver works together with members of Zeeland’s sales and marketing team to develop content for the email, though he alone oversees the development of the email list. He uses opt-ins from sales as well as social media reminders to encourage customers to enroll for the emails. Buyers who submit questions via the company’s website also opt-in to receive emails.