Every customer is a member.

At least, that's an argument I've tried to make a couple times here. To me, "customer" implies someone that completed a transaction, while "member" signifies relationship, belonging on an ongoing basis.

Even if your business model is not subscription- or membership-based, you can benefit from that member mindset.

A key function of having members instead of customers? Engagement.

What's that?

Keeping their attention, and hitting them with the right value and the right touchpoints at the right time.

Keep people engaged, and renewal - or just the next transaction - will take care of itself.

Easier said than done, right?

Movies and novels throughout history have convinced us that there is such a thing as “love at first sight.”

And you know what: it’s true!

People do randomly lock eyes from across a crowded room, sparking instant passion and the shared knowledge that they’re meant to be together forever.

Seriously, there’s science revealing the numerous judgments our brains have evolved to make within the first few milliseconds of meeting someone.

So yes, it’s real.

It also only happens for a tiny fraction of the population. Roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, after all.

For the rest of us, lasting relationships and affinity are built over time. They require ongoing effort, trust, and a genuine connection.

The same is true of business relationships and how consumers decide which brands they seek out over others.

So long as you are not doing business in a third-world country, the target market for your business is definitely using email. By the end of 2017, more than 3.7 billion of the world’s population will be using email. Rather than attempting to develop and distribute content and advertisements for your business in hopes that they will magically fall into the laps of people who are interested in your brand, directly reach the inboxes of your consumers.

By gathering the valuable contact information of email addresses from having people subscribe to your email list, you can generate brand exposure, recognition, and identity that will lead to more sales and an overall more engaged following.

In the world of work, people take a job because it provides a source of income and benefits.

They excel at work, and run through brick walls for their company, because of a whole other host of factors.

Primarily: pizza parties.

...

Bear with me here.

As a parent, you can bark at your kids all day and they won't hear a word.

But somehow they can recite every inane word uttered by their close friends.

Kids have selective hearing, but so do grownups like us.

When was the last time any of us actually sat through a commercial? Can you recall the brand?

Any online banner ads captivate you today? Probably not.

Promises brands make through advertising and content go in one ear and out the other. Consumers might pick up on a point or two if it's pertinent, but it still doesn’t mean they’ll rush out to buy.

But if a trusted colleague or close friend mentions the brand positively, then we're all ears.

Are you mad at a business right now?

Maybe the laundromat lost your favorite shirt.

Perhaps the local chicken place served up fried vermin instead of chicken.

Or it could be that your preferred work commute coffee stop ran out of your favorite blend. (That's mine. Curse you, Carl's Coffee Haus!)

The odds are good that you're at least a little upset with some business out there, but it probably isn't that important. You'll move on after venting to a friend and maybe firing off a tweet or three.

But what about the other 50 businesses you've engaged or transacted with in the past few weeks? The ones that didn't screw up your order.

You're satisfied with them, right?

So you'll return, and give them your business again?

Some of them, maybe.

Most of them? Probably not.

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