Email marketing is one of the most powerful customer retention tools available to marketers. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the channel delivers the highest return on investment among digital channels, raking in an average $38 for every dollar spent.
Email is an excellent channel to encourage repeat purchases on e-commerce sites and to help build brand loyalty. So how do you win and influence consumers via email? It’s all about creating a customer lifecycle and connecting with customers with creative and effective messaging wherever they are in the purchase path. Or more simply, it’s about building connections for long term relationships.
Create a Welcome Series. The best way to win customers using email is to set expectations right from the get-go. When customers sign up for your email list, send them a welcome email letting them know about your email program. Tell them how often you send emails, what kind of content they can expect, such as announcements of new products or regular discount codes. Encourage subscribers to visit preference centers and determine how often they’d like to hear from your brand and what kinds of content they would like to find out about. Once you’ve established your routine, be sure to follow through and deliver on your promises.
Adopt Personalization. The next thing to consider is how to use data to create a more personalized experience. Analyze the data that you have on customers. Use behavioral data such as past purchases and browse behavior, as well as demographic data such as gender and zip code to send relevant offers to the person on the other end. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and to result in sales. Take the time to learn about your customer and tailor your messages to their needs in order to win them over.
Engage the Influencers. When it comes to influencing your email subscribers, turn to the influencers. Look to your biggest supporters on social media and see how they are talking about your brand. Use these images and conversations in your emails to help generate more creative and effective emails. Also consider using celebrity social topics and connecting these threads to your brand. For instance, if the Kardashians are talking about a particular style of shoes that is on trend this season, a retailer could use that content to promote relevant products in stock that connect to this theme.
Engage Cart Abandoners. We’ve all been there, you start placing your online order and the phone rings, you respond to an email or you run off to a meeting, and forget all about it, only to forget to order those important supplies for the weekend. Customers appreciate it when brands remind them to finish an order so that they aren’t left out in the cold when it comes time to enjoy the products. Companies can help by creating automated email triggers reminding customers to return. If your customer has added items to their cart and hasn’t purchased within a day, send them a reminder. They will likely thank you for it.
Send Win-Back Campaigns to Dormant Customers. Some customers haven’t made a purchase in more than six months. While they may not seem like loyal customers, these people are more likely to purchase than someone to come into your site from search. In order to engage these dormant customers, send them an enticing offer that they can’t refuse. Promote your latest items, your best sales and offer then an exclusive offer to remind them why they should be visiting your site.
Create an Email Nurture Series. Imagine your favorite Netflix series, the story isn’t all revealed in the first episode. Sometimes an email story works best in a series. Think of your emails as an ongoing communication that comes in several parts. Map out the series in advance so that the narrative is clear and compelling and leaves customers wanting more. Perhaps it is a six part email series about how to best prepare for fall that includes a number of different themes. Maybe you have one email dedicated to fall fashion, another to weekend getaways, another for fall cooking and one for must-attend fall events. Find the connecting theme that relates to your products and use these story lines to help you win customers.