During my time at eCircle, I have learnt that, if used correctly, email marketing can be a highly effective and profitable channel, even with the use of a basic strategy. However, little changes and improvements can have a significant effect upon open rates, click-through rates and ROI.
The email channel should be about building a relationship with your consumer – get to know their habits, preferences and behaviour. Remember this when collecting email addresses, think: What is the best or most appropriate way to segment the data? All information you collect from your subscribers should enable you to personalise your messages. This will not only benefit you, but also your consumer – you won’t be sending unnecessary volumes of emails and your recipient won’t feel like ‘just another email address’.
So, here are our three top tips to improve your customer lifecycle email strategy:
Send welcome messages
Users are most receptive when they first register, purchase and item or interact positively with your brand – so this is the best time to send them a message. I feel it’s nice (and polite) to get an email that says “welcome to our community” or “thank you for purchasing this product” before a brand sends you their regular newsletter trying to sell you something else. You should be introducing yourself and telling them about your email program (frequency of emails and content). Take the opportunity to ask them for more information – this will allow you to personalise messages, and lets them choose what content they may want to receive. For example, if I signed up to receive my bank’s emails, I would tick a box to say I was interested in savings accounts but un-tick a box on mortgages (there is no way I’m going to get a mortgage any time soon!).
Convert your subscribers into clients
Each recipient in your email list has varying degrees of engagement with your brand. This is a good reason to segment your list and split it into several groups according to their behaviour.
Your job as a marketer is to give new customers tailored reasons to buy your products as they are less engaged with your brand than usual subscribers. You can do this by having good offers, showing your best sellers and giving a special reduction on prices or free shipment on the first purchase. I know that many of the people I know would be more enticed to buy a product if you send them a deal or offer.
As soon as a recipient makes a purchase you need to maintain this interest, perhaps by offer rewards for repeat buyers? It’s nice to be noticed and appreciated as a loyal consumer.
Every marketer should be analysing the statistics behind each email and each purchase. Implement triggered email campaigns to retain engagement. You can adapt the content of the message to suit your customer and thus drive sales through having the right offer at the right moment – but make sure your call to actions are clear.
Implement a reactivation program
The challenge for every marketer is to keep lists active. Less active recipients shouldn’t be ignored, perhaps move them to a specific group where they can get different treatments/campaigns. When I was at university I would delete messages without reading them if they didn’t have an offer in the subject line – only fantastic deals and products could part me with my (very limited) funds. However, this did not mean that I didn’t want to cut off communication full stop.
By sending these customers different campaigns you can encourage them to open your emails. Reactivation programs can also be highly successful, learn from them, perhaps the content wasn’t right for them, maybe the frequency was too high, would they like to be removed from your mailing lists? Remember: dormant addresses decrease the performance of your email campaigns and are not cost effective.
By testing email message content and special offers you can reengage inactive customers. They may start to open your emails and possibly even make a purchase. Remember, they must’ve been interested in your brand to subscribe in the first place, you need to remind them of that.
About the Author: Caroline Manson recently graduated from Manchester University and has chosen to embark on her Marketing Career, starting with a year-long placement at eCircle. Although it’s early days, she is developing a particular passion for all things digital.
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