Technology has a significant impact on consumers’ expectations, and those expectations impact how subscribers engage with your email marketing. Brands need to continually demonstrate that they know their customer, which can make it a challenge to stay on top of the evolving context of marketing. An email strategy can make all the difference between building a relationship with your customers and sinking without trace.
Do people who share your view see you as more relatable or trustworthy because of your opinion? Not all opinions or even values make much of a (positive) difference. For example, I could point out that I think people should be treated as equals regardless of their gender or sexuality. Most people who agree with that don’t think much about it. It’s such an obvious thing to them. So, telling that doesn’t make much of a difference to people who agree with me. However, many people who disagree with that might think I’m crazy.
It’s true that your customers do want to hear from you. The fact you have a regular email marketing campaign is one of the magic elements boosting your ROI. But there’s such a thing as overkill. Once you come off a great campaign it’s tempting to run the same campaign again in an attempt to get the same results. The chances are you’re going to get diminishing returns.
Advocacy: The old adage of “word of mouth is your best marketing” is still true today. When a customer loves your company or products, they tell others about it. Social media and online reviews are some of the strongest purchase influencers. To capitalize on the advocacy stage, identify your happiest customers and see if they’ll spread the word with a review or testimonial. If you have a referral program where you offer discounts or other rewards for bringing in new business, make sure this program is a big part of your email marketing strategy for devoted customers.
Use your real email signature: Just like using a real reply-to email address, you want to use real contact information within the email and the best way to do that is to include your contact details in the email signature. Giving your readers the opportunity to contact you or connect with you online is a great way to be personal and build a relationship with them.
Newsletters are long-haul engagement. They serve as check-ins with your subscribers, as well as offering generalised engagement points. Newsletters are a way of both driving and maintaining engagement – at worst they serve as a reminder of the relationship the recipient has with a brand, but usually, they do a lot more. Provide as many engagement points/links as you can within your newsletters, and you'll be surprised at what crops up!
When you're using email as a marketing tool, you're working on a pretty personal basis. This isn't ‘drive-by' stuff -you're directly targeting customers from their inboxes. There's a huge amount of potential which comes with this kind of marketing... but you'll only reap that potential if you REALLY understand both the marketplace you're operating from, and the audience you're talking to.
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Personas provide a multi-dimensional method of targeting. They’re based, as the name suggests, on a projected persona for each customer ‘type’. Get it right, and personas can help you enormously in both predicting behaviour and personalising your communications. Personas are a powerful technique, and they’re increasingly used to improve the usability and customer centricity of communications.
For example, you may analyse the journeys on your website and identify that people who visit a page is more likely to purchase than those who do not visit that page. With behavioural data pointing towards the potential for this page, it would be worth testing whether offering a bespoke content message or discount offer to users when they arrive at that page drives conversions. It could be that your customers have left items in their baskets and not completed their purchase, like this example here from Nordstrom:
The takeaway here is that if you are to use personalization as an email strategy, do so in a meaningful way. It takes little knowledge or relationship to place someone’s name in your greeting. It shows far greater care to send personalized email that is specific to a recipient’s needs and history. Again, an example from my inbox, this email from Rdio dispenses with the formalities and simply provides an update on music I actually listen to.
Another way to extend the clicks on your email beyond its shelf life is to prompt your audience to forward the offer. The folks at Litmus found that the most forwarded emails were 13X more likely than the typical email to include “Share With Your Network” calls-to-action. By including forward-to-a-friend (or social sharing links, as we discussed above), you put it in recipients' minds to share.
If you’re not already segmenting, this is a great place to start. CPC is a strategy-based customer segmentation tool focused on profile descriptor fields. For B2C retailers, this would include age, sex and geography. For B2B companies, this will consist of the size of the company, job role and the industry sector or application they operate in. This example shows a female and male creative with the products that are included in the content changing based on the gender.
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