Email marketing is an effective, cost-efficient way to build relationships with customers. The key is to make sure the messages are all written with your customers, not your company, in mind. In other words, put the focus on giving your customers the information they want and need, based on what you know about them.
There are many reasons to email your customers. By brainstorming with your staff or with a professional marketing firm, you can come up with other creative ways to stay in contact with your clients. The following are just a few ideas that could work for almost any company.
When a customer signs up with your company for a service or simply to learn about special deals and discounts, send them a series of welcome emails. The first could be a simple thank-you accompanied by a bit of information about the benefits they will enjoy because they signed up. A couple of days later, a second email could give details about a benefit, perhaps the one that has proved most popular with your customers. On day 8 or 9, you might send another email to give greater detail about other benefits or show how these customers engage with your company in another way. This is one of the easiest and expected reasons to email your customers.
We’ve all left a shopping cart at the virtual checkout, only to receive an email asking if we are still interested in the item(s) we abandoned. It’s one example of how you can set up your email marketing system to send messages based on how a customer interacts with your website. Make sure it doesn’t come across as hounding; a simple, “Hi, we noticed you left something at the checkout. Do you have questions or is there any way we can help you?” is a nice, polite approach. You can set up all kinds of automatic “May I help you?” emails based on actions your customers take on your website.
Most people have no problem providing their birth date (ok, maybe not the year!) when they sign up to receive emails from your company. You know why? Because everyone looks forward to cards, cake and maybe even a gift on their special day. So don’t disappoint. Come up with several birthday cards and special gifts or offers. This is one of the most welcome reasons to email your customers.
Let’s say you run a pet boutique. Cindy buys food from you for her dog; Bill buys catnip. Why not have a couple of cards, one featuring a puppy, the other a kitten, so that Cindy and Bill realize that you know they are dog or cat people? You could do the same with a free gift.
Let’s say you have an ice cream shop and you know, thanks to your CRM system, that Judy always buys a dip of Rocky Road. Why not customize her gift? Send a Happy Birthday, Judy! email, inviting her to stop by during her birthday month for a free dip of Rocky Road? Showing that you know what she likes will make her like your ice cream shop even more
Every month, I get an email from an area museum about special programs and exhibits. It is bright, colorful, short and sweet, and several times, it has spurred me to attend an evening program or check out a special exhibition.
Here’s another example of email triggered by the calendar. Come spring, people start thinking about buying homes. If you have a business tied to homeownership, it’s a good time to send email messages. Create different ones for different audiences: First-time homeowners; previous clients who might be ready for a move; those who might be upsizing; those who might be downsizing.
Give a few of these reasons to email your customers a try, and I think you will quickly see evidence, through increased traffic or sales, that personalization pays. And if you have
any questions, let me know.
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