I always use the example of regular newsletters when dishing out email marketing tips. I think most of us think of email marketing campaigns mainly in terms of sending out monthly or weekly mailers to our subscribers. It’s a pity – there’s so much more you could do with your email campaigns
We all know the importance of customer touch points in our business – things like efficient customer service and service with a smile. We like nothing more than seeing business go the distance when they’re dealing with us; whether it’s a waiter cracking a joke at the table or a telephone operator putting us through to the right person to speak to first time.
It’s the same with email marketing: Subscribers appreciate us going the distance to cater to their needs.
I’m not saying you should email your subscribers daily, just that there are more options where it might be okay to contact them. Adding a few more email touch points to your repertoire not only fosters a healthier customer relationship, but also drives sales (and let’s not lie, that’s what we’re here for!).
Welcome them to the fold
Get off on the right foot. A new subscriber, customer or potential customer should be treated with care! Very few email marketers send out welcome messages to new subscribers. Yet research shows that the point at which someone decides to sign up for your newsletter is a point of heightened engagement – you should cash in before they lose interest! Welcome emails have some of the highest open rates. And, aside from all the CRM (customer relationship management) benefits, there’s the matter of ISPs. Some ISPs now look at recipient engagement to measure how much priority your email should get in the inbox. Sending a welcome email can help you get your future emails to the top of the inbox.
What is a welcome email?
It can be as simple as “Thanks for signing up”. However, there are a few more options. You can give them instructions or a website tour, send an email to explain the benefits they’ll get for following you online, tell them more about other ways to stay in touch (like your Facebook page) or even send them a quick questionnaire to find out more about them, i.e. what particular products/events they’d like to receive emails about, whether there’s a particular branch or store they’d like to know more about, etc.
Make sure that you nurture the relationship from the get go – it’s the best way to achieve continued sales.
Reward good behaviour
A customer’s first purchase is a momentous occasion! Not only have you just made a sale, but you’ve potentially roped in a lifelong customer. Use the opportunity to send a thank-you email – and if you really want to incentivise future sales, you can offer them a small discount on their next purchase.
Once they make those future purchases, don’t flood them with too many emails, i.e. don’t send a thank-you and discount email after every purchase. The novelty of being on your email list has probably waned a bit by then! If you do want to create an after-sale touch point, rather send them relevant emails with information or products related to their purchase.
For instance, after purchasing an iPod, I find it interesting to receive and email containing related products that might interest me, such as iPod covers and strap-on exercise iPod holders, or even docks and speakers.
Of course, you can also intersperse your newsletters with some other emails, such as conducting customer surveys or getting direct feedback or reviews from customers, which is also a great way to take stock of your customer satisfaction.
Wave them a fond farewell
Okay, so this one is a bit controversial. Some email marketers advocate sending an email to a subscriber when they unsubscribe, and others are thoroughly against the idea.
Generally, subscribers tend to be inactive (that is, they stop opening your emails) for quite some time before they unsubscribe. They simply delete it as it arrives in the inbox. Personally I find it’s part of my fear of missing out, I always delay unsubscribing because I’m afraid that I might miss out on something interesting! After not opening a newsletter for a few months I finally realize that I probably never will, and unsubscribe.
It’s a good idea to contact your subscribers during such a period of inactivity. A simple request to update their subscription details should be good enough. It reminds them that you’re still there, and interested in actively engaging with them.
Unsubscribes happen, however; I don’t think a polite “Thank you for your readership, sad to see you go” email is too much – as long as you don’t put your readers through a lengthy unsubscribe process as well.
Image Credit: socialize your cause