Creating an effective email marketing campaign isn’t just about a monthly newsletter, it should also be about following through with your customers, building a relationship, and extending the experience and customer service that you have already started in person.
To give you an example of what I am talking about, I will discuss an email marketing campaign that we are working on for a client of ours:
First off, you all need a monthly email newsletter and you should use that to not only tell your customers about news, upcoming events, and promotions, but you should also use it as an opportunity to educate your customers about your products and services. I always like to include a ‘feature article’ that educates customers and also discusses a product or service that my client sells.
For example, one of our clients is a pet supply store and for their February newsletter, I wrote an article about dental care to put the spotlight on National Pet Dental Health Month. The point was to inform them and to help them make good decisions for their pets’ health. For the majority of the article, we gave them tips about proper dental care and then at the end, mentioned a few dental cleaning products, as well as food products that assist with, keep their pets’ teeth healthy. The point isn’t to push push push your products; give your customers FREE and useful information as well.
You also need to use this monthly email newsletter to bring together other avenues of online marketing that you regularly use. In every newsletter, you should include links to your website and social media. Your newsletter should also create brand awareness by designing a seamless theme between your emails, website, and social media. Ensure that you are connecting with your customers and building relationships with them on all these different levels.
Now that you’ve published and posted your monthly email newsletter, you need to follow up with your subscribers once or twice more throughout the month. Keep in mind not to overload their inbox or you’ll find that your unsubscribers will increase. You want to provide them with valuable information that they want to read.
For this client I mentioned earlier, they provide a service to their customers as well as an experience. They’ve had a good 36% of the local population visit their store over the last several years and about 4% are regulars. Our goal is to increase both the loyalty of their customers as well as the frequency of their visits. To do this, we want to connect with them more than once a month, we want to give them more reasons to come into the store.
To do this we also send out birthday emails. Now, you think birthday emails and you wondering how you might have time to send out thousands of individual emails. Don’t worry about that, depending on how you gather and store your customer information, you should be able to create a report that includes, for example, every person who will have a birthday in March, who is also a subscriber.
Now you can send out one email to all these subscribers and invite them to come in sometime in March and enjoy a FREE fill in the blank or a discount on fill in the blank as your little gift to them to show your appreciation for their dedication to your product or service.
Another regular email that is important to send out is a quick reminder of a promotion or event that you first told them about in your monthly newsletter. Remind them that this weekend is your storewide sale or your customer appreciation day, etc. Many times subscribers will read through your newsletter and have an interest in a promotion that is two weeks down the road and then forget about it. Send this quick little reminder and get them to stop by so they ‘don’t miss out!’
For this client, we also send out a ‘Welcome’ email. Much like the birthday email, we put together a report of everyone who visited the store for the first time in the previous month and also became a subscriber. We send them this short email to say how excited we are that they stopped into the store, that we will send them future emails, and to give them 10% off their next purchase ‘just for stopping in!’
The final and regular email we send out is an email to those that stopped in, signed up to be a subscriber but then never came back. With this specific client’s database, we can create a report of those who haven’t spent any money in the store for a month or two and send them all a ‘We’ve Missed You’ email. In this short email, we invite them to stop back in and enjoy an exclusive discount because we want them back.
This client of ours also makes comment cards readily available and welcomes any feedback from all their customers. We’ve recently started a survey campaign to show their customers that experience is extremely important. Not only is survey a great way to learn what is and isn’t working for your customers but it is also a great way to get new ideas about products and services that your customers might wish you had!
In the end, it is important to look at your goals, think about what you want to achieve with an email marketing strategy, and give your customers emails that are full of content that they want to read. The customers of our clients look forward to the emails we send out and our open rates are always higher than the industry standard. If yours aren’t doing so well, rethink your strategy.