For every business that sells products or services an email marketing strategy should be rated as highly as ensuring your home has a toilet.
Because just like a toilet, without one people will start going elsewhere (and that is NOT a good thing!)
Undoubtedly, you have strategies in place to acquire customers and obtain contact details to add onto your marketing database (If you don’t you need to! We can discuss this later.). But to retain these customers you need to continually engage with them .
Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand
A customer engagement strategy will assist you in being able to interact with your customers in order to retain their custom and loyalty in the long term.
Email marketing is one of the key tactics in customer retention.
Maintaining Relationships with existing customers to maintain ongoing loyalty, custom and referrals
But it isn’t just about sending out emails willy nilly. You need to do it strategically and you need to consider such things as:
- How often you are going to schedule your email communications?
While the UK Direct Marketing Association’s 2015 National Client Email report found that the largest group of marketers (39%) send out 2-3 emails a month. It is an answer that will be different for different companies dependent on the type of service/product, what you have to say and how your customers are responding. It will be a case of continued measurement and analysis of results to find the best strategy for you.
- What content are you going to put into it?
This can be the hard one – to find something to write about for each email can be difficult. But essentially every company has an expertise – be it a hairdresser, an environmental shop – customers come to you for your knowledge and experience in a specific area. Use this. Case studies, testimonials, how to guides, team introductions, etc. Once again it will be a case of continued measurement and analysis of what works and what doesn’t.
In developing your strategy it is always a good idea to look at what competitors and other companies are doing.
Here is one company’s email campaign I have reviewed. It is one that I regularly choose to open and I want to see what tactics they have used to keep me coming back.
About: A royalty free stock image website operated by one photographer attempting to compete against the big companies. (As a one man band Stokpic operates on what I can only imagine is a pretty thin budget)
How did I get on their mailing list: I tweeted about how much I liked about a similar competitor and Stokpic sent me a personal tweet saying that I might also like their company and invited me to sign up. It worked – I signed up.
Tactics used: Regular communication (emails sent fortnightly), personalisation and free stuff
This is how they get my first click….
tailoring content to an individual through web or email. Its purpose is to cut through the masses and establish a relationship and loyalty with individuals
An example of personalisation is when you log in to your online bank account and you are greeted with your name (ie Welcome Jodie).
In this instance, each Stokpic email has a funny personalised introduction around the individual contacts name.
I find it entertaining and always open up the emails to see what witty introduction they have come up with.
And that is how they get my elusive click.
And this is how they got my loyalty…
It isn’t a new concept but it’s a goodie! By providing free advice, goods or services you are establishing a rapport and loyalty with customers
One thing that keeps me clicking regularly on the Stokpic emails is the offering of free stock images. This images are being offered to me to use in any of my marketing needs for my website or my blog.
For nada, zip, zilch!
What a boon for me!
And as a result i feel a loyalty with Stokpic over any of the other stock image companies because they are providing me with something I need. In turn I will turn to them first if I need to purchase any stock images in future.
What a boon for them!
Do Stokpic’s emails work?
For me? A resounding yes! I am a big fan.
The emails provide me with a feel for the company, I love the idea of supporting a one man band trying to compete against the big companies and I love returning to these emails to see what witty introductions they have come up with.
And the images are actually good. I use them when I can.
So this is proof to me that no matter the business nor the budget by being consistent in your email strategy (one that suits your brand and your offering) you can achieve results in customer engagement and retention.
Just try it.