September 17, 2013
Email marketing can be the life blood of your sales operation. It leverages your sales staff in a way telemarketing could never do. Not just a means of transmitting order confirmations and shipping information, email marketing is the number one way to keep those customers coming back and building a long term relationship that grows in value and generates future sales revenue.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your e-mail campaigns;
An effective e-mail campaign segments your customers to appeal to their buying activities. You should never send the same e-mail message to a frequent buyer and a first time buyer. Your frequent buyer will have different interests and comfort levels than will a first time, possibly reluctant, buyer. Segment your mail list to target three different groups (a) frequent buyers, (b) infrequent buyers, and (c) browsers who have never purchased from your store. Your offer and language should be tuned for each group.
Your e-mail campaign should focus on an actionable response from the reader. Reward your frequent buyers with offers that encourage loyalty. A rewards program or loyalty points are great for keeping your customer engaged. A one time limited offer with a deadline is a great way to break loose those window shoppers and convert them to customers.
Learn to think of your e-mail campaigns as a funnel. The actionable response should require little effort from the customer and should land them as far into the purchasing path as possible. Make the action a ‘no-brainer’ for the customer. The more barriers you can remove the higher your conversion rate will be. Graphical elements in your e-mail are a great way to engage the customer and put them on a purchasing path.
The best time to solicit a repeat order from a customer is shortly after they have placed an initial order. This is particularly true when your store delivers on a pleasant purchasing experience. Optimize your order acknowledgment e-mail by including additional offers or coupons, or perhaps provide a free shipping offer for their next order. Send a follow up e-mail a week or two after the initial order thanking them and soliciting their opinion on how to improve your service, and of course, include another offer. Your focus should always be to remove any barriers preventing them from making another immediate purchase.
The best time to present a customer with an offer is when they already have their wallet out. Your goal should always be to increase the average value of an order. Optimize your store by up-selling your products or offering cross-sell products. If your customer has purchased shoes, send a follow up e-mail on a discount opportunity for socks.