Email marketing has become the norm for brands to reach out to customers, build a loyal base and increase customer retention. What makes it so appealing is that it’s affordable and open to small and large businesses alike. Consider this – in 2018, global email users numbered a staggering 3.8 billion. The figure is projected to grow by almost a billion in 2023. With so many people logged in to the internet, it’s only logical that companies finetune email marketing solutions and reap the rich benefits. Here are a few strategies for 2019 that can help businesses stay relevant and connected to their customers.
Effective Email Marketing Strategies
1. Create Refer And Earn Programs
One person’s referral can be worth its weight in gold. People are more likely to buy from a certain brand if someone they know and trust already has. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers trust referrals from people they know. Programs that reward a customer when they ‘refer a friend’ are a great way to expand a brand’s reach. There are several program ideas to try such as offering discounts, providing cash rewards as part of a contest, or providing a freebie. Referral emails can target customers who have made more than one purchase and those who have provided good feedback. They’re more likely to bring in sales than one-time customers.
2. Utilize Special Occasions
The holiday season, national holidays and similar special occasions are the perfect time to launch new deals. Why? Because people are in a mood to spend. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, retail sales in the United States from November 1st, 2018 to December 24th, 2018 increased by 5.1 percent – more than $850 billion! Meanwhile, Adobe Analytics reported that online sales hit $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving Day. That’s a 27.9 percent growth year-by-year compared to 18.3 percent in the year 2017. Using the opportunity to organize tempting holiday email campaigns can draw in new customers. These special occasions are also the perfect time to send email offers to existing customers and targeted segments of mailing lists.
3. Have Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are important because they focus on creating lasting relationships and customer retention. Turning a quick profit is not the goal here. Rather, it’s about making customers know that they’re valuable and that their patronage is appreciated. It could be as simple as sending a wish on their birthday, offering a discount coupon or letting them use reward points on how they want to.
4. Personalize Promotional Campaigns
A promotional email marketing strategy benefits both customer and business but adding a personal touch ensures better customer satisfaction. The first step is segmenting customers into lists such as demographics, type of products purchased, the amount spent, etc. For instance, customers who have purchased certain types of products in the past can be targeted with similar ones. Or, emails can use a certain type of language and tone depending on the customers’ demographic to better connect with them. There are email marketing tools to send bulk emails. They also allow users to personalize emails and send them to specific mailing lists.
5. Use Brand Colors
A simple way to imprint a brand in customers’ minds is to reflect the brand’s personality in emails. It’s part of a larger brand digital strategy where the logo, tagline, brand name, and brand colors come together to make people remember. People receive dozens of emails a day and unless a company stands out from the din, it will easily get lost. It’s essential to reflect what a brand is about with the right colors, typography, and design elements.
6. Inform Customers When Items Are Back In Stock
Items go out of stock all the time but the inventory will be filled soon, give customers an opportunity to be notified by email when that happens. They’ll appreciate the gesture as they don’t need to log in and out of the site to check if the item is back in stock. It’s also a smart way to increase lead generation. Instead of hiding items that are out of stock, display them and add an option to be notified by email.
7. Follow Up With Automated Emails
Automated follow-up emails can boost the lead generation process. It takes the drudgery out of it and smoothens workflow. It’s relevant and timely, saves big money and saves a lot of time. Email marketing companies offer a range of tools including automation and personalization. Automated follow-up emails can comprise notifications for product reviews, sale on items on wish lists or carts, etc. On a side note, automation can also be used to welcome new subscribers (perhaps with an offer) and send a ‘thank you’ note for purchasing something.
8. Send Friendly Reminders On Abandoned Carts
According to Baymard Institute, high extra costs like shipping and tax, account creation requirement, and complicated checkout process are among the top reasons for abandoned carts. Baymard also estimated that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57 percent. That’s high and it can be frustrating seeing potential leads fall flat. However, instead of sending pushy reminders, conceptualize friendly and creative emails that encourage customers to return to their carts and hopefully make a purchase. Humor, a sense of urgency for e.g. Items in the cart are almost sold out!, and a helpful attitude such as Do you need help with your order? etc. are some examples. Images of the products abandoned in the cart, adding a link to the cart, and giving offers to the existing cart can also nudge customers.
There are other strategies that can be taken such as delivering regular content via newsletters, actively asking for reviews, and reminding customers about wish lists. Email is a powerful marketing tool with the potential to convert leads into sales. However, it isn’t always leveraged properly and this can mean huge losses. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to get up to speed and these email marketing tips and strategies give a gist of how to go about it.