It’s almost certain that most of your customers have made checking their email a regular habit for years now. Therefore, email is an easy and highly effective means of alerting your customers to new offerings, sharing information on sales or other special opportunities, and updating them on your business’s developments.
Much like any other form of marketing in which your business engages, email campaigns are most useful when you incorporate the information you have on your customers’ buying habits and preferences. You’ll motivate customers to support your business when you understand what your target market is looking for and use your emails to lead them there!
Today, we’re taking a look at how you can create and distribute emails that can help your business improve sales by directing customers to what they most need and want. We’ll show you how you can:
- Use customer preferences to personalize your outreach.
- Engage customers using an email series.
- Incentivize subscription to your email list.
- Make it easy to interact with your emails from any device.
Customer information—from the buying habits your business measures to their own feedback—forms the foundation of a successful email marketing campaign. With updated and well-organized customer data, you’ll easily be able to create emails that speak to different groups of customers.
1. Use customer preferences to personalize your outreach.
You know that your customers share an interest in the products or services your business provides, but do you know anything else they have in common with each other? Identifying these commonalities among your customers and creating messages that speak to their particular interests is key to a strong outreach strategy. Effective email marketing campaigns reach out to different groups of customers according to their unique needs and preferences.
Your CRM is the source for the customer information that will help you segment your supporters and create emails that appeal to each group. You can adapt an important feature of association management software solutions to the needs of your business and use the information you have on your customers to develop and send out different automated emails. Some of these emails may include:
- An alert to new or returning offerings based on past buying history. Some of the most important information stored in your CRM is your customers’ buying data: what they buy, how much they buy, how often they buy it, and when they buy it. You can identify segments of customers with similar buying habits and send them emails that align with their demonstrated interests.
- A recognition for dedicated supporters. You’ll want to acknowledge your most committed customers, including those who have supported your business for a long time and those who are regular customers, in your emails to them. Thank them for their continued support and direct them to the offerings in which they’ll be most interested. You may also want to offer a discount or other incentive to these customers.
- An announcement related to customers’ locations or other important demographic information. Even if you don’t have a physical store, some of your products or services (especially seasonal ones) may be more interesting to customers who live in certain regions. Other demographic factors such as age are also useful for indicating particular buying habits.
Want to gather even more customer information to keep your CRM updated and your email campaigns generating sales? Simply ask your customers about their preferences! Taking customer feedback into account is a great way to evaluate whether your current marketing strategy is working and learn how you may be able to improve it. Include a brief survey in your next email, or ask for feedback after your customers make and receive their purchases.
Whether they’re your newest or your most familiar supporters, your business can attract your customers’ attention and encourage them to complete purchases using an email series.
2. Engage customers using an email series.
When your business sends its first email to a customer who’s recently signed up for your email list, you’re directing the recipient of that email toward a goal: the completion of a purchase. As an effective use of marketing automation for businesses and other organizations, an email series can keep customers engaged and save your business time.
Email series are useful at various points in the buying process: when your customer has indicated their interest in purchasing an item; when they’ve added the item to their online shopping cart; when they’ve made several purchases and demonstrated distinctive buying habits. They’re also particularly effective when it comes to keeping interested and new customers connected to your business. For instance, you may send:
- A confirmation that an interested or new customer has subscribed to your mailing list. They should receive this email right after they sign up for your mailing list, complete with any discounts or other incentives you offered in return for their email. Whether or not they’ve already made a purchase, remember to thank them for signing up. This demonstrates that you value them as a customer.
- An introduction to the ways in which customers can engage with your business. Do you offer multiple shopping options, such as a physical location in addition to your ecommerce platform? Are you on social media? Use this email to show your new customers the options they have to support your business.
- An email that helps you get to know your customers. You don’t always have to wait for customers to become repeat supporters to gather the information that will help you direct them to the products and services they want. Give your newer customers the chance to provide your business feedback and information on their interests and preferences
Automated email series are valuable throughout the process of developing and strengthening your business’s relationships with your customers. You can learn more about the importance and value of automated communications using Fonteva’s guide to association management software and apply this useful tool to your business’s communications strategy.
Interested and new customers can’t engage with your email series until they get on your mailing list in the first place! You can motivate them to sign up by incentivizing their subscription to your email list.
3. Incentivize subscription to your email list.
While your email list undoubtedly benefits your business by keeping you connected to your customers, it also benefits them by ensuring that they’re updated on recent developments at your business. However, your newest customers may not be aware of how valuable your emails can be for them. Motivate new supporters to join your email list with an incentive.
Common and effective incentives include coupons or discounts on your most popular products and services. Choose an incentive that not only encourages new customers to join your email list but also showcases your business’s strongest or most unique offerings. You may also want to consider giving your customers a choice of discount or incentive.
Don’t forget to include a confirmation of the incentive and directions for redeeming it in the first email you send to your new customers. Because these individuals probably haven’t yet demonstrated their buying habits or expressed their preferences to you, it’s easy to automate this initial email and send it out to all new registrants as they join your email list.
New customers aren’t the only group your business can engage using incentives. Just as professional associations often give their long-term members discounts on purchases or event registration packages, your business can reward your most dedicated email subscribers and supporters. You can explore ways to offer discounts online to different groups of supporters here.
When your customers open the emails you send them, they’ll want to be able to access and interact with the content quickly and easily no matter what device they’re using. Ensure that any email you send works just as well on mobile screens as on their computer counterparts.
4. Make it easy to interact with your emails from any device.
Most of us are never too far away from our smartphones, and this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. Statistics indicate that sixty percent of consumers use mobile exclusively to make purchase decisions, so you need to ensure that your outreach efforts are reaching these customers and directing them to your online store as efficiently as possible. To do so, it’s essential that you make the emails you send fully mobile-responsive.
Improving sales in the age of ecommerce requires your business to make all parts of the online shopping experience accessible and functional on mobile devices. This includes every step in the process, from the email that leads your customer to the product they want to the shipping information they’ll have to enter to receive it. As you’re creating your email, keep the following tips in mind:
- Make the links to your ecommerce site easy to see and follow. Place buttons at the end of your email or in other prominent positions to direct customers to your site. If your email suggests that it will lead customers to a certain product or page on your site, ensure that the buttons lead them straight there.
- Simplify the payment process. Mobile shoppers need to be able to complete their purchase just as quickly and easily as those using their computers. If they can’t, they’re unlikely to complete their purchases. If your current payment process is cumbersome on mobile, you may want to update it. Snowball Fundraising’s list of the top PayPal alternatives offers some options to explore if your business is looking for a new way to accept money online.
- Don’t forget to deliver confirmation and thanks quickly. Customers want you to ensure that their payment was successful and their purchase is on its way. Send a confirmation email right after they make their purchases, another when the purchases ship, and remember to thank the buyer in each of those emails!
From their first introduction to your business through each of their purchases, your customers can stay connected to your business via email. More than an effective way to reach groups of customers more efficiently, your emails are also a place to demonstrate your values and your dedication to serving each of your customers.
Your business’s email strategy will be most effective when you’re able to address different customers’ interests, needs, and preferences while maintaining an efficient sending process. The information stored in your CRM, along with helpful automation, can ensure that your emails attract customers and save your business time.
About The Author
Jake Fabbri is the Vice President of Marketing at Fonteva with over 18 years of experience working in marketing management. He has experience with lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, and events.