Oh no not those spam email things I hear you cry! But fear not, there is so much more to email marketing than gimicking, annoying mail that clog up your inbox every morning.
Although there is the temptation to simply palm off email marketing as out-bound junk mail, it is in fact a powerful tool that can benefit you and, more importantly, your existing customers.
By providing offers, information and news about your business, you can give a human face to your company whilst converting one-time buyers into regular returners! This is why you should be using email marketing to retain more customers and it should be an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy!
One-time Buyers Vs. Regular Returners
Retaining customers, especially an e-Commerce solution, should be the ultimate goal for any website. Achieving this can be done a number of ways but the most effective has to be using information provided by your customers to entice them back to your site.
This is utterly beneficial for you as returning customers are far more likely to purchase more from you the more they come to your site! According to SweetToothRewards.com first time buyers have a 27% chance of coming back where as this jumps to 45% and 54% if they have brought from you twice or a third time respectively!
If this so effective how do we get our customers information without coming across as marketing version of GCHQ?
Well, this can be done a number of ways, but our favourite is users willing filling out attractive forms which have placed across your site (and in a shameless self-plug, check out my blog on optimising your contact forms!).
However, the most common method of data capturing will most likely come from e-Commerce sites. As most sites use emails as part of their checkout process, this is information that your customers are willingly able to give. By getting your customers email and other useful information you can begin the process of making your email marketing genuinely useful and ensure it moves away from the spammy emails we all have yet hate.
What should we be offering in our emails?
So what exactly should we be putting in these emails? A mixed bag to be honest. Ensuring your emails don't become spam is crucial to ensuring the are opened, clicked on and actioned upon. You don't want your emails (and frankly hard work) being sent into the junk folder after 3 weeks of 'Check out this great offer!'. Mix it up!
Offering users discounts and freebies is a great way attracting people back to your site, but done continually this will turn people off as they, rather irrationally will beging to assume it is probably too good to be true!
Offering sneak peaks at new stock or very personalised messages (birthday's or anniversaries) can work just as effectively as these will make your customers feel vauled.
Using the information provided by your customers will allow you to tailor the emails you send out, ensuring that customers are only seeing products or subjects that they are interested in or have brought previously.
Email marketing is often overlooked as being both intrusive and just junk mail, but as stated above there is a lot that you and your customers can gain from utilising this tool.
As with all marketing, having a clearly defined strategy is crucial to success, as is being able to adapt it to ensure it doesn't become dull and is able to react to your customers differing needs.
For some inspiration, see these cracking examples:
This excellent example from Dropbox shows the power of friendly, informative emails.
Here Warby Parker use the expiry date of your prescription as a way in whilst also providing useful information.
Pulling at the heart-strings is an effective way to re-engage your audience whilst keeping your database up to date.
Giving your customers instant access to new stock is a great way to make them feel loved.
Making your emails completely personal will go a long way to getting the back on your site.