Are you customizing your marketing efforts to match your customers’ needs? Using tools such as email to build loyalty and boost purchases from existing customers is one of the hottest trends in marketing right now.
For instance, imagine you have a customer who orders t-shirts on a regular basis from your website. There are plenty of companies out there selling t-shirts, so ideally, you’d send her an email with a discount coupon for more t-shirts since that’s what she buys, right? But how do you do that?
Good news: There are numerous tools available to help you improve your email campaigns and tailor your messages to match just what customers are looking for. Almost all of the major email marketing service providers – including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor and many others – offer features including:
- Personalized emails based on past purchases and behavior
- The option to segment lists into different groups
- Testing within groups for improved overall results
- Instant welcome messages to new email list subscribers
- Automatic follow-ups based on customers’ actions within emails or on your site.
Get them on board
The first step in the process is to build an email list of customers and prospects. Even if you already have a list, you’ll want to continue to build it whenever possible. Make sure you have an email sign-up form on your site, preferably with an incentive for signing up. You can set up a pre-designed email message in your account – including a coupon or discount code – that automatically goes out when someone joins your list.
You can also schedule an automatic follow-up message to go out a week or two later that provides tips or educational information, notifies the recipient of a sale, etc.
Be careful about sending too many messages, however. There’s a fine line between sending just enough email and overwhelming your recipients. With too many messages, you may lose those subscribers you worked so hard to get. The important thing is to provide your recipients with just enough information of value so that they’re thinking about you and looking forward to receiving your next email.
If you have an email you send out to all your customers – for instance, a special discount offer – you can use your mail client to track who clicks on what and then automatically act on it. For instance, let’s say you send an email coupon for 10% off any item on your website until the end of the month. You include a link to your site and a code for the offer.
Thanks to your email service provider, you can track who clicks on the link, who goes to your website and who uses the code. For the customers who don’t act – or those who go to the site but don’t buy – you can send an automatic follow-up message a week later to remind them of the offer deadline.
To get even better results, you can run A/B or split tests. For example, you can create two different versions of your email text, graphics or subject line and send them out to a small percentage of your list (often 10% of all subscribers) to see if one version performs better than the other. If so, you can send the version with better results to the remainder of your list.
Your email provider can also help you keep track of customers who spend the most on your site or who are most likely to act on your email promotion offers. You might consider putting these loyal customers into a special group that gets VIP treatment, such as additional discounts or advance sale notifications.
(Note: Most of the major email service providers also connect well with software such as Magento, Shopify, PayPal, and SalesForce to make things easier.)
These are just a few things you can do to tailor messages to customers. Depending on your industry, email list size and desired level of interaction, you can create campaigns and customized promotions to build your following and keep customers coming back for more.
Need help tailoring your email campaigns to your audience? Contact us today.