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More than 293 billion emails are sent and received every day. Cutting through that clutter to reach your target customers can be tough, but the benefits are plentiful. On average, email marketing generates $38 for every dollar spent. That’s an ROI of 3800 percent when executed properly.
In addition to conversions, email marketing can improve the customer experience by providing quick, helpful support with personalized information. Marketing automation has allowed for significant advances in supporting customers through all aspects of the customer lifecycle.
Contact throughout the customer lifecycle
Email goes beyond just marketing and supports all aspects of the customer lifecycle. As prospects move through the buying journey, it’s important to engage your target audience with great content that speaks to their needs.
Imagine a traditional customer lifecycle that includes:
To successfully drive customers through the above stages, marketers need to understand where a customer is in the journey to deliver the right email message. This benefits the customer by providing relevant, personalized information at the moment the customer is open to receiving it.
Use email marketing to create a great experience at every stage
At this stage, customers are first becoming aware of your brand. This may be when a customer visits your site, but they might not be ready to purchase your product or services just yet. A smart email marketing strategy can create an incredible customer experience even before the recipient makes a purchase.
Consider setting up an email campaign that helps prospects stay informed about the industry. In these emails, you can also share what your organization does and new product features you are creating. These email campaigns can help explain the benefits of your products or services and how you can solve a problem or improve the customer’s situation.
Go the extra mile and create unique content for each industry you work in via templated responses. Tools like Mixmax allow sales teams to trigger emails based on data they’ve gathered from a customer.
For example, say a prospect downloaded a whitepaper about the e-commerce industry. You can create a series of emails that discuss your company’s e-commerce solution. By personalizing the content and setting up email drip campaigns that provide value, your organization will establish itself as a trustworthy and credible option.
Once you have established awareness, this next phase of email marketing is aimed at converting prospects into customers. Email campaigns can offer discounts, incentives or specific reasons why now is the time to buy. Again, consider personalizing the emails based on how far down the funnel the prospect it.
Many email software will provide options that show open rates or even repose rates. Additionally, leverage CRM solutions, like Salesforce, as your customer information hub that shows whether a potential customer has received a phone call, an email or even chatted with customer service. Then, build campaigns that naturally walk these prospects toward purchase based on their actions.
For example, if you see a prospect has opened three emails and attended a demo, it might be a good idea to call them directly and see if they are interested. In contract, if a prospect hasn’t opened any emails in the last six months, it may be time to remove them from your client list.
After the purchase, it’s time to nurture the customer to develop an ongoing relationship. Customer onboarding can be a great opportunity to leverage email marketing and welcome your new customer. At the very least, an automated welcome email should go out shortly after a new signup. This email should thank the individual for their business and introduce him or her to the team or to customer care.
After the initial email, continue the relationship building in a series of emails that educate and empower the customer to get the most out of your product or service. Send a series of emails that explain one feature at a time, so the new customer continues to learn without getting overwhelmed.
Additionally, ensure you provide an email early on about how resources to access for additional help. Provide customer service phone numbers, email addresses and links to chat so they are readily available.
The cost of acquisition for a new customer is high. Repeat customers are already aware of your brand and, if they are satisfied with their experience, are more likely to return. This lowers your cost of acquisition. Repeat customers also spend more and spend more often. Creating email updates on new features and tips can help build retention and encourage repeat business.
Share newsletters with industry updates or put together exclusive whitepapers for your customers. According to research, engaged customers are 23 percent more likely to bring an increase in wallet share, profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to their lesser engaged peers.
Finally, remember that not everything will go perfectly. Leverage email to get ahead of a mistake or to correct something that goes poorly.
For example, send out an email before a scheduled outage, or as soon as you learn about an unexpected product failure. Proactively provide coupons or refunds if a product features goes poorly. Customers will appreciate your honestly and proactive assistance.
When you keep your customers engaged, deliver positive and dynamic experiences, and share helpful information via email marketing on a regular basis, many will become advocates for your company. And customers who become advocates are twice as likely to tell others about your company. They also tend to spend five times more money than the average customer.
By recruiting these customers to be part of your most loyal customer base, these individuals are more likely to engage with your brand and share their positive experiences. Consider emails targeting referrals, social sharing or personalized “thank you” notes to VIP customers. Also, share success stories that show how individuals who used your product saw great results. This will build an army of loyalists, while also showing off your best customers.
Personalize emails at every touch
In addition to building emails that cover each stage of the customer lifecycle, personalize emails at every opportunity. Using email automation tools, customized emails can be sent to each individual on subscriber lists at once. Personalization makes a recipient feel important, valued and can increase open rates, clickthrough rates and revenue.
Consider these stats:
- Customized emails with personalized subject lines increase open rates by 26 percent
- Personalized emails improve CTRs by 14 percent
- Personalized emails improve conversions by 10X
What these stats tell us is that customers respond to personalized offers and engage with them more frequently than generic ones. Not only do personalized emails create better open rates, they also enable better customers interactions.
Some more interesting stats on personalization include:
- Personalized emails help boost clickthrough-rates by 10 percent and conversion rates by 14 percent
- Emails including a recipient’s first name in the subject line have a higher clickthrough rate than those that do not
- Emails with a personalized subject line are 26 percent more likely to be opened by recipients than those without one
- Marketers saw large increases in revenue from segmented email campaigns
- Forty nine percent of organizations believe that the key to increasing revenue lies in increased personalization of customer interactions
Learn from all data
Data is the lifeblood of any business. Properly tracking, measuring and taking action on your data is what separates the winners and losers in business.
Connecting email metrics like opens, clicks and conversions with customer experience data like customer churn rate in an executive dashboard gives teams the insights to drive real results. At ChamberofCommerce.com, I leverage data sources from multiple business units, like marketing, sales and customer service to help make business decisions that impact our bottom line.
Email marketing improves customer experience
By taking advantage of email automation, your business can improve the customer experience at all stages of the life cycle. Email can drive awareness and purchases, but also keep customers engaged through onboarding and training. Personalization can improve open rates, clickthrough rates and conversions; and data insights and testing can provide valuable guidance on what is most interesting to customers.
Personalized email marketing can break through the clutter by continually delivering relevant content to your customers, improving the overall customer experience.