How email marketing drives the customer journey
Email is often the primary way brands communicate with their prospects and customers, and as a business grows larger, having a solid email marketing strategy only becomes more necessary. Good communication is imperative during the customer journey and a lack of it is a common complaint from customers in general. Fortunately, email provides a smooth, inexpensive, and efficient method of keeping your customers informed and satisfied.
Today we’re going to look at 5 primary stages of a customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.
These stages or variations of them are commonly used to quantify the customer journey with multiple channels throughout a full marketing campaign, but we’re going to delve into the ways in which you can implement email marketing specifically.
At this beginning stage, your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to sell your customer but to simply get into their inbox so that they don’t forget about you. Here are some places to start:
The landing page
This doesn’t directly concern email marketing, but in a sense, your landing page is a gateway to the rest of your campaign and therefore should be chosen wisely. Pick a page that will provide enough information to customers while not overwhelming them. For most businesses, this is the homepage, but it’s most important to have a page that is easy to navigate, has enticing copy, and, most importantly, has a simple sign up form.
The form fill
Without an email address, there’s no email marketing, so you especially need to nail this part. First and foremost, make it easy for website visitors to find the sign up form. An effective tactic that many brands use is pop-up form fills. These are prompts that typically show up within the first few seconds of a website visit to ask people to leave their email, sometimes in exchange for a certain percentage off an item or service. As with the landing page, make sure your copy is stellar here.
Pop-ups of any kind are already somewhat jarring to begin with, but if you can be humorous or creative with your copy, visitors will feel more comfortable providing their email address if they hadn’t planned to already.
The welcome email
At last, it’s time to officially say hello to your new subscriber with a warm welcome email. This can be a simple greeting or you can jazz things up a bit with a short summary of what your brand is all about. Just keep it light while also letting your subscriber know what to expect next.
Now your potential customers have decided they’re interested in your brand—but they haven’t quite made up their mind on whether they want to buy from you or not. At this point, your job is to nurture them into trusting your brand enough to fully dive in.
Here are a few different ways to get your subscribers engaged and ready to buy.
There are a number of different ways to educate your subscribers about your brand. You could do a basic email listing out the features and benefits of your product or service. You could advertise an upcoming webinar about a specific aspect of your brand. If your company has a blog or a new demo video on how to use your product, you could even center an email around that. Better yet, gather these tactics together into an email campaign. The idea would be to start off with the welcome email and slowly guide your new subscriber to a solid conclusion as to why they should take the leap with you.
The comparison emails
You probably have competitors in your industry, so why not point out to your subscribers why your brand is superior? You don’t need to name names either—you can just create a list pointing out what most businesses don’t offer and juxtapose that against all the perks that come with your product or service.
The abandoned cart email
Maybe your subscriber was just on the verge of becoming a customer, but didn’t hit the “order” button for whatever reason. Don’t let them leave you hanging—follow up with them with a short, straightforward email reminding them to purchase. If you can, include a picture of the product or service (most Email Service Providers offer this out of the box), and if you want to be extra generous, offer a discount.
You’ve done it—you’ve managed to get someone new to join your customer base, but it doesn’t end there. In fact, we’re only about half way through the customer journey and at this point, maintaining communication is especially important. Your new customer has decided to invest in your brand with their hard-earned money. They’re not just skimming through emails anymore—they’re in this with you. From this stage on out, you’ll need to continue to prove that they can trust you. Communication is fairly simple:
The order confirmation email
A simple but essential email letting your customer know that their order has been received. You can also use this email as an opportunity to set shipping time expectations.
The shipping confirmation email
This is almost every customer’s favorite email to get. Not only does it let them know that things are still moving smoothly with their order, but it also tells them that they’re one step closer to getting their beloved product. If there’s been a delay with an order that you’re aware of, don’t hesitate to let your customers know. They’ll appreciate you telling them what’s going on versus being left in the dark.
Retaining a customer is almost always less expensive and less work than gaining a new one. Someone who’s bought from you before has already proven that they see the value of your brand. Convincing them to re-purchase will take a lot less effort compared to educating and persuading someone who’s not as knowledgeable or completely unfamiliar with your product.
The new product email
Coming out with a new product or feature? Center an email around the rollout. This campaign could include the initial announcement, a demo email, a discount email, and a time-is-running-out email. Whatever you need to get the idea across.
The reorder email
Maybe your business model involves a product that customers may need to order periodically. In most cases, it would be ideal to have your customers on a subscription plan or encourage them to sign up for auto-pay, but if not, you can send reminders to your subscribers based off of the last time they ordered.
Holiday sale emails
Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Labor Day, you have quite a few opportunities throughout the year to give your customers some sweet deals, so take advantage. Your offers don’t need to be huge either, but with the many other emails your customers will be receiving on these days, make sure yours stands out.
Want to make your customers feel even more special? Remember something that’s specific to them. If you’re able to keep track of birthdays or even the day your customers signed up with you, send them a friendly anniversary email. Wish them a happy birthday with a discount code or simply remind them to order their favorite product again. Most Email Service Providers offer this out of the box.
Our last stage is easily overlooked but can be one of the most useful and least expensive. Whether they’ve purchased from you once or hundreds of times, a happy customer is a happy customer, and if you encourage them enough, they’ll be glad to spread some positivity about your brand on your behalf. Below are two great ways to market during this stage:
The review/feedback email
This type of email is best sent right after your customer’s made a purchase or soon after delivery. At those points, they still have their experience with your brand fresh in their mind and if the experience is good, they’ll be more in the mood to leave you a nice review. Keep it simple with short copy asking for feedback or a review and a straightforward CTA. You can also include some kind of special offer, but you’ll want to be careful not to come across as bribing your customers. Another alternative incentive is to enter any customers who leave a review or fill out a feedback survey into a raffle for a chance at winning some kind of prize.
The referral emails
Do you have a referral program in place? Incorporate it into your email marketing. This will most likely require more than one email with the first informing your customer about how to make referrals and a subsequent email letting them know when they’ve been paid. But depending on how long it takes for your company to pay out referrals, you may want to send a few more emails so that your customer knows how the process is going.
Email marketing may be only one aspect of creating a fulfilling customer journey, but you’re doing your entire marketing campaign a disservice if you don’t use email to its full capacity. Fortunately, if you implement just some of the strategies above, it won’t be long before you see the positive changes.
But if you feel that your email marketing needs a revamp, Scalero can help! Our team will aid in accelerating your existing marketing strategy by helping you manage design, code, and automate your campaigns. Click here to get started!
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