Social media may be the media darling, but when it comes to implementing a successful online marketing strategy there is still no substitute for email. Email marketing is so much more than just sending your customers emails each week. It’s about building relationships.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing returns more than $40 for each dollar invested, which makes it not only the most lucrative form of online marketing but the most profitable marketing means of all, on or off the web.
Email marketing can be carried out through different types of emails. In order to take full advantage of the benefits of email marketing to increase customer engagement and boost sales, you should be integrating three critical types of email marketing messaging strategies:
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. Transactional e-mail marketing works best with impulse-buy commodities or well-known products that simply require reminders. Because it’s relatively inexpensive to “batch and blast” thousands of e-mails to meet reach and frequency goals, it can be confused with spam.
Triggered transactional messages include dropped basket messages, purchase or order confirmation emails and email receipts. The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. Because of its high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are a golden opportunity to engage customers; introduce or extend the email relationship; anticipate and answer questions; and cross-sell or up-sell products and services. Sending a customer an email to inform them that they have abandoned their cart while presenting a motivational incentive to return and complete the transaction has been implemented with great success by thousands of e-commerce companies.
A crucial part of running any successful business comes down to the customer. Without customers the business would cease to function. This is why consumer loyalty is a key factor in email marketing. A loyal customer is one who will continuously use your products or service. He/she will also provide good ratings and promote your business through word-of-mouth.
Loyalty-focused campaigns can span the entire customer life cycle, from the initial entry to program renewal notifications and reminder messages. Loyalty programs enable you to collect significant amount of data about your customers, such as their addresses, phone numbers, demographic information and buying behavior.
Loyalty programs can be complex, but email campaigns that target loyalty program members are more successful at engaging their audiences, generating higher open rates, transaction levels and revenue per email, according to a report by Experian CheetahMail. Among email campaigns studied, mailings targeting loyalty program members boosted transaction rates 29 percent over bulk campaigns sent to the same clients and such programs increased revenue per email 11 percent. Among various types of loyalty mailings, emails announcing rewards arrivals perform best, generating open rates roughly 5 times higher than loyalty promotional mailings.
Overall, most loyalty mailings generate strong click rates, including welcome emails, reward statements, redemption reminders and surveys. They also tend to perform better than standard promotional mailings in terms of customer response and revenue. In fact, compared to bulk campaigns, emails targeted to loyalty program members have 40 percent higher open rates, 22 percent higher click rates, and transaction rates and revenue per email that are 29 percent and 11 percent higher, respectively. Even mailings targeting prospects with an invitation to join a loyalty program tend to outperform the promotional mailings for the same businesses with a 28 percent lift in transaction rates and 25 percent higher revenue per email.
A relational e-mail marketing campaign is about the database. Relational email marketing allows you to easily speak to your customers (and prospective customers) in a very personalized and intimate way that is not possible with other marketing channels. Relational email marketing presents many opportunities, including
• builds trust and professionalism
• creates a sense of personal touch that people respond to
• people are more likely to click through your offers
• people are more likely to complete your surveys and share buying experiences
• it can be easily monetized
• helps generate repeat sales
Emailing a monthly newsletter, articles, videos and podcasts, helps establish your company as an expert and keeps you on your customers’ radar. Not only can you send personalized email with your user’s name or login name, but you can add targeted information. In addition, you can segment your customer list into smaller lists and send very personalized messages. And because you can segment your database with email, you can send extremely targeted marketing campaigns that will result in increased sales conversions simply because they are so specific. For example, if you sell flowers, you can find everybody in your database who ever bought tulips and send them an email in April when the first tulip shipments come in. By using your customer database to put the most relevant message in front of customers who are most likely to respond to it is what good marketing is all about.
If you have questions regarding email marketing, Blue Interactive Agency offers full service email marketing with tracking and reporting for optimized results. We design custom email campaigns including all services from strategy to list management for interactive marketing solutions that drive ROI.