Email Marketing Best Practices
Some best practices for marketing a loyalty program from launch to re-engagement include (1) launching a personalized loyalty program using personalized email communications, (2) the use of welcome emails, (3) the use of rewards reminder emails, and (4) re-engaging dormant customers with tailored emails and offers to make them feel special and boost patronage.
1. LOYALTY PROGRAMS: USE PERSONALIZED EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS FROM LAUNCH TO RE-ENGAGEMENT
- Several studies have uncovered a correlation between personalization and customer experience. About 79% of customers surveyed reveal being very satisfied with highly personalized loyalty programs. Customers feel unique with customized loyalty programs as such programs have “2.7 times more satisfied members.”
- Frequent use of personalized communications assists in keeping members engaged and promotes sales.
- By leveraging on customer data captured by a multichannel loyalty program, brands successfully make personalized recommendations via email and offer useful promotions, thereby helping such brands “upsell” and cross-sell relevant products and services to its consumers.
- Many retailers now incorporate personalization into their customer communication strategies. Recently, members of the Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) rewards program got emails that contained how the number of points each member needed to get a $10 certificate and other deals they were eligible to receive. DSW used member data to provide a comprehensive snapshot of every customers’ interactions for two years, including the amount saved, points earned, and duration of loyalty program membership. DSW rewards program (loyalty program) make up 90% of its sales.
- Personalized campaigns get about 64% higher email opens, a 13% higher click-through rates, and 58.82% of customers that open an individualized/customized email read it for over 15 seconds. Frequent personalized communications help in keeping members engaged and encourage sales. Research reveals that consumers are ready to share their data with brands for customized experiences.
2. SEND INFORMATIVE WELCOME EMAILS TO NEW LOYALTY PROGRAM MEMBERS
- Sending loyalty program welcome emails to new members of a loyalty program might require less brain work and seem unimportant. However, a welcome email sets the tone for the entire relationship with a customer; therefore, it’s essential to get it right.
- Welcome emails present an opportunity to tell customers more about a brand — what the brand stands for, what the brand cares about, and the brand’s values. About 65% of customers reveal that their beliefs determine their purchase decisions. This opportunity can be used to influence customer thinking/beliefs by educating them on brand alignment.
- Some organizations that leverage this practice include Facebook, and Dr Axe. Amazon, ACME, iHerb, Emirates Skywards among other organizations are increasingly towing the line of this best practice by sending welcome emails. Such welcome emails are also personalized.
- Similar to the email sent to new subscribers, the email for new (loyal) customers should welcome them into the fold, perform additional brand indoctrination, and explains what next to expect. Contents of this mail should reflect how long it will take for their order to depart the warehouse, the expected date it will arrive, brands return policy, etc. This email presents an excellent opportunity to suggest related products but should also provide a direct link to the item the customer just purchased, this will help prevent the customer from feeling that the brand is being too pushy.
- Subscribers who get welcome emails from a brand are known to read 40% more content from the brand up to 180 days (six months) after the welcome email.
- About 74% of consumers reveal that they expect to get a welcome email after subscribing to an email list.
3. SEND PLANNED FOLLOW UP, REWARDS REMINDER AND NOTIFICATION EMAILS
- It is vital to follow up on general sales promotional offers. Brands need to remind customers of the time limitations, such as if there are only 24 hours left for a seasonal or time limited offer or reward.
- Brands can emulate Living Social’s follow-up email by giving customers a second chance. Living Social has altered the “today only” language to “second chance.”
- Brands should check in on loyal customers two days after their orders have arrived. An email should be sent about two days after an ordered product has reached the customer. This check-in email for new customers should inquire to ensure the delivery went well, and the product arrived in good condition as expected. Depending on the product or service, this could also be an excellent time to request a product review.
- According to Mention web (screenshot available here), the number of reviews a product has acquired go a long way to boost its search engine optimizations and boost product sales.
- By emailing loyal customers and requesting their reviews, Marks & Spencer recently increased its customer reviews by over 400%. Nothing is more credible than obtaining product reviews from people who have bought a product that future customers would want to explore. Requesting customer reviews through email is a great way to get started.
- Follow-up emails are known to get a better response rate than the first email; a recent study saw an 18% response rate to the initial email, 13% to the fourth, and 27% by the sixth.
4. HOW TO RE ENGAGE NON ACTIVE CUSTOMERS: USE TAILORED EMAILS AND OFFERS TO MAKETHEM FEEL SPECIAL
- Statistics accredited to the Baymard Institute reveals that about 81.4% of shopping carts risk abandonment. Statistics accredited to Business Insider show that retailers will risk losing as much as $4 trillion to online cart abandonment; however, savvy ones may be able to recover about 63% of the lost revenue through the use of strategies like an automated cart abandonment emails program. An abandoned cart email or dormant customer email series should be triggered 24 hours after cart abandonment.
- Follow up of customers who abandon a cart and are already aware of existing loyalty programs can commence via email 24 hours later.
- The first personalized email reminder (24 hours after) is useful to keep customers aware “of what they left behind.”
- Companies often award discounts and promo codes immediately a customer abandons a cart, and savvy shoppers have responded appropriately. Some shoppers deliberately abandon a cart and hope that the brand will send a discount.
- Another follow up email for cart abandonment should come 48 hours after and aim to discover what people’s objections are. The brand may want to ask them if cases of cart abandonment are high. Adding a question to the first email soliciting feedback about why such customers do not complete their purchase may be helpful as running it for a month will uncover a baseline of data on why people aren’t converting.
- The third email which should come about 72 hours later should offer a discount or an incentive. If some potential customers haven’t converted after getting the above additional emails, the brand may want to add extra motivation. It’s proper to send a discount in the form of a percentage, dollar amount, gift, or other offers.
- Follow up can be used to encourage customers to take further action. Just like Amazon, brands can ask for “feedback on customer’s recent purchase.”