Do you want to know how to make the most of your email marketing strategy? In this article, I’m going to show you six ways to use email marketing to win more customers.
How to use email marketing to win customers
Are you being constantly bombarded by emails from businesses that are trying to sell you their wares?
Is your inbox being flooded with these emails on a daily basis?
Or do you actually value and read some of the emails you’re being sent – and buy from them?
I know I do.
I receive a lot of emails, some of which I never read. But there are others that I check and I have actually decided to purchase from them.
The funny thing is though this conversion hasn’t always happened online, very often an email from a retailer has prompted me to check out the product on their website. But I have actually made my purchase in-store, where I have had a chance to view the product in person.
Are we missing something here, in the ‘customer journey?’
What is the most effective way of incentivising the customer to transition from the email marketing message to in-store purchase?
And perhaps even more importantly, how do we measure that transition in the first place?
6 things you need to do to add value to your email marketing strategy
1. Personalize your email messages
If you are in the business of content marketing, you should constantly be relating your own personal experience as a consumer back to the way in which you conduct your business with your customers.
Email marketing is a powerful tool, but it needs to be used carefully
Eric Samson, writing on Entrepreneur.com cited Pinterest as an example of a well conducted email marketing campaign Their emails are specifically targeted to the user and their interests.
This ‘personalisation’ can be an effective method of grabbing the user’s attention.
This is because Pinterest sends them messages that are tailored for their lifestyle, as well as their past behavior, on the social media platform.
2. Watch behavioral marketing
Juntae de Lane, writing on DigitalBrandingInstitute.com commented that targeting on the basis of ‘Behavioural marketing’ enables him to only send his subscriber list information that mirrors their specific interests.
To enable him to do this, he regularly reviews the online behavior of his subscribers and asks himself:
- What messages do they open and click on?
- Which messages do they ignore?
- What types of offers are they more likely to respond to?
Try asking yourself the same questions about your customers. The answers you receive can yield valuable insights into the minds of your customers that can help you to better tailor your content according to their needs.
The importance of behavioral marketing
Ian Cleary also referred to the importance of behavioral marketing in a recent article on Razorsocial.com, stating that you should set up click tracking to see who clicked links in your emails.
Because when you send a promotional offer via email, you can check to see who clicked on the link and who looked like they were interested in your product.
Ian also states that if you do this, you can create an email specifically for people who clicked on this link, to allow you to follow up with them – something which can be automated in most email automation tools
Knowing what content works well and what doesn’t work well is half the battle. Studying the past behaviour of your subscribers therefore can yield valuable insights which can help bring you one step closer to sending them the kind of content that will ultimately convert them to a sale.
So how do you produce email marketing messages that will resonate with your subscriber list?
3. Avoid the ‘hard sell’
The answer may not always be to do a hard sell each time you send out an email. Some of your audience may even find these kinds of emails off-putting and unsubscribe from your mailing list.
The secret may be to valuable offer content to your subscribers first and then pitching your products to them second.
The reason for this is that your subscribers are more likely to trust the products you are trying to sell if they trust you as a retailer first.
4. Add value
So how do you build this trust?
The first thing to do is to offer your subscribers useful information. If your business is a gardening centre, why not email your subscribers a link to the list of the ‘top ten things you can do to eliminate weeds in your lawn this summer,’ or a link to a ‘how-to guide’ on your website on ‘ how to create a garden pond this spring.’
If you offer them this kind of information in your email message, you could also offer them a discount code for them to redeem on your website for some of the specific products you have mentioned in your articles on lawns or garden ponds. That makes for a much more compelling offer than if you had just emailed them a message offering them a discount off a general range of products on your website.
If you use this method, it also means that you will be able to track how many subscribers redeemed this discount code on your website on the basis of having clicked on your email. These are useful metrics which will help you to tailor future content more effectively, going forward, to individual subscribers.
5. Combine in-store and online purchases
To return to the question on how to incentivize in-store purchases, Ed Hallen writing on Kissmetrics.com cited a very interesting case study.
Sephora runs a program called the ‘Sephora Insiders Program.’ According to Ed Hallen, when a customer makes a purchase in the store, the cashier asks for her email address at checkout.
The result of this is that the customer’s in-store and online purchases are all organized in one place so that she can easily write reviews, share the products she likes on social media, and order refills.
A clever way of using email marketing which adds value to the customer experience and which in turn builds customer loyalty.
6. ‘How to’ videos on YouTube
You don’t have to just restrict yourself to articles and text-based content in your email marketing messages.
You could also consider sending your subscriber list links to videos on your YouTube channel. ‘How-to’ videos on YouTube are amongst some of the most popular content on YouTube.
Why not capitalize on this trend with a series of ‘How-to’ videos on your area of expertise?
The most successful type of ‘How-to’ videos addresses a specific problem and give the solutions. You can identify what problems your audience have by talking to your customer service team.
You can also evaluate reviews, as well as conduct surveys with your customers on their experiences of your products.
What about creating a training program?
Social media guru, Kim Garst suggests creating a training program as a 6-8 part email series using autoresponders. Your training program could incorporate both video and text based content.
You can hyperlink to this kind of content in your email message. Kim suggests using an email management service like aWeber as this makes it simple to set up this type of series with no ongoing management on your part.
There are always going to be some email marketing messages that we will never read in our inboxes. We can only hope that our email messages are not among those going to the trash can.
To make sure our customers will read our emails you need to add value to them. That way we will significantly increase our chances of making that elusive sale.
How is you email marketing strategy going? Are you following any of these tips? Leave your opinion in the comments below and share it with us!