When the internet launched, email used to be the main way a business could talk to a customer. It seemed novel and it was widely loved. Today, however, people are more wary of email ‘spam’ and are cautious about signing up for emails and providing their personal data. Some businesses may therefore question the relevance of having an email strategy in 2022, but if done right, I believe an email program can be indispensable.
In this piece, I will provide 3 important steps to help businesses optimise their email programs and strategies.
If a business has an email program, it’s important that they assess the current state of their email program and strategy. Benchmarking metrics against industry benchmarks and the applicable industry vertical will help in determining how well an email program is performing. For example, a business may be getting higher than average open rates but low click through rates, which means the problem lies with the content not being relevant. Once a business understands what KPIs they need to improve, they can start optimizing and testing.
The next step to a successful email program is building a strong foundation. The primary goal of this phase is to focus on the basics: best practice alignment, quick-wins, and growth hacks. Key components may include:
- Concentrating on sign-up and data capture. The sign-up process must be straightforward. Businesses must avoid asking for too much personal data as doing so puts people off and there are other ways to get this data at a later stage. Supporting the sign-in process with Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn is easy to implement and it saves customers from having to type email addresses and passwords, sometimes twice in some cases! It’s appealing to offer an incentive for the customer – a large discount, for instance – to tantalise them into signing. By offering an incentive, you are more likely to get to the goal of driving a member to purchase.
- Optimising welcome emails and associated materials. The welcome email is the first real chance a business has to engage with their customer and let them know who they are, what they offer, and how their products/ services work. Users who receive a welcome email show 33% more engagement with the business. However, welcome emails and materials are still very underrated and under-utilised. 41% of businesses don’t send a welcome email within 48 hours. 27% of businesses send zero emails in the first three weeks. Imagine a welcome series like dating, you have made initial contact, the other person seems interested but then hears nothing afterwards. Businesses not engaging with their customers proactively works the same way with the customer potentially becoming disappointed with the lack of communication before losing interest.
The goal of this phase is to shift the focus to a more customer-focused program that will tackle the following aspects:
- Testing basic strategies (From Name/Subject Line and creative copy).
- Developing a customer contact preference centre to drive increased marketing returns.
- Developing segmentation models for increased conversions.
- Life-cycle marketing triggers.
The key move businesses must make here is to shift from a “campaign-centric” to “customer-centric” email program design. This is also called life-cycle marketing, as the audience is segmented based on their respective life stages and engagement levels. Customers are then engaged with at all levels of their lifecycle with the appropriate messaging. They are acquired, converted, grown, and even potentially reactivated if they lapse in their engagement.
By giving value to the customer’s life-cycle stage, a business knows who their most valuable customers are and when they can overlay this with purchase information. They can understand the long-term impact of their email contact strategy on their overall subscriber base. Other examples of behavioral triggers may include sending re-engagement offers to lapsed customers, ongoing encouragement to frequent shoppers, and post-conversion offers to infrequent shoppers. These can be used effectively alongside birthday emails and tenure milestones.
By incorporating some of these steps and understanding the importance of a customer, I believe email marketing can still be very relevant in 2022. It is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for businesses to get in touch with their customers and build valuable trust and relationships. It can be used harmoniously alongside other channels within the business to ultimately helps strengthen customer retention and loyalty.
By Anna Levy, Account Director, Affiliate and Partnerships at GrowthOps Digital
GrowthOps Digital is a full-service digital agency that offers end to end digital marketing services such as Google Ads, Social Media, Affiliate and Partnership Marketing, and more. Speak to us about your growth needs today.