Email Marketing for Customer Retention
Gathering email addresses (with permission), with the aim of incorporating email marketing for customer retention into your overall marketing strategy, is a great way to go and worthy of special attention.
You can do this with online list building services like Sumo, or paper versions of the same thing stuck on your counter top beside your till. Try Facebook contests (get entrants to send email by message, not in public comments) or have people put their email address in a goldfish bowl to enter an in-store competition. Don’t ignore the opportunities at trade and consumer shows. Same for networking events and as part and parcel of your ongoing interaction and communication with your existing customers. Stick an invite to join your mailing list in your auto-signature.
Note that, even in its free version, Sumo offers very nice pop-up and slider email capture forms, including the type that appears only as your website visitor is about to leave.
When a person gives you their email address in the full knowledge that you will market to them, there is a clear indication that they are happy for this to happen. There is a commitment; a sign that they think you are ok. They’re offering you the chance to develop them into loyal ‘fans’.
Now, don’t forget that, like all other elements of your varied pro-active communication with your audiences, whatever you write about in your email marketing must be of interest to your customers and prospects. It’s up to you to provide them with opportunities to gain value.
There’s little point in constructing a lovely email about stuff they simply aren’t interested in. Vary the content of your emails and keep track of their success. Learn to know what works and what not so much. Come up with different articles for your different audiences.
Is Email Marketing Worthwhile?
Sure, it can be contended that the success rate of email marketing might be low, in terms of click-throughs to your website and purchases (where relevant).
But it can equally be argued that the investment is pretty low too. Especially if you’re disciplined enough to be noting down what it is you want to say in your next email as you go about your daily tasks. Where this form of marketing can indeed be slow and time-consuming is if you find yourself sitting down to write your next email without having put any thought into it previously. That’s a sure-fire way of ending up wasting time staring at a computer screen or looking up videos of cuddly cats on YouTube.
DO NOT click on that link!
Jot down your ideas as you go. Have a focal point for each email. That might be the pure selling of one particular product or other this month, or simply providing useful non-salesy information for your customers next time. Think about what your customers want and remember that this is, at a minimum, brand reinforcement you are engaging in.
Email Marketing for Customer Retention – Tools
There are several well-known email marketing platforms that dominate this market. I use Mailchimp, which is free for those who have fewer than 2,000 email addresses on their list. Indeed, automation services (for example, where you want to automatically send an email to a person who has read a certain blogpost on your website) no longer incur a cost.
Mailchimp (and other services) also offer landing page options, so you can have a stand-alone URL that comprises of nothing other than a sign-up form. Wonderful for requesting sign-ups at outdoor events, trade shows and the like.