Three Email Message Types Not to Miss in Your Customer Marketing Mix
It’s easy to bore your customers to death with email: just send them the same type of message repeatedly and you’ll succeed. We're often guilty of this when we send our e-newsletter and little (or nothing) else. And while a newsletter absolutely has a place as a staple in your email marketing program, it should be far from the only type of message you send your customers on a regular basis.
After your email newsletter (which can be weekly, every other week, or monthly depending on how much content and activity you have), I recommend weaving these three message types into your email marketing stream at regular intervals throughout the year:
1. Announcements, alerts and reminders. Every event, product launch, sale or new venture you conduct should have email associated with it. Anything with a looming date – especially events – deserves registration and/or deadline reminders. Don’t be shy about frequency here – most marketers are actually not sending ENOUGH of these types of messages.
Enlightened Emarketing Tip: The perennial wisdom “Tell them it’s coming, tell them what it is, then tell them again” applies here. So, for each significant launch, event or offer plan a three-part series that a) gives your audience a heads-up as to when your initiative will "go live", b) tells them when it’s official and c) reminds them before it's over or expires.
2. Helpful, educational content. This is probably the number one under-utilized email message type by all marketers save independent professionals (like accountants, attorneys, doctors, consultants, authors and speakers). Don’t be the "friend who only calls when you need something"; that is, the company that only sends email when you need sales. While sales and buy messages might dominate the email program calendar for retailers, you’ll develop greater customer loyalty and engagement when you weave content emails in between them. Remember, selling by way of serving first is “in” and paying big dividends because it builds trust – trust you want in place BEFORE you make an offer.
Enlightened Emarketing Tip: Email messages promoting your content direct customers to new blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, presentations, free webinars or all of the above. Those message are an intentional traffic-driver under your control. Plus, content email gives you opportunities to educate your customers on your products before and after the sale, increasing customer satisfaction and repeat sales.
3. Triggered up-sell and down-sell offers. This type of marketing message is a bit more sophisticated, but easy to automate in most email systems. First, you’ll need to develop a progression path after a customer buys. If you don’t have one (or don’t know what that is) it’s time to create one. Remember, people are most receptive to buying from you when they’ve already done so, so don’t miss the chance to use triggered email to make up-sell offers after purchase or free trial. For those who don’t convert on the up-sell offer, especially after a free trial, proceed to a down-sell (usually a lower priced, lower commitment than the up-sell or original purchase).
Enlightened Emarketing Tip: Every product or service should have a natural follow-on product or service you offer next. For a quick refresher and examples of automated messages that fit this category, visit this previous post on Triggered Email.
Integrating these message types into your email marketing will give your program depth, diversity, frequency and a refreshing, unpredictable cadence that emphasizes relevancy, service and trust. And when it comes to your customers, don't they deserve it?
About the Author: Synchronicity Marketing’s Online Marketing Content Planner is a fantastic and super-affordable tool for planning your annual email, social media, blog and digital messaging calendar. Karen Talavera runs Synchronicity Marketing and writes about email, social media and other online marketing conversation channels on her blog Enlightened Emarketing. Follow her on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) or Facebook for daily tips on digital marketing trends, facts and new ideas.