Effective Email Outreach & Retention Put The Customer First
Written by Rob Lane.
Online shopping can be an amazing experience. I can peruse my favorite sites at my convenience, compare prices, check out reviews and finally make my informed purchase decision, rewarding those retailers who really stand out from the crowd. But what happens next? Whether or not I continue to deepen my relationship with a particular retailer, or brand depends on their approach to outreach and retention. The kind of follow-up messages they send me, often through email, can strongly influence how I feel about giving them a greater share of my wallet.
Successful ecommerce retailers are catching on to the fact that it’s far more profitable to shore up existing customer relationships than to acquire new ones:
“There’s little point in dedicating massive resources to generating new customers when 25-60% of your dormant customers will be receptive to your attempts to regenerate their business if you approach them the right way, with the right offer. Reactivating customers who already know you and your product is one of the easiest, quickest ways to increase your revenues.”
2. Value The Customer Relationship Right From The Start
When an individual makes an online purchase, they become an actual customer and their value increases dramatically over all those who are merely potential customers. When you sell them your valued goods, and they turn to you for a solution to a particular need or desire, you form a relationship. If this relationship is fuelled right from the start, the steady flame of success is not far behind:
“The highest return from a retention standpoint comes in keeping customers engaged from the beginning. You might be able to save a few of your customers that already show a positive trend for attrition, but you can decrease the overall trend itself by fighting the causes right in the beginning.”
3. A Little Customer Love Can Go A Long Way
Amazon is a terrific example of a company who understands today’s customer relationship model extremely well. Not only do they offer a seamless online shopping experience, complete with trusted reviews and individual recommendations, they know how to show honesty and respect for the customer right from the start of the relationship.
Take the story of noted marketing author, Jonathan Salem Baskin, who was amazed by what happened to him shortly after he order a book from Amazon:
“I got an email a few days ago from Amazon, telling me the price of the book I’d ordered had dropped, so it was passing the savings on to me. I think it was all of $.16. But that small sum is why I’m a loyal customer.”
Setting a respectful tone right from the start with someone who’s just bought from your store by offering additional, unexpected savings, or accurately anticipating their future product or service needs at the right time, can set the tone for a fruitful relationship going forward.
4. Offer Additional Value To Show You Care
Many ecommerce companies combine outreach with education as a way to offer additional value. Luxury online clothing retailer NET-A-PORTER stays in touch with their customers through The Edit, “This weekly Magazine, delivered via emails, isn’t just links to different items of clothing – they have stories and tid-bits teaching their customers the latest styles, trends and ways to wear fashion.”
Successful online retailers also know that it costs relatively little to send these emails out and that email is a very effective tool for retention throughout the customer life cycle:
“Your email list is a critical tool for maintaining and building relationships with your current customers. Time and time again email has proven itself to be one of the top converting channels for ecommerce…. It’s clear that email converts much higher than social and close to twice as high as organic search”
5. Holiday E-Gifts That Don’t Break The Bank
In this season of giving, big feelings are often invoked by small gestures and gifts. Using email to reach out to your customer base and offer gifts of appreciation can create some very positive vibes, without breaking the bank:
“To ensure your customers will remember you and your finance team does not question your marketing budget, send an email with a holiday gift inside! Many vendors, like Starbucks and Amazon now have e-gift cards that can be sent via email to your most valuable customers. ”
6. Continue To Foster The Relationship
Ecommerce retailers have access to an abundance of digital customer data that can help them anticipate customer needs, offer meaningful gifts that don’t cost a fortune, and creatively reach out to their customers in ways that foster harmony in this valuable relationship; however, this only works if they keep their customers’ needs and preferences top of mind:
“To achieve and maintain this harmony, today’s companies must establish a dialogue with customers that shows an awareness of their information needs and respect for their communication preferences.”
Rare.io makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using Rare.io for FREE.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.