Creating relevant email campaigns is an ongoing struggle for marketers.
Every customer is on a journey, and marketers guide them toward their destination. This shouldn’t be taken lightly as it has serious consequences for the bottom line - and staying relevant is key to creating successful customer journeys.
Ideally, marketing messages should be highly personalized, but this is a complex process for many reasons including:
- Segments are difficult to maintain
- Many modern ESPs aren’t built to deliver a 1:1 experience that leverages your data
- Most retailers have a large file of inactive subscribers - it can be difficult to personalize with such little transaction signal
- Large number of stakeholders involved in the process
Marketers, however, can take simple steps to embrace more advanced strategies when the time comes, and increase the effectiveness of their campaigns in the short term.
If you're a marketer, you can do three things to support your team in thinking and acting in ways that work with increasingly advanced marketing tools and strategies.
1. Ask your customers what they want from the relationship.
Customer-retailer interactions are like any relationship - both sides want to be heard. Customers want products that will benefit them, and you want to make money.
Often, we think of marketing as a one-way street. It's easier for marketers to communicate with customers than the opposite. But it’s essential to listen to your customers.
Marketers sometimes assume what customers want, or try to direct customers’ desires to products that they would never purchase in-person, simply because vendors require that their product is placed front-and-center.
This puts strain on the relationship and your access to a customer. It can cause channels to be cut off; customers may unsubscribe, unfollow, or worst of all, mark you as spam.
By reaching out to customers and learning what they want - and what they could do without - you enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Increasing the relevance of your campaigns keeps communication channels open and makes customers more receptive to your messages.
Activate your customers so they help you to help them.
2. Use available data to drive smart product recommendations.
One way to make your marketing campaigns more relevant is to make use of the data that customers freely share with you.
But it has to be done intelligently. Many brands err by recommending the same product to a customer repeatedly, after they have already made a purchase.
And frankly, companies like that should know better.
A better way to help your customers and get them to purchase more is to think of your digital marketing efforts like an in-store personal shopper service.
It should make recommendations that complement the previous purchases, or try to strategically encourage customers to venture outside their comfort zone to try new things.
It takes some nuance, but can get previously disengaged customers to make more and bigger purchases.
3. Create a “content diet” tailored to each customer’s needs and desires.
A helpful way to look at digital marketing efforts is to see marketers as nutritionists who create diets for customers to make them a better version of themselves.
As a marketer, you want to feed your customers content that will get them to make purchases today and cultivate loyal long-time customers.
One brand that does a great job is L.L. Bean. It not only sells fly fishing equipment, but enhances the experience by helping customers learn how to fish better by offering courses, trips, and tours.
It’s difficult to get “unstuck” from brands that provide a holistic experience. There’s always something new that the brand can offer to build brand affinity.
And this comes through in their marketing content. L.L. Bean lets people know that it sells more than just equipment. It sells an experience and a lifestyle.
Retailers that differentiate themselves through proper branding and a holistic strategy to prioritize relevant marketing have a leg up on other brands. They can be a helpful guide to customers on a journey and are viewed in a positive light as a result.
Remember, in the customer journey, there are two possible destinations: disengagement or brand enthusiasm. What you send them can determine where they end up, which is inextricably tied to the bottom line of your business.
What are you doing to ensure that your campaigns are sending customers in the right direction?