E-mail is best known as a communication tool. But used the right way and in the right hands, it can be a powerful way to increase sales, spread brand awareness and create customer loyalty. It’s important to analyze what takes place during initial e-mail interactions, such as tracking open rates and clicks within each message. When this data is collected, e-mail recipients can be sorted in order of key interaction and conversion metrics.
But response-driven e-mail goes beyond tracking. Equally important as the data collected is what you do with that data. These are important opportunities to expand your business and make sure you hold onto existing customers.
Purchase Driven E-mail:When a user purchases an item, you will have immediate access to several important pieces of data;including the exact item purchased, when and how it was purchased, where the item will be sent (shipping address) and more.
A customer purchases a pair of sunglasses from a website which will be shipped to the customer’s city. You can assume
that this individual is preparing for the sunny days of summer. If you also sell other products like t-shirts and scandals you could send a post-purchase e-mail with a note alerting the customer that we have other appropriate summer items-perhaps even a coupon for a certain percent off their purchase of select summer items.
The customer may be based in a city that gets cold. This is an excellent opportunity to add this customer to a future e-mail campaign, when we are ready to promote our fall and winter gear, perhaps scheduled for an August push.
In both instances, you can go beyond this one customer and introduce geo-targeting to the mix. A set of customers based in another city, for example, will likely have similar needs to your customer.
Click Driven E-mail: Purchases are far from the only response that can initiate a successful e-mail campaign. Clicks are metrics that can reveal much about user intent based on interaction, thereby setting the stage for meaningful messaging.
When a user clicks on a link within an e-mail, you can instantly categorize that user according to the content of the link — profiling them for future e-mail campaigns. For example, if a recipient clicks to share your e-mail with friends as a forwarded message or through a social networking link, you know that message resonated highly with them and that they are, by nature, socially active online. These are excellent targets to add to our “viral” list and should be considered high priority when making major announcements.
Non-Action Driven E-mail:Even nonactions can trigger a thoughtful e-mail campaign. When a consumer decides not to click on a link ithin an e-mail, does not accept an invitation, abandons a shopping cart or fails to take some other
conversion action, this can tell us a great deal. Perhaps the call-to-action is not properly situated within the e-mail — preview panes can limit visibility — or is not properly worded. An abandoned cart is a good opportunity for a follow-up message inquiring about why the cart was abandoned or offering an incentive to complete the purchase. This is the essence of remarketing — targeting a consumer based on new information not previously known when we made our first offer.
If a user was previously active but has not responded to messaging in some time, this might be a good opportunity to alert them of a new service or to offer an invitation to “come back” with a special discount or other added incentive.
Keep in mind that response-driven e-mail marketing is not limited to consumers’ interactions with previous messages. Take a look at your analytics. Is there a section of your website that is no longer getting clicks? Might it be time to freshen up that section and, of course, send an e-mail to your users to let them know about the new features?
Every e-mail campaign should have a purpose. By measuring how users interact with previous emails and your website, any number of customer profiles and groups can be created. Response-driven e-mail marketing can ensure that the right messages reach the right users, at the right time.
Separating E-mail into three Categories:
Recency: The date of the last purchase made, e-mail click-through or other conversion. In the case of Recency, consider sending an automated follow-up e-mail after a purchase or sign-up, thanking the individual for their business and offering future assistance and an open line of communication such as an e-mail newsletter related to their purchase, or just to let them know about your company’s daily blog. Recency e-mails, obviously, are all about timing. You want to make sure the consumer doesn’t forget about you but also be careful not to overwhelm them or come across as intrusive. It might be better to give a customer a little breathing room before sending a cross-sell or up-sell message.
Frequency: The number of times a user or user group purchased over a set period of time, or the number of clicks within each e-mail. Frequency is a good indicator of customer loyalty and should trigger e-mail campaigns tailored toward that. Any number of customer loyalty rewards can be offered – free shipping on the next purchase or a percentage off for every fifth purchase, for example. But one of the most often overlooked yet effective techniques is to take those most loyal customers and turn them into evangelists. Send an e-mail to these users offering exclusive perks when they refer friends to your website. Look for users who make frequent clicks on “forward to a friend” links within e-mails and social media “share” icons – these are people who are inclined to share and should be rewarded heavily for doing so.
Monetary: The total amount spent per user or user group, estimated value based on cost-per-lead or any other revenue earned as the result of particular e-mail campaigns. Those customers with high Monetary scores are clearly worthy of your attention. These are good targets to send highly personalized, value-driven e-mails. For example, an invitation to a “gold club” program could be offered, where discounts are given after a certain threshold is reached each week, month or year. Another tactic for this group is to send exclusive offers or just simple reminders around the holidays —when large purchases are made.
Of course, many consumers fall into more than one or all groups. When combined, messages can be tailored accordingly. So, the most valuable group will be those who score high in Recency, Frequency and Monetary. This group
should be handled with great care and messages should be as personalized as possible. On the other end are those who score low in all categories. These customers should, at the very least, be considered low priority.