opinion

Targeted E-mails - Increase Your Customer Loyalty

Joe D

It is more important than ever before to stay in-touch with current and past customers to ensure that they stay with your brand rather than going to your competitors’ websites. Studies are also showing that programs that focus on increasing consumer loyalty are more effective now than they have been in the past – in part due to the consumer’s desire to work with a company that they know to be trustworthy that will deliver a quality product.

A great way to stay in-contact with your customers and to increase loyalty to your website or brand is to use targeted e-mail marketing techniques on a regular basis. There’s a fine line to walk between effective marketing, which can bring customers back to your site for another purchase, and over-marketing, which can motivate customers to un-subscribe from your mailings and take their business to another website. In most cases over-marketing is a result of sending too many e-mails, or e-mails that are repetitive and boring – your goal here is to offer an incentive to your customers, not to bully them with a sales pitch or bore them with a poorly constructed mailer.

One way to improve the way your mailings are received by your subscribers is to segment and target your mailings to ensure that your customers are receiving messages that will interest them, making them more likely to read the full e-mail, click on links and make another purchase. By targeting your customers based upon past purchases or past interest shown, you increase your chances of positive acceptance of your mailers and of inspiring a positive action, such as a new visit to your website, bookmarking of new products or a new purchase as a direct result.

In fact, a new study showed that mailings that were targeted to customers via a loyalty program out-performed other types of mailings, giving businesses a 40% higher open rate, a 22% higher click rate and a 29% higher purchase rate. Overall revenues for this type of mailing were also up by 11% compared to other mailers - making this type of marketing more than worth your while!

When thinking “loyalty” programs, you should focus on sending your subscribers mailers that have a clear focus on products or services that are of specific interest to them, as well as features and offerings that could yield a discount or a reward for participation.  Studies have shown that effective communication based upon the life-cycle of the customer or via recent behavior and activity, such as messages regarding abandoned shopping carts or welcome messages to new customers, give the best results.

However if you are not getting a lot of positive response to your mailings, you are not alone. Another study revealed that only 40% of retail e-mail marketing campaigns were successful in 2010, meaning that many online businesses need to brush up on their skills and step up their game if they hope to improve on those figures in 2011. Sending more mailers is not the answer – the real key is sending mailers that are targeted, focused, relevant and useful to your subscribers.

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