Just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent; and for most marketers, this is not news.
Customer experience and loyalty have lately been brought into the epicentre of marketing operations, as the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic impact affect critical business KPIs at organisations across a variety of industries and geos.
Many businesses are redirecting their strategy to focus more on customer experience, from both a proactive standpoint and a reactive one. During a crisis, like the current pandemic, it all comes down to customer communications.
For most industry sectors, email marketing is pivotal to customer experience and loyalty, and not without a good reason. Email is a truly powerful tool:
- It follows your customers everywhere: on laptops, smartphones, tablets, watches, etc.
- It’s friendly and easy to use for consumers, and cost effective for businesses
- It’s a rich medium that supports a wide range of content type, design assets, and engagement tools
Using email marketing effectively can have a direct, positive impact not only on sales, but also on customer engagement and loyalty. So, how can organisations develop a good email practice? Here are a few tips to help transform the ability to educate and inform, minimising frustrations for both marketers and customers during challenging times.
Make it relevant
Like most of us, your customers probably receive hundreds of emails every day. Each morning they go through their inbox and choose what’s for reading and what’s for the junk folder, or prioritise those emails that appeal to them most.
Content that’s relevant to your customer base, which is brief but well-written, is more likely to be read. If your audience is large and diverse, perform some segmentation and adjust your content to match each group’s interests and needs. Another good practice is to use geographical criteria in order to help your customers connect with other customers, service providers in their area, or the local community.
Make it clear
During a crisis, it’s more important than ever to understand and use customer data. Knowing where customers are in their journey can help organisations identify needs and create opportunities for proactive message development.
By offering helpful information to customers, brands can effectively evangelise their customer-first approach, while demonstrating their ability to understand customer needs by merging data with communications and thoughtful messaging.
Make it transactional – but be human
According to Experian, transactional emails are opened 8 times more often than typical marketing emails. But even when it’s generated automatically, the email is still a communication stream and, like any other type of communication, it can bring together all the characteristics of human interaction.
Emails come packed with expectations. People expect your emails to follow the usual norms and principles of social interactions. Particularly during the lockdown, It’s essential to keep in mind that your audience is made up of real people – so be friendly, be candid, and use normal language.
Invest in proactive outreach to lighten customer service backlogs
While ramping up a customer service workforce takes time, strategising email marketing to mitigate the burden on customer experience is something that can be done with speed and efficiency, and provide rapid return. Clear, informative messaging has the ability to proactively address future confusion and allow for self-troubleshooting.
Tightening your messaging strategy and content makes it easy to further support your customer-facing workforce by maintaining consistency and minimising confusion as the team engage with customers.
These “front-line” interactions hold a lot of weight for the overall brand and can be the difference between well-informed, satisfied customers and confused, dissatisfied ones.
Ask for feedback
No matter how good you are, or how closely you are following your well-designed strategy, there’s always room for improvement. By asking your customers for feedback you can maintain a healthy, open, two-way communication between your organisation and your target audience while showing that you are willing to adjust and cater to their needs.
Bonus: collecting feedback frequently will help you remain relevant to your customers’ needs and interests.