Email Marketing for Customer Lifecycles, Part 2
In a previous blog post, we introduced the concept of online and email marketing for customer life cycles. We also discuss strategies for the earliest stages of the customer lifecycle. Online retailers should adjust their marketing strategies based on the customer’s place on the lifecycle. Is that customer a browser who wants to learn more about the products and service you offer, or is that customer a loyal repeat buyer? You need different strategies for each.
In this post, we discuss how an online retailer should think about email marketing to customers who have already made at least two purchases and are now in the loyal, repeat buyer category. We also look at how you can approach active customers whose buying has slowed.
Email Marketing for Loyal, Repeat Customers
You do not have to convince the repeat customer of the value of your goods and services. They already know this, as shown by their multiple purchases. But how do you use email marketing to keep them happy and coming back for more? Below are some tips from experts in the field.
- Get as much information as you can about these customers. When did they last make a purchase, how much did they spend, how often have they been buying, and what have they been buying? When you have this information, you can develop an email strategy that uses the information you have gathered. For example, if a customer is a regular quarterly purchaser, you might want to send four or six targeted emails. Too frequent messages can be off-putting. You can send emails more frequently to someone who has a record of monthly purchases.
- Keep customers engaged and coming back for more. It does depend on the types of goods or services you provide. In addition to offering loyal customers previews of upcoming sales events, you could also give them idea about the way to use things they purchase from you. If you are a garden store, customers might appreciate an article about the kind of plants that go together in a specific climate. If you are a clothing store, tips on caring for certain fabric, what things to wear when or even something as basic as which colors and patterns go together than grab a customer’s interest. Not only will the customer be engaged, but your helpful efforts will be appreciated.
- Expand your offerings via targeted remarketing. Other topics for existing loyal customer emails can introduce new products or offer extra deep discounts or a loyalty program for long-term customers. The sales of certain products, especially those that are used up quickly, could benefit from an “It’s time to reorder” email reminder based on when the customer last made a purchase.
Whatever you do, make sure the customer knows that you appreciate the business and the customer’s loyalty.
Email Marketing for At-Risk Customers
Successful email marketing to customers who appear to be at risk depends on having good information about their buying habits. If they have been buying quarterly for the past five years, don’t get worried if a month has gone by since their last purchase. Know the buying patterns.
Also, know how much they spend. If you see a distinct decline in total spending over time, the customer may be cutting back on purchases for reasons that have nothing to do with you and your products. You can take steps to encourage such customers to spend as much of their reduced spending at your site and not another’s.
What can you do? Using your knowledge about their purchasing patterns, you can send them a reminder email encouraging them to reengage and offering a bonus for doing so. The longer the customer has gone without ordering the bugger the bonus should be. Such customers should also get targeted sale information based on their previous purchases.
Successful Email Marketing Is all About Quality, Not Quantity
No one likes to receive multiple emails that contain irrelevant information. Such messages are usually deleted without even being read. More importantly, recipients can become actively hostile to the sender of blast emails. That is why it is so critical to have as much information as possible about your online customers’ purchasing habits. This will allow you to craft messages that your customers want to read rather than messages that make them feel victimized by overly aggressive sales tactics. An online email marketing specialist can advise you about the best way to walk the fine line between successful marketing and simply being annoying.
A future post will discuss email marketing to customers who have stopped buying altogether, as well as those who have returned to purchase from your website.