Some might think email is going out of style, with the increased emphasis on social CRM as the way of the future. We’re seeing corporations more active on Facebook and Twitter, pushing for more shares and retweets to increase brand exposure. While this is definitely a worthwhile tactic, email marketing remains an indispensable tool in the customer engagement toolkit. Contrary to the proclamations of naysayers, email marketing continues to be the best digital channel for ROI.
In fact, revenue from email has actually increased proportionately by 28% in one year, putting to rest the rumour that email marketing is on its deathbed. Contributing to email marketing’s success are the improved capabilities of email, using tools like templates and automation to engage with customers at every point of the sales process.
Triggered emails to customers at pivotal points in the sales process are effective, as they are always relevant to the recipient’s context. Automating emails allows marketers and sales reps to be persistent in their efforts without being overbearing. Imagine having a rep call you to ask about that cart full of t-shirts you abandoned – not only is it costly to the company, it is also more likely than not to turn off prospects. Using emails requires minimal cost and little effort, while bringing maximum results.Now that I have convinced you of the benefits of email marketing, you can put it into action using Second CRM’s workflows and email templates to move your prospects through the sales pipeline. Here are five types of emails you can automate to improve customer engagement and boost ROI:
- Welcome emails
74.4% of customers have come to expect a welcome email when subscribing to a service or mailing list. By doing so, these subscribers have turned themselves into leads for you. When well designed, these emails can net you four times the open rate and five times the click rate of other bulk emails. As this could be your prospect’s first instance of engagement with your company, content is key. You can take tips from companies like Ann Taylor, who make their customers feel special by saying they are special enough to make “the list”, implying a degree of exclusivity to go with a luxury brand.
You can also include unique or limited time offers in the email’s body to help convert more leads into sales. Doing this in a welcome email has shown transaction rates that are as much as 800% higher than if they were included in bulk email.
- Re-engagement emails
Reportedly, more than 60% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That is more than 60 customers out of every 100 that went through an online store, picked out stuff, put it in the cart and simply abandoned it.
This is why the “we missed you” email is a staple in every online retailer’s email marketing repertoire. It helps push re-engagement, helping to re-capture at least a portion of these prospects into sales. A good re-engagement email should ideally include the following:
- Pictures of the item they selected
- Reviews or testimonials from other shoppers
- Guarantee and refund policy information
- A strong call to action to get them back to your site
- Thank you emails
Thank you emails are sent immediately after a customer’s purchase as a confirmation of, and to show appreciation for a purchase. They generally have high open and click-through rates, and so provide an excellent opportunity to motivate subsequent purchases. One way to do this is to showcase related products that a customer might be interested in. Another, perhaps more effective way is to offer a limited time discount coupon on a customer’s next purchase. One in every 10 customers who receive “thank you” emails becomes a repeat customer.
- Transactional emails
Emails pertaining to a recently made transaction, such as an order confirmation containing shipping and delivery details are eagerly anticipated and more time is often spent reading them. A common reason is that customers want to make sure you have their shipping details correct to catch any mistakes before dispatch.
Any customer interaction is a prime opportunity to provide incentives for repeat purchases. Like the above emails, you can use this as an opportunity to offer discounts and limited time offers to leverage the high engagement rate with this type of email. As this is often the final email in the purchase cycle, you can also use this opportunity to help customers stay connected by providing links to your social media accounts and other points of contact.
- Invoice payment reminder emails
If payment schemes such as instalments are something that you offer your customers, automating payment reminder emails can save time in following up on missed payments.
In the case of customers that have a contract with your company, where a significant amount of time passes between transactions, missed payments can be the result of a customer simply forgetting that payment is due. Automating a friendly reminder that payment is due a week or month in advance of a due date is sometimes all that is needed to ensure that payment is received on time.