Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Customer retention with email - things to consider

It's still the case with most business sectors I work in that retaining an existing customer costs less than getting a new one. Customer relationship marketing, eCRM, marketing automation and a bunch of other industry approaches and technologies are all there for one thing... To retain the (profitable) customer and stop them switching to other competitive services or products.

Recent statistics [see above] support my own findings that organisations are increasingly using email  as a customer retention tool, rather than one for finding new customers. Although Social Media is constantly grabbing the headlines, the less glamorous subject of email and eCRM is becoming more and more useful in keeping the customers a company already has.

But doing retention marketing sensibly isn't as easy as you might initially think. In the modern world of SaaS email marketing systems and freemium eCRM tools, its relatively simple to dive straight in to a package and start spamming your existing customers left, right and centre.

However, it might be that by weighing-up the following you make your retention campaigns easier for you and more cost-effective for your company..
  1. Ensure you've correctly set-up your digital analytics (e.g. your Google Analytics tags)
  2. Make sure your email service provider can track everything you need (bounce rates, site visits, conversions)
  3. Check that you have the above two points integrated (e.g. that you can also see what emails are delivering converting visitors in you digital analytics package)
  4. Build a schedule for your communications, hopefully covering a calendar and also driven by events (e.g. by all means send out a 'Valentines Day' email a week before the 14th February, but also remember to send a 'Please renew your product warranty' or similar message the week before the anniversary of the product purchase).
  5. Test your messages on all devices, including mobiles and tablets
  6. Clearly place an unsubscribe link at the bottom of all your emails
  7. Understand the deliverability of your emails and what proportion of your messages end up in the 'junk' email folder (where possible, work with a premium ESP to measure and improve this)
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