Monday, 25 February 2013

Welcome emails - the most powerful email in the World

Welcome emails are effectively your first-date, so you HAVE to make a good first impression, otherwise you'll never get engaged. This blog is a kind of prequel (credit to George Lucas for that word) to the original article I wrote about Engagement in Don't Marry your Leads, get Engaged First.

The welcome email is the single most powerful event in which to grab your new prospect or customer by the collars and scream how great your brand is and how buying from you is going to make their life better.

It's one of those rare occasions when you are potentially speaking to 100% of your audience. Even just using standard messaging, expect opens of 40%+ and click thru's of 25%+ on email. Compare this with regular internal mailings where 20% open is the norm - and you already have 200% uplift. This is clearly a marketing moment not to be squandered, by following some simple rules. Guaranteeing high opens and clicks on welcome emails boils down to three things:
  1. Timing
  2. Message
  3. Audience
1. Timing
Email deliverability plays a key part here as you want to be sure as soon as someone opts-in to your newsletter, a follow-up email arrives in their inbox (every second counts!). Other potential real-time event based messaging include where timing is crucial to performance include site revisits, shopping cart abandonment, Birthdays, etc

2. Message
It is best to keep the initial email clear and welcoming. However make sure you don't waste the opportunity to truly engage the reader. For example, if you only use a welcome email to say 'hello, thanks, we'll be in touch again' kind of thing, then you should march yourself to the marketing court for crimes against email marketing. Instead, make an unforgettable impact by rewarding the email recipient with some news, free advice, or better still, an exclusive offer (with an expiry date).

Another point worth considering is to guard against email creepiness. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Do not stalk your customers! For example, if upon learning that a site visitor has not bought that dress, don't email with a message saying 'we saw looking at that dress, but you didn't buy. What's wrong?' Instead, to achieve a more positive ROI use 'we noticed you browsing on our site today, but maybe you couldn't find what you were looking for. Can we help?' Chat now or email us'

3. Audience
Targeting the right people is essential, getting timing and targeting right with the wrong audience will eventually spell disaster. However, the problem may not be immediately obvious to the naked marketing eye. The problem is that stats do lie, because open rates and even click through's can remain high when employing the right message at the right time. Ultimately however, targeting the wrong people means those window shoppers are unlikely to turn into a high enough buyers needed for campaign success.

If you are still keen to learn more about the power of welcome emails, check out great examples of customer welcome emails courtesy of those nice people at Smart Insights.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love your leads

A timely reminder to always remember leads are real people requesting contact for information about your product or service. So, to that end, they deserve to be treated with respect in all marketing communications. The most appropriate way to communicate with tomorrow's customer is largely due to a number of factors:

  • How expensive your product/service is
  • How complex your product/service is
  • How your brand is perceived
  • How your market sector is perceived
For example, when selling complex pension products is is of paramount importance to give as much information as possible at the beginning of the marketing purchase funnel backed by independent research and customer testimonies. Once trust is established, you can move the the next stage of giving specific advice and recommendations about how great your products are. The sale is a long-drawn out process which could take a matter of months.

Contrast this with a free trial for a magazine subscription and you can normally skip the first stage and move straight into the recommendation phase by focusing on the value of the offer. You can expect this level of sale to complete in a matter of hours.

To summarise - the marketing funnel for consumer purchases looks something like this:
  1. Give valid product information (build trust)
  2. Recommend product USP's (why you're the best)
  3. Close the deal
But above all, if you only need to remember one thing - Love your Leads - you won't go far wrong!