The pressure to create and maintain a stellar customer experience is a daunting challenge faced by brands, and the onus is increasingly falling on marketers to own the strategy and tactics to deliver on the promise of delight.
The CX quest is on. Gartner estimated that by this year, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. This means that a vast majority of companies are putting most, if not all, of their eggs into the customer experience basket.
While marketers are continually working to define channel effectiveness, the “always-faithful” email channel demonstrates clear value as a helpful way to initiate, maintain, and improve customer relationships.
Nearly half (44%) of responds to a 2015 survey about email marketing influence cite that “marketing and advertising emails remind me to shop,” according to eMarketer. The same percentage of respondents indicated they purchase more often after receiving marketing emails.
Think of your email communications as a means for delivering value to your audience and to your business, by helping people make purchase decisions that are relevant and meaningful to their needs and desires, at the most appropriate times.
Creating laser focused-CX email content doesn’t have to be a tedious task. While we’re often distracted by the wide variance in data sources and an evolving list of channels that challenge marketing, simple-but-carefully executed email content can drive the up and cross sell business to boost the experience your brand delivers.
Here are three ways to immediately demonstrate value and drive engagement to enhance your customers’ experiences via email:
1.Seize the date! Timeliness is a great tool in any marketer’s arsenal. Marketers can leverage a date or multiple dates to initiate and/or continue a dialogue with customers based on a milestone relevant to their previous purchases, anticipated needs, or interests. For instance, B2B marketers can deliver custom communications based on a required renewal date, or customer anniversary.
B2C marketers can optimize value by marking a customer’s birthday, regional holiday, or even to stay in touch by letting customers know they have been “missed”, with a call to action to “See what’s new.” Check out this example from Sephora with a call to action to redeem a special gift in advance of my birthday.
2. Help your customers apply themselves. Helpfulness is a significant value add and great way to transform customers into evangelists. Marketers can empower customers to optimize their use of a brand’s products and services by offering targeted applied use case information, or case study stories of similar customers. Your segmentation strategy obviously will vary, but B2B marketers can consider industry, company size, or short-term business goals to help inform messaging. B2C marketers can consider basic demographics, purchase frequency, or offers complementary to previous purchases, to help inform and drive helpful engagements.
Check out the example from LeadSpace that highlights a breakdown of how discovery from a customer will be beneficial to other users. (*Disclosure: Oracle Marketing Cloud is a Leadspace customer).
3. Present personalized value. The email subject line is a first impression for many engagements with your audience. To avoid getting lost in the abyss that is the inbox, personalize subject lines that immediately demonstrate compelling emotional value. See this example from FabKids, a children’s clothing eCommerce site.
The FabKids membership calls for customers to share their children’s age, gender, name, and size. This particular email offered a compelling offer for “60% off Estelle’s Christmas Dress.” In a sea of emails, one with my daughter’s name (and a friendly reminder of the upcoming Holiday season) stood out.
Much of the customer experience is broken because the marketing experience is broken. But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.
Download Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.