In 2019 alone, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day. This figure is expected to reach 347.3 billion emails by 2022. Your customers are using email, and you should be too.
Email is the main driver of customer retention and acquisition for small and medium-size businesses, even over organic and paid social media. Eighty-one percent of SMBs rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention.
However, it’s no use firing off emails with little thought or strategy behind them. It’s important to make sure they’re optimized to perform as best they can. A lot of emails might land in an inbox and be deleted without being opened, some will be marked as junk, while some will be read once and forgotten.
To improve your email open and click rates, it’s important to apply a more human approach to email marketing. In this blog post, we share three ways to implement a data-driven, engaging, and human strategy that’ll help you add email as an effective element of your retention strategy.
Apply a data-driven approach to your email marketing.
When a customer lands on your website, they leave a digital fingerprint. If they sign up for your loyalty program, you can collect even more data from them. For example, information such as their birthday, the rewards they engage with, how often they log in to your program, or the types of products they view the most.
Your loyalty program provides your company with a unique opportunity to deliver personalized interactions and customized emails that’ll encourage shoppers to choose you over other stores, encouraging them to return and repeat purchase.
Sixty-five percent of customers said they were motivated to be loyal after receiving personalized offers, while personalized product recommendations incentivized 61% of customers to be loyal. According to McKinsey, 35% of Amazon’s total sales come from product recommendations alone. Customers want to shop from—and give their loyalty to—brands that demonstrate that they know them.
Personalized loyalty information that you can include in emails could be updates on the customers’ points balance, which loyalty tier they currently sit in, and rewards that are available to them. These personalized emails will encourage customers to return, engage, and spend, as they’re reminded they have points to use.
For example, shoe brand Tower London sends out their “Tower Loyalty Program” email with a monthly reminder on how many points the customer has, the tier they’re in, and an option to see what they can redeem with their points. These emails give customers an incentive and a reason to return to shop.
There are three types of personalized loyalty emails you can send to encourage customers to return.
1. Loyalty point updates A monthly email reminder with a summary of the points they’ve accrued.
2. Available reward reminders An email that shows customers they have something valuable waiting in their account.
3. Point expiry updates An email to show customers they have points waiting for them before they churn.
Beauty Bakerie is a great example of a brand that shows it’s paying attention to its loyalty members. They run three loyalty email campaigns that display when the customers’ points will expire, a monthly reward reminder, and rewards that are available. By sending these prompts, they encourage customers to return, not allowing them the opportunity to become at-risk or churned. By displaying the outstanding points balances and the products the customers could be purchasing with their rewards, Beauty Bakerie’s emails make customers feel like they’re missing out if they don’t return to claim their rewards.
Give loyalty members the VIP treatment using email.
Customers have come to expect VIP treatment from the brands they show loyalty to. This can include exclusive perks, free gifts, discounts, or first access to new product drops. This exclusivity gives loyal customers a feeling of status and helps develop an emotional bond between brand and customer. Emotionally connected customers spend twice as much as those who are merely satisfied with a brand.
Seventy-nine percent of customers are motivated to join a loyalty program because of financial incentives, but 66% said that experience-based rewards also motivated them to show loyalty.
While it’s clear that financial incentives like sales, discounts, and points are important to customers, experience-based rewards are also vital. Step up your loyalty program offering to provide a truly VIP experience. These could be free tickets to events you run or a lottery draw for a weekend trip away. When a customer becomes a member of your loyalty program, use email marketing to inform them about these exclusive experiences and how they can access them.
For example, the beauty brand, Mirenesse, offers rewards sales for members where the more products they buy, the greater discount they earn.
Similarly, beauty brand Pacifica gives loyalty members early access to flash sales. Treating loyalty members to VIP-exclusive events helps build long-term connections and trust with customers.
Build bonds that won’t break.
Shared values are key to maintaining customers’ loyalty. Sixty-eight percent of customers said they’re motivated to be loyal by knowing that a brand shares the same values as them. And 71% of 16–24-year-olds say that they feel strongly or very strongly about corporate social responsibility. Research also shows that 89% of shoppers would switch to a brand that’s associated with a good cause, given similar quality and price. It’s no longer enough that the product ticks the right boxes; the customer also wants to know what role the company plays within society at large and that it matches their worldview.
Email is a great place to show your customers that you’re aligned on the issues that matter to them. Welcome emails are a great way to communicate this to new customers. Use them to educate new members about the social causes you care about, charitable donations you make, or how you do things differently to other businesses.
100% PURE does this with its welcome intro series. In the email, they share why they started the business, their mission and how their products fit into the clean beauty category. It’s an excellent way to make the right first impression.
Annmarie Skin Care also reminds their customers about the brand’s purpose by including their key mission statements on their points balance and rewards emails and they send out emails to promote their organic cotton tote bags and products.
Darn Good Yarn also uses their email marketing strategy to keep customers up to date with how they’re helping causes its customers care about. They include images in their campaigns from charity events to visually reinforce the work they’re doing.
An engaging, data-driven and human approach to email marketing is key to its success.
Improve your open rates and effectiveness with these three key strategies:
Use data to personalize your email offering, giving customers relevant, timely content
Use email to make customers feel like VIPs, offering exclusive discounts or early access to sales to keep them engaged
Build lasting relationships with your customers by sharing information about your values, your mission and your community.
LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. A loyalty program is about more than points and rewards. It’s about unlocking real insights to increase customer lifetime value. With LoyaltyLion, you can build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide.