Without customers, no company can survive. Without strong customer relationships, no company can truly thrive. Overly broad email marketing campaigns that do not take into account the customer who actually receives the message will quickly alienate users and cause them to churn away. This hurts customer lifetime value and your bottom line.
The key to building a strong customer relationship is to view your marketing through the lens of the customer lifecycle. Every message is a touchpoint in building a strong relationship. Just like a relationship with a friend, establishing, building and maintaining that relationship takes time and attention. And just like a real friendship, communications will be different in different circumstances. Customers moving through the acquisition stage, the retention stage and the building stage respond to different types of interactions. Making the investment in your customer relationships can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Below are ten simple, but important tips for all stages of customer lifecycle campaigns, beginning with the best ways to leverage email marketing for new customer acquisition.
Tip one: List signups on your website
Don’t wait for a customer to complete a purchase before adding them to your database. Email signup should be as easy as possible for visitors when they arrive at your site. Add a link or signup form on the right hand side or bottom of every page. If possible, enable a popup to trigger after landing on your page with a form for the potential customer to quickly enter their email address.
Tip two: Newsletters
Use your monthly newsletter to promote new products, capabilities and features. Be sure to include a link directly to a shopping cart or signup page. In the ecommerce platform, create a coupon code specific for the newsletter. This enables accurate tracking of conversions attributable to your monthly communications.
Tip three: Trial campaigns
When a potential customer downloads the trial version of your product, require them to enter their email address to receive the download link. You can then initiate a free trial campaign with several email cadences. In the first email immediately after download, note product benefits the subscriber will receive during the trial period. Throughout the life of a drip campaign, increase the urgency of your messages. Combine your email campaign with revenue tracking parameters to see which email cadence coverts the best among your new customers.
Tip four: Cart abandonment campaigns
When a customer begins a checkout, but does not complete it, it might seem like a total loss. But since the subscriber started filling out the shopping cart, you can capture and use this information to create a truly dynamic email for that potential customer. Tailor the message from the product they selected in the cart and send one or two emails with a level of urgency or coupon code to facilitate the sale.
Once a customer is acquired, you only have a short window of time to impress and retain them. Customer retention begins with a positive product experience. Below are some steps you can take to turn new buyers into loyal customers who continue to repurchase your product.
Tip five: Welcome emails
Immediately after a customer purchases your software, send a triggered email thanking them for their order. Include product information, activation instructions and links to technical support should they encounter issues. While often overlooked, a welcome email series is an opportune time to establish a relationship with your new customer so they stick around.
Tip six: More newsletters
Tip two notes that newsletters are great way to notify potential customers of new product offerings and capabilities. But don’t leave your current customers out of the loop. Share these updates with them as an opportunity to continue nurturing your relationship. Be sure to create a coupon code to accurately track sales stemming from your newsletters.
Tip seven: Renewal emails
As a customer approaches their product renewal date, send personalized emails reminding them of their subscription expiration. Include pertinent order information and, if possible, how much they’ve used the software and how the program will continue to assist them in the future. If one email isn’t enough, build a drip campaign with product benefits ending with a coupon code to retain the customer.
Build the Relationship
Never rest on your laurels. Just because a customer sticks around for now doesn’t mean the work of nurturing the customer relationship is over. More seasoned customers require a different tone in their messaging — one that’s more collaborative. In fact, these customers can provide important feedback that only those who truly know your brand can offer. With a longer track record and more data in tow, your company also knows these customers better, and can send them more highly targeted and relevant offers.
Tip eight: Product surveys
Send surveys to your customers asking for their input on your product and how you can help to improve their experience. Listening to feedback from your most loyal customers will support a long-standing relationship. Mention the customer feedback and product updates in your newsletters to let your subscribers know you’ve heard their suggestions.
Tip nine: Brand loyalty
Subscribers who have positive experiences with your company become loyal to your brand. Those who are faithful to your brand are more likely to be repeat customers. They’re also more likely to recommend your products to other potential customers who either do not know about you yet or have not had positive experiences in the past. Customer testimonials in trial emails may provide some insight, but genuine online or word-of-mouth reviews have a greater impact.
Tip ten: Special offers
Send an email campaign specifically for your repeat customers. Provide a dynamic coupon code in a special promotional campaign for your subscribers who opened your last six newsletters or have been returning customers for the last three years. If they don’t immediately act on this offer, send reminder emails noting their importance as a customer, and prompt them to complete their purchase.
Keystone — Relationships Drive Revenue
Put simply, supporting the customer lifecycle means nurturing strong customer relationships. Make it easy for customers to sign up. Work to keep their business. Be sure to solicit feedback from your customers and communicate back to them the value of their comments. Use positive customer experiences to strengthen your brand. Finally, reward your loyal customers with special offers and discounts. Taking these simple steps can enhance your relationship with your customers, leading to greater customer lifetime value and increased recurring revenue.