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How email can deepen customer relationships and transform online conversions

May 11, 2016

When considering great customer experience (CX), it can be helpful to picture a shopkeeper.

The more we visit the shop, the better the shopkeeper gets to know us. After a few visits, the shopkeeper initially learns our name; then what products we like and have previously purchased; when we’re likely to need more of them; and finally to the stage where they can make recommendations of what we might like to try.

Such a role is now expected, and even demanded, of all the brands consumers interact with. The days of a one-size-fits-all approach to customer communications are long gone. Today, brands need to forge personal relationships, similar to that which people enjoy with their favourite local store.

Email marketing automation can improve customer experience

Doing this at scale can be a daunting prospect for any business. But the good news for those eager to develop deeper, better relationships with all their customers is that email marketing automation technology is on hand to help.

In fact, it can take most of the hard work away from the brands themselves by automating much of the process.

In conjunction with an intelligent ecommerce platform, which can track a sophisticated level of customer behaviour, brands can use this insight to cultivate a great CX without needing a physical presence at each point in the customer journey.

Email forms a key part of the customer engagement journey, and when done well, can truly boost a brand prominence, relationship, and reputation with consumers. The key to using email to foster a better customer experience is to ensure the content served to a customer is both personally relevant for them and organic in how it feels.

How a better customer experience doubled website conversions

One brand that has achieved this with great success is student décor brand Dormify. As its audience is primarily made up of students and young people, Dormify reaches out to them on their own terms.

Sometimes it will grab customers’ attention with a Snapchat sensation’s catchphrase in the subject line, or it might put a new spin on a popular meme. The automaton comes into play, as triggered programs welcome new customers, reach out to those who have abandoned a cart and follow up after customers have made a purchase.

A crucial way in which Dormify enhances the customer experience is by adding a human component to nearly every aspect. Customers can live chat with designers and tweet questions, while the company also hosts in-home trunk shows with an expert stylist.

Since automating its email the brand has nearly doubled website conversions, and built a loyal, engaged audience.

Segment your customers to send more targeted emails

To emulate Dormify’s success, and build a better relationship with customers, brands have a simple step to follow: send more targeted, strategic email.

It may seem counter-intuitive – being more personal and more targeted doesn’t naturally feel like it goes hand in hand with volume and automation – but technology can help brands increase the relevance of each of those emails. The key is using intelligence, regular testing and developing a more advanced segmentation strategy with measurable impact.

Segmenting specific audiences enables companies to deliver more relevant content, which in turn has a direct impact on how frequently the customer will be happy to receive content from a brand. Why? Because it provides them with something of value.

By applying a strategic focus, brands will increase the odds of customers opening their email, clicking through and acting on the call-to-action.

However, as the number of segments increases, so too does the amount of content that brands need to generate. Segmentation for segmentation’s sake is pointless, and content needs to be interrogated to ensure that it serves each segment to the best of its ability.

Brands need to remember that they are competing for customers’ attention with numerous other brands, and need to assume that each of those brands is bringing its ‘A Game’ to the inbox. For more tips and ideas on how to make email marketing work for your business, read our guide on; How to plan and implement a successful email marketing campaign.

Test and measure campaign results

The other crucial thing brands must do is continually measure the impact of email campaigns. If a particular campaign produces a high number of unsubscribe requests then brands should learn from that feedback, and adjust their campaigns accordingly.

By monitoring and measuring in real-time, brands can tweak their strategy as they go to ensure they’re achieving the right balance, and to address potential problems as soon as possible.

It’s also important that brands don’t forget that email is but a part – though an important one, to be sure – of an overarching omnichannel strategy.

Brands need to be active across multiple touchpoints to be able to reach as many customers as possible, across the variety of platforms they are active upon, but consistency in message and tone is critical if they are to engage well, and turn targets into customers, and customers into advocates.

Ensuring that personal, timely, relevant emails are tailored and distributed to each individual segment in a way that generates results requires brands to turn to automation.

Investing in technology that deepens customer insight enables brands to better engage them through automated campaigns, which enables brands to forge deeper, better relationships with their customers to provide a better overall customer experience.

About the author

This guide has been written for ByteStart by Tink Taylor, Founder and President of dotmailer, the leading email marketing automation platform. dotmailer enables companies to use transactional and behavioural data to design, test and deliver powerful automated campaigns.

Further resources

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