A Healthy Email Diet Makes for Happier Customers — and Retailers
The key to a healthy diet is variety. Very few people are interested in having the same meal day-in and day-out. Similarly, your customers crave variety in the content you serve them. Since their preferences are constantly evolving, customers require fresh and different experiences to stay engaged. Delivering repetitive and similar email content won’t drive more conversions. In fact, it could annoy your customers and damage your brand.
That’s why leading marketers are using cutting-edge machine learning tools to figure out each customer’s unique interests, and design a nutritious email “diet” for every individual subscriber. This enables retailers to create more engaged and loyal customers, while at the same time reducing their reliance on promotional offers.
Here are four best practices for crafting a well-balanced email diet around your customers’ unique and ever-evolving preferences.
Treat Every Piece of Content as a Reusable Asset
Build a library of every image and piece of copy you might send to your customers — and keep each of those assets on deck for as long as your customers continue to engage with it. Tag your content with descriptors that can show you at a glance what it’s about and who it’s meant for, and track engagement every time that content goes out. Over time, you’ll be able to see at a granular level who is engaging with what types of content, and design even more relevant content for your subscribers. Then you can begin to map each customer’s individual journey and serve them content that speaks to them exactly when they want it.
Do a Test Run of Your Campaign
Sending your campaign to a small segment of your list can provide valuable insights early in the process of refining your messaging. For example, you may find that a certain piece of content strongly appeals to 10 percent of your audience, only mildly appeals to another 10 percent, and fully turns off everyone else. Sending a test can help you determine what’s working, what isn’t, and what just needs some adjustment. This type of iterative learning process will help you keep your emails relevant to consumers’ ever-changing tastes.
Send Your Emails When Your Subscribers Are Most Likely to Respond
To return to our diet metaphor, some people eat a bowl of cereal every morning, while others can’t bear that kind of monotony. Likewise, each subscriber will be receptive to each email from your brand at a different time. Instead of just sending emails based on the last time your customer engaged with one, your email marketing automation system should be able to learn from each interaction (or lack of) with your customers, and then deliver your content only when customers are likely to respond to it.
Try Re-Sending Your Content in a New Context
Many marketers create an email, send it once, and then throw it away. But this assumes that every customer who failed to click was actively disinterested in what you had to offer. One way to check if this was true is to dive deeper into the clickthrough rate (CTR) for subscribers who did open the email. If you notice a high CTR, that’s a strong indicator that your offer is likely to resonate with the rest of your subscribers. Try re-sending the same email (with a different subject line) to each customer when they're most likely to engage with it, and watch to see if your overall CTR increases. In short, every interaction with each individual customer is a chance to align your content more closely with that customer's unique aspirations.
Retailers that seek to boost engagement, increase brand loyalty, and drive revenue should leverage real interactions with their customers and use their data to create more meaningful relationships with them. Providing a balanced email diet full of relevant, interesting content to your customers exactly when they want it will allow you to cross-sell existing customers, create more meaningful interactions with new ones, and ultimately create an impact in the categories that matter most to your brand
James Glover is the co-founder and CEO of Coherent Path, an email marketing optimization and email personalization solutions provider.