Why Personalized Email Marketing is Essential to Customer Retention
Without a strong plan in place for customer retention, your business could be endlessly spinning its wheels when it comes to customer acquisition. It’s one thing to attract a customer, but keeping them by your side for the long haul is another story entirely.
When you’re ready to start getting serious about building long-term loyalty, look to personalization. With highly relevant emails sent to the right customer at the right time, you can build an audience of loyal customers who support your business time and time again.
How personalization relates to customer retention
Think modern shoppers aren’t loyal? Think again.
According to Adobe’s Digital Index, 40% of e-commerce revenue is generated by only 8% of repeat customers. With such a large portion of sales (almost half, in fact) coming from such a small segment of customers, it’s a little bit easier to understand why customer engagement and customer retention are essential to the long-term success of an online business.
The question is: How do you go about keeping those first-time customers happy, engaged, and loyal to your brand?
Personalization via email marketing is a big piece of the puzzle. By delivering hyper-relevant messages to the inboxes of the right customers at the right time, you show your customers you truly “get” them. And with smart, tailor-made campaigns aimed at driving loyalty and rewarding repeat purchases, you make buying from your company a no-brainer.
Let’s look in greater detail at some of the ways you can implement advanced personalized email marketing right away.
Implement personalization: 5 strategies to try
Behavioral website tracking
With advanced behavioral tracking, you can create segments within your list of email subscribers that are sorted into specific audiences based around activities such as purchases, reviews given, rewards earned, etc.
By reaching out to these specific groups of customers with targeted campaigns or customer journeys, you instantly increase the relevancy of your emails by showing that you’re tuned into each and every customer’s needs and can send the right message at the right time.
Setting up a VIP segment that adds customers who reach a specific spending threshold is a simple way to automate rewards for your most loyal customers. This can be easily accomplished by integrating your ESP with your e-commerce platform, like Shopify.
From there, you can launch specialized customer journeys for your VIP-segmented customers that include perks like sneak peeks at new product lines, early access to sales, special discounts, and more.
Cosmetics company Sephora uses this personalized email marketing tactic to take the legwork out of their VIP program, as seen below. VIP customers get one email, while non-VIPs get another:
Putting product recommendations in an email setting is a largely underutilized personalization tactic. Data shows that only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations via email.
But by sending emails that recommend products based on the buying habits of past customers, you open the doors to advanced cross-selling opportunities. This can not only boost the relevancy within your emails, but it’s an easy way to increase average order value, too.
You can find ways to get product recommendations for your website visitors through:
- Integrating an app or widget like Barilliance or Boomtrain
- Recommending items that were abandoned in your online store’s shopping cart
Dynamic content helps you personalize your emails based on subscriber data, such as gender or geographic location. You can dynamically alter entire sections of your email content to make the entire message more relevant to the recipient.
For example: Rather than creating two separate campaigns for male and female subscribers with product information, you could use dynamic content to show the appropriate material to subscribers based on demographic data, like Adidas did here:
For subscribers on your list who haven’t opened or clicked on an email from you in a while, you may need to send a personalized re-engagement campaign to get them back on the path to interaction with your brand.
Look for subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in the last 12 months (these are your inactive subscribers) and reach out with a friendly message that says, “Hey, we haven’t connected in a while!” Include a special offer (like a promo code or discount, or even a request for feedback) and see if there’s any interest in re-connecting. If not, offer an opportunity to opt-out of future emails from you, as this will help keep your list active and healthy.
Once your campaign is sent and some time has passed, consider removing your remaining inactive subscribers so that only your engaged subscribers are the ones to which you’re sending.
With these advanced tactics for customer retention via email marketing, you can build a list of email subscribers that are engaged, that buy often, and that are evangelists for your brand–all because they’re getting the appropriate messages from your company in the right moments. No more one-size-fits-all messaging.
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