When you think about marketing email messages, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most people think about blasting their customers with their latest products and coupons. Some think of the hours it takes to craft a message that will only live for a few days.
I want you to embrace a different way of thinking. Emails are a way to form a relationship with your customer. They signed up because they care about the information that you have to share with them. Often times that means seeing your latest products and coupons. This past Saturday, my wife mentioned going to Kohl’s shopping. The first thing I did was pull up their latest email on my iPhone to see the current specials. That’s the type of relationship I have with Kohl’s and I’m ok with that.
There are a few ways to nurture that relationship with special email messages. The nice thing is that these messages will be automated. Create them in your email service provider and sit back and watch them work.
I want you to consider creating these three automated emails:
1: Welcome Message
The welcome message is the first email sent to your new subscriber. What this message can do:
- Sets up expectations by letting the subscriber know what information you will be sending in future messages and how often to expect them. It is important to set these expectations early. People are less likely to unsubscribe or mark your messages as spam if they know what they are getting into from the start.
- Begins the relationship by helping the subscriber feel like part of something special
- Gives them additional ways to connect with you or your brand
- Gives you the opportunity to set up a sign-up promotion
Take a look at these examples:
Victoria’s Secret Welcome Email
“Be a Sexy Socialite” makes the user feel like part of a special group. They also offer a Free Shipping coupon and give links to their social media accounts.
Zappos Welcome Email
This welcome email from Zappos makes it loud and clear that I will be receiving email from them weekly with a sales message, but they make it fun. They take an extra step to give a little more information about their company. I can see their personality and understand more about Zappos with this one email. That goes a long way toward building our relationship.
Want to be an email marketing rock star? Turn this email message into a series of messages that span a week or two.
2: Birthday Message
Do you collect your customer’s birthday information when they sign up? This can be done by sending out manage preferences emails, using a two part sign-up or requiring it when signing up for contests.
I have to be honest with you, when I first heard about these messages being high converting emails, I was skeptical. I thought it would feel like the company is stalking me and they’re using my special day just to sell me something. Then my birthday came around. I received gift cards and cash that I WAS going to spend. I was anxious to see who was going to send me an email with a discount for that new pair of running shoes I wanted.
Chili’s Birthday Email Message
Kenneth Cole Birthday Email Message
3: Re-engagement Message
Sometimes we lose touch. Your subscribers are inundated with tons of email everyday. It’s not that they don’t like you anymore … it could be that they’ve become numb to all of the messages they receive and have just stopped opening some. The thing is, they haven’t opened your messages in a while. You’re spending money to send to people who aren’t even seeing your messages and worst of all, Gmail, YahooMail, Hotmail … they all know it. Soon the messages will start going into your subscriber’s spam folder and this will hurt the deliverability of ALL of your messages.
The way I see it, you have two options. Stop sending messages to the people who aren’t opening your messages OR re-engage them. Remind them of why they signed up for your messages in the first place. Tell them that you’re going to stop sending to them. There’s something psychological that happens when we threaten to break off a relationship. If your customer responds by saying that they want to continue the relationship, they’ll most likely start opening your messages again to avoid the possibility of you “breaking up” with them.
Moosejaw Re-engagement Email
(Leave me a comment to let me know how long it takes you to find the re-engagement message)
Kenneth Cole Re-engagement Email
Subject: “Will you open up to us?”
What happens if they no longer want emails from you? They’ll unsubscribe or not respond to the message at which point you purge them from your list. I know it is difficult to remove someone from your list, but it is better to lose an inactive subscriber than to spend money sending to someone who isn’t opening anyway and risking the health of your email list.
I regularly clean my list of subscribers that haven’t opened the last X number of emails and drop them in a new list of “Unengaged Subscribers.” I created a list segment with my Bronto accounts that I dubbed “Engaged Subscribers” which consisted of my main list minus users on the Unengaged list. This segment was roughly 55% the size of the main list which means 45% of users were not opening the emails. I would regularly test these lists and what I found was that the revenues generated from the smaller engaged subscribers segment was the same as when I sent to the full list. Makes sense, right? The thing is, removing 45% of the users from my list lowered my cost since I pay per email, but my revenues were still the same. Lower cost, higher open and deliverability rates with no loss in revenue.
Re-engage if you can, but don’t be afraid to purge.
There you have it. Three great email messages that you can automate to build that customer relationship and generate more revenue.
Want to get started in email marketing? Take a look at the Email Marketing Tools section on my Resources page.
What other ways do you like to use email automation? Leave me a comment below!