Avoid Alienating Customers With These Steps

Marketing isn’t about pushing a product. It’s about building relationships with your customers. But in the data-driven field of email marketing, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are real individuals on the receiving end of your marketing messages. They aren’t just a collection of data points and buying habits.

Technology has allowed marketers to learn seemingly endless details about their customers, from demographic information to how they interact with others on social media. All of that information can help marketers figure out what message is most likely to resonate with a particular segment of their audience.

There’s a catch, though: Many customers are well aware that marketers and advertisers are tracking them, and they may not react positively to a message that’s sent based strictly on their online behavior. Algorithms have their place in marketing, but they don’t help you make personal connections with customers.

Seriously, how many times have you been on Facebook just to see someone talking about how a topic or product they mentioned offline showed up on their timeline?

No, Facebook isn’t listening in on your private conversations. However, if you have searched for those same things online, through Google or Bing, then those algorithms will go to work and start showing you relevant or related products and services.

Again, that doesn’t mean that this is the best way to market to your targeted audience. Instead, you need to focus heavily on creating a lasting, trusting relationship with them.

Building relationships

With more consumers buying products online, some companies may never have the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with their customers. If you don’t have the option to offer a salutation and a friendly smile in-person, find other ways to interact.

Welcome emails

A welcome email or email series should already be apart of your email marketing strategy, and if it’s not, then it’s time to hop to it.

Welcome emails are emails that are triggered and sent after a new user has opted-in officially to receiving marketing messages from your brand. Now, while a single welcome email could be considered “more than enough,” marketers should really consider a welcome email drip campaign, simply for the fact that it keeps your brand relevant in your new subscriber’s inbox, while also providing valuable information to them in smaller chunks as verse to one massive message or one vague one.

In this example, from online fashion retailer Freemans, they provide the essential information within a single welcome email.

This welcome email from Freemans provides essential information.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Now, take a look at this email series from Thistle Farms. Instead of a one-off welcome email, they decided to turn their welcome process into a four-part welcome series.

Thistle Farms sends a welcome series using an automated drip campaign to build relationships.

Source: Emma

To find out which method will suit your reader’s needs the most, you’ll have to run a few tests. You can either send out different variations to two small sample test groups through an A/B test, or you can simply monitor your welcome campaigns and see which ones maintain the highest level of opens and engagement.

Asking for feedback and surveys

One of the quickest ways to make customers–or anyone, really–feel important, is to ask for their opinion. For example, this email by the beauty and personal care brand, Harry’s, uses an interactive email to help their subscribers find the ideal scent for them instead of blindly making suggestions.

Harry's sends a quick survey to get to know subscribers better.

Source: Really Good Emails

This is only one of many excellent ways to get to know your subscribers. If you are just looking for some general feedback, you could take a similar road as Twitch did by asking your followers to give you some valuable information on how you can better support their needs.

Twitch offers an incentive to convince subscribers to participate in their survey.

Source: Really Good Emails

Think of different questions you can ask your readers that will make them feel of value. You could ask them to rate the overall quality of your email content, rate your individual products or services (if they have purchased in the past), ask for suggestions about the types of products you should offer, or send a simple question with multiple-choice answers, like, “How are we doing?”

Email preference centers

Finally, another way to make your new subscribers feel welcomed is to include an email preference center into your marketing strategy. Not only does this provide your users with a voice, they may not otherwise have online, but it gives you access to subscriber data that they willingly shared with you.

Allowing your users to set their personal preferences right off the bat is great. But what if you didn’t have the option for earlier subscribers? Fret not, because you can always send out email reminders for users to set up/update their personal preferences.

In this example by Zapier, they simply stated that they were doing some housecleaning that required users to take some action and update their personal preferences.

Zapier promotes transparency by telling subscribers what exactly they've subscribed to.

Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

Based on data, an algorithm may tell you that people in Segment A are most likely to buy Product B if you send them a special offer on Tuesday, but algorithms lack overall context. They can’t provide you with any information about a person’s emotional state or their physical environment.

Placing too much emphasis on customer behavior data may result in marketing misfires. Plus, customers rarely behave exactly as marketers expect, so you want to present messages to them that allow them to break out of a mold you may have created. Try making different offers that appeal to their sense of spontaneity, whimsy, or curiosity.

Delivra can help you know how to integrate data in your email marketing in a way that doesn’t depersonalize your interactions with customers. Find out what we can do for you by requesting your demo today.

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