An effective marketing strategy is essential when increasing revenue and brand awareness. Successful marketers understand the value of delivering quality messaging. These same marketers seek to create a customer journey their users will actually enjoy. You can easily be one of these marketers, but first, you need to map out your customer journey. In this post, we will look at what a customer journey is and how you can create an email process your customers will find engaging.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey involves the steps, actions, and decisions your customers take (or should take) in relation to your company. Users already know your brand, but the goal of the customer journey is to transition them into loyal consumers. Understanding customer behavior at specific milestones is key in designing a funnel that promotes conversion.
The 5 stages of the customer journey
A customer will generally go through 5 main stages on any customer journey:
- Loyal customer
- Brand ambassador
This journey applies to every form of marketing you do–including email marketing. When it comes to email marketing, transitioning a customer through each stage is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaign.
3 Elements of an enjoyable email customer journey
- Pain point
Your subscribers receive dozens of emails each day, so elevate your content through personalization. In order to stand out and encourage conversion, your emails have to be helpful and relevant. To do this, gather extensive information about your prospect. Information may include their location, gender, purchase history, or site visits. Notice how this email from Venus is personalized for a female shopper named Shannon. She may have a history of browsing the site but never purchasing. This 10% discount encourages that purchase and follow-through. Image Source: Venus Clothing If you’re still not sold on personalization, consider the stats. Studies have revealed that personalized emails have a 26% better open rate and can improve conversions by 10%. By immersing your prospect in unique content from your company, you can improve their experience while still encouraging the customer journey.
2. Pain point
If your journey doesn’t touch on a specific customer pain point, your content may seem unhelpful. To avoid sending vapid content to readers, express empathy in your messaging. Show customers you “get them,” by using relatable copy and blog posts that define customer issues. This doesn’t mean you have to browse Urban Dictionary for the latest phrases, but it does mean your messaging should sound human. This is what will ultimately make your brand stand out.
3. The solution
Expressing pain points can hook a prospect, but it’s the solution that will keep them engaged. People are busy, which means your emails need to be valuable. Provide a solution to problems with discounts, blog content, and recommendations. You can begin doing this as early as the welcome email. The solution is simply an illustration of what life can be after the pain point is resolved. Remember, you’re appealing to people’s feelings rather than their needs. Most purchases are prompted by emotions, not logic. Once your prospects begin opening your emails, you’re ready to complete the steps of the customer journey.
5 stages of the email customer journey you need to ace
Varying subscribers make email marketing complex. Some subscribers may be at the beginning of your customer journey, while others may be in the middle or at the end. So, what’s the solution? Easy. Create a different customer journey for each stage. Let’s take a look at how you can ace each stage and collect a loyal tribe of customers—customers who will gladly recommend you to their family and friends.
The awareness stage of a customer journey is probably the most interesting (and most challenging) part. You have to cast a wide net to draw a variety of customers with a variety of pain points. This an interesting point in the marketing process because it often involves a bit of experimentation. This can also be challenging, however, since personalization is so important. At this stage, the journey isn’t about your product. Instead, the focus here is the customer. Use this opportunity to make prospects feel heard. If they signed up for your email list through a certain blog post or lead magnet, you hopefully have an idea of what’s troubling them. At this stage, you’ll need to craft a very captivating welcome sequence. Invest more here, since subscribers tend to stop engaging after the initial email. Low engagement can increase your emails’ chances of being marked as spam.
If users move to the “interest stage” of your customer journey, it means you successfully illustrated your company’s relevance. This is great, but you can’t stop here. Your emails have to continue engaging. In order to continue engaging, agitate customer pain points. This will help users actively want solutions. Plus, by agitating your customers’ pain points, you remind them that they don’t have to live with their problem. There’s a better way. Whether the problem is personal (e.g. health goals) or more related to business (e.g. email campaign performance), this stage of the journey is all about helping your customers acknowledge that they have a problem. Depending on your product or service, you can send out 2-5 emails on this stage.
Now that your customers are interested in what you have to say, it’s time to move them to the next step of their email journey—engagement. At this stage, you have their full attention, and you’re at a perfect place to help them. This is the ideal stage to provide a solution, which, in this case, is your product. Notice how Bank of Tennessee does this in the image below. Image Source: Campaign Monitor At this stage of your email journey, show your customers what your product or service can do for them. Do this by highlighting the benefits of your product. For example, if your customers are marketing professionals, you could send an email with the subject line, “Less Selling, More Sales”. Every marketer or salesperson wants to close more sales, but selling can be challenging. By painting a picture of your solution, selling prospects on the benefits of your CRM or marketing automation will be much easier. After you’ve successfully sold products, aim to turn that one-off customer into a loyal customer.
4. Loyal customer
So how do you move an engaged user to loyal customer? By dropping a gift in their inbox. Here’s a great example: Image Source: Really Good Emails Give them something in your final emails. It could be a coupon, a discount, or even a gift (consultation, book, etc). Research shows that 93% of consumers make use of coupons they receive via email, making this a very good conversion strategy. After agitating the problem, after providing a solution, continue to pitch your products–at a discounted price. Once your customer has a positive experience, they will continue to return for the same quality purchases.
5. Brand ambassador
Transitioning a loyal customer into a brand ambassador is the final stage of your customer journey. Brand ambassadors are the biggest asset to your company because these customers do more than provide repeat business. They also refer new customers, too. Like every stage of the customer journey, this can be achieved through email. A quality thank you email provides great customer appreciation and works on the next sale. It’s an opportunity to ask for a referral—with an incentive if possible. You can then continue sending re-engagement emails, special offers, and other types of emails to keep your customer hooked on your brand.
An email marketing campaign is more than an activity to push prospects down your funnel. Those tactics don’t just cut it anymore. To drive your business forward, you need to design your campaigns as journeys, with a beginning and ending in mind. You can do this by:
- Crafting personalized emails
- Agitating a pain point
- Painting a picture of what your product will achieve
- Transitioning your prospects through the 5 stages – smoothly
Overwhelmed? We can do the work for you.