Email Marketing Love Stories: Aiming Cupid’s Golden Arrows to Increase Customer Loyalty and Drive Revenue
Pink balloons, candy hearts and Cupid ... it's Valentine's Day again. According to legend, Cupid carries two kinds of arrows: shiny, golden points that fill someone with overwhelming feelings of love; or dull tips, leaving a less distinct impression and often a desire to flee. Does any of this sound familiar? It should!
In the world of email marketing, some campaigns inspire consumers to become longtime and loyal customers, falling in love with your brand. Others fall flat, irritating customers and prompting them to unsubscribe from your list and find solace in the arms of your competitors. Gaining new customers, or winning over lost ones, is an uphill battle, costing extensive time, effort and budget to ensure consumers will love and stay committed to your brand.
However, today's companies have a wealth of arrows in their quivers to avoid getting dumped during Valentine's day, or ever. Use Cupid's golden arrows to make your customers fall in love with you over and over again.
Have heart-to-heart talks with customers
As the dominant medium to voice opinions, social media is the norm for identifying consumers' thoughts and motivations, and you need to connect and engage with them accordingly. Pay close attention to what people are saying about your brand. Reward consumers sharing positive messages with an email campaign that provides discounts for their loud and proud loyalty.
Conversely, take advantage of the opportunity to publicly reach out to naysayers. Address their concerns, reiterate corporate messaging and convince them to give you a second chance. Even if you don't win them back, the rest of the social network has seen the strength of your courtship. Connecting and engaging with customers is crucial to help Cupid's golden arrows land (and stick) in the hearts of your target audience.
Steal hearts with a little personality
Even if Cupid's arrow strikes the mark, it won't stick without a solid foundation of personality. This holds true with email marketing communications as well. The personality and voice of a company should resonate across all customer-facing channels. Why? All industry-leading brands embrace a consistent corporate theme from the top down (Zappos: customer service; Google: information; McDonald's: affordability) because who knows what will be the first touchpoint for a customer? Whether a new customer is driven to your site by an ad, email, blog or story in USA Today, your company's personality should be infused within every medium in order to drive positive associations and word-of-mouth referrals.
Find your dream customer
Savvy email marketers implement A/B split testing to find their Mr. and Mrs. rights. This brilliant tool is the best way to validate any new element (design, copy, call to action, etc.) that gets added into an email marketing campaign. Testing which arrow will best hit its mark and prove your campaign's success factors will help improve conversion rates and ensure your campaign generates the most return on investment possible.
From the heart
Most people like cookies, but not cookie-cutter emails. Use that golden sparkly arrow to send messages from the heart! The golden arrow approach is to pay attention to your customers with personalized emails that are relevant based on purchases they've made or how they've interacted with your messages in the past. Show customers the love and you'll make a match made in (shopping dollar) heaven.
Take mobile to heart
If your email marketing campaigns aren't fully mobile optimized yet, guess what? You've got the blunt arrows from Cupid, sending out arrows to your customers and prospects that are shunned every single time. According to a Campaigner survey conducted last year, 41 percent of respondents cited issues related to poor mobile design and user experience as their No. 1 source of frustration with mobile marketing emails. Another sticking point that turns customers off is when a mobile-optimized email leads them back to a nonmobile-optimized website. Why keep shooting yourself (and your email marketing campaigns) with those lead arrows? It's 2014, time to get mobile.
Email marketing campaigns, much like Cupid's arrows, can have an incredibly potent effect on your existing and prospective customers - for better, or for worse. If you're smart about avoiding the duds and put your golden arrows to good use, a vast, loyal and active customer base will achieve that ever-lasting love.
Related story: 5 Ways to Get the Grinch Out of Your Holiday Email Campaigns