Improve Customer Relationships and Profitability With the Right E-mail Content
E-mail marketing can be a cost-effective component of a successful customer relationship strategy. Each e-mail sent from your company is an opportunity to strengthen the bond between brand and buyer. Most marketers can see the potential, but making the move from promotional messages to engaging customers is a scary proposition.
What happens if no one buys?
Promotional e-mails are proven revenue generators. They are the best tool in a marketer's workshop for correcting issues. A quickly crafted coupon promotion can remove sales dips caused by mail piece delivery delays, natural disasters and other anomalies. The response is predictable, because it is historically consistent.
But playing it safe rarely leads to innovation. After a while, all sale e-mails look the same to the recipients. Brand differentiation is lost in a sea of low prices. Continual sale promotions have a direct effect on profitability. The results of a one-year test of e-mail marketing strategies for a B-to-B company are shared in the sales and profit charts shown in the media player, above right. Top customer segments were divided into an A-B-C split.
Group A was the control. These folks participated in the promotional e-mail strategy. Their e-mails consisted of sales, coupons, discounts and the occasional new product promotion. This was the standard marketing program historically used by the company.
Group B participated in the informational e-mail strategy. E-mails to this audience consisted of educational, conversational and introductory content. There were no sales, coupons or discounts. Customers received targeted messages designed to match their buying preferences and patterns.
Group C was a combination of Group A and Group B. Approximately 60 percent of these e-mails were targeted messages without discounts; 25 percent were targeted with discounts; and 15 percent were the same promotions received by the rest of the company.
Sales results followed expectations. Promotional e-mails (Group A) generated the most revenue, for a total of $2.84 million. Combination e-mails (Group C) were a close second, at $2.59 million. Informational e-mails (Group B) came in 41 percent below the control, at $1.66 million.