The holidays are without a doubt the easiest time for email marketers to get their messages across to customers, but all good things come to an end. Even though sales across industries slump as the new year plods along, there are ways that marketing strategists can continue to use email as a method to attract new customers and make conversions. According to a recent Clickz article, marketers need to use their beefed up holiday email contact lists wisely and make sure that they can turn seasonal shoppers into loyal customers year-round.
A sure way for businesses to set their emails apart from the slew of discounts customers receive is by taking the opportunity to educate consumers on new products or services. Customers who know more about products are more likely to buy them, Clickz noted. Offering plenty of information without being directly promotional will encourage consumers to read up without feeling pressured to buy. When they finally get offered that discount, they will know everything they need to go ahead and make the purchase.
One way to educate customers is to provide information about products that they just bought, highlighting features and benefits that they might not have known about at the time of their purchase. Keeping a steady 'drip' of informational emails will keep the customer engaged without drowning their inbox with content, causing them to ignore future emails. Clickz reminded businesses that this will also make the customer feel like they are constantly getting more out of their purchase and associate a great deal of value with that particular brand.
Cross-promotional emails can be effective
Once a customer begins to receive their drip of emails, businesses should start incorporating information about products that supplement or enhance the customer's purchase to start guiding them toward their next buy. This can be especially useful after the holiday season when people get acquainted with new and unfamiliar products. Testimonials can also be an asset to companies that have a wealth of user support from social media or feedback forums. The subtle promotional value of reading another customer's positive account of a product can be a major factor in getting someone to make a purchase.
This is the time of year that people receive new hardware platforms that need many accessories and corollary products. This goes for computers, tablets, smartphones, game systems, home theater equipment and everything in between. When a customer buys one of these core items, smart email marketers will take advantage of their desire to get the most out of their user experience by offering them the latest additional gadgets or downloadable features. Clickz encouraged companies with these business models to be persistent in their email marketing to keep customers interested.
The state of email marketing today
Although email is one of the classic staples of Web use, it is still a prominent way that companies reach out to their new customers and keep old ones coming back. A recent Mobile Marketing Watch article featured an infographic from analysts Monetate that explored why email marketing is still a viable and profitable marketing strategy. In the typically slow months of April to June of last year, email marketing was shown to have higher averages of add-to-cart rates, conversion rates and page views per session than both search and social media channels. Customers still respond to these newer methods, but not as much as industry hype would suggest.
With an 18 percent increase in retail email volume from 2011 to 2012 and a predicted $2.5 billion spent on email marketing campaigns by 2016, the practice shows no sign of slowing down. Businesses will likely always be able to rely on going straight to the customer's inbox.