Email marketing is a great way to efficiently convert more leads into customers, and customers into repeat customers. We’re all familiar with lead funnels and the idea of upselling other offers to our existing customer base.
Often, we run into clients of ours looking to take their email marketing to the next level. They’ve done a solid job of converting some of their leads into customers. But with some of these businesses that offer a single service or product line, some additional things need to be taken into consideration.
The biggest thing to consider – is it realistic for someone to purchase your product or service again anytime in the next few months?
Avoid purchase focused content to recent purchasers
Consider the modern direct to consumer product often launched on platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Often one single product with a focused purpose that’s not a consumable. As those email lists are built up, leads are converted into customers, and then what happens? Email campaigns are sent with little segmentation, the existing customers are grouped together with leads, and the call to action is something like BUY NOW.
See the problem? Why would anyone who already bought Product XYZ buy another? They already have one, and they probably don’t need another anytime soon.
Emailing these contacts with “BUY NOW” CTAs are going to do nothing but have them unsubscribe (at best) or let your emails to them pile up in their promotions (and eventually their spam) folder. This happens far more than you’d think – and it’s something that should easily be avoided with just a little segmentation and list hygiene in your email marketing or marketing automation platform.
What to send instead:
Assuming we’re leaving the necessary acquisition emails, attempting to convert leads to customers, here are a few other ideas to keep your existing customers engaged while they still not may be making a purchase in the near future.
If you’re familiar with the SaaS Pirate Metrics concept (AAARRR) – activation is all about the first experience a user has with a platform or application after signing up/downloading. While a SaaS platform might have an onboarding process inclusive of email, many times, these emails stop one week in, but really, could be useful 6 months into their experience.
Product based businesses can take a page out of the SaaS playbook through activation type emails. How to’s, FAQs, and other information relevant to the first few experiences with a new product help customers not only effectively use these products to increase satisfaction, but get your product out in the wild – and with a satisfied customer, they’re likely to share with others, naturally create the FOMO sensation to their peers, and become evangelists and walking billboards for your products.
Retention & Content Marketing
SaaS再次采取另一个页面, single product businesses can keep existing customers engaged through driving retention and loyalty through email. Encourage your customers to use your product and be confident in its qualities, and most importantly, keep them using it.
Despite getting past the activation stage, it’s still a good idea to share the values and benefits of your products. Continue to encourage your customers and driving loyalty through continued FAQs as they pop up, share positive reviews and encourage them from your biggest customers.
Outdoor brands like Patagonia and YETI do a great job of keeping loyal customers retained, and give both their other existing customers and their leads a longing feeling to go outside and put those products to use. With our client Lunchbox, a backpack designed for music festivals and travel, we have a monthly feature on “Where was Lunchbox this month?” to encourage their existing customers to get out in the wild and take their backpack with them on unique experiences.
Content around the things one would do with your product and how it would benefit them is helpful, offering up new and unique ways your product can be beneficial outside of its core use can help your product benefit new markets, or new personas within your existing market. A client of ours is a concentrate vaporizer traditionally targeted for cannabis users, but we’ve recently been sharing CBD content, as it’s able to be consumed in their product as well, and we’ve opened up a slightly different use and market for that product.
Within the industry, there’s a sense that email and social media are compartmentalized and isolated marketing channels, but they should often be working together towards a successful marketing campaign. Email has the natural ability to cut through the noise that social media channels can struggle with which makes it a great tool to work in conjunction with social media instead of against it or in place of.
Email is a great avenue to share and drive traffic to other channels, and driving customers to engage with your social media channels, or funnel customers towards Facebook groups or other user groups to harbor a loyal community that you can monitor for customer support and overall understanding of customers.
In addition, using email to encourage your users to share them using your products are simple ways to generate content you can use for your own social media or marketing content (with their permission of course).
Referrals / Affiliates / Cross promotion
Most of the considerations above focused on customer activation and retention as a means to harbor loyalty and more organic sharing and advertising of your products or services simply through customer use.
Finally, we get to more explicit ways to have your existing clients drive revenue, through referral or affiliate programs.
Happy customers often can’t help but evangelize products they love, and incentives through referral help you bring in newer customers and also give your existing customer a stake in the success and more reason to share. Ultimately becoming part of the team and everyone enjoys being apart of something they believe in or love.
When done carefully, cross promotion and partnership with other brands through collaborative designs or simply shared giveaways can help drive affiliate revenue for you. These concepts can further fit your products into a particular category of interest, and of course increase new leads generated through the other brand.
While these approaches are enticing, it’s important to tread carefully and tactfully. Pushing referrals and cross promotion too early can turn your customers against you and feel a bit like you’ve pulled them into a pyramid scheme. Referral programs should be approached after you are confident your customer has successfully activated your product and is satisfied.
Surveys and Reviews
Surveys are a great way to collect information from your subscribers about the entire customer experience from their perspective – both general satisfaction surveys as well as NPS surveys are easy to embed in emails, and offer a low friction experience to get feedback from your customers.
If you are looking to collect more information in the form of text responses though, you may need to consider all your options for embedding surveys in emails.
Driving reviews in emails makes a lot of sense for product based businesses, as well as service businesses where crowdsourced reputation is critical to driving new business.
The important thing to understand with including these surveys and review forms is that you need to be on the same page with your entire team about what you’re actually trying to gather – are you truly trying to learn more about your customer experience? Or simply review farming?
A note on email frequency
While you’re now equipped with content ideas to share with your existing customers, it’s important to still consider your customers behavior with email. Empathy and proper segmentation will help keep your frequency in line with your customers expectations.
Early on in their post purchase phase, you can be a bit more engaging through activation and FAQ focused email. But as time passes, you don’t need to send for example weekly emails to prior purchasers if there’s no chance they’ll buy again for another year (something like monthly will do in this case).
The longer the cycle is between likely purchases, the longer you should be going between sending email to these past customers. Keep front of mind and keep them well informed, but don’t slam their inbox.
Update: Putting it into practice
As mentioned previously, we take this approach with our client, Lunchbox, where the sale of their flagship item is then followed by emails driving activation, community, and accessories/tickets to events. With this philosophy, we took them from Kickstarter to their current state with a strong foundation for continued email.
In our newest series, Emails We Open, we dissect The Monthly Stoke. This email is a perfect example of how to take the principles explained above into practice.
If you’re looking around for email marketing agency help, make sure you get a sense of how they look at email marketing for your business. If they are looking at sending multiple emails a week for your single product business, you should have some red flags going up. At MH Digital, we make it a focus to understand your business and products or services to match a sound strategy and partner relationship that fits your needs, not just our wallets.
Looking for help from email marketing experts to develop and execute your email strategy?