According to a benchmark report by Campaign Monitor, people are opening emails more than ever before because of the impact of COVID-19. For one thing, self-quarantine and lockdown measures force people home, so they’re more likely to sift through email among other things.
For another, more and more businesses are turning to top email marketing services to stay in touch with their customers, especially those that relied on brick and mortar stores.
For any business, regardless of industry, this can mean a few things: one, you’re more able to reach people you may not have reached before via email, especially since emails are more likely to be opened. Two, with more businesses turning to these now-limited forms of advertising and marketing, that means more competition for email opens.
So how can you keep customers engaged with your brand via email during this pandemic? Look no further than this post because here are 7 essential email marketing strategies that will help you connect with your audience like never before.
7 Email Strategies to Keep Your Customers Engaged
1. Send COVID-19-related emails in moderation
While it’s okay to show that you’re aware of COVID-19 happening and how it affects communities, people might not appreciate suddenly receiving too many emails about the pandemic and related updates.
Remember: you exist as a brand, not as a news site. It is not your job to alert them of new changes and developments about the pandemic. Leave any important COVID-19 updates and announcements to official news and health organizations, and only send COVID-19 emails for anything that directly relates to your brand or company.
2. Hyper personalize your email messages
Being a brand is all about becoming a part of your customers’ lives. One way to show you’re really there for your customer is being hyper-personal in your email messages. We can learn a thing or two from outreach marketing strategies and tactics who often use and mention their leads’ and customers’ first names, their locations, or even company names whenever relevant.
High-touch, personalized emails show your customers that you’re paying attention, making them more likely to stay engaged with your brand for the long haul.
3. Shift from promoting to educating
Priorities for customers have changed in the ongoing effects that the pandemic has on the global economy. It makes sense that people may want to tighten their belts more, buying only the essentials, and using anything else as savings or donations for those badly affected by COVID-19.
Keep up with this recent shift in customer habits and priorities by laying low on the promotional and sales-related emails. Instead, use this as the time to connect with your customer by educating them and sending high-value emails meant to nurture and inform.
If you’re a small grocery business, send them fun easy recipes to try at home. If you’re a cosmetics retailer, do tutorials and webinars about skincare or beauty looks. Get creative and really put yourself in a place of service for your customer, then send them emails about things they might want to know or learn.
4. Offer incentives for referrals
Getting new customers can be a challenge for many businesses, especially as consumers are now faced with a multitude of options. You don’t have to keep fighting your way through the fog that is the competition – instead, leverage your existing customers to send referrals your way, and give them a compelling reward for each successful sale.
For example, if you owned an ecommerce store, you might give customers a 15% discount if another user buys from your store for the first time using a unique code. Or you might be able to offer a full month of a premium version of your app or software if a user can refer another user to sign up with you.
There are different kinds of referral programs you can create. Simply choose the best one that works for the type of business you’re in, and make your reward so good that customers can’t help but refer your business to others.
5. Use behavioral email triggers
Behavior-based emails can be a great way to keep customers engaged because it can show that you’re anticipating their needs or helping them make any decisions about purchases or other actions.
Say you’re the owner of a gym equipment store. You might have a host of personal trainers creating at-home workouts for your customers to do from the safety of their homes. Say after a subscriber clicks on one of the video workout links you sent, you follow up with an email asking them how they were able to handle the workout.
This same email might also send them tips about improving the at-home workout experience, or send them another workout video set to supplement their most recent session. Doing this helps you show that you’re on top of your customers’ expectations on personalization, and keeps you top of mind whenever they’re ready to buy something you offer.
6. Double down on your social proof
When it comes to social proof, there are rarely any downsides. 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends or family, while a Bright Local survey in 2019 found that the average consumer needs about 10 reviews before they feel they can truly trust a business.
Not only that, the same study shows that 85% of customers consider reviews older than three months as no longer relevant, which makes it a priority to consistently get reviews from customers to keep new leads and prospects interested.
Because of these findings, you’ll want to make it easy to collect and share customer reviews. This is where customer review software like Weave come in handy: you can automate the process of asking customers to leave a review about your products or service then being able to curate and share that review online via your email list.
Also consider displaying recent reviews and testimonials in your email templates, either in the header or footer areas of your email. This way, customers can see what people are saying about your business and will be more inclined to visit your website or check out your offers.
7. Offer exclusive discounts
Last but not least, your customers can feel really special if they find a brand offering subscriber-only discounts for purchases. This can go a long way and can be incentive enough for customers to stay subscribed to your newsletter, especially if it gives them the excitement and anticipation of receiving more exclusive perks first in the future.
Let this also be your way of saying thank you to customers for staying with you and keeping in touch. There is no downside to showing your gratitude, and customers always appreciate getting discounts and perks for being on someone’s email list.
COVID-19 has posed a significant challenge for marketers. But with the right understanding of your customer now as well as using data-driven campaigns, you can make sure you’re launching highly engaging tactics that keep customers happy.
Use the tips above to help you craft emails that pack a punch and ask Spiralytics for a quote on how to create your next high-impact, high converting digital marketing strategy today!