Make better use of a Preference Centre
Building more complete customer profiles not only helps your business but allows you to send emails to your customers relevant to their needs.
By continually adding to each customer’s profile you not only learn about them but you’re better able satisfy their wants. One of the best ways to collect customer data is through a preference centre. It’s important that a preference centre functions (as the name describes) as a preference centre. Customers should be asked what their wants and needs are and they should also be able to come back and amend those preferences at any time. Basic demographic information should really be captured through sign-up forms or new customer profiles created during the sales process. So it’s important these forms work together, feeding into the same database.
Preference centres are good because they allow the subscriber to select the email content they want and they’re beneficial to the sender as they are able to learn more about their customers.
It’s important to occasionally send existing subscribers to a preference centre so they can tailor the emails they will receive as well as to new subscribers. Lastly, preference centres should also be used the during the unsubscribe process to hopefully persuade users to rather tailor the emails they receive rather than unsubscribing altogether.
Automate the important dates for customers
Automated emails are some of the most successful emails companies send and it’s easy to see why. They are user-specific, contain personalised content and often can be used to strengthen a person’s perception of a brand. Here are a few of the most important automated emails a company can send; Welcome, Thanks for Purchasing, Birthday, Completing a survey. There are many other types of automated emails companies can use – here are some others; Back in Stock, Abandon Browse, Abandon Basket, Social Interaction, and Store Visit.
It’s important that these automated emails run in unison with the main email marketing program. Automated emails should also be used to push subscribers to current events happening for the business. For example, including a Christmas feature in all automated emails during the run-up to Christmas is a great way to ensure the site will receive the maximum possible traffic from email.
Make use of dynamic content in email
Sending relevant content to subscribers has long been an important component of email marketing, however there is a trend now to send emails that have been micro-personalised. For example a regular marketing email might also include, some purchase history recommendations, gender-based recommendations and location-based information all within the same email.
If a sender is not able to send such personalised content to all their subscribers, regular marketing campaigns could include links to send those subscribers to a preference centre or customer surveys in the aim of hopefully learning more about those customers.
Purchase history data is a great way for companies to segment their data and their email campaigns should reflect that. Making sure big spenders are carefully looked after can be easily done through email.
Email, thankfully, has been optimised for mobile phones for many years now. Mobile usage for reading emails continues to grow and some companies report massive open rates on mobile devices such as 60%-80%. With such high open rates, companies should really start to reevaluate their email designs and not just contort a desktop email to fit on mobile but rather make sure a mobile email still works on desktop.
Modern mobile devices usually also support more CSS so it’s important for companies to utilise this when developing their email to make use of this. Progressive enhancement is an important part of the email development process.
It is also important to have a real understanding of customer data and the range of devices a company’s emails will be opened on. Some brands now are seeing less than 1% opens on Outlook, however their email code still seems to be entirely Outlook focused.
Actively change the frequency of email sends
Sending the same email marketing campaigns at the same time can sometimes create fatigue in a subscriber base. While it is important to send subscribers emails based upon their personal preference it is also possible to change what a company sends based on subscriber email activity.
If a segment of subscribers is very active with email companies should try and slowly increase the frequency at with which they email those subscribers. For subscribers who don’t seem overly active a company could experiment with changing the times those subscribers receive their emails. It’s possible they’re just being emailed at an inopportune time. Of course, changing things like send times and possibly mailing some subscribers more often needs to be closely monitored and again using a preference centre will help with managing this process.
To use and old idiom ‘try and try again’ or even ‘practice makes perfect’ is a good way to describe the daily process of emailing subscribers. You should be constantly trying to learn more about your customers so you can send them email they’ll love to receive. As well as constantly adjusting the approach based on how your email marketing is performing.