One of the most efficient ways to stay top of mind with your customers is to regularly check in via email. As we know, there is no one-size-fits-all-model for every customer in your database so you need to be strategic regarding the content each client receives. Here are some guidelines for your email communication as well as examples to help you see who should be getting what types of content.
Tips for Writing New Customer Emails
Whether or not a new customer has made a purchase, you should welcome them as a patron of your shop. If you’ve collected their contact information via an online landing page or an in-person request they’ve essentially said that they’re open to receiving communications from you. Take advantage! This welcome email can range from a friendly hello and thanks for stopping by to a discount offer as an incentive to make a purchase their next time in.
After a customer has made their first purchase, you want to begin building a lasting connection with your brand. A quick “thank you” email welcoming them to the club that is your customer base is a simple way to do just that. It’s also an opportunity to redirect them back to your webpage for a little more shopping.
Demonstrate to your new client that their opinion matters by sending them a survey. You’ll gain invaluable intel regarding a first-time shopper’s experience. Often times, we can get so used to the way things are that we neglect to check in now and then for necessary tweaks. A new customer has fresh eyes and can provide you with an unbiased opinion about a new customer’s experience.
If you don’t ask for a referral, it’s likely not going to happen! This type of email can really be used across the board and definitely isn’t reserved for new customers only. But, double up on your “welcome” or “thank you” emails by adding a link to a quick survey and offer a small incentive for providing feedback.
Tips for Existing Customer Emails
Don’t neglect your existing customers just because they’ve already made a purchase! Routinely reaching out via email reminds them that you’re there and ready to do business when they are.
Check-in emails should be sent sparsely. Essentially, your goal is to hopefully catch one customer who was intending to make it into your shop but keeps putting it off or simply needs to be reminded that you exist. Attach an incentive, like a small discount or coupon, or include industry news or a link to your newest blog post so that you’re not saying “hi” for hi’s sake because let’s face it—that could be irritating.
MVP Club Offer
This is a multipronged offer since you’ll need some sort of loyalty program in place, but sending an invitation to join a members-only club can be highly effective in inspiring repeat business. Encourage a bit of intrigue by making the loyalty program available to a select group of customers (or at least hinting this is the case). Everyone loves exclusivity! Include the benefits of becoming a member in your email such as:
- Exclusive invites to events
- Early access to sales
- Birthday gifts
- Points and other incentive programs
Product Renewal/Repurchase Reminder
If you happen to sell products or services that a customer would need to buy on a regular basis, like bathroom products (soap, lotion, shampoo, etc.), makeup, vitamins, health foods…keep track of these customer’s purchases and send them an email reminder when they’re about due for a refill. These reminders are convenient for your customer, feel helpful and reassure the customer feel as though you’re looking out for them.
Dormant Customer Outreach
Have a few customers who have made one purchase and have yet to return? Email is a quick and simple way to get back in front of them. Discounts are routinely a part of this sort of campaign.
Customer Email Best Practices
A few things to keep in mind when contacting your customers:
Keep it Short and Sweet
As you’ve seen, based on the examples provided, your emails should be concise with limited content. Get straight to the point, use interesting imagery, and make it easy for the customer to contact you or access your website directly from the email.
Include an unsubscribe option on each of your emails. If people aren’t picking up what you’re putting down, it’s okay. Continuing to reach out to a customer who feels pestered is damaging to your reputation and pretty much guarantees you’ll never gain that business back. You don’t want to be wasting time on uninterested customers anyway.
Give Customers Options
Allow the customer to tell you how often they’d like to hear from you. If you have a customer portal, set up a page where the client can set their email preferences. If not, send a survey and segment your email lists accordingly.
Offer your customers something of value in every correspondence to avoid being perceived as always having a handout. Free downloads, free trials, coupons or discount codes etc. are great ways to demonstrate you’re a giver, not a taker.
Maintain Your List
Try to maintain a clean email list by tracking open rates. If you see the same people ignoring you time after time, bump them off your regular contact list and move them to a once per year list or altogether. You could also send an email blast specific to cleaning your list – this transparency and willingness to remove people from your list bodes well for your brand.
Allow for Replies
Have an email address connected to your blasts that can actually receive responses from customers. It’s frustrating to see “No-Reply” in the form line which screams “this is a marketing email”. Don’t make it difficult for people to get in touch.
Segment Your List
All the examples we provided are based on grouping your data based on the customer’s history with you. The intent is to get the right message to the right people and if everyone is on one huge list, you’ll have loyal customers getting welcome emails and new customers with no purchase history being thanked for their business.
Every email you send to your customers should be bringing value to them, even if that’s just a quick thank you.