As the dust settles on another year of over-indulgence and festive merriment, many email marketers will be taking stock of the year’s performance and looking for ideas which could provide a welcome boost to KPIs.
Yet one of the most powerful weapons in the marketing arsenal could be hidden right in front of our bloated stomachs.
Over the holiday period you may have acquired lots of new subscribers, with the public scouring the online sphere for slashed prices on the latest holiday gifts – so why not consider the value that these new subscribers may hold for you year-round?
Although you may measure their worth to you by the value of the purchases they have made, or the subscriptions that they pay for, these customers should not solely be judged on their financial investments. Instead you should consider that these contacts have the potential to be much more; with the right approach these contacts can be nurtured into brand ambassadors and a powerful marketing tool to help you bring in new customers and encourage them to become purchasers as well.
Proving the Concept
Encourage your subscribers to use your product and/or services. Start by using an attractive email design to grab your subscribers’ attention: build familiarity around your brand logo and colours by delivering consistent brand communications, which may positively influence the perception of your brand in your subscribers’ mind. Don’t forget to create an engaging content strategy, using the right tone in the copy.
As previous studies have shown, your copy can help you encourage your subscribers to convert or take an action. There are different strategies you can adopt in order to get your contacts to engage with your brand and, eventually, become ambassadors for it.
1. Ask them to connect with you on social media
Drive these holiday subscribers to your social media channels and really build that cross-channel relationship. Encourage them to share their excitement and brand stories, potentially using incentives if needed.
Drive them to social and to engage with your brand on the channels which lend themselves more easily to sharing.
2. Provide them with reviews or comments from other customers
A great way to throw some positive reinforcement behind a product is to provide an evaluation of your brand/product/service written by another customer. Customers are much more likely to trust the words of independent adjudicators than taking your word for it that your latest release is “the best yet”.
3. Ask them to write a review
Leverage your new subscribers while they’re keen and let them do your marketing for you! Encourage customers to leave a review after they’ve made a purchase, and ff you have delivery information available then try to ensure this is done after they have successfully received their purchase. Incentivising this segment with an offer or even prize draw entry can have a huge impact on conversion rates, with one study finding that it increased conversion rate by 18.5 % on average, and one industry finding an uplift of 106%. Then make sure you harness the reviews that customers have provided to help reinforce the decision-making process of would-be customers.
4. Add some peer pressure
Another means of leveraging your customers is to use their activity itself to encourage others to follow suit. This is something which the travel industry executes extremely well, especially within the hotel and air travel markets. Increasingly, however, we’ve seen more companies from other industries – such as events – adding this to their email communications.
Take the Email Design Conference’s live feed as an example. As you open the email you find Twitter users talking about the conference – conveying both excitement and a sense of urgency before tickets sell out. These are very powerful tactics of persuasion, as they play on our ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) and the complete uncertainty of other consumers’ activity.
As excellent a marketing tool as this is, negative reviews can arguably have a more potent negative impact. Avoid these at all costs.
- Reviews/Testimonials – Not having enough of these can be harmful; keep quiet until you have at least 5-10
- Review stats constantly – If your strategy isn’t working as well as you’d hoped then either try something else or, if you think it’s having a negative impact, turn it off! If you use a well-known review platform, such as Trustpilot, then make sure you keep your overall rating in each email as an ongoing reminder of the excellent service you provide
- Test, test, test – Like all things, you probably won’t hit that nirvana of optimized performance at the first time of asking. Put together a testing and optimization plan to make sure you’re squeezing every last conversion out of each feature, and never stop evolving!