The modern customer expects the businesses they interact with to treat them as if they know them personally. If they don’t, customer engagement will decline and the cost of acquisition will rise.
With fleeting attention spans and fierce competition, it’s now more important than ever that businesses make significant efforts to hold the attention of their customers. Especially when it comes to email marketing. Email is one of the most widely used forms of marketing, but it is also one of the most competitive, with hundreds of billions of emails sent globally every day.
Standing out in your customer’s mailbox can be challenging. The email open rate across all industries sits at just over 20%. So anything above that is considered good. However, that’s still 80% of your audience that has totally ignored you.
This isn’t to say that email marketing is a pointless exercise, but it does highlight how ineffective bad email marketing can be.
Quality campaigns are dependent on data, the quality of it, and how you manage it. It forms the basis of what you send, who you send it to, and how you send it. If data isn’t at the heart of your customer engagement efforts then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The Role of Data
Marketing campaign performance is contingent on your data quality. Without having a proper understanding of your customers, you’re more likely to see an increase in churn rate rather than engagement rates.
Almost 72% of customers won’t interact with a business that doesn’t send messages specifically for them and their interests. Using your data properly means that you won’t have a deluge of unsubscribes and a dip in customer engagement every time you send a campaign.
Data quality is of utmost importance if you want to run successful campaigns and improve customer engagement. The amount of data and the level of segmentation determines how personalised you can make your messaging.
Businesses should make it as easy as possible on themselves when it comes to understanding and making use of their data. If you haven’t already, you need to consolidate your data as it streamlines data storage, analysis and understanding. You’ll also find that quality increases when data is consolidated because you create a Single Customer View. It’s a 360 view of what matters to your customers and their wants and needs.
When it comes to creating emails there are plenty of different types of data to include. Demographical, behavioural, and transactional can, and should, be leveraged to provide a richer experience. The more data you include, the better your campaigns will be.
Relevant content and product recommendations is what keeps customers engaged with your business. Segmentation is imperative to ensure that what you are sending to the customer is of interest.
Sending generic, or even irrelevant, messages and including cohorts in the wrong campaigns will have a significant effect on your engagement rates. And even impact on your customer retention. You cannot assume that all of your customers are interested in, or want to see the same thing. So don’t send them all the same thing.
Analyse your data, identify different groups of customers based on interests, behaviours, and previous purchases, and create campaigns that apply to them.
What to include in Emails
Every day, 347.3 billion emails are sent. As a result, your customers are being bombarded with messages ranging from correspondence to marketing to spam.
There are ways you can catch the eye of people as they scan through their emails.
This is an absolute must. You need to personalise every single communication to your customers and email is no exception. Batch and blast campaigns only lead people to the unsubscribe button and their risk of churn increases.
Tailor your emails to address individual customers by using their names and providing personalised content based on their preferences, previous purchases, or onsite search history. This helps create a more meaningful and relevant experience for them.
Subject Lines that Catch Attention
Subject lines will be the first thing the receiver sees. Businesses aren’t just competing with rivals but with every other email in that customer’s inbox. An engaging subject line could be the deciding factor on whether your email will be opened or not.
Remember, your data can be utilised in almost every part of your campaign. This is your first opportunity to include personalisation in the email and show your customers you know them. Even something as simple as using their name in the subject line can increase open rates by just over 25%.
The aim is to nudge the reader into taking action. Creating a sense of urgency in your subject line will spark their interest. Marry this with clever use of emojis and you can create a really compelling subject line that will drive customer engagement from the very start.
It is, however, important that you find a balance. You don’t want to run the risk of coming across too spammy. That will only deter your customers from going any further.
Your customers are time-poor so won’t waste it deciphering an overly wordy or complicated email. You need to make sure that your emails are succinct while still hitting all the key messages.
Making your emails scannable can work to your advantage here. Use different colours, text sizes, fonts, etc to draw the reader’s attention to the most important things you want to get across.
In fact, the human brain processes information through images 60,000 times faster than through text. Use this to make your emails easier to digest. Your email should be as visually appealing as possible and not too text heavy.
Customer engagement, clicks, and overall interactions tend to increase when customers know what to do with an email. There should be a clear call to action to prompt your customers to take action.
Every day, people consume a massive volume of material. In reality, they will not act on everything they see. You need to make it very clear what the intended action is as they likely won’t read the entire email either. You must be the one to persuade them to take action and click through your specific piece of content.
A clear CTA indicates the action that should be taken by the customer. Make it as easy as possible for them to get to the next part of the funnel.
Types of Campaigns to Use
You should be using your data to concentrate on customer engagement from the outset. Once someone starts their journey, they should be nurtured and their preferences understood.
Sending warm and personalised emails to new subscribers or customers who have recently made a purchase or created an account means you’ll be starting on the right foot.
The new customer will feel welcomed into the business and part of the community. For the business, they will find out more about them from a data perspective, and deepen their relationship.
Use the opportunity to introduce your brand, set expectations, and provide valuable information or offers.
Newsletters are great tools for customer engagement and can be easily personalised to their tastes and how they interact with your website. This is another way of using your data to show your customers that you are thinking of them personally.
Regularly send newsletters to your subscribers, providing them with relevant and valuable content. Include updates, industry news, educational articles, product recommendations, or relevant special offers.
Try to take the same approach as you would with other emails you send. It’s unlikely that customers will read every single part of a newsletter. So, draw their attention to the main points you want to get across to increase engagement. And also make sure the newsletter is visually appealing and easy to read.
Abandoned cart emails
When it comes to consumer engagement, few efforts capture the customer’s attention like an abandoned basket email. These are especially popular among businesses looking to re-engage customers who have abandoned their shopping carts and want to get them back.
There are several reasons why a customer abandons their cart. It could be down to your shipping prices, wanting to shop around for better deals, or maybe they just got distracted and forgot about it. The point of this type of campaign is to get the customer back to where they left off and entice them to complete the purchase.
Using segmentation here is the best way of boosting customer engagement. Not every customer will be making the same types of purchases. They also won’t have abandoned the buying process for the same reasons either. So sending them all the same email to get them back won’t work. Some will require a discount code. Some will require free shipping. Some just might need a friendly reminder.
Reach out to the customer in a way that entices them with something that interests them and shows off your understanding of them as well.
Analyse and Go Again
Perfection does not exist when it comes to running your email campaigns. There is always something that can be tweaked or cut out that can help to boost customer engagement. This is something that will take time to understand and identify.
It’s vital that you continue to test your campaigns and figure out what is working and what isn’t. Introducing different pieces of media and data will help to reshape your campaigns if needed.
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective tool for customer engagement when done right.
To learn more about how Xtremepush can help you improve customer engagement through email marketing campaigns, book a demo with a member of our team today.