Sunday, 18 July 2010

Keep them coming back - Part 1. Email Marketing

Having issues keeping your clients coming back to your site for more? In this series we're going to look at a few techniques that can help keep your customers focused on spending money with you.

There's a few things that every business can learn from the marketing tactics of the big online brands, local and abroad. Amazon, Ebay, Walmart & Travelocity (or WebJet for a local comparison). All of these brands have aggressive online marketing and use strategic techniques designed to draw users back to their websites.

Not all of these techniques are going to work for every business, but you should be able to find at least one that can be tailored a little to suit your situation. Chat to Digerati today about how we can customise a marketing campaign for you.

Part 1. Email Marketing

Of the 5 sites listed, only Ebay sends regular text-based newsletters to members. This is because all of them send frequent purchase related emails on a more regular basis, so the need for newsletters are negated. In exchange of the straight newsletter, these big businesses have realised the value of putting deals or special offers in front of the consumer rather than a page of text.

This may be a surprise to some business owners out there, but the majority of the time, your customers generally don't care what you have to say, all the care about is how you can benefit them. Make sure your email contains something that will have the user saying 'I'm glad I didn't delete that email', and you're going to want to do it within about 10 seconds of them looking at your email (or less).

I suggest leading with some kind of time-limited promotional offer. Maybe it lasts 12 hours or maybe its a deal of the day, but something that leads with a reason to read it now and not later. Follow it with some value added or time-relevant sell. This doesn't need to be a discounted product, but could be highlighting a product that has some topical or current event connection. It may be a product related to an upcoming sporting event, or hallmark event like Valentines Day.

You're going to want to commit to a time line that's appropriate with what you're capable of producing and not annoying your customer base. That may be once or twice a week, it may be every second week, but commit to being consistent, both in your timing and your content.

As soon as you start sending emails with any kind of frequency, you're going to lose some customers - that's natural, but a database of 400 people that read and look forward to your weekly updates is much more beneficial than a list of 1000 people who delete your 'every few months' emails.

Its a good idea to keep these types of emails short. Keep blocks of text to a minimum and make sure you keep the focus on the benefit to the reader. Add images, but keep them to a minimum as well to reduce the risk of them not being seen, or your email ending up in a spam filter.

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While email campaigns are effective at getting back in front of your customer's vision, it really only useful for those businesses that have a database of people who have opted into a newsletter, but not so helpful if you're just starting the site.

Note though, if you ARE starting a new site, we always recommend that you include at least a way for visitors to sign up to receive latest news or special offers. That way when you decide to do it, you've got your list. There are very specific laws about just creating your own database with email addresses you have in your contact list.

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Chat with us today about customising a marketing plan to suit you.