A brand is nothing without happy, loyal customers.
However, gaining those customers takes a lot of hard work and careful planning. When it comes to building customer relationships via email, it requires your team to sit down, understand who your ideal audience is, and what it is they’re looking for from you.
While email marketing has plenty of benefits, you lose out on that face-to-face contact that brick-and-mortar stores get. This makes it harder to gain the trust and loyalty of potential leads because they aren’t able to physically visit your brand, see or test products, or talk with you in person.
While, initially, it may be more challenging to build and nurture customer relationships via email, it’s manageable, and it’s not nearly as difficult as you may think.
Why building customer relationships via email is more vital than ever
2020 has presented quite a few unique challenges to brands across the globe. One of the main challenges brands face is contactless communication and service. While many brands, especially those in ecommerce, already practice contactless communication, those with small businesses are finding themselves having to practice building/nurturing customer relationships via email, SMS, and over the phone.
While this may seem complicated, it’s a skillset all brands must practice as they move forward.
How nurturing customer relationships via email can help your brand
Email marketing is vital in building and nurturing customer relationships. This is especially true now that contactless communication and business is becoming a standard for brands. If you’ve struggled with convincing yourself or your team of the benefits of email marketing, here are a few statistics worth taking note of:
- Email marketing has the single highest average ROI of all digital marketing channels, with an average of $38 for every $1 spent. – Campaign Monitor
- Approximately 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2019. – Statista
- Sending an average of three abandoned cart emails can result in nearly 69% more orders than a single reminder email. – Omnisend
- Nearly 55% of consumers prefer email messages that contain products and offers relevant to them. – Liveclicker
- Forty-seven percent of marketing professionals believe that email marketing is the most effective lead nurturing tactic. – TechJury
- Brands are 6 times more likely to get a click-through from an email than they are from social media platforms such as Twitter. – Campaign Monitor
- Fifty-nine percent of B2B marketers state that email is their top channel for revenue generation. – Emma
- Approximately 4.24% of email marketing traffic will make a purchase from a brand, as compared to 2.49% of search engine traffic and 0.59% of traffic from social media. – The American Genius
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than both Facebook and Twitter combined. – McKinsey
- Shoppers are likely to spend approximately 138% more when marketed to via email, as compared to those who don’t receive an email offer. – Disruptive Advertising
- Approximately 320% more revenue is driven from automated emails than non-automated emails. – Campaign Monitor
- Eighty-six percent of consumers are willing to pay more in exchange for excellent customer experience. – SuperOffice
- Brands with outstanding customer experience bring in approximately 5.7 times more revenue than those that lack in this department. – Retail Customer Experience via Forbes
4 tips for building customer relationships via email
You know that email marketing is essential to any good marketing strategy. However, as online competition continues to grow, providing a good customer experience has become vital. The better the customer experience, the happier your customers, and the more revenue for you.
The key to happy customers is more than supplying them with great products and services. It also involves building customer relationships via email, social media, and other contactless forms. Your customers have come to expect not only exceptional products and services, but instant contact with your brand, should they need something. They also expect to be treated as the individual that they are, not as just another email or text message subscriber.
So, if you’re working on nurturing customer relationships via email, you’ll want to keep in mind these four tips.
1. Personalizing your email communications
Personalization is essential to building customer relationships via email. Now, it’s important to point out that email personalization is much more than simply personalizing an email subject line. While personalized email subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, if you’re looking to build and nurture a relationship with each of your email subscribers, you need to be taking the time to get to know them and send them only the most relevant information possible.
An excellent way to do this is by offering up an email preference center to your subscribers. This allows your customers the opportunity to tell you more about them, who they are, and what they expect from you.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Once you’ve gathered enough details about your subscribers, you want to take the time to build a variety of detailed, segmented lists.
Email list segmentation is the division of your email subscribers into smaller lists based on a set of specific criteria. There are very few limits when it comes to creating segmented lists. Many marketing teams segment their lists into the following categories:
- Geographical location
- Purchase history
- Customer Status (regular/VIP) and more
Source: Campaign Monitor
2. Email automation
Aside from treating your customers as the individuals that they are, when it comes to nurturing customer relationships via email, timing is everything. Your subscribers are coming to you because you have information, products, or services that they want, and, when they give you their email address, they expect you to reach out to them promptly.
Automated emails can come in dozens of different forms. From thank you emails to new subscribers, welcome messages for those same individuals, or order confirmation messages, with the right marketing software, you can automate almost any message and send them out, once specific triggers have been met.
For example, this email from Dekks was sent out to a new subscriber.
Source: Really Good Emails
Thanks to email automation, nobody had to hit the “send” button physically. The marketing team behind this email simply set up a trigger that had to be met, which was a new subscription. Once this individual took the action of subscribing, the email was triggered and sent out.
3. Creating a customer loyalty program
Nurturing customer relationships via email often takes a little extra finessing than what’d be necessary for those stores that can prioritize their in-person customers. While this may sound daunting, it’s much easier than you think. One way to start building trust amongst your email subscribers is by offering them special incentives, such as a 10% discount on their first order or a free product after they’ve earned so many rewards points.
Customer loyalty programs are excellent for nurturing customer relationships via email because they encourage your subscribers to continue interacting with your brand.
Loyalty and rewards programs can take on literally any form you can imagine. However, most of these programs take on a similar nature. By joining the program, the subscriber would get points or credits. Once they’ve reached so many, they’re given a cash reward or a special gift, like this special reward code from Beardbrand.
Source: Really Good Emails
4. Avoiding sending messages from a “do not reply” email address
A no-reply email is defined as an email account that utilizes a “do_not_reply” address and that’s used for email campaigns that can’t be replied to, as it usually leads to a message landing in an unmonitored inbox. While there’s a time and place for these types of emails, such as a digital grocery ad or the weekly digital circular below from Costco, it’s considered a practice that should be avoided.
Sending from a no-reply email is considered poor practice because your subscribers expect to be able to reach your brand easily. Nearly 25% of consumers have stated that they chose to opt out of a brand’s emailing list due to a lack of human touch.
When building and nurturing customer relationships via email, you need to foster two-way communication between you and your subscribers, so avoid sending from a do-not-reply address, if possible.
It’s never been more imperative to focus your marketing team’s efforts on building and nurturing customer relationships via email. If you’ve struggled on methods to help you in this department, make sure you keep these four tips in mind:
- Personalized emails
- Email automation
- Customer loyalty/referral programs
- Allow customers to reply to your emails
Need a quick reference on building customer relationships via email? Then keep our handy guide at your side, so you can build your subscriber relationships with ease.