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Originally written March 2018, updated July 2019

Many of today’s savvy marketers are setting up effective, personalized customer journeys. These journeys nurture customers into a lasting relationship with your brand. Once created, customer journeys send automated emails based on triggers defined in your ESP.

To make sure you are engaging your customers with journeys, rather than scaring them off, make it a point to follow these “do this, not that” guidelines.

To make sure you are engaging your customers with journeys, rather than scaring them off, make it a point to follow these “do this, not that” guidelines.

Do this, not that!

Want to lead subscribers into a great relationship with your brand? Email marketing is one of the best channels for creating stellar customer journeys. However, there is an art and a science to getting it right.

Follow these tried-and-true tactics to create an effective customer journey that keeps subscriber and customers engaged.

What to do to create an effective customer journey

To create an effective customer journey, keep these facts in mind:

Automate your messages: B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. Email automation1 ensures you send the right messages to the right subscribers, at the right time.

Send a welcome message: Show your subscribers some love by sending them a welcome message the moment after they subscribe. Go the extra mile by including an exclusive welcome offer for discounts to your products and services.

Use a double opt-in option: Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their email address so you can verify they are real, and they want to hear from you. It’s the perfect way to keep your list clean and your customers happy.

Use dynamic content: Using dynamic content to personalize your messages for different customer profiles allows you to deliver relevant information based on gender, location, weather patterns, and more.

Invest in a re-engagement series: A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.2 Look for creative and data-driven ways to re-engage inactive subscribers.

Segment your lists: Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.3 Take the time to build different customer profiles and create relevant content for each list.

Allow subscribers to set their preferences: Let subscribers control their own customer journey by allowing them to select how often they want to hear from you and which newsletters they want from your brand.

A/B test your content:  You never know what your audiences like until you ask them. You have the option to A/B test your copy, images, offers, and more to ensure you are providing the best option to your subscribers.

What not to do when creating an effective customer journey

With every must-do list comes a list of things you must not do, and when it comes to creating an effective customer journey, marketers should not:

Send every subscriber the same mass email at random times: With so many simple options to automate and personalize messages for your subscribers, mass emails are a tactic of the past.

Leave your subscribers hanging: When subscribers opt-in to your list, it means they want to hear from you regularly. Include new subscribers on automated messages such as product offers, company newsletters, and any other content relevant to their personal needs.

Forget special occasions: The rules for making anyone feel special are simple – don’t forget to mention important dates. Email your subscribers with offers on their birthday, anniversary, and even their subscriber date anniversary.

Overdo your content: Keep your email copy short and sweet. Write simple copy for different subscriber groups and only send information relevant to each group.

Hassle unsubscribers: Once someone has unsubscribed from your list, it’s time to leave them alone. You’ll be better off investing your marketing efforts in customer loyalty.

Forget to integrate your email provider with other data tools: The more data you can collect on your customers, the more opportunities you’ll have to personalize your content and create awesome customer journeys.

Wear out your customers: Email fatigue is real, and you don’t want to be the brand guilty of showing up in the inbox too often. Pay attention to your email provider analytics to see how your customers are responding to your outreach efforts.

Set it and forget it: With automation, it’s tempting to never revisit your campaign triggers. Remember to look at your data and consider ways to review and improve your automation strategy.

Wrap up

Short, sweet, and to the point! Follow these guidelines when creating your next customer journey, and it should go nice and smooth. Remember to keep a few points in mind, such as:

  • Welcome your new subscribers
  • Allow them to choose their preferences
  • A/B test for success
  • Never hassle unsubscribers
  • Never set it and forget it

Ready to amp up your customer journeys? Then check out our guide to creating customer journeys that convert like gangbusters!

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