The Email Marketer’s Blueprint for creating awesome customer experiences It costs 5 times more to create a new customer than retain an existing one. This is a statistic you’ve likely heard before. Nonetheless, it is still incredibly important. It emphasises why businesses need to focus on keeping their customers happy. Because happy customers are loyal customers. They buy more. They spend more. And they recommend more. To achieve all of the above, brands need to focus on creating awesome customer experiences. And email can help them to do just that. In this guide, we will dive further into why customer experience is important. Introduce three key elements for awesome customer experiences. And take you through the customer experience journey with email. For email marketers, better starts here. The importance of customer experiences We’ve skimmed the surface of customer experience, but to ensure you and your brand are on board with how important it is for business success, let’s explore a little deeper. Increasing customer loyalty Bringing on new customers in unpredictable times, such as a turbulent economy, can be challenging. Buyers become more cautious with their spending. And less likely to try out new brands or products. That’s why customer loyalty is more important than ever. By providing excellent customer service, buyers know that they can trust a brand, and are far more likely to buy with them again. Brands can utilise their customer experiences to build positive relationships with their customers and keep them coming back for more. Even when times are difficult. There is less risk for the customer, and less resource and expense for the brand. Customers are moving online Customer behaviour has been rapidly changing over the past few years. However the global pandemic has only accelerated this change. Digital eCommerce has grown at an unprecedented rate, raising e-commerce’s share of global retail trade from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020. But as shoppers begin favouring online shopping over the high street, there becomes a gap in customer experiences. No longer do consumers have an actual person to deal with when enquiring and making a purchase. And the human touch that comes with high street stores is no longer apparent. This means that brands need to work harder with their customer experiences. Finding new ways to mirror the benefits of high street shopping in the online experience. Experiences, not things Another shift in consumer behaviour is that 76% of consumers prefer to spend on experiences than on material items. And customer experience is key to that. It’s no longer enough to simply offer products at a competitive price. Brands need to offer consumers a special customer experience to stand out from the crowd. And impress them enough so that they keep coming back, and don’t turn to competitors. Word of mouth marketing (WoM) WoM marketing is one of the most powerful tools a brand can utilise today. With 84% of millennials no longer trusting adverts, shoppers are turning to ratings, reviews, and testimonials before making a purchase. But to begin generating WoM marketing, brands need to be armed with a community of happy, loyal customers to start spreading the word. And once this begins, brands will have a source of user-generated content (UCG), in the form of reviews, videos, and photos, to do their marketing for them. 3 key elements to customer experience No matter what emails brands are sending, there are three key elements that should be included wherever possible to enhance the customer experience. Automation In an ideal world, email marketers will be continuously sending out highly relevant emails at the exact moment recipients want to hear from them. Welcome emails, purchase confirmations, replenishment reminders. The list goes on. But for the average marketer, this is far too heavy a workload to complete manually. That’s where automation comes in. Automated email marketing ensures that streams of targeted, personalised emails are sent to the right person, at the right time, with the marketer barely having to lift a finger. This means that brands can provide excellent customer service, without being worried about the restraints of a small team or small budget. Personalisation One-size-fits-all email is a thing of the past. Today, customers expect a personalised, tailored experience. And email is the perfect channel to deliver that. Marketers can use simple segmentation techniques to target groups of recipients with content, products, and promotions that most suit their interests. Or even better, they can utilise behavioural and purchase data to offer recipients a one-to-one experience like no other channel. Brands can utilise this data with dynamic content to automatically populate emails with highly personalised product recommendations, purchase updates, and even weather updates. Community Customers don’t just want a faceless brand to purchase from. They want to feel part of a wider community. And email is key to getting a community in front of customers. There are so many ways of achieving this. Sharing social proof in the form of ratings and reviews. Showcasing user-generated content (UCG) with live social feeds and featured influencers. And promoting email-only or exclusive promotions and launches. As well as building community, all of the above helps to build trust and reinforce that other, similar consumers, are happy to be part of your brand too. The customer experience journey with email So we’ve established why customer experience is important. And the elements that should be incorporated into your customer experience emails. To help you execute these communications, we have laid out an email journey to ensure you are creating awesome customer experiences at every step. From introducing your brand, all the way through to post-purchase. Welcome campaigns Welcome campaigns may be the first significant communication a recipient receives from your brand. Whether they have signed up to your newsletter, created an account, or made their first purchase. Whatever has triggered the welcome email, this is when a recipient is most engaged with your brand, so make the most of this communication. Ensure the email is slick and eye-catching. With snappy, engaging copy. Introduce your brand, set expectations from the very start, and maybe even offer a welcome discount code. Use every inch of this email to make sure your new recipient feels welcome. And part of your community. Abandoned browse Abandoned browse emails are triggered when a website visitor regularly browses a landing page or product, but doesn’t act upon it. These emails offer the brand an opportunity to encourage a purchase, whilst also being able to provide the recipient with the most useful information. This could include details on the products, the business, or shipping. Or even alternative products that are popular and may satisfy what the browser was looking for. Abandoned basket Similarly, abandoned basket emails are triggered when a purchaser adds an item to their basket. But doesn’t finish purchasing. Just like abandoned browse, there are lots of reasons why this may occur. The purchaser may need more information, a better price, or some reassurance. The goal of an abandoned basket email is to improve the potential purchaser’s experience by giving them what they need to complete the purchase. Therefore, we would recommend including an image of the product and key information, such as shipping and returns. Showcasing ratings and reviews from other happy customers who have purchased this item. And if possible, a discount code to offer that final nudge to purchase. Recommended products Recommended products can be used in a wide variety of emails, such as abandoned browse and basket. But they are also perfect as sole email campaigns. Using behavioural and past purchase data alongside dynamic content, brands can automatically populate their emails with the most relevant products for each specific recipient. This makes product recommendations perfect for upsell and cross-sell opportunities, alongside encouraging new purchases. But they are also incredibly useful for the recipient; acting as a personal shopper and only promoting items they would be genuinely interested in. Replenishment campaigns For certain items, a one-off purchase isn’t enough. So take the opportunity to remind your customers of when they need to purchase again. Replenishment campaigns are ideal for products such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and groceries. The goal is to remind the recipient that it’s time to repurchase before they run out. Saving them hassle, and also placing your brand at the forefront of their mind when it’s time to buy. Image Source – Pinterest Purchase updates When a customer finally makes that purchase, the hard work doesn’t end. In fact, once they’ve handed over their money, it’s even more important to keep communicating with them. The last thing that consumers want is to feel concerned that their order hasn’t gone through, or their money has been lost. So reassure customers by offering post-purchase updates at every step of the process. This should include purchase confirmation and receipt, delivery updates, and even a check-in post-delivery to ensure they are happy with their purchase. Ratings and reviews Along with purchase updates, brands should also take the opportunity to ask for ratings and reviews. Firstly, this offers great marketing content for brands. Who can use these ratings on their website, in their emails, and within content as social proof to encourage other customers to buy the highest rated products. Secondly, asking for a review helps create an experience where the customer feels their thoughts and opinions matter. And helps them to contribute to the brand community; providing useful insight for other customers who are browsing items to purchase too. Feedback and data capture Customers like their voices to be heard. It gives them an opportunity to feedback what they like and don’t like about your business. In the hope that these changes will be made and improve their experience. Asking for feedback is also beneficial for brands, as it provides them with invaluable insight and data which can be used for business improvements and further personalisation. And it gives them an opportunity to deal with any negative comments or complaints, before they make their way to a public review site or social network. Anniversary emails Everyone loves to celebrate on their special day. Whether it’s their birthday, wedding anniversary, or anniversary of the date they first purchased from a brand. By sending anniversary emails, brands can help build their relationships with customers whilst also offering them a fun experience. It could simply be a personalised “Happy Birthday” email, or could include a discount code as a gift for them. VIP promotions Last but not least, the key to awesome customer experiences is making them feel special. That’s why brands should look to integrate VIP and loyalty campaigns within their marketing communications. This could include email exclusive deals and promotions, loyalty discounts based on amount of purchases, or pre-launches of new products and ranges. And brands can base their ‘VIP’ customers on a number of criteria. These could be customers who have purchased the most, who have spent the most, or those who have been purchasing for the longest. Whoever they are, make them feel special. Looking to improve your customer experiences? Then we can help. At Pure360 we offer an all-in-one AI marketing platform and a Customer Success Team whose sole mission is to get you better results. Get in touch today to find out more.