The Email Marketer’s Blueprint for Customer Loyalty

You’ve likely heard it, but we’ll say it again.

It costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to nurture existing ones.

Our regular readers will know we’re fans of this statistic. But that’s because it’s such an important one.

So many brands get distracted only focusing on the top of the sales and marketing funnel. New leads, new sales, new customers. This means that they can forget to give their current customers the time, resource, and attention that they deserve.

Building customer loyalty brings a whole host of benefits to a business. And it doesn’t have to be a complicated process, particularly when it comes to using email marketing.

In fact, there are lots of simple but effective emails that brands can utilise to keep their customers happy, loyal, and spending.

And in this guide, we will introduce you to 8 email campaigns that can achieve just that.

When it comes to customer loyalty, better starts here.

5 benefits of customer loyalty

Before we dig into how you can achieve customer loyalty. Let’s take a moment to understand why customer loyalty is so important for business.

Repeat business

This probably goes without saying, but one of the main benefits of having loyal customers is that they create repeat business.

Whether it be your excellent customer service, the products you stock, or what your brand stands for. Loyal customers are a fantastic source of revenue. As we have discussed, they are not expensive to sell to, they are already warmed up to your brand, and they are familiar with your buying journey.

In fact, if you can improve your customer retention by 5%, you can increase your profitability by up to 95%.

Increased spending

As well as offering repeat business, loyal customers also seem to have deeper pockets.

Research has found that repeat customers spend 67% more money than first-time purchasers. And 39% of customers will spend more on a product from the brand they are loyal to, even if there are cheaper options elsewhere.

This is often because the customer has built up a sense of trust and familiarity with a brand. And would prefer to pay a little extra than take any risks with a different brand.

Positive branding

Reputation can make or break a brand.

That’s why loyal customers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to brand advocacy.

91% of consumers read online reviews. And 84% of them trust these reviews as much as a recommendation from friends or family. And who better to positively review, rate, and recommend your brand than your current loyal customers?

So be sure to encourage and collect these reviews. Whether that be on your website, social media pages, or through third-party review sites such as Trustpilot.

Insightful feedback

Feedback is crucial for brands to ensure they are offering the best possible service they can.

Loyal customers can be a key source of this feedback. Not only are they familiar with the brand and buying process, but as they are loyal they are more likely to give up their time to help.

Brands can position this feedback as not only useful for their own growth but also an opportunity for customers to input into the business. And help shape the business’ offering moving forward.

Relevant user-generated content (UGC)

Content is still key when it comes to marketing. But content creation can be a resource-intensive process.

Brands can tap into their loyal customer base to help boost their content offering. Encouraging loyal customers to share photos, videos, and positive stories gives the brand access to endless content with little extra effort.

And what makes this content so powerful is that it comes from your customers. This immediately makes it more trustworthy and relatable to your audience. Particularly if it’s from an influencer that consumers follow and trust.

How to build customer loyalty with email marketing

Hopefully by now you’re convinced as to how powerful loyal customers can be for a brand.

So let’s dive into how you can build up your own army of long-term, loyal customers with the use of email marketing.

Welcome emails

We will never grow tired of recommending welcome campaigns to set the foundations for a positive customer relationship.

Firstly, welcome campaigns can generate up to 60% in open rates and 14% click-through rates. So regardless of your goal, welcome campaigns are fantastic for engagement.

That aside, welcome campaigns are often the first communication that a new customer will receive from your brand. And they are sent at the time when the new customer is most engaged.

Welcome campaigns should be beautifully branded, use warm and inviting language, and offer key information such as social channels, delivery times, and support details. And of course, brands could also offer a discount to say thank you for signing up.

If that seems like a lot, then consider splitting out your welcome campaign into multiple emails so that you can cover key information more thoroughly.

Welcome Campaign - Game

Personalised content

Part of building an excellent customer experience is ensuring communications are as relevant and personalised as possible.

Personalisation is key to customer loyalty. It shows the customer that they are seen by the brand. And helps them to enjoy a smoother buying experience.

Yes, first name personalisation is always a good idea in email. But personalisation can do so much more.

For instance, brands can utilise browsing and purchase data to send out highly targeted product recommendations. This could be a reminder about a product they regularly browse, suggestions of alternative products, or cross-selling add-on items for a recent purchase.

But this isn’t the only useful data for personalisation. For instance, by using geotargeting, brands also personalise their emails based on the recipient’s specific location. This is really useful for recommending nearby stores, events, and even products that are relevant to the recipient’s climate and weather.

Personalised Content - ASOS

VIP campaigns

Once you’ve identified a customer as being particularly loyal, you should start treating them like the VIP they are.

VIP campaigns can be incredibly versatile and can be tailored to the brand’s offering. And of course, what the brand’s customers will really value.

What’s important is to offer some form of exclusivity to make these customers feel special. This could be access to pre-sales before the main sale goes live. Discounts and offers that other consumers don’t have access to. Or even special events, product launches, and parties to celebrate your business’ success with those who helped you get there.

VIP Campaign - Look Fantastic

Anniversary celebrations

One sure-fire way to help customers feel recognised is to remember their special day.

Whether that’s a birthday, wedding anniversary, or the anniversary of when they first purchased from you.

The beauty of anniversary emails is they are very impactful, but require little additional work. By asking for key dates at the initial data capture point, brands can use email automation alongside dynamic content to run anniversary emails in the background, with little additional input.

The result is that the customer feels the brand has taken time out to send their best wishes. And of course, if a discount or voucher is included, it is also an opportunity to encourage them to make a purchase to celebrate.

Anniversary Email Marketing Example - LullaBellz

Feedback requests

We’ve touched on feedback already in this guide.

Yes, receiving in-depth feedback is a benefit of having loyal customers. But asking for feedback is also a great tactic for building a loyal customer base.

Customers like to feel heard and valued. And they love an opportunity to shape the brands that they are loyal to. After all, their input is likely to benefit their own shopping experience.

Asking for customers’ feedback shows that you care about their opinion and want to improve your offering to benefit them.

Often, customers need little encouragement to leave a bad review or rating. However, they may need an extra nudge to leave positive feedback.

Fortunately, feedback can be gathered in a number of ways. If you are looking for in-depth information on certain aspects of your business, then you can send out a feedback survey and maybe offer an incentive as a thank you.

Alternatively, if you know certain customers have had a positive experience you can ask for public feedback in the form of ratings and reviews. The added bonus of this is that more potential customers will see this positive feedback, encouraging them to purchase from you too.

Feedback Requests - Three Spirit

Referral programmes

In a nutshell, referral programmes encourage your current customers to refer a new customer. In return, both individuals will often receive something as a thank you, such as a discount, voucher, or freebie.

Referral programmes are useful for building loyalty in two ways. Firstly, they leverage the power of your already loyal customers to refer new loyal customers to you. Chances are the individuals they are referring are similar to them; with similar needs and challenges. So this increases the likelihood of your new customers soon becoming loyal too.

Secondly, it offers an additional incentive for your current customers to stay loyal to you. Everyone loves a discount or bargain, and regularly receiving them by referring customers is a win-win for everyone.

Referral Programme - Papier

Sharing community

Today, many consumers are craving community.

Particularly after not being able to see their loved ones regularly for 18 months.

If you have a flourishing brand community, then show it off via email, and encourage your customers to get involved.

You could incorporate reviews and testimonials from other happy customers. Use dynamic content to automatically populate your emails with the latest social media posts from your social channels or hashtags. Or incorporate UGC (user-generated content) from other similar customers and influencers.

And the more variety of content the better. Text, images, video.

All of the above will encourage customers to get involved with your community on different channels, helping them to feel closer and more bought into your brand.

Community - Pocket Sport

Re-engagement campaigns

Loyal customers aren’t always loyal. Sometimes they can begin to disengage and drop off the radar.

In this case, do everything in your power to keep them. You can start by sending out a re-engagement campaign to reignite your relationship.

Re-engagement campaigns should be focused on bringing a customer back into the brand community. Addressing their potential challenges, and encouraging them to make regular purchases again.

With that in mind, offer your recipient as much useful information as possible. Social channels in case they’d rather engage via that medium. Latest relevant product launches which may be of interest to them. Discount codes or vouchers to nudge them to start spending. Or support details if they need to talk to someone.

And if all of this fails, simply ask what you did wrong. Enquire about feedback, or send them their preference centre in case they are receiving too many emails from you. So that you don’t end your relationship on a bad note.

Re-engagement Campaigns - Addidas

Become a better marketer

With our free learning resource! Sign up now for access to the UK's best strategy advice, industry innovations, best practice and tons of actionable insights. #betterstartshere