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By: Ben Bauks
The best type of customer isn't the one who comes into your business one day and drops a load of cash. Nor is it the customer who strikes up friendly conversations, but rarely ends up buying anything. No. The ideal customer is the loyal customer; the regular who doesn't stray from your services just because someone mentioned a slightly better deal a town away. But what's the secret to getting that type of customer? Is it providing amazing services and products? Is it making sure that they walk away satisfied at all cost? Is it a successful PR campaign? All of those things, actually. However, most small business owners and even some larger ones usually skimp out on the one little detail that increases their chances of getting the golden loyal customer: Email marketing retention.
Why It's a Big Deal
The rule of thumb when starting a business is to create something of value. Which is why this basic principle makes your emails a bigger deal than you'd think. Let's try something, shall we? Check your email for me. Now, what do you see? Which email are you going to read first? Why?
Let's talk about what just happened by simply checking your email. As soon as you logged in and see your inbox, your brain automatically began to mentally sort which emails have immediate relevancy, and which ones don’t. In fact, I'm sure your eyes just glazed over the emails based on who sent them, and opening them never crossed your mind.
Do not let your emails become the equivalent to unfiltered junk mail! Your clients should have just the same amount of eagerness to open up your emails, as they would one from a friend.
3 Ways to liven up those emails
Personalize. No one likes getting cookie cutter promotions or generic handouts. People stop and think when they're being addressed by their name. If you do business regularly with this person, personalizing it should be easy. If you deal with multiple clients a day, then this becomes a little trickier, as you're most likely aren’t dealing with them on a one on one basis.
In this case, personalize them based on what you know about them. Open up the email by briefly mentioning the last repair Mrs. Jones had on her car, and how you hope the situation went well, or follow up with Mr. Smith to see if he’s had any more plumbing problems since his last service. Whatever you're pushing, make sure it's personal!
Be brief. Brevity is the soul of wit as they say. So your emails should be quick and to the point. We all mentally sigh when we suddenly see a wall of text, and we're instantly turned off.
Provide an incentive. People pay a lot more attention when they know they'll be getting something out of it. Of course, you might already be doing this in the form of discounts, coupons, or special promotional codes, but how about putting a new spin on old ideas? How about incentivizing more in store purchases by making a coupon worth more when shopping in person rather than online? This will subtly increase your foot traffic and your brand awareness. Or how about rewarding consistent coupon users with even more goodies? The reward possibilities are endless.
Retention Will Come Naturally
If a customer likes your business enough, they'll naturally be more inclined to continue receiving your email marketing messages. They'll want to stay informed on every little change, catalog update, and service plan. In short, think of your customers in terms of a community instead of numbers in a marketing gimmick, and they'll think of you as actual human beings who just want to help, as opposed to a faceless stranger who just wants their money.