By: Lisa Davala
Converting Email Addresses into Customers
You’d like to create new customer relationships and even have the emails to do it. You have the tools. You have the means. Now what?
Start by asking a question of your own: Who are you sending the email to?
This question is the very foundation of your email campaign. Why? Because specific customer groups dictate how you’ll create your message and call-to-action. Newbies need to be handled differently than longtime customers because they have different needs and wants. The sooner you realize this, the sooner your emails will start to convert.
Here are the subscriber types you’ll need to recognize, and examples of tailoring a message for their individual needs.
First Time Subscriber
This is your opportunity to tell these newbies why your company is great. You have their attention, and they’re most likely to engage when first signing up. You can take advantage of this in a few ways:
- Welcome these subscribers with an email that makes them feel special. Acknowledge their interest in what you have to say.
- These emails should include a coupon. Whether you’re retail, service or industry, a coupon thanking new subscribers for your interest automatically gives them one reason to deal with you as opposed to a competitor.
- Reduce their risk of purchasing by offering free shipping or free returns. By doing so, you’re reducing purchasing fears. In addition to telling them they won’t lose out, your confidence in a successful sale and shipping process will give them confidence to buy from you.
- Customer service contact information lets them know you’re there to listen, work out problems, or give advice. By handing over contact information, you also make it easier for these subscribers to know should a problem arise, someone is there to fix it.
This person hasn’t purchased, but at one point or another, had the intent to buy. So what happened? It could have been a few reasons: Price, tax and/or shipping costs, or maybe you were out of stock of a specific item at the time.
There’s a way to bring these consumers back into the fold, provided you captured their email address during the process. If so, use one of the following techniques to remind them what they’re missing:
- Generate a reminder email with the products they’ve viewed or left in the cart. It’s a great way to let them know you still have it and it’s in stock.
- Incentivize them to complete that purchase with free shipping, a discount offer or other type of promotion. By fixing the problem that caused them to leave in the first place, you’ll greatly increase the chance of a conversion.
- Have fantastic customer service? Let them know what kind of support they’ll receive with the purchase of your product or service.
*Note: You’ll need to capture email addresses at one point or another, so add pop up boxes, or have the person submit an email address after clicking your call to action.
First Time Buyer
This buyer has either come from one of your previous emails, or has found another reason to convert. Just because they’ve acted once, doesn’t mean you have a life-time customer right off the bat. Cherish your customers, no matter how often they’ve purchased, and they’ll be one of the best assets you can have. These repeat customers will likely spread the word about what you offer.
- Email your recent customer and ask them what they thought of your product. It sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people miss this opportunity. Chances are you receive their email in the buying process (if you aren’t, you should be) and it’s an open door to say thank you.
- To incentivize the user for their time rating and reviewing you, give them a print-out care guide for the product, some quick tips on getting the most of their purchase, or a coupon for an accessory that would pair well with the product.
- If you have instructions, or can offer advice about the best way to use their product, share that with them for personalized help.
You know this person has a service or product that has to be renewed, or through the purchase history, you can conclude you are their go-to supplier. Remember back to when I said to cherish your customers, regardless of their purchasing frequency? These email subscribers are part of that statement. They trust you and you have a well-established relationship, so continue fostering it.
- Schedule a message to go out post-sale for accessories, reordering products that run out, or renewing a service that will expire.
- Generate emails for anniversaries, birthdays, or first purchases (where it makes sense, of course.)
- Consider setting up a rewards program, similar to those in retail and grocery stores. This will make it easy for you to track their purchase history, interests and pin point offers they would be interested in receiving.
Expanding Your Email List
Just starting your email list? Congratulations, it’s a start! Don’t feel overwhelmed with numerous email marketing tactics, because this is a valuable investment you’re devoting time and effort to, and it will pay off. If you need some ideas to generate email addresses, here are some of our favorites:
- Facebook 'like' options in your email: These will help expose your brand to friends of current subscribers. Brand awareness is the first step.
- Offer a relevant incentive to your website visitors in exchange for referring your brand to their networks and another incentive to the referred user for signing up to your mailing list. Win-win. Use social marketing platforms, like OfferPop or Wildfire, for easy-to-execute campaigns (and to stay compliant with social media regulations.)
- LinkedIn groups: Take advantage of shared interests and common pain points through LinkedIn. Look for a question you can answer, or an opportunity to offer information to a person. Answer that question, and then spread the word of your informational and helpful emails.
- Make other social sharing simple and accessible: If you have a newsletter sign-up on your website, add social sharing buttons with tailored, embedded text on the sign-up thank you page. An example of embedded text would be, “I signed up for email offers and special events for [business], and you can too!”
Now that you know who you are targeting, and the type of message you need to convey to the subscriber, the next step is creating the message and distributing it properly. Our next post in the series will cover creation and distribution of your message through email.