5 ways to engage with your existing customers through email marketing campaigns

 In About Email, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Guest blog

Why are we still basing our marketing strategies on established rules from the ‘60s?

Buy now, get it for free… are just some of the outdated messages that everyone is becoming immune to.

Mark Morin, a marketing strategist, had a TED talk lecture in which he points out that brands need to turn their attention to customers and not products.

In one of his lectures, Brian Tracy, a self-development author, states: your loyal customers are your best salesman.

What are we referring to?

Customer retention Customer retention is five times cheaper than acquiring a new one.

This is why we are going to talk about new generation strategies on existing customer engagement.

Engaging and retaining customers is straightforward:

  • Include email templates that nurture customers – they don’t need converting templates anymore.
  • Improve segmentation for existing customers – put extra effort to precisely determine targeted groups.
  • Combine surveys and analytics – to get more precise results about your customers’ needs
  • Be available – improve customer service, make it easy for customers to contact you at any time.

Let’s look at these five steps and further explain how to engage your customers through email marketing campaigns.

1. Email templates look like commercials – boring

Chances are your emails will end up in the Promotions tab or, worse, spam if you include too many links, pictures, and frequently sent emails.
These emails look like commercials, and no one is clicking on them.

Your existing customer expects you to go above and beyond to attend to their needs and are not looking forward to generated and depersonalized emails.

Change your strategy to always end up in the inbox.
Your customers are already familiar with your brand; what they need from you is nurturing.

How to engage with your customers’ through templates:

  • Forget about templates, or use customizable templates –       

People like to open emails from relatives, friends, and acquaintances. It’s because these emails don’t look like pushy promos and don’t feature generic images.

Write standard emails or use simple templates.

  • Reduce the number of images and links – The more pictures and links, the higher chance your email will end up in the trash. If your customers start unsubscribing and don’t open emails, Google will recognize this as spam. One image and one link per email are more than enough to ensure delivery and increase chances for open email rates.
  • Include video –

Really good emails.com

People like videos, gifs, and other engaging media formats. Record yourself and upload to Youtube; either to just say hello, wish happy holidays or announce new products, videos are more welcomed than text.

  • Include a personal story – This is a must. Your email should tell a story about your journey or the success stories of your customers. People need to connect deeper with a brand representative, and this is the cost-free strategy to engage, gain and retain customers.

Another way to personalize customers experience is by following up on their purchases,

Really good emails.com

Just check how your customers are doing; if they received a free diner from your giveaway, ask how the dinner was.

Takeaway: Instead of advertisement, get more personal with your customers, show interest in their activities, and further learn their likes and dislikes.

Simplify emails and include videos or different available media, such as webinars or podcasts.

 2. Detailed segmentation – bring value to your customers

Use available tools for better segmentations. If your email marketing platform doesn’t feature advanced segmentation, consider Google Tag Manager.

With Google Tag Manager segmentation, you can set triggers based on the customers’ personal preferences, time zone, residency, etc.

First, configure segments.

Screenshot in Google Tag Manager
Select your tracking options.

Second, set up your pageview.

Screenshot in Google Tag Manager
Assign title and URLs for the desired page.

Third, customize the event.

Screenshot in Google Tag Manager

Decide which customers are going to be triggered.

Fourth, customize paths.

Screenshot in Google Tag Manager

Apply previously determined page configurations in Data Layer Variable.

Fifth, preview settings.

Screenshot in Google Tag Manager

Takeaway: Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are complex programs and require instructions. To better understand how to apply settings properly, use available tutorials on YouTube or articles provided by the Google team.

If you can Include these segmentations in your lists, you will be able to tag customers precisely. The easier option is to apply segmentation provided in your email marketing platform.

3. Surveys and Analytics – a winning combo

Amazon and Netflix are the best examples of customer nurturing.

This is not a guessing game but the combination of Advanced analytics and surveys conducted through time.

There are three ways you can look at this:

  • Descriptive analytics category – A description of what happens pre, during, and after customer interaction with your products. The company’s use this to gain insights and develop new ideas.
  • Predictive analytics category – Companies use this to predict the outcome of the campaign. In case there are any bugs, you can immediately take action and fix these.
  • Prescriptive analytics category – Automatic detection of risk and opportunities, results are used to set triggering actions. For example, Netflix will suggest content based on your search history.

The combination of these analytics will give more profound insights into each customer’s personal preference.

Surveys are a great option to get feedback and personalize your email marketing campaign, but you can't expect each customer to fill out these.

Takeaway: Relying on only analytics or surveys is insufficient; only by combining these will you have an in-depth connection with customers. You can be creative with surveys; for example, a short survey can be a popup.

Use your social media for surveys – create a short voting campaign; for example, which product would you prefer to receive as a gift.

Offer gifts for a completed survey – Reward your customers for taking the time to fill your survey. Depending on your budget and business, offer something valuable; for example, if you are selling kitchen supplies, award your customers with utensils or splash coverups.

4. Types of interaction – Nurture customers until next purchase

There are many ways to interact with your customers. Special occasions and holidays are the perfect opportunities to reach out.

Here are some types of interactions that will help you nurture customers:

  • Thank you – Always say thank you; after the visit, after purchase, thank your customers for returning, for engaging, and for any action they take towards tour business.
  • Happy...everything; birthdays, anniversaries, holidays…
  • What is new – any news, successes, stories.
  • How was your… trip, vacation, dinner – if a customer purchased a vacation voucher from you, always check on them. If possible, offer flight or room upgrades or small incentives.

Daily interactions could be performed via social media. This will provide content for your emails, for example, images by your customers enjoying your products.

Reviews and questions asked in the comment section can provide insight for further actions. Answers to these questions can also be provided via emails; you can also include emails that answer frequently asked questions and have it all summarised in one place.

Takeaway: The most important thing to remember about interacting with customers is to always have a good reason to reach out and never send generic emails just because you feel it’s been too long since your last send.

5. Always be available to your customers

Some influencers go as far as providing their personal phone numbers to their followers; if this is intimidating, there are a couple of things you can do to be more available to your existing customers:

  • Priority customer support – Create a special email, SMS, or live chat that will be only available to your existing and returning customers. This is a great opportunity to send valuable emails to inform them about this special treatment option.
  • Include customer support in different languages – If your products are sold internationally, outsource customer support to the countries you have most sold items, or hire an agency that provides customer support in languages other than English.
  • Encourage customers to reach out – Invite your existing customers to contact you at any time, including social media pages, and invite your customers to post their images or thoughts and always follow up on these posts.
  • Create live chat – You can create live chats on YouTube and Facebook for your existing customers. This can be a Q/A event or just a chat. This will additionally encourage customers to contact you and ask questions to further connect with you. This recording can then be sent in an email with a follow-up thank you for attending.

Takeaway: Record events and use social media to encourage sharing and follow-up emails that provide value to your customers.

Final thoughts

To nurture and keep your existing customers requires a different approach compared to acquiring customers.

This means that your emails have to be automated by advanced segmentation and not so much with the overall design.

The easiest way to fully automate and segment emails is by joining an email marketing platform that features these types of automation.

The same applies to Shopify.

Google Tag Manager requires some coding knowledge, and it can be intimidating; however, it will provide in-depth segmentation.

Always reach out when you can bring some value to your existing customer.

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