customer

Customer Retention Tactics

Customer Retention Tactics

You’ve heard it before. It’s cheaper to get past customers to purchase again than it is to find new customers. This is true for most businesses, especially in the crowded online ecommerce arena. Knowing that it’s cheaper to get current customers to purchase from you again, you should make an effort to re-engage your current customers to get them to come back.

Benefits of Reselling to Current Customers

There are several benefits to reselling to previous customers versus acquiring new ones. First and foremost it usually costs less. That alone is reason enough to spend more time focusing on your current customers. The more times a customer purchases from you, the stronger your relationship becomes. It’s these strong relationships that cause customers to champion your products and services, effectively creating powerful referrals and word-of-mouth marketing that will help drive new customers.

1. Utilize Customer Accounts

Customer accounts can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, accounts can make repurchasing much easier by giving customers easy access to past orders as well as pre-filled shipping information. On the other hand, customer accounts can be a seen as too big of a commitment for new customers. Because of this, most people will choose to checkout as a guest if given the option.

So how can you effectively implement and encourage customer accounts while not hindering conversions of first time customers? The trick is to provide the option to create an account after the first order has been placed. You can send customers direct invitations to encourage them to activate an account after processing their order via email. As an added incentive, you might offer a discount for creating an account and/or placing their second order.

2. Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

Reward customers for their loyalty. Developing a loyalty membership to your store is another way to increase conversions from your current customers while rewarding them for their repeat purchases.

Creating a loyalty program can be as simple as rewarding customers on their second purchase at your store or after a set dollar figure.

Shopify apps such as Klaviyo which can automatically email your customer a reward coupon when your customers make a repeat purchase from your store. Additionally, you can opt for full featured and automated loyalty apps like SLoyalty and LoyaltyLion which can reward your customers for a variety of actions they take in your store, including creating a customer account, referring friends and making purchases. Woocommerce Points and Rewards rewards your customers for purchases and other actions with points which can be redeemed for discounts.

Contact us to help you set up these loyalty programs on your site.

3. Send Regular Customer Newsletter Emails

Your email list is a critical tool for maintaining and building relationships with your current customers. Time and time again email has proven itself to be one of the top converting channels for ecommerce. Take a look at the graph below from Monetate. It’s clear that email converts much higher than social and close to twice as high as organic search:

An email marketing campaign like this to all of your customers is quick to implement and can produce big gains. Contact us to assist you with email marketing.

4. Surprise & Delight Your Customers

Depending on your niche, product mix and margins, sending a small gift to your best customers can be a great way to remind them to come back while adding the element of surprise and delight.

Giving an unexpected gift plays to the law of reciprocity which refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action.

Use this to your advantage by sending your best customers small and unexpected gifts. It can be as simple as a digital gift certificate to your store, or you can take it a step further and send your customers something that lets them know you went the extra mile because they are important to you.

5. Reach out and Connect on Social Media and Post Often

Social media is all about building relationships and who’s better to build and cultivate relationships with than your customers?

People who have chosen to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your company tend to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your brand for a reason. These people can be your most loyal customers and brand ambassadors. They want to hear more about new products and promotions so it’s important to use these channels regularly to make sure you’re connecting with these people and driving them back to your store often.

Keep in mind that Facebook only shows your posts to 5%-10% of your total fans. This means, you should be posting often enough so that you’re regularly reaching all of your fans and customers.

6. Offer a Discount or Credit to Return

Be careful with discounting your products. For many ecommerce merchants, margins can be tight and if your customers become accustomed to discounting they may expect it all the time. However, discounting can also be a really effective trigger to bringing back customers that haven’t purchased in a while.

Experiment with offering credits to use at your store (i.e. $10 towards any purchase) versus a percentage discount (i.e. 10% off any purchase). The credits make the offer feel more tangible and makes the customer feel like they need to spend it, otherwise they are wasting money.

Sending out discounts to dormant customers can either be done manually if you have a relatively small customer list, or, it can be automated through email apps.

Your current customer is the best asset your store has. They already know your brand, they know your products and they know your service. Focusing your time and energy on this group can be a powerful way to supercharge revenues for your store.

 

*from “7 Customer Retention Tactics to Get Current Ecommerce Customers to Purchase More

10 Effective Email Marketing Techniques

10 Effective Email Marketing Techniques

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers today.

Consider the following statistics:

  • Email is the #1 activity on the internet – even over using a search engine. It’s also the #1 activity on mobile devices.
  • The average office worker checks their email 30 times an hour.
  • The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 5.2 billion accounts by 2018 – a growth of more than 26%.
  • 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly, and 28% want them even more frequently.
  • Email marketing has been cited as the most effective digital channel for customer retention.
  • When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates, 90% preferred an email newsletter.

But email marketing reach over the years has declined. Why? For many reasons including:

  • the sheer volume of messages that people receive
  • spam filters
  • Gmail’s promotions tab

So without an effective email marketing strategy, businesses will face challenges in actually reaching and engaging subscribers.

Disappointed with the results of your email marketing campaigns? Consider fine-tuning your strategy by using effective email marketing techniques backed by data. If you aren’t getting clicks, then you are wasting your time.

1. Personalize your email without using their name

Personalizing emails with the recipient’s name may work against you according to research. Given the number of phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, etc. many people are wary of emails with personal greetings.

While relationships need to be built via personalization, it needs to be conducted in a meaningful manner. For example, emails that refer to a recipient’s past purchase patterns and suggest associated or related products have been shown to trigger positive responses in 98% of recipients.

How can you create effective email marketing campaigns that are personalized to recipients?

  • Track email campaigns and create records for each
  • Track and keep records on customer purchases and needs
  • Use the data and information to personalize emails based on the data and needs

2. Work on your subject lines

Subject lines with 60 to 70 characters shows no increase in email open rate or clickthroughs. Subject lines with less than ten characters had open rates of 58%.

Consider for example, President Barack Obama’s election campaign emails. They were known for using email subject lines like Hey or Wow, which worked very well. The vast majority of the $690 million raised online, came from fundraising emails.

How do you create subject lines that work well for you?

  • Develop a hypothesis to test
  • Prepare to A/B test subject lines
  • Track data on all email campaigns
  • Beware that what works for a while might wear off over time as the novelty factor wears off. Adjust your subject lines if need be.

3. Consider send times

What is the best time to send emails? There is no one rule that fits all audiences. However, data may help provide a guideline for creating a hypothesis which could then be tested out. Experian marketing services found that the best open rate was between 8 pm to midnight. It also performed best for click-throughs and sales.

The same study also found that email campaigns during weekends outperformed those sent during weekdays.

There may be many factors that impact the engagement levels with your emails assuming that they are well crafted. For example, the times of other email campaigns, state of inboxes, etc. So testing is the only way to determine the best times and days of the week to deploy effective email marketing campaigns.

4. Give away something

Why does it work? Because giving something away for free reduces the friction involved in initiating engagement your audience.

A popular way of increasing email leads and increasing email opens is to use contests or giveaways. Incentivibe, for example, increased their email subscriptions by 200% by doing so.

How do you do this?

  • Create landing pages specifically for each of your special offers.
  • Test different offers to find what gains the most opens and subscriptions.
  • Develop a series of emails based around your audience’s product of interest.

5. Ensure it is optimized for mobile

Mobile opens accounted for 53% of all email opens in Q3 of 2014. This is an indication of the need for email marketing campaigns to be responsive.

Consider what responsive email designs can do for engagement.

Crocs tested responsive layouts for their emails. They found that responsive designs resulted in a 7.06% increase in CTOR and an 8.82% lift in engagement.

The images below show the email before and after a responsive design was applied.

Before

After

How can you implement a responsive design?

  • Convert your email to a one column template for an easy mobile fix.
  • Increase the font size for improved readability on mobile devices.
  • Make the call-to-action 44px obvious and easy to tap.
  • Consider ergonomics. Many users tap and scroll with their thumb, so keep important tappable elements in the middle of the screen.
  • Optimize the design for retina devices.
  • Limit the subject lines to 30 characters or less.

6. Leverage social media

Social media networks get less engagement. But, they can be powerful ways to build your email list and to continue to engage your audience. Nearly 85% of people who use the web, use email as opposed to 62% who use social media networks.

How can you leverage social media networks to increase your email list and be more effective email marketing?

  • Create a landing page on social media networks like Facebook.
  • Share premium content on social channels.
  • Share an incentive for subscribing to your email list.
  • Host webinars to increase effective email marketing.
  • Consider holding contests, sweepstakes or giveaways.
  • Consider testing ads on social media networks.

 7. Address inactive subscribers

Research shows that on average 63% of an email list is inactive. In other words, these people are less likely to follow up with your follow up emails. So how can you re-engage these subscribers? Re-engagement campaigns are a good place to start.

How do you re-engage inactive subscribers? Identify the inactive subscribers on your list. Re-ignite interest in your inactive subscribers by sending them an email. Let them know they’re missed, and you want them back with a subject line that says just that. Consider giving them a special offer or discount.

Move those who respond to the active list.  Let those who don’t respond know that they will be removed from your list if they don’t respond within a specified time frame. Remove the non-responders from your list.

Consider using the following steps:

  • Be sure your subject lines are clear and communicate what your email is really about.
  • Regularly offer incentives, discounts, contests and coupons to motivate people to open your emails.
  • Determine the best email sending frequency for your subscribers.
  • If e-newsletters are part of your email marketing strategy, be sure to limit the amount of promotional content.
  • Find out why people are no longer interested by asking them when they unsubscribe. Then use the information you obtain to modify your email promotions.
  • Provide a convenient change of address link on your email correspondence.
  • Consider having an annual subscription renewal process where subscribers must renew their subscription to continue receiving your emails. This will help keep only those people who are interested in getting your communications.
  • Testing is an important tool for finding out which email strategies work and don’t work.

8. Add visuals

65% of users prefer emails that contain mostly images vs. 35% who prefer text mostly.

With some industry specific exceptions — emails with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the highest click-through rates.

Shoemint used an animated gif in their email marketing campaign which suits their style and captures the attention of readers.

How can you make the most of visuals in your email marketing campaigns? Consider the following tips:

  • Make use of sightlines. When you are looking at a photograph of a person, how often do you feel yourself consciously following the eyes of the photographed person?
  • Use small images that speed up loading of the email.
  • Do not use irrelevant images and images that do not contribute to the message you want to get across.
  • Show off your personality through visuals
  • Look to Pinterest for inspiration.

 9. Optimize CTA’s

Why use calls to action (CTA) in your emails?

CTAs that offer high value at low cost to the recipient get more clicks. Using CTA that is button based increases click through rates as compared to link based CTA’s by 28%.

How to create optimized CTA’s:

  • Use specific copy
  • Focus on the benefits
  • Avoid words that can increase friction
  • Use button designs that are sized appropriately and stands out on the email
  • Make use of whitespace in the email
  • Test your CTA placement in the email

10. Test, test, test (A/B tests)

Don’t send any emails without testing to make sure it works.

Also, consider how you can collect data from campaigns so you can test elements and find out how you can better future campaigns by noting what works well and what not so well.

A/B testing also plays a key part in testing. Consider running tests around subject lines, calls to action, and content to see what works best for engaging with your audience.

As with most marketing efforts, being able to create effective email marketing campaigns is a process. It requires a combination of good strategy, planning and analyzing data to make improvements to your campaigns.

The only way to learn and improve is to start emailing!

 

(article adapted from Mailmunch)

Tips to Build your Email List

“Action is the foundational key to all success”

— Pablo Picasso

Building your email list may be one of the most cost effective ways of increasing potential customers. But collecting new emails isn’t as easy as it used to be. Customers are inundated with spam emails every day. We’ve all been there. You sign up for what you think will be a monthly email, then recieve daily emails that clog your inbox. And worse, you start recieving emails from 3rd parties.

Here’s some practical advice:

  • Say what you will do. If you say monthly, stick to that. Don’t change to a weekly email unless you first give notice to your list.
  • NEVER sell your email list to a 3rd party. Your customers depend on you for privacy. Respecting the customer is worth more than a commission.
  • Always offer an opt-out link. It’s the law.
But how do you get spam-weary customers to sign up for your list? Like anything else you sell, you need to entice them and make it worth their while. Why will your list be beneficial to them? What will they learn? What will they get for their time?

The sign-up form has to be new and interesting.

No one wants “newsletters” anymore – who has time to read a long newsletter?

GO MINIMALIST

OR BE MORE DETAILED

 

MAKE THEM AN OFFER

 

MAKE THEM FEEL SPECIAL

 

MAKE IT A REGISTRATION RATHER THAN A SIGN-UP LIST

Make sure it’s accessible on your site

 

TOP BAR

FEATURE BOX

POP-UP

What Next?

Collecting your email list is only the first hurdle to increased sales. Deciding what to send and how often takes insight and planning.
More on that next time.

Ready to revamp the way you collect emails?
Contact info@blacktankdesign.com – we’ll help you personalize your sign-up forms.

Images in Marketing

Images in Marketing

With more than 2.5 billion camera phones in use, we are entering a new dynamic era around image creation and content.

10% of photos taken by humankind took place in the last 12 months.

Photos are becoming the “universal language”. The fastest growing social media networks are not surprisingly Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Pinterest is one of the first platforms that allows you to interact with static images.

These social networks are the names on everyone’s lips as they have embraced the visual medium and have made it easy to upload and share images and photos online.

So how and why should you use images in your business communications, marketing and social networks?

6 Reasons Why Images are Important
  • Articles with images get 94% more total views
  • Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
  • In an eCommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
  • In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
  • Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)
Photograph your product!

Aim to create ORIGINAL ’native’ images, incorporate your product and services in an image, as well as YOU. If you are a chef take images of the ingredients, cooking process and final product. If you are a designer take runway pictures, behind the scenes pitcures of fashion shoots, design concepts or of people wearing your clothes.

Images-Infographic

 

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/28/6-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-include-images-in-your-marketing-infographic/