BizTip#4

Maintaining Customer Loyalty with
Email Marketing

Simple • Economical • Effective

It's an old adage, but true. It's easier to keep a customer than to win a new one. You've invested considerable time, effort and dollars to gain the confidence of your customers. Likewise, your competitors will do the same to try to steal them away from you.

Email marketing can be one of the most effective, simple and economical ways to retain your hard won customers. Because customer loyalty is an ongoing process, it can give you the edge for maintaining a solid relationship with your customers. Here's how!

Think Outside the Box to Collect an Email Address

  • Make it a required item on sales receipts, just like a phone number and address. If your company delivers merchandise, use it to confirm a delivery date.
  • Provide special offer registration pads at the cash register. "Join our preferred customer list! Special offers only available via email."
  • Request it when a customer calls to inquire about a product offering. "May I have your email address to alert you to our upcoming sale?"
  • When returning a call, "Please let me confirm our conversation by email for your convenience."
  • Require it for registration to win special gift baskets or prizes.
  • Always require it when ordering from your website.

Maintain Your List

It's very important to stay on top of the names in your email list.

  • Always provide an Opt-Out choice to be removed from the list, or choices to how frequently a customer wishes to be contacted. A customer may not wish to receive weekly or even monthly offers. Avoid having the customer request to be removed, by giving a choice. "Contact me only for special sales. Contact me monthly/quarterly."
  • Monitor bounced addresses. Changing an email address is a common practice. When a customer's address bounces, double check for spelling errors, call to confirm or obtain the latest address.

Brand Your Message

Display your logo prominently at the top of the email. Make your message easily identified and recognized to increase your chances the email will be opened.

Use Good Design

Create an attractively designed message. Many email marketing companies offer templates for easily adding a logo and copy.

  • Use only 1 or 2 typefaces and coordinate the design to complement the colors in your logo.
  • Avoid use of silly clipart and animated gifs.
  • If including images, be sure they are properly sized.
  • Remember, less is more – use generous white space and keep the message simple and to the point.
  • Always provide a link to your website and contact information.

Build a Schedule and Stick to It

  • Adopt a regular schedule for sending emails. Aunt Sue may not care if she only hears from you at Christmas. Infrequent emails can easily be missed – your objective is to stay in front of the customer.
  • Consider the frequency in relation to the message. If you offer simple tips or hints, monthly messages may be enough. If you have large quarterly sales, send one or two pre-promotion messages to alert customers to the date. But what if a customer postpones a buying decision until your sale date arrives? Offer pre-sale selections to learn more about the product so the customer can act quickly on the sale date.

Avoid Being Labeled as SPAM

It's up to you to insure your message doesn't end up in the Junk box.

  • Stop and look at your message honestly and critically. Does it look like SPAM? If your company's name was not on the message, would you open it or mark it as SPAM?
  • Is it targeted to everyone on your list or a specific segment? One size doesn't fit all. Build messages for target markets and send only to them.
  • Avoid use of all CAPITAL letters in the subject line.
  • Avoid use of the words and phrases such as free, guarantee, your income, call now, etc. in the content and subject line.

Respect Your Customers

Courtesy and respect never go out of style in a customer relationship. Respect customers by sending messages that are useful. Above all, thank them and remind them how much you value their business.

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