For many marketers, email continues to be an afterthought as they remain under the illusion that emails are ‘dead.’ Yet, data clearly shows that not only is email alive and kicking with Create Your Customer Personas The first step in writing emails that resonate with readers actually begins before you hit the compose button. Start off by identifying and segmenting your subscribers into different core audiences. This lets you draft templates that can target the pain points, frustrations and objectives of specific prospect groups. While no two customers are ever exactly the same, you can find similarities in demographics. A few parameters you can use to segment include but are not limited to age, gender, location, lifestyle, and purchasing habits. The process of segregating a newly captured email address into one of the several persona groups can be automated. This can be done by capturing specific details using the lead capture form. You may also integrate your marketing platform like Mailchimp with third party databases that can provide you insights on your subscribers’ demographics. This is key for personalization as it ensures that individuals are placed in the right email sequence that delivers a series of emails that focus on creating awareness and converting customers from this specific demographic. Welcome Emails The first email or first exchange that you have with a person should welcome them into the fold. This is your opportunity to make a good first impression and establish your credibility. Studies show that nearly 74% of consumers actually expect a welcome email, and this means that you can expect 4 times more opens from sending a welcome email instead of something promotional. A few tips on making a welcome email effective is to define what makes your brand different and inform readers what they can expect from you in future communications. Nurture Your Subscribers If you’re lucky, a one-time welcome may get someone to buy from you for the first time or even a second if they’ve just placed their first order. Otherwise, the next few emails in your campaign should ‘warm’ your subscribers from cold prospects. You want to spend this time to show that you understand the problems they face so that when they’re eventually ready to buy, the first name that comes to mind is your brand. Like with welcome emails, the best nurturing emails try to educate readers about something related to what you’re selling or continue to help them identify with your brand by sharing stories about your origins, employees, or even past customers. Start Sending Out A Few Promotions Now that readers have become familiar with your brand and you’ve gained their trust, it’s time to nudge them towards a purchase. A promotional offer can often be the X-factor that finally pushes people over the finishing line and gets them to pull out their wallet. Since everyone loves a bargain, a general storewide discount or coupon is a safe bet. If you really want to impress your reader, you can offer them a ‘special’ discount only on the product or category of items they’ve been looking at. Cart abandonment is a serious problem that impacts online retailers with nearly 70% of shoppers leaving a purchase at the last moment. The reasons for this are manifold and can be because of unexpected costs such as shipping to other reasons like having a confusing checkout process, or simply due to the fact that the shoppers were simply browsing. Rather than viewing this as an unrecoverable loss, think of it as an opportunity to regain lost sales. Use email to encourage people to take swift action by offering an incentive and direct link right back to the checkout page from the convenience of their inbox. Your goal is to make the process as effortless and hassle-free as possible to ensure you make a sale. The Win-Back Lost Customers Attempt Just like with your friends, you tend to lose customers who were previously active and loyal. Perhaps their circumstances have changed, or they had a bad experience with you. Or perhaps, they simply changed their email address. Regardless of the reason, it is in your best interests to make an honest attempt to regain their confidence and business. If your subscribers are ignoring your emails, it is time to start sending emotional messages that hint at your impending ‘break-up’. Remind your subscribers of all the good times you have had and that you will miss them. But don’t be afraid to let them know that they shall be unsubscribed if you don’t hear from them. Cleaning up your email list to remove inactive subscribers also reduces costs and provides a more realistic picture of where you stand with respect to email marketing as a strategy. In any case, do provide your subscribers a link to re-subscribe in the final message. Email is no longer a one-dimensional marketing channel. You can do a lot more than just pump out promotions or mindless discounts. While incentives are necessary for converting potential customers, the key is always to move leads down the funnel slowly. This is the only way to win long-term loyal customers and grow a business that stands the tests of time.