Are You Connecting with Your Customers?
E.M. Forster wrote in Howard’s End “Only connect… Live in fragments no longer.” In the context of the novel, this was about the relationships we build and cultivate, and these relationships prevent us from living a fragmented life.
It is similar today with the email relationships we build and cultivate. By creating a good connection with our customers via email, we are building a rich and rewarding relationship for both sender and receiver.
Today's consumers are "always on," which makes communication easier than ever. But they are also very selective and skeptical of traditional marketing. The average consumer is exposed to hundreds of marketing messages across many different channels, every day. Standing out and making a connection with your customers is challenging. As with personal relationships, it takes time and effort to build a trusted relationship that is rewarding for all.
Thoughtful data analysis can take connection to the next level with your customers. For example:
- Do make decisions based on past experience and best practices?
- You monitor your email delivery, but do you monitor inbox placement?
- Do you have insight into how customers are interacting with your emails?
- Do you have insight into how customers are interacting with your competitors' email?
The answers to these questions will deliver insights to create deeper connections with customers.
So what can you do to develop a stronger connection with your customers? Start at the every beginning, with your welcome message. A good welcome message sets clear expectations about your brand, then kind of communication you are going to send, and how often your new customer can expect to hear from you. As with any good communication, the welcome email should give your customer an opportunity to provide feedback and adjust what they want to get from you and when.
According to Return Path research, welcome messages have a read rate that is 34% compared to just 24% for emails in general. So this is an excellent opportunity and get off on the right foot with your subscribers! Looking to develop your welcome campaigns? Check out 4 Steps to Making a Human Connection with Welcome Messages.
Often what started off as an engaging relationship can lessen over time as customer preferences change. One way to rebuild your connection with subscriber who have become inactive is through a win-back campaign. For more insight on good win-back campaigns, check out We Were on a Break! Three Ways to Win Back Your Unengaged Subscribers.
As in life, some email relationships are only for a short time and the connection is fleeting. Sometimes trying too hard to connect leads to fragmentation—or in the email world, complaints. In this case, the best thing you can do for your inbox placement is to disconnect from your inactive users by suppression, allowing you to move on and focus on the rewarding connections you already have. E. M. Forster would agree!
For more information on making data-based connections with your customers, check out The Path to Data Enlightenment.
About Kristina Ek
Kristina has over 15 years of developing and supporting digital and advertising products but is especially passionate about email. In the role of Principal Technical Account Manager, Kristina loves collaborating with Return Path customers and supporting them in maximizing deliverability and engagement with their brand via email marketing programs.