The following article is a guest post submitted by Camille Moore from Taktical Digital, a digital marketing agency based out of New York, New York:
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Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to establish customer relationships and boost ecommerce sales. Although every campaign is different, email marketing campaigns deliver an average return on investment of 4400% for every dollar spent. No other marketing tactic comes close to matching this ROI.
Emphasizing the customer journey is key to planning an email marketing strategy that yields similar results. After all, most online shoppers never complete their purchases. There’s a lot of distracting content online, and sustaining a customer’s attention long enough that they make a purchase is difficult.
By focusing on the customer journey, marketers can guide their audience towards that crucial step. Beyond just using an email verifier tool to ensure clients receive content, here are more ways in which paying attention to your customers can yield big results.
How an Email Marketing Strategy Enhances the Customer Journey
When a customer interacts with you, their previous interactions with brands will influence its nature. A given client will typically be at one of the following stages:
- Stage One – At this moment, an individual is only a potential customer. While they haven’t made a purchase yet, they have demonstrated interest in your products or services by browsing your website, signing up for your email list, or taking similar steps.
- Stage Two – Here, customers have indicated more than just a casual interest in your brand. They may have opted for a free trial, downloaded content, or consumed other high-level content.
- Stage Three – When someone reaches this part of the process, they may be ready to become a loyal customer. You need to take steps to ensure they make the first key purchase.
There’s a good chance you’ll have to lead most customers through these stages before they commit to purchasing a product or service of yours. That’s why segmenting your email list is one of the most essential steps to take when developing a marketing strategy based around the customer journey.
Consumers tend to be more loyal to brands (and more likely to make purchases) when their interactions are personalized. By sending relevant email content to your audience based on where they are in the customer journey, you’re more likely to make the right impression.
Essentials of the Stage One Customer Journey
Customers at this stage in the journey likely lack a full understand of why exactly your products or services are ideal for them. Your job is to identify what need your brand can satisfy. Once you understand this essential concept, design content that’s primarily educational in nature.
You want to explain in detail how your business can serve a customer’s needs. At this stage in an email marketing campaign, most of your messages should provide information about what type of difficulty or challenge your product addresses.
Ideally, you should start your efforts with a welcome email, then send two to five messages focusing on the “pain point” your brand can address. For the sixth and seventh email, send messages focusing on how your company solves this problem. Citing case studies and testimonials helps you drive your point home.
Creating the Stage Two Customer Journey
It’s not entirely impossible that customers will skip this stage. Some find the arguments made during the first part of your campaign so convincing they don’t need any more information to convert.
However, more often than not, customers will need to go through the onboarding process involved in the second stage.
During this stage, focus on the specific benefits your product offers. The previous stage was about telling customers your product solves a problem. Now you want to prove it to them.
There are several ways to do this. Your emails in this stage can include free trial offers, as well as free content like webinars, videos, or ebooks, all of which should serve to demonstrate the usefulness of your services. While the previous step educated readers about a problem and its solution, this stage is geared more towards highlighting the specific features your business offers.
Completing the Stage Three Customer Journey
Customers who remain engaged with your brand at this stage are typically ready to make a purchase. Now you need to summarize everything you’ve explained before and clearly illustrate the value your product offers.
The first email of this stage should define the problem again, explain what this problem costs (in terms of money, time, comfort, or comparable measures), then demonstrate once again how your product can solve the problem in a cost-effective way.
After that initial email, the next six simply involve following up. Provide more case studies, testimonials, and similar evidence to convince those who have not made a purchase yet. Emphasize a strong call-to-action with these emails, as you now have one clear goal: make a sale.
Why the Customer Journey is Essential
Again, your customers are exposed to a lot of distracting content online. Boosting ecommerce sales via email marketing requires finding ways to keep their attention. That’s why a focus on the customer journey is important. By clearly guiding customers through the process, it’s much easier to make the sale while also cultivating relationships that increase brand loyalty.
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