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Retention Marketing

09/14/2010 2 comments

While it’s important to regularly expand your customer base, retaining existing customers is equally if not more important. In fact, it’s more cost-effective to retain current customers than to acquire new ones. Occasionally you’ll have some fall-out from your email campaign as subscribers opt-out. But just because someone is opting-out of your mailing list doesn’t mean they want to say goodbye to you entirely. Done right, you’ll be able to retain these people as customers even if they choose not to continue receiving email from you.

Here are five ways to turn these opt-outs into continued business:

Make it easy to unsubscribe.
Place an unsubscribe link on every email communication you send. Process unsubscribe requests promptly and remove those addresses from your list (within 10 days, according to the CAN-SPAM law, but the best practice is to do it instantaneously). If your customers are dissatisfied with the unsubscribe process it’s likely that they won’t look upon your business favorably in the future.

Offer options. In addition to offering subscribers the option to unsubscribe from the list, offer them the option to receive emails less frequently, or to change their preferences. When you offer multiple choices, customers can decide which content best fits their needs and interests.

Learn from comments left by unsubscribers. Your unsubscribe confirmation page should offer a chance for the customer to provide feedback about why he has chosen to opt out. You may learn that unsubscribers preferred less (or more) frequent communications, or were looking for a different type of content altogether. This valuable information will help you improve your communication plan.

Let people re-subscribe. Sometimes people click “unsubscribe” by accident or change their mind. Make sure your unsubscribe confirmation page gives people the chance to re-subscribe if they’ve clicked your link in error. (The daily coupon newsletter Groupon does this in an amusing way.)

Suggest other ways to stay in touch. Your unsubscribers may not have time to read your email, but may want to follow you on Twitter or become your fan on Facebook. Offer links to your social media accounts on your unsubscribe page.

Another factor to consider is that a subscriber simply may not remember signing up for your email campaign. To avoid subscriber amnesia, use autoresponders to automatically fire off a welcome email at a predetermined time from which the subscriber joined the list. This will ensure that you’ve established contact and may also encourage the subscriber to add your email address to his address book.

When someone asks to unsubscribe from your list, you must respect the request. But an effective unsubscribe process can ensure that you retain the customer, even if you lose the subscriber.

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Integrate your email and social media campaigns

07/23/2010 Leave a comment

Email marketing works best when it’s part of an overall marketing strategy. While the Direct Marketers Association currently ranks email marketing to produce the highest return on investment, social media is quickly catching up. You can increase the success of your email campaign by capitalizing on the popularity of social media.

According to the fourth annual Email Marketing Industry Census, many marketers are using social media to enhance their email campaigns. More than a third of companies (37%) are using email to encourage the sharing of content on social networks and just under a third of companies (31%) say they are planning to do this. A fifth of companies (21%) are using email to promote customer ratings and reviews, while a further 26% say they have plans to do this.

The real benefit of social media is its ability to leverage your message and amplify your content as people spread it through their social networks. GetResponse conducted a survey and found that integrating social media and e-mail produced a greater than 30% improvement in click-through rates.

Here are five ways to better integrate social media with your email marketing:

  1. Place a link to your e-newsletters on your social media pages and vice versa
  2. Deliver e-newsletters containing excerpts from your blog with links to each post
  3. Include social media share options in your e-newsletter
  4. Link to your company’s social networking profile in the sidebar of your e-newsletter
  5. Provide an option for customers to join your social media networks on your e-mail newsletter registration page

How do you use email marketing? How do you integrate email marketing with social media?

Categories: Social Media