How to Increase Subscribers’ Loyalty with Email Marketing
As an email marketer, your ultimate goal is to create conversions. And what’s the easiest way to do that, repeatedly and successfully? Develop customer loyalty.
You’re probably aware of the escalating stages of customer loyalty:
- First-time subscriber
- Customer Advocate
Occasionally, your subscriber won’t make it to customer (they’ll unsubscribe first) or your customer will become inactive (they may not even be seeing your emails: they may be automatically deleted or filtered into their spam). But beyond the first hook that creates a subscriber out of your prospective, these are other points in the customer life-cycle at which you have a great opportunity to increase the loyalty of your current subscribers.
Ensuring that you’re developing your customer and subscriber relationships will lead to an increase in the number of advocates for your company. And these advocates are important to your bottom line, because they’re free marketing as they spread the word about how great your company/message/non-profit/small business is.
Here are three simple but effective ways to bring your prospective subscribers to the customer and advocate level, and keep them there.
1. Open lines of communication: In every relationship, communication is key. And the relationship you have with your email subscribers is no different.
When customers receive interesting and varied content in different communication modalities (emails, newsletters, web campaigns, social media), they are more likely to remain loyal. Using different kinds of content like newsletters, product reports, current events commentary, and helpful hints all work to support a strong email campaign.
Also, make sure to keep the lines of communication open for feedback and questions. When you invite your subscribers to contact you, they’ll welcome the opportunity to interact with you, especially if they receive a timely reply. When subscribers feel like they have the ability to connect and communicate with you, their loyalty is bound to increase.
2. Provide support: It’s not always enough just to provide interesting and relevant content. Sometimes people are looking for help, or need to feel as though they’ll find the support they need. Take the opportunity every so often to make “support” the focus of your email marketing campaign.
If you normally provide information or sale notifications, once in a while you can change up your strategy by providing a “did you know?” email that highlights interesting facts or a “new features” focus that brings attention to site updates and upgrades.
The first point was about interesting and varied communication, and this point details that further. Email marketing campaigns can be a vehicle for insight, news, advice, and even technical assistance.
Make sure that individual queries are addressed in a timely fashion, and utilize these questions wisely: collect them into a “FAQ” for your website, use them as future email newsletter or blog topics, and pay attention if certain issues crop up repeatedly. These may be areas for improvement that you can act on. If a subscriber sees that something they asked about or provided feedback on is addressed, they will feel listened to and valued.
3. Ask for opinions: The more engagement your subscribers feel they have with you, the more loyalty they will have for you. As with the points above, this isn’t so different than actual relationships. We feel much more loyal to the friend or colleague we interact with regularly, get great feedback from, and who comes to us for advice than the friend we might only occasionally see at parties.
And as with these friendships, the same holds true with your subscriber relationships. We feel most valued when someone asks our advice or our opinion. We feel even more valuable if our advice is taken. Mine your subscribers for their opinions (they have them!), and you’ll walk away with a better website/sales strategy/marketing approach and their loyalty to your brand will go up. Consider integrating periodic short surveys or questions into your email marketing strategies. You can even provide the survey results and direct effects taken by your company as a result of the survey in a future newsletter.
Takeaway: By communicating effectively and actively listening to your subscribers, you’re reinforcing that you’re loyal to them, and they’ll intuit this. As a result, you’ll see increased subscriber loyalty, which translates to more conversions. And that’s an email marketing win-win.