The amount of information email marketers collect on their customers and their habits is ever growing. Simply sending a blanket email to the customers in our email list is no longer valid. The challenge now is to use email as a medium in which to build and grow a relationship with our customers. We want to nurture and educate them so that they are highly responsive and generate revenues on a consistent and ongoing basis. To do this, design email series that speaks to each subscriber while they are on the journey of your email marketing strategy.
Below is an example of an email lifecycle strategy for New Subscribers to your email list. Obviously, the timing, sequence and content will need to be adjusted to your individual business goals. You can always first try testing different series on small test segments to fully optimize your strategy.
Since the example series is very informational and provides a lot of content to your customers, you may consider adding all new email addresses to a suppression file once they’ve completed the series. Additionally, you may consider suppressing anyone who is in your welcome series from being pulled into your regular email stream.
Remember, the first interaction you have with your customers is the welcome email. This email serves as both an introduction to your company, but also establishes the pace, tone and value of being in your email stream. The opportunities to educate your new customers are endless, so start each new subscriber off with a welcome series of emails that explains everything they should need to know to get started. If your website needs instructions or you have a lot of content to offer your subscribers, design your welcome email strategy to send several emails in a short period of time starting immediately after sign up.
Another situation where using a series of emails is beneficial is when you are looking to re-engage lapsed customers. Most customers have a tendency to the most active immediately after they signed up for your email list. For those customers who have stopped engaging with your emails or your website, one strategy to try is a We Miss You or Winback campaign.
The purpose of a Win Back or We Miss You campaign is try to entice a user to come back and take an action that they previously have done before. Regardless of what the action was – an email open, an article viewed on the website, an item added to their shopping cart – certain customers are no longer doing it and you want them to start up again.
To get started, you might want to think about the different reasons why a customer in your email list would not continue engaging with you. Do you have delivery issues that would prevent them from ever receiving your email in the first place? Has your content or template become stale so they are longer interested? Were they incentivized to join your list and were never fully interested in receiving your emails? You will need to consider all options before laying out your strategy since each can result in a different series of emails. One other thing to consider while deciding upon your strategy is whether you want to offer an incentive to the user to re-engage. The incentive can be anything from a discount to a sweepstakes entry to a free gift with purchase. If you do decide on an incentive, keep in mind that customers are smart and can easily learn to take advantage of the system so suppress them from regular mailings while they are in a Win Back/We Miss You series.
The above example is just a simple representation of the steps to take in a Win Back/We Miss You campaign. There are an infinite number of emails, content and sequences you can incorporate during this type of email series, but remember the end goal – get users to re-engage.
If, at any time during the series, they open or click, feel free to add them back into your main mailing stream. If you get no response at all, move the inactives into a group that is not normally included in your regular emails. Instead, you can choose to include them only for major mailings, lower their frequency (ex. from a weekly email to monthly) or not email them at all. You can then repeat the Win Back/We Miss You series quarterly or as often as you deem fit.
All in all, using series of multiple emails to engage your customers is effective and can definitely increase both your email KPIs and revenue. Additionally, you can use series to hygiene your email list and remove those that would rather not be there. The number of situations where you can use a series of emails is endless; just remember to keep the subscribers out of your regular mailing streams to avoid confusion.