Are you worried that your prospects and customers are forgetting about your product or service while you wait for life to get back to some version of “normal”?
You’ve probably seen plenty of examples of creative ways some businesses, maybe even your competitors, are staying top of mind with their customers. Hair salons are delivering hair dye kits to customers, yoga studios are switching to online classes, restaurants are giving free online cooking classes. The list keeps growing every day.
How is your business reaching out to customers in these unprecedented times?
Email is the easiest way to keep your connection alive
The good news is that you don’t have to “one up” anyone or be especially clever to keep the lines open with your customers. What you do need to do is update your list and start talking to your customers by email, if you don’t already.
Email is by far the most cost-effective way to connect with your customers, especially now when everyone is glued to their devices 24/7. Keep your customers engaged now and chances are that they will come back to you when things return to normal.
What about all those prospects waiting in your sales funnel? Email is a great way to keep the dialogue going. Marketing experts agree that it takes on average 8 touch points before a consumer is confident enough to buy. What better way than a low-cost email nurturing campaign to help reach those 8 touch points? It all starts with an email address capture.
I’m happy to say, most of our own 20Eight clients send email campaigns regularly and some even have automated “drip” emails that work behind the scenes. Our team sets them up on Mailchimp or Drip email platforms where they have easy automation and access to statistics.
When the pandemic hit and disrupted almost every aspect of life, when stores were shut down and restaurants boarded up, these businesses were able to keep the lines of communication going. Their customers knew if they were open, what services were available, what safety protocols were in place, status of orders and so much more. The systems were already there, only the messages changed.
There is no shortcut. It is hard work.
Great email communication is unfortunately not a quick one-time project. It takes effort and energy to come up with a cohesive strategy, great content and yes, good writing skills help a lot. And those are big hurdles right there.
As a business owner, I know firsthand that unless something is on fire it tends to get pushed to the next week, and weeks turn into months. But if we have learned anything from COVID, it’s that keeping a conversation going with our customers is not optional. Right now is the time to put systems in place, or improve them, so we are ready for the next wave, if it comes.
Are promotional emails appropriate in this climate?
Email campaigns generally fall into two categories – promotional or nurturing. We are all of course familiar with promotional emails – the kind offering a “special deal” of some kind.
Nurturing campaigns by comparison are softer communications that give some value or benefit to the client such as tips, news, new product launches, etc.
To be sure, the current COVID-19 environment has changed what is appropriate and what is not in messaging. A hard sell is not what you want to go with right now. But that doesn’t mean your promotional emails have to stop. Try toning down the sales messaging and add more nurturing emails to the mix instead. Keep that connection with your customers without running the risk of being offensive or tone-deaf.
Tips for successful email campaigns
- Think through your objectives and your strategy before you start writing.
- Write with a consistent voice and brand messaging.
- Take the time to research best email writing practices including subject and description lines.
- Pictures and fancy icons are always nice but sometimes simple works just as well.
- Familiarize yourself with CASL regulations. It’s not as complicated as you think.
- Use email platforms such as Mailchimp and Drip –your emails will look more professional and won’t end up in spam folders.
- Schedule your email campaigns in your calendar in advance to make sure you follow through.
Don’t let competitors hijack your customer relationships
There is no better time than now to connect with your customers digitally. Ask them how they are doing, keep them informed, educate them, help in any way you can. The stronger your relationship, the less likely they are to get distracted by your competitors.
If you find yourself in this COVID-19 environment without an email list— never mind a strategy — you are not alone. If calling customers is what it takes to get those first emails, then you start there. Start the process now. Maybe you have a bit of extra time on your hands?