The best way to build loyalty with your customers is to help them do what they want to do in the fastest, friendliest, easiest, and least expensive way.
Let's face it: sometimes we find our brand to be way cooler than it actually is in the mind of most customers.
Marketers who think too much about their brand - and not enough about what their brand offers - can easily find themselves caught in the trap of creating messaging that is heavy on the "aren't we great?" and light on the "here's how I can help you."
I believe the best way to build loyalty with a customer is to help her do what she wants to do in the fastest, friendliest, easiest, and least expensive way. Does your marketing do this, or does it focus on how cool the new line is, how great the most recent offer is, or how smart you as a company are?
The announcement of Gmail's inbox actions should remind us that our customers come to us to get something done - the easier, the better. Faced with a technology like Gmail's, how would you shrink your marketing message down to just a few options?
Rather than promoting a 20 percent-off coupon, the brand new product you just released, and your free shipping offer (along with your header and other frills), why not simply promote the 20 percent coupon? Subject line: 20% Off Now Through Friday. Button: Shop Now.
You can use a similar approach for an abandoned cart program. Subject line: We Noticed You Left Something in Your Cart. Button: Return to Your Cart.
With this approach, the body of these emails can still have your standard branding to make your brand recognizable, but it should keep the focus entirely on the main point of the email. No extra promotions, no site navigation. Just the main call-to-action.
You won't be able to do this with all your messaging. You'll still need to educate with some emails, offer a variety of products with other emails, and build your brand. But for those messages where you want your customers to do just one thing, make it as easy as possible for them to do it.
Step out of your marketing shoes for a moment and think about what it's like for a consumer to shop at a store. At one store, when you're ready to check out, you have to stand in line and wait for a cashier to be available. At another store, clerks walk around with mobile devices that allow you to check out wherever you are in the store. No need to wait. Product offering being similar, which store would you frequent more? We have the opportunity to provide a similar convenience and build better loyalty by making our messaging easier to take action on, just as the second store above makes it easier to check out.
Some messages you send will be ones that convince the customer to come to you. Some may be telling the customer about new things you have to offer. But a lot of marketing messages are just trying to get repeat business. A customer who sees a coupon or offer on a specific product is going to make a very quick decision whether or not to take advantage of it. Making it easier to redeem the offer is going to be more effective at driving conversion and building loyalty than wonderful creative or presenting other offers. Make it easy for your customers, and they'll reward you with loyalty.
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
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As one of StrongView's in-house marketing strategists, Justin Williams helps email marketers develop and implement strategic lifecycle marketing campaigns that are continually optimized to increase engagement and revenue. For the past five years, Justin has applied his expertise in email marketing, social media, web design, and other interactive marketing disciplines across a variety of industries, including retail, finance, media, and technology. In addition to founding his own consulting company, Justin has built go-to-market strategies for early-stage startups and worked with brands like Cisco, Qualcomm, and Geeknet. Justin holds a BA in cognitive science from the University of California at San Diego.
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