By Shannon Ingrey, General Manager, Oracle + Bronto APAC
Consumers are checking their email more often, and on more devices, than ever before. It’s not hard to see that email remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers. For marketers, meeting consumers at this vital touchpoint is an opportunity that can’t be ignored.
But when it comes to growing subscriber databases and maintaining subscriber engagement, the struggle is real. Marketers often make the mistake of focusing on acquiring the sign-up, and then reverting to a generic batch-and-blast messaging strategy. But this causes subscribers to disengage earlier because they expect you to send them relevant, personalised experiences.
So, how do you grow your list size in a way that will let you collect the right customers and keep them engaged?
Be consistent, and creative
When looking to grow your contact database, you need to take a consistent, multi-pronged approach. There are a few ways you can do this. First, include a signup above the fold of your homepage or even on all pages. This gives consumers an easy way to signup while browsing. This is especially important if they link directly to a product page from the web. Limiting signup to the homepage decreases your ability to secure a new subscriber.
You’ll also want to consider popups, dropdowns, and ribbons. These strategies are routinely the most effective list-growth tactics. But don’t ignore other areas of growth: include social pages, co-registration partnerships and bricks-and-mortar stores.
Now to address the elephant in the room: should you offer an incentive for signing up? The answer is – it depends. Be wary of training your customers to wait for discounts. You can always get creative when it comes to what to offer: a free gift with their next purchase, a weekly or monthly raffle for a giftcard, or even partner with a cause meaningful to your subscribers.
For example, if your brand sells men’s underwear, consider supporting a testicular cancer foundation. Promote this cause on your website, and ask customers to signup to receive more information on how they can help get involved. You can even provide a “coupon code” to use at checkout that will allow that discount to be donated, rather than taken off the purchase price. This way the consumer is emotionally connected.
You’ve acquired new subscribers. Now it’s time to personalise their experience. This can make all the difference between keeping subscribers engaged – or having them hit “unsubscribe.”
The good news is that difference is entirely up to you. Even if you are using a batch-and-blast email strategy, look for areas where you can maximise personalisation. This could be acquisition source (on-site), email or purchase behaviour. If you know your subscriber signed up to receive emails while viewing men’s shoes, put a high focus on men’s shoes. Include intuitive product recommendations. If users click on a maternity link inside of your emails, they should be sent emails focused on maternity items. If they are a recent purchaser, helpful tips on how to care for a newly purchased product are a great way to build trust. The best part of all of this is that it can all be automated, taking a large burden off your team.
Make them believers
Commerce marketing isn’t about acquisition versus retention – it’s a combined strategy. You want to acquire the right customer and then engage them effectively along the way by showing that your brand understands them. Focusing on your overall strategy will help get the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. This is where using segmentation, automation, send frequency and personalisation can help.
Remember: one-size-fits-all might work for concert t-shirts, but it rarely – if ever – works for email.
About Bronto Software
Bronto Software arms high-growth retailers with sophisticated marketing automation to maximise revenue opportunities. The Bronto Marketing Platform powers personalised multichannel content that generates the higher engagement needed for retail success. Keenly focused on the commerce marketer, Bronto continues its longstanding tradition as a leading email marketing provider to the global Internet Retailer Top 1000 and boasts a client roster of leading brands, including EMU Australia, Princess Polly and O’Neill Australia.
For more information, visit bronto.com