How are you currently engaging your customers? Studies show engaged customers have positive responses to businesses, which translate into higher sales.
You want customers to love your brand and go out of their way to buy your product or service. Loyal customers like these can boost your revenue by 23 percent, according to a customer engagement survey conducted by Gallup.
One of the easiest ways to increase customer engagement is through email. By sending the right messages and promotions, you can increase engagement and sales.
What kinds of emails should you send? We’re glad you asked.
This guide will help you create four emails (featuring examples!) that are designed specifically to boost engagement. Plus, we’ll highlight the components of the email that you should try to mimic when you sit down to create your own.
1. Welcome email
Making a good first impression is vital when it comes to customer engagement. You want to start the relationship off right with a conversational and friendly tone that is in the voice of your brand. Show the customer your appreciation and explain the benefits of your email list.
In this example, UK retailer House of Fraser provides an introduction to its new guests with this friendly and organized welcome email:
Tips to create a welcome email:
- Be conversational. Write a welcome email like you would write to a friend.
- Highlight the benefits of your email list, just as the example does.
- Pick an email template that provides an organized, clean look.
- Keep the color scheme and font simple – and on brand.
- Provide a call to action that takes customers to your site.
- Consider offering a promotion to get new customers to make an immediate purchase.
Pro tip: Consider automating your welcome email.
With a VerticalResponse account, you can trigger an email to send within hours of a new contact joining your list. All you have to do is create the email and set up a delivery time. It’s a hassle-free way to guarantee immediate engagement with prospective customers.
When you’re ready, use these step-by-step instructions to automate your emails through VerticalResponse.
2. Event email
What better way to engage your customers than to talk with them face-to-face? Whether you host a holiday sale, customer appreciation event or a webinar, interacting with customers on a personal level is one of the best ways to make a connection.
Event emails are just as important for non-profits too. When volunteers and donors see their contributions in action, they’re engaged and more likely to continue their support.
Here’s an example of an event email template:
A food bank invites guests to an upcoming event with this simple, yet informative email.
Tips to create an event email:
- Cover the five W’s. Tell the reader who, what, where, when and why as illustrated in the example above.
- Give the reader tips, if necessary. For example, tell them where to park, how to find the registration table, what to bring or a link to a course map.
- Provide a way to register or sign up.
Pro tip: Use tools to improve the registration process.
Customers can register by sending you an email, but there are registration tools that can help.
Try creating a Facebook Event. With this tool, guests can RSVP to your event. Once you create the event on Facebook, include the link in an invitation email. When a customer clicks on the link, they’re taken right to Facebook to RSVP. Plus, your fans can invite their friends, which can give your attendance numbers a real boost.
When you’re ready to create a Facebook event, check out these step-by-step instructions.
If you’re hosting an event that requires a registration fee, you should check out PayPal or Eventbrite. You can set up a page for your event and, once again, use that link in your email so customers can easily register for your event. Both PayPal and Eventbrite will take a small percentage of each transaction.
3. Email Newsletter
Friends swap stories about their day and keep each other informed about what’s happening in their lives. To maintain a friendly relationship with your customers or donors, you should do the same. Keep your audience in the know by sending out a regular newsletter. The more your audience knows about your business, the more likely they are to frequent your checkout counter.
Here’s an example of a newsletter:
SurveyMonkey sends a well-designed newsletter that’s full of helpful advice.
Tips to create an email newsletter:
- Provide informational content. You can promote an event or a product occasionally, but your newsletter should focus on engagement rather than sales.
- Use pictures. A newsletter shouldn’t just be text-based; it should have some images to add a little spice, like the example above. You can take your own pictures, or you can turn to a stock image site like iStock.
- Create calls to action that take users to your website or social sites.
Pro tip: How to get new ideas for your newsletter.
Coming up with topics for your newsletter can be tricky, especially since a newsletter is an ongoing commitment. Your newsletter is free space that can cover a range of topics, but when you’re stuck, turn to our list of ‘75 Email Newsletter Topics’ for help.
4. A ‘freebie email’
Keep customers smiling (and buying) with an occasional free offer. Consider offering a gift with purchase, tickets to a local event or a free download. A freebie is a nice way to maintain that warm, loyal feeling that you’re working for.
Here’s an example:
Craftsy offers a free pattern with this email.
Tips to create a freebie email:
- Keep the giveaway simple. You don’t need to break the bank over it; it’s more about a kind gesture than anything else.
- Give a reason for the freebie. Maybe it’s something you offer every week, like the example above, or maybe the freebie is a thank you to your loyal customers.
- Include links back to your website. Drive traffic back to your site by adding links. For example, add a ‘check out our latest deals’ link or a ‘follow us on Facebook’ link, so you provide additional ways for customers to engage with your brand.
Pro tip: Segment your list.
You don’t have to offer a freebie to everyone on your list. This is a great time to segment your contacts. Offer the freebie to your loyal customers, first-time clients or inactive customers that you’re trying to bring back.
If you need a little segment inspiration, check out ‘6 Ways to Segment Your Email List.’ You can also get instructions on how to segment your list in your VerticalResponse account.
Of course, these are just four ways to engage your audience. You can also create a social media competition and invite people to participate via email. Consider creating a survey and ask customers what they’d like to see from your company. Feel free to get creative and explore new ways to engage your audience through email marketing.
© 2015, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.