Welcome back to our second instalment of our ‘What’s stopping you’ series, where we are helping find solutions for the top marketing pain points and looking at how we can go above and beyond with our results.
In this interview with one of our top Account Directors, we discuss ‘What is stopping you from hitting your targets?’ Looking at the most common misconceptions and equipping marketers with the knowledge on how to achieve more with their email campaigns.
Introducing Laura Gorman
So, without further ado let me introduce Account Director Laura, who has worked in RedEye’s Account Management team for eight years.
Initially leading the account for a well-known grocery retailer, Laura has over the years amassed a range of clients to her portfolio across the retail, travel and financial service sectors.
Laura, the cost-of-living crisis means that customer retention is more important than ever. What would you advise to marketers who are struggling with increased customer churn and losing too many customers?
Your existing customers are your most valuable customers, so to make sure you’re keeping customer churn rates low, you need to focus on looking after them and meeting their needs in a personalised way.
Whether that be providing useful post-purchase content based on what they have bought previously, or showcasing your best or exclusive offers to those who are showing signs of churning, to win them back before they do.
Be prepared for customer lifecycles to change
In times of uncertainty such as a cost-of-living crisis or a recession, customers’ purchase behaviours will be influenced.
Re-do your analysis for Recency Frequency Monetary (RFM) and adjust your targets as necessary.
By reviewing your RFM segments, you may find that customer purchase frequency and spending amounts have changed, in which case you may wish to amend the definition of a lapsed or lapsing customer to allow for these differences.
Spend stretch campaigns
If you have any spend stretch campaigns (campaigns aimed at getting customers to spend more than they typically would by offering them an incentive to spend over X amount) then you may need to review the segments customers fall into, as previous high spenders may now need to drop a tier as their spending habits may have changed in line with the rising cost of living.
However, It’s best practice to review RFM segments on an annual basis as standard as this exercise is particularly useful for managing stakeholder expectations and communicating how customer purchase behaviours change (if that is the case).
There are also a few other practical things you can do if suffering from increased churn:
- Offer customers the option to temporarily snooze from marketing messages – let customers decide if they want to take a holiday from receiving marketing messages from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
- A preference centre can capture extremely valuable insights about your target audience in terms of the content they are most engaged in. Encourage customers to review and update their preferences every 6-12 months to make sure your content remains relevant and engaging.
What would you suggest if a business’s email engagement rate is beginning to decrease, and they don’t know how to improve it?
Overall, I would ensure that every marketing message you send contributes towards your marketing and communication objectives.
If your strategy is not aligned with your objectives then you risk not hitting your targets and spending time, money and effort that won’t get you to where you need to be.
Carry out an audit
To improve your email engagement rate, the first step would be to carry out an audit of your campaigns and how they have been performing.
Ideally, you want to drill down to understand how different segments are engaging with your campaigns and create a strategy for each segment.
Heatmaps offer great insight into where customers are clicking and what type of content they are engaging with. Again, use this insight to do more of what’s working well and look to optimise or change up those sections that are being overlooked.
Another factor is to monitor engagement rates to avoid bombarding customers with too many sales messages, particularly amongst those who have recently purchased.
Instead, you should develop a sophisticated post-purchase journey for that group of customers that encourages them to engage with your brand, so that when they are ready to buy again, it’s you they come back to because they trust you.
Manage frequency of sends
With regards to frequency, we know through experience that less is more, so you should actually consider pulling back on your send frequency.
Whilst it can be hard for stakeholders to get their heads around, high volume doesn’t always correlate with high conversions.
I’ve worked with multiple clients who’ve contacted their audience less frequently but have seen their engagement and conversions grow because the quality and relevance of the content they do send is hitting the mark and enjoyed by customers.
Finally, implement a testing plan and continue to optimise your campaigns regularly. This applies to those organisations that are seeing good engagement, as well as those who are concerned about their engagement rates.
You can never stop improving and only by consistent optimisation will you learn what little tweaks your audience will respond well to.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the copy, content, send times to name a few and to try something different – you never know what response you might get!
For those who may have reduced marketing budgets, what are 3 creative ways they can still hit their targets?
When there is economic uncertainty marketers may need to look at cutting some costs, but there are so many ways to be creative that don’t cost anything. So, saying that my top 3 tips would be:
Utilise existing content
This might be re-purposing content created for other channels that you can re-share or reposition.
Are your loyal customers already sharing content that could be valuable to your wider audience? Re-sharing or promoting UGC saves you the hassle of creating content and works as social proof. Just be sure to get the relevant permissions if re-sharing content created by others.
Contrary to belief this doesn’t have to be expensive and simply adding things such as countdown timers, gifs or scratch and reveals, can be so effective in bringing content to life in an engaging and fun way.
And finally, even though we know retention is so important, many brands still have targets to grow their database, so what are your top tips for acquiring new customers?
First off, know your audience and what their motivations and drivers are and design campaigns to address this.
This way you can make sure you are targeting your ideal customer and not wasting marketing spend on the wrong audience who are not likely to convert.
Offer compelling promotions
Let’s be honest, everyone loves a discount and it’s pretty much a pre-requisite for new customers to expect a welcome discount.
But if you don’t want to immediately give away discounts, you could consider free delivery on first purchases instead. First impressions will also go a long way in driving that all-important loyalty.
A seamless customer journey
Make it easy for customers to place their order by removing barriers to purchase.
The easier the journey is with a minimal number of clicks is key, think delivery fees, account creation, payment options etc, again this will go a long way into making customers want to return again and again.
Thanks so much, Laura
Utilising your customer base to help hit your targets whether that be acquisition, revenue or retention will ensure a successful future.
Sometimes it’s thinking outside of the box and not being afraid to test and try out new things is what will keep you ahead of the competition and extra budget isn’t always what is required.
Check back again for our third instalment in our ‘What’s stopping you’ series where you will see some faces from our team giving some fantastic ideas and tips for creating even better campaigns.
Plus, don’t forget you can also read ‘What’s stopping you from segmenting your data’ here for more advice on succeeding in marketing.
If you have any topics you would like us to cover as part of our What’s stopping you series email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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