While behaviorally targeted mailings may not have the same reach and sales as promotional marketing messages, they meet customers' needs with personalized, relevant information. Often, these communications are triggered at various points in the purchase process and customer lifecycle. These messages may be part of a longer series aimed at building relationships beyond just one purchase. The objective is to create the kind of communications that are so relevant they break through inbox clutter and are read and acted upon.
When looking for areas that provide opportunities to develop a targeted series of e-mail communications, examine the following:
Welcome e-mail. A welcome e-mail can jump-start buying. Many e-mail marketers take advantage of this highly read messaging. Depending on your product, tailor an offer that engages prospects. The initial e-mail must build the relationship with users. The idea is to get prospects engaged while they're still excited about your offering. Purchase-related e-mail. As part of the purchase-confirmation process, provide customers with a series of e-mail messages to ensure the product has arrived and the customer can get the most out of it. Include references to information on your site or blog providing product and customer support. Use these communications to sell related products and services, such as coordinated clothes or warranties. Airlines and hotels send reminders that aid trip planning while providing other related services, either their own products or related suppliers. Post-purchase e-mail. Product purchase is a trigger for future communications. Think like a direct-response TV marketer who uses an initial sale to promote related products. This can work in a number of ways, such as selling more ink for a printer. Or you can make recommendations based on past purchases, as Amazon does. Purchase-behavior-related e-mail. Take a cue from traditional direct marketers who segment customers based on past buying behavior. Communications to consider:
- High-value buyers. This group is the core of your customer base and must be handled with care. Assess their potential based on past purchasing. Look at the type of product they buy as well as the dollar amount and frequency of purchases.
- Low purchasers. These customers and prospects may no longer be interested in your offering. Consider ways to either reengage them or eliminate them from your e-mail list, because at some point they may consider your communications spam.
- Gift buyers. These buyers may only be interested in your offering at the next gift-giving event that's relevant to the recipient. If you can determine this, provide a reminder; but don't clutter their inboxes with ongoing, irrelevant e-mail.
- Gift recipients. These folks are your target market and probably like your product. Consider ways to add them to your house file.
Reminders/calendar-related e-mail. Consider the marketing calendar from a customer perspective. Take into account personal events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations, or business events, like conferences and budget season. Brainstorm relevant personal events and position reminders as a service. Help customers plan ahead and provide them with useful, relevant information. The more information customers share with you, the less likely they are to buy from competitors. Shopping with your firm will be easier.