How would you respond if your subscribers asked, “What have you done for me lately?” (Feel free to evoke your best Janet Jackson impression.) You may have ended 2014 with stellar clearance deals, but ask yourself if you have really let your subscribers know how much they mean to you in the new year.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, take some time to share the love in the inbox. I’m not just talking about launching a warm-and-fuzzy Valentine’s Day sale. You can read my last post on Multichannel Merchant for promotional ideas for Feb. 14. What I am recommending in this post is beyond a holiday-themed sale. I encourage you to take some time to really think about your subscribers and how you can use this slower time of the year to increase long-term engagement, strengthen brand loyalty and reinforce the value proposition of being a customer of your brand.
Like most kind-hearted gestures, you shouldn’t overthink or complicate this effort though. You should plan for something more than whispering a sweet nothing in the inbox. Categorize your subscribers without getting bogged down in the minutia of segmentation possibilities. Make the message a simple sentiment and not a grand gesture.
Here are some candy heart-inspired themes to help divvy up your darlings and share some love.
Some subscribers may be feeling a bit burned out. At some point, they were interested enough to sign up for your email program, but that flame has now faded. Sweeten your re-engagement efforts by sending a Valentine’s Day-themed email letting these inactive subscribers know that they are missed. Rather than telling them you are going to stop emailing them, remind them of all of the things you have to offer like price match guarantees, free shipping, in-store pick-up, flexible return policies and loyalty programs. The subscriber may prefer to engage your brand in a different way, so include information about your social network pages and expert blogs. A special offer to come back and buy could spark their desire to rekindle the relationship.
You probably added a fair number of new subscribers during the holiday season. If you are like most retailers, these newbies went directly into your regular welcome series. Your onboarding campaigns may be enough to keep them interested; though many will have simply window-shopped your site during the holidays with little intention of being a long-term shopper. Put some icing on the cake with a special first purchase offer to these subscribers who recently opted in but have not yet purchased. Starting the year with a sweet deal could help convert these prospects into first-time buyers and build a foundation for many sales throughout the year.
Your most loyal subscribers have shown their dedication by consistently opening, clicking and buying. They have been with you through the ups and downs and keep coming back for more. Sure, a special discount may be enough to make these committed customers feel special, but money isn’t always the answer. Think outside the box to find ways to share some love with these faithful fans. Perhaps you give them extra loyalty program points, extend their membership or provide early access to an upcoming sale. These steadfast shoppers are already interested in buying from your brand so think of ways that you can make the experience even better for them.
This is the month to do something special and keep the love alive in the inbox. Keep it simple, send a message from the heart, and your subscribers will let you know they care.
Jim Davidson is the head of research for Bronto Software