Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing strategies usually focus first on informing your customers about something to do with your business. But writing a newsletter doesn't have to be all about information, in fact as marketing firms well know, entertainment is a far more appealing option to a lot of people.
There is no reason why you can't steal email marketing strategies from big company campaigns that impress you, there's no copyright on a strategy! If you have the imagination and technology support to update your website - go for it! But even small businesses can increase customer loyalty by running a few raffles and random surprise gifts promotions with a simple blog announcement and an autoresponder.
This article from Troy White has some great email marketing strategies that could be adapted for most businesses.
Brick and Mortar Lessons for Click-Happy Lookers
There was a study done by ComScore and Google about online search, and the shopping habits of those who start their search online.
This was one of the more interesting points: ONLY 37% of those who look for a product online (looking at prices, options, shipping, etc.) actually end up buying that product on the Internet.
You can lose up to 63% of your buyers by them going offline to buy.
They still prefer that face-to-face interaction … the reassurance of buying from a physical store … the fear of using their credit card online … whatever the reason, the majority of people are leaving your site to buy elsewhere.
So how do you combat this major problem?
First, you need to find ways to capture their information while they are at your site.
- Opting forms for newsletters on your topic.
- Special reports on how to buy the best.
- Special Offers only available with exchange of an e-mail.
- Offer them a free CD or DVD to show them 14 insider tips to getting the most out of your purchase.
- Surveys, polls and questionnaires.
Second, you need to offer them BIG incentives to shop from your online store.
Maybe additional bonuses they will never find if they buy offline. Or extended warranties if they buy online. Or entered into a special discount club. Or free express shipping (save them the trip to the store and the associated hassle of the mall)
Third, be DIFFERENT! Do strange things with your website that compels them to want to do business with you. Offer contests, have birthday parties, have a chat room for buyers to discuss your products and services.
The key is that with 2/3 of your buyers buying elsewhere, it is up to YOU to make it worth their while to buy from you right now … right from your site.
Here are some ideas for you to make your online store more attractive to buyers:
- The first thing you should do is have a person dedicated to making shopping with you more enjoyable. A marketing assistant or coordinator whose job it is to help you implement all the marketing ideas you create. If this is going to be you, make sure you block off ample time each week to work on your customer wow experience.
- You can draw one name a week from your new buyers list. That person would get their name put up on your site as the customer of the week (with photo – much like an employee of the week). Give them a surprise or two – maybe some simple acts of kindness they are not quite used to. Simple things can make a huge impact with your clients. They just aren’t used to getting anything remotely resembling quality service these days – this gives you the chance to be the one and only person who treats them like gold.
- Random calls to buyers and prospects. A few weeks ago I wrote an article about Lady Gaga and some of the techniques she uses to build a solid relationship with her fans. Love her or not … she is damn good at what she does. I heard this week she randomly phones one of her fans … just to chat. Talk about an impact! To the fan who gets the call, she just rocked their world and they will tell anyone and everyone what she did. Such a simple technique … that each and every one of us should be doing more!
- Everyone loves a good laugh – Add a small box on your main page that has a joke of the day (keep them clean). You can even have your customers submit their best joke – do a weekly draw for the best joke and give them a gift certificate for future purchases.
- Treat them like royalty. If there is any way possible you can leverage technology to have repeat shoppers either login for future purchases, or have cookies on their computer that tells your store they are repeat customers … use it! By having your web site recognize them by first name (even by past purchases as well), you create a bond that is not easily broken. Look at how Amazon does it with recommended products (based on past purchases), cookies that instantly recognize you, wish lists, etc.
- When a family books in for a visit, they are greeted with personalized parking stalls (their names on the stall).
- They get to meet with Nido personally on their tour.
- The students get personal valet service so they don’t have to walk across campus late at night.
- Make it more personal. Here is a simple way to get both your employees and your customers personally involved … their pets. Have a “pet of the week contest.” Customers and employees can submit their pet’s photos, their information, and any funny stories about their pets to you. Choose two or three of them per week and have them posted on your website. Everyone loves pets – and this is a great way to get them coming back – and to get them telling their friends about their pet Spot, whose photo and story is up on this website.
- Have a “before and after” or makeover contest. All the rage on reality shows these days … tap into it! Find ways to incorporate before and after photos, stories and case studies with your customers. Give them lots of publicity and get the press involved as well.
- What do your gift bags contain? A unique idea that few people online are using is to give away real live gift bags with either purchase or form completion. Gift bags can contain all kinds of sales materials for your own products, your partners products, and your other associated websites and offers. Many times you can have gift bags created and filled for free through the use of co-op programs and marketing funds from your suppliers.
- Shopping isle placements. Much like retail stores and big box outlets, you can place special bundles, hot sellers, or low priced items in easy to find places. These are usually done strategically to get your customer in the buying mood, and to subtly (or not so subtly) add more to her cart until her order is 5-10 times what the first item she bought was worth.
- Jackpot anyone? Put an automated roulette wheel or slot machine on your webpage. Let them roll the dice or pull the handle and see what number comes up – that number will be their discount off their first purchase. While discounting is not my preferred method of increasing sales, it can certainly help put a spike in the numbers and add a significant number of new clients to the database.
- Sports teams. Hire a local sports celebrity and have him represent your business with photos, simple videos, endorsements, etc. If a local star is not possible or financially feasible, look into past sports stars. Give away team memorabilia with purchase (based on purchase volume, which determines how much memorabilia they get as a bonus). Have a “crazy fans” contest – have them do crazy videos, etc. about how much they love their team. Have a “pick the score” contest – anyone who enters the contest and predicts the exact score wins a _____. Have fun with this – sports fans are a little off the wall and will do anything for their team!
High Point University is very fortunate to have President Nido Qubein on board. A master of marketing (and Chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company), Nido has established High Point as one of the top universities in the nation.
In the past two years, campus visits have grown 70%, and enrolments are up 63% (while tuitions have increased proportionately).
Three of his treat-them-like-royalty secrets:
[SIDE NOTE: One way you can incorporate technology to create tighter bonds with your customers and prospects is to use technologies like ChatWise (which provides interactive web chat with live operators) and call back buttons which they can click and a live operator will phone them immediately back to answer their questions or concerns.]
Yes, these ideas may seem off the wall – but that is the point.
In the Web 2.0 world (or is it 3.0? 4.7? I have lost track now),people are looking for something more than the same old same old.
They want a unique experience – and many are willing to pay for it.
They want a community to bond with.
They want more fun in their life.
And they want a place to escape from everyday realities they may not want to face.
I hope this list gives you an idea or two that you can put to use on your website to make more money and to build closer ties with your customers.
To your success,
Editor, Small Business Mastery
Supplement to THE TOTAL PACKAGE
Troy White is a top marketing coach, consultant & direct response copywriter based in Calgary, Canada.
Attribution Statement: This article was first published in The Total Package. To sign-up to receive your own FREE subscription to The Total Package and claim four FREE money making e-books go to www.makepeacetotalpackage.com.