Customer Experience News & Trends

4 email best practices to boost sales

Email is the easiest way to stay in touch with customers. And if done right, it’s a valuable tool for selling more to customers. 

The key to increasing sales with email is to get time and tone right, according to recent research from Bluecore.

“While brands have often glossed over this decades-old channel, that’s changing,” researchers for the Email Benchmark Report said. “In fact it already has changed for the most savvy, modern marketers. The fastest-growing retailers have become more strategic about how they use email as both an identifier and a channel to increase customer engagement and grow revenue.”

Here are the four best-practices the study found to boost customer engagement and sales.

Personalization matters most

Sales emails that perform best – across industries, audiences and products – are “extremely relevant” to customers. The messages hit home on everything from content, product recommendations, offers and timing.

Messages “that focus on relevance by going beyond simple segmentation, for example by engaging customers based on recent behaviors, recent changes to products in which shoppers have an interest and the unique characteristics of shoppers … see the biggest returns,” researchers said.

Key: Customer experience professionals need constant insight on how customers buy, use and engage with their products to get personalization right. Get feedback. Watch customers use your products and services. Talk to them about what they like, don’t like, want and need.

Customers aren’t created equal

Customer experience professionals often believe they need to treat all customers equally. But researchers found when it comes to engaging customers and gaining sales via email, you need to treat customers differently. (Of course, you need to treat all customers well.)

Customers will react to offers differently based on their purchase levels and degree of loyalty.

Key: Look at customers’ purchase history, length of the relationship and typical spend to determine email offers for segments of customers. For instance, long-time customers are more likely to act on product recommendation emails. All customers tend to react to “scarcity emails” – messages about limited supplies or short-term pricing.

Long-term initiatives work best

The most successful email sales initiatives have a long-term view. Short-sighted promotions to increase email sign-ups or promote a one-time offer might increase subscriptions, but don’t increase long-term sales and loyalty because customers unsubscribe quickly.

Key: Quick promotions and subscription blasts can be part of a healthy email sales campaign. More importantly, customer experience professionals want to focus on long-term engagement – sending a series of messages that are personalized, relevant and offer value.

Capitalize on your season

Most industries have peak sales seasons (for instance, retail spikes for back-to-school and end-of-year holidays). While those are natural one-time sales spikes, they’re also prime opportunities to engage and gain new customers who you can focus on retaining throughout the rest of the year.

Key: Identify new customers who buy for the first time during your busy season. Then send that group a series of email messages that are (again) personalized, relevant and valuable to solidify the relationships. Try to get them involved with automatic renewals or ongoing replenishment orders. Or send an email introducing them to complementary products or services for what they purchased during your peak season.

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