In today's highly technological world, successful loyalty programs look much different than they did just a few short years ago. Modern marketers have to leverage a variety of high-tech tools to effectively reach out to current and prospective customers or else risk falling behind the competition.
While email might not be as new in the loyalty sphere as mobile, it remains one of the most important marketing solutions companies can implement to connect with their clients over digital channels. The recent changes in the world of email marketing have less to do with the technology itself and more with the ways businesses are beginning to fine-tune their methods to maximize the likelihood that they will resonate with customers.
According to Chief Marketer, one of the challenges strong email marketing tactics may be able to address is the fact that many consumers are looking for deals rather than to remain loyal to certain brands. The recession had a major impact on how people view loyalty, and they're now more likely to look for businesses that can suit their budgets. Fortunately, email is an effective channel through which companies can distribute value-added loyalty rewards.
One example of value-added loyalty rewards for email is to embed discounts and deals as part of your message. These do not need to be discounts off of your product but can be either complementary to your offerings or something you know will resonate with your customers. If you know your customers like to travel, you can provide them with discounts and deals to use when planning their upcoming summer vacation, or treat your customers who are married to discounts for an upcoming "date night" so they can save on dinner, movies or events. By featuring discounts like these in your email communications as a surprise and delight, you will help create more positive affinity, increase engagement with your message and improve open rates of all your email.
But email shouldn't just inspire new customers to become loyal ones – well-implemented campaigns should also target current loyalty program members. A study by Experian found that when compared to less targeted campaigns, emails that are specifically aimed at those currently enrolled in a company's loyalty program have 40 percent higher open rates, in addition to 22 percent higher click rates. Additionally, transaction rates rise by 29 percent and revenue generated per email jumps by 11 percent.
Direct Marketing News similarly recommended that when aiming to put together a successful email campaign, companies look beyond sending out blasts. The fewer and more customized the messages, the greater the likelihood the customer will take advantage of the loyalty rewards within or perform another desired behavior, such as liking a brand on Facebook or following it on Twitter. The source explained that segmenting in targeting is important because it can help businesses make sure the value-add is apparent and relevant to each person who receives the messages.
The news provider also advised that companies make sure they are using lists that are accurate and up-to-date. One reason for this is that loyal customers who have opted into being contacted are more responsive than those who were found through lead generation sites.
Aesthetics are also critical in ensuring an email campaign fulfills its purpose. Direct Marketing News stated that companies should focus on making sure their messages are adequately branded, which can be done by using a customized color palette and subject lines that fit with the business' unique voice. Of course, email messages should also be optimized for mobile, so that if customers open these correspondences on their phones, they'll be easy to navigate and retain the included branding elements.
Embarking on a highly targeted, brand-customized email campaign that delivers valuable loyalty rewards to customers can help any company drive loyalty, engagement and positive results.