by Amanda Hinkle, November 21, 2014
For email marketers, the phrase “Thank You” may conjure up thoughts of post-purchase campaigns and the opportunity to upsell for an extra boost in incremental revenue. Sure, giving thanks when money is exchanged is appropriate and necessary, but there are also less direct – and just as valuable – ways to incorporate messages of appreciation and recognition into your email campaigns.
eMarketer reports that 50% of Millennials (and 40% of all Internet users) feel that receiving recognition from a brand is an important loyalty program benefit. Expressing gratitude in your email messaging can turn a grumpy customer into a non-biased one, a blasé customer into a delighted one, a delighted customer into an influencer and an influencer into an advocate.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, there’s no better time to incorporate a spirit of gratitude into your email channel strategy. Here are some tips to get started.
1) Seize Opportunities Within the Consumer Lifecycle. A ‘Tis the Season or end-of-year email is an opportune time to say thank you to your customers. While these are some of the more obvious occasions to express appreciation, go beyond annual batch emails by automating messages of appreciation and recognition into your lifecycle messaging. Key moments include anniversaries, birthdays and automated responses to key consumer actions – such as providing a review, subscribing, making a first purchase or reaching a rewards program tier.
2) Surprise and Delight. In addition to sending customers thank-you messages that brighten their day, you can also include ideas or suggestions that make their lives easier. Specifically for the holidays, you can incorporate helpful information that will drive a deeper understanding of your holiday offerings – such as gift guides, shipping deadlines, store hours and return policies. Get creative. Show off your brand personality by including animation, videos or gamification elements that provide a fun experience fun for customers.
For example, TripAdvisor thanks its loyal reviewers by providing them with engagement statistics on their recent reviews. Consumers enjoy knowing that their opinions and reviews have been heard and appreciated – not only by your brand, but also by fellow consumers. Thank-you messages like this can engender positive sentiment and drive even stronger customer loyalty and engagement.
3) Track Your Efforts. As always, to understand the fruits of your labor, make sure there is something clickable in the email by which you can judge engagement beyond an email open. A creative way to track your efforts and gather useful information is to integrate a profiling poll or survey in your messages. Include a poll that asks customers what their top holiday moments are, or what their favorite product is this season. This can also be an effective way to gather a wealth of consumer preference data for future targeting and segmentation. Additionally, prompting the consumer to share their story is an opportunity to collect user-generated content like product reviews or first-person testimonials for positive brand experiences.
As this Thanksgiving comes and goes, consider how you can leverage the power of a simple thank you to advance loyalty and advocacy within your customer base.