Global Email Marketing Trends and The Retention Stage – The Buyer’s Journey #05

When you’re running a business you normally can’t just sustain yourself off of new customers. You need to make sure that your current and previous customers are happy. In today’s episode we discuss the Retention stage of The Buyer’s Journey, where your main goal is to keep your customers informed and in the fold. Plus, we discuss global trends for email marketing, a top tactic in the Retention stage.

What is the Retention Stage?

The Retention stage of The Buyer’s Journey focuses on maintaining relationships with your current customers and clients. Ideally, your clients will be so happy with their experience that they’ll make another purchase from you. But clients and customers don’t always do this without a little push. There are specific tactics that are particularly effective during the Retention stage. Email marketing, a tactic used throughout The Buyer’s Journey, is one of the best. It helps keep your brand top of mind for consumers, while also often offering discounts and promotions.

Audience Profile

Here’s an example audience profile of the Retention phase:

Jenna is a 24 year old who is about to move into her first apartment in Philadelphia. Because she’ll be moving out of her parent’s house soon, Jenna purchased a Byson vacuum online to keep her apartment tidy. Jenna has already gone through the Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase stages of The Buyer’s Journey. Jenna’s vacuum came with a flier advertising a 15% coupon for signing up for Byson’s email newsletter. Jenna, not knowing if she’ll need another Byson product in the future, or perhaps willing to sign-up to offer the discount to a friend, signs up for the newsletter. Every week or so, Jenna receives an e-mail from Byson advertising their newest products, special savings, and general brand information. Eventually, Jenna will become aware of a new need or problem that can be solved with Byson’s products, and The Buyer’s Journey cycle will begin anew, this time hopefully in Byson’s favor.

For the moment this is where Jenna’s story and interaction with Byson ends. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of The Buyer’s Journey for her. There’s still one more step that can occur after the Purchase phase: Advocacy.

Global Email Marketing Tactics

Courtenay Worcester has a great write-up on MartTech Advisor about some of the global trends her employer, GetResponse, has noticed. While we did have a discussion about almost all of the points Worcester makes in her piece, here the top three we think are of import.

1. Welcome Emails Have the Highest Open and Click-Through Rates.

Frankly, this just makes sense. Normally when you sign up for a service or email list, you need to open a welcome email for verification. Or the welcome email has something, like a coupon code, to be worth opening. Or a potential customer has interest in the first email from their new service/email list. The reasons are endless, but nonetheless open emails are quite popular.

2. You Have to Keep in Mind the Industry and Audience You’re Targeting to Create Appropriate Campaign Analysis Benchmarks.

How often your emails get opened depends on the audience you’re targeting and what industry you’re in. Worcester points out that “[f]or the restaurant industry, the average open rate is 37.40 percent while in the travel industry it’s 22.79 percent.” Most people need to eat at least three meals a day, so logically it makes sense that the open rates for restaurants would be almost double the travel industry. Of course, that’s anecdotal evidence, and you’ll be able to determine your estimated open and click-through rates as your campaign progresses. If your numbers are lower than expected, it might not just be the industry and audience. It could be your content and how often your emails are sent

3. Create Good Content and Don’t Flood Your Audience

If my inbox is any indication, retailers have a bad habit of sending 1-3 emails per day. Old Navy, I’m looking at you. Am I opening all of those emails? No. But I might open one that catches my attention well enough. And that’s all Old Navy needs to continue their tide of discounts and promotions.

Unfortunately, if you’re not an eCommerce company, it’s unlikely you’ll want to send this many emails out, nor will you likely have the amount of content necessary. And that’s okay. Worcester brings up an excellent point in her piece: “While each company will determine the cadence that’s right for them based on response rates, the average industry averages show open rates between 20-34 percent for newsletters that are sent between one and five times per week. The less the frequency, the higher the open rate.” In addition, Worcester points out that weekly newsletters have an average open rate of 34.26% and click-through rate of 4.88%. However, if you’re sending a newsletter say 15 times a week, your average click-through rate drops to a rate of 2.01%. 

Here’s what it comes down to: create a newsletter with relevant content with a consistent, non-frustrating cadence and you should find success. People won’t sign-up for something they don’t think is interesting. People won’t open what they don’t think is relevant.

Check out our next episode tomorrow where we’ll discuss the ins-and-outs of the Advocacy stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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