What exactly makes online shoppers open emails, click, convert and become repeat buyers?
In the world of crowded inboxes, the competition is, quite literally, only a click away. And in this environment, staying top of mind with customers and ultimately winning them over is all about providing value. While most retailers can’t compete with the fast delivery that Amazon offers, every single retailer can work to engage customers with timely and relevant messaging in order to keep them coming back time and again.
Getting Real About What Customers Want
When you get down to it, once shoppers find what they need, they will likely buy from whichever site has the best deals and/or engages with them at the right time. And once someone orders from Amazon, the online retail giant’s customer retention is a force to be reckoned with. How Amazon engages consumers is one of the biggest contributors to its success. All of Amazon’s emails — from cart abandonment and post purchase to replenishment, price drops and new arrivals — only contain specific products and categories in which the recipients have actually shown interest.
For example, as someone who needs a healthy dose of caffeine to jump start the day, I buy a lot of different types of coffee. I’ve bought coffee online from both Amazon and various other retailers, and I’m always amazed at how Amazon reminds me to buy more at exactly the right time.
While I receive emails from Amazon and the various other sites regularly, the contents of those emails are quite different. Whereas the emails from Amazon are usually relevant to the types of coffee I’ve purchased or browsed, the emails from the other stores are typically promotional blasts that rarely showcase the actual products in which I’m interested. I’m sure that a code for 25% off herbal tea is relevant to someone, but it’s not to me (I’m strictly a coffee person). And when the content of the email doesn’t resonate with me, not only do I not feel any need to click over to the site, but it also makes it feel like I’m receiving more emails than I actually am. Needless to say there’s room for improvement when it comes to customer retention.
4 Strategies for Relevant, Value-Add Messaging to Keep Customer Retention High
So what exactly can you do to provide value for customers, improve loyalty and grow revenue from repeat buyers without over-saturating your customers’ inboxes? Try these four customer retention strategies on for size:
1) Strike while the iron’s hot by featuring relevant product recommendations in post-purchase messaging
When I receive a generic post-purchase email that doesn’t even show what I bought, let alone personalized recommendations based on that purchase, I don’t even take notice. In fact, I often just take it for a shipping confirmation email.
But post-purchase messaging can present a big opportunity for retailers to keep the fire alive with already engaged customers who are in a buying state of mind. For example, you can use this opportunity to suggest related products that customers may have missed, forgotten or didn’t even know existed. And offering first-time buyers a discount on their next order is a great way to start building loyalty.
2) Make purchasing as convenient as possible with intelligent replenishment offers
Nothing says outstanding service like reminding customers when it’s time to stock back up on products at just the right time. Afterall, what good is a weekly promo newsletter with a ton of random products when you know customers are really only interested in certain categories?
If you can combine product or category affinity information with an understanding of your customers’ typical buying cadences, you can encourage them to restock from you at just the right time. And when I get a reminder about something I actually do need to buy, ordering it from that retailer by simply clicking through the reminder is a no brainer.
3) Re-capture missed opportunities with targeted price drop notifications
Some customers are always in search of a deal, and those discount buyers may be heavy browsers but cautious purchasers. Once you recognize who those buyers are, you have a perfect opportunity to win them over if the products they browsed drop in price — if you play your cards right.
Specifically, you can convert these deal-seekers with price sensitive messaging, such as price drop triggers for products they’ve browsed. The key in all of this is not to share all sale products, but to share sales items that match the particular products or categories that these customers browsed. When you get that right, you create a very compelling situation for those customers to make a purchase.
4) Keep customers in the know with personalized new arrival recommendations
Finally, you should keep your loyal and high value customers in the know by notifying them when new arrivals come in. But these shouldn’t be notifications about just any new arrivals — they should be personalized recommendations based on customers’ past purchase and browse behavior as well as their predicted affinities.
This type of personalization adds value for customers by providing recommendations that make sense for them and by making them feel like they’re the first to the gate. It’s the difference between “hm, this stuff is pretty cool and Brand XYZ really knows what I like” and “not interested, delete.”
When it Comes to Customer Retention, Relevance Makes All the Difference
In today’s ultra-competitive retail market, boosting customer retention isn’t easy. But it is possible. And when it comes to hitting your retention goals, keeping customer engagement relevant can make all the difference.
Ready to try these strategies on for size? Find out exactly what you can do to put these relevant messages into action with our guide on six tips to make the most out of your email marketing efforts.