How to use e-mail to engage past customers
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s Blog.
It’s been said it costs seven times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an old one. And while social media is great for getting exposure, e-mail is a truer connection with your own list of people who have actually spent money with you.
Since you hopefully have their e-mail addresses because they’ve purchased from you before, don’t be afraid to e-mail them on a regular basis to keep them engaged and interested in your brand. That old saying is still true: out of sight, out of mind.
That said, no one wants clutter in their inbox. Before you hit send, ask yourself, “If I was receiving this, would I click on it?”
Here are five types of e-mails to re-engage your customers:
- The replenishment e-mail. Is there something that you carry that runs out and needs replenishment towards the end of the year? It could be as simple as shoe polish, as necessary as dog food, or as complicated as a vintage wine.
- The joint event e-mail. I had a window coverings client who co-hosted an event with a woman’s apparel store to show the similarities between getting dressed and creating a great room. With holiday entertaining right around the corner, she got more business and the apparel retailer did too.
- The weather e-mail. Being local has its advantages. A sunscreen e-mail could be effective on a hot day. You could use similar product tie-ins in a similar format if you are a hair salon, a home center, a sporting goods store — you name it, and humor is a bonus.
- The informational e-mail. Take a common problem or topic of your customer — not drinking enough water, stuck wearing the same old thing, etc. — then give them some reasons why it happens and strategies to help. Ideally, this is a blog post you link to your website.
- Make them aware it’s time for an upgrade. Admittedly, this seems more geared to electronics but it could be adapted to shoes, place settings, jewelry, clothing, etc.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you advise retail independents to best re-engage with past customers via e-mail? What tactics could you add to the list in the article.