Everyone wants to feel special, and your customers are no exception. When it comes to successful marketing in 2019, it’s all about relevance and better targeting.
Because customers don’t want to feel part of the herd, they want to feel valued as individuals. Your customers are no longer impressed by being a part of your brand’s willing audience – instead, they’re looking for meaningful one-on-one relationships with the companies they trust.
To out compete other brands in the race for inbox attention, making your customers feel important has to be a core part of your marketing strategy.
In this article, we wanted to share our tips for how to make your customers feel important with marketing automation.
Segment, and target with relevant content
A big part of making your customer feel important is making them feel like an individual, rather than a number. Email marketing is, by nature, carried out at scale – but with marketing automation tools, you can still make large campaign broadcasts appear specifically catered to each recipient.
Segmenting your mailing lists using data, behaviour, and interactions enables better targeting. After all, if your campaign is geared towards people who like specific products – but not others – it’s best to send to the contacts who care, rather than your entire database.
Other marketing automation tools such as dynamic content, and personalisation, enable you to make your email campaigns’ content extremely relevant and personal.
Dynamic content allows your marketing team to create numerous versions of campaign content, which – with rules set – appear for specific recipients depending on their demographic, preferences, and past engagement with your brand.
Personalisation tools give your brand the opportunity to address each recipient individually – not just with the obvious first name greeting, but with references to the state they live in, their interests, age, or family configuration. When it comes to personalisation, the limit is set by the quality of data you collect (with consent, of course).
Analyse reports to give your customers exactly what they want
Who knows your customers the best? The customers themselves, of course.
Besides asking customers directly about what kind of marketing communications they want to receive, you can also utilise high quality reporting tools on your marketing automation platform.
Viewing, analysing and comparing publication reports, and other data (such as customer engagement and behaviour), gives you a holistic insight into your customer base; shedding light on what they like, and don’t like, when it comes to your brand’s past marketing efforts.
If you’re using a marketing automation platform, there’s absolutely no reason why you should be letting all that delicious reporting data go to waste. If you’ve got success indicators to measure, then do make sure to measure them.
Comparing high performance campaigns with low performance ones should show you what subject lines garner the most opens, what content is a turn on versus a turn off, and when your customers most like to hear from you.
Use your marketing automation reports and data to sketch out customer profiles so that you might better get an idea of exactly what kind of person you’re often talking to.
Your marketing strategy should be flexible; always ready to change should past results illuminate new ways forward. Make your customers feel important by being adaptable with how you approach them. Your customers will feel seen, and heard, if your marketing strategy fluidly responds to their changing interests and values.
Send trigger based emails to be relevant and on time
As mentioned above, relevance is everything when it comes to making your customers feel important. When a customer receives an email campaign at the right time, in the right place, with the right content – they’re more likely to engage, convert, and trust your brand.
How can we promise relevance using marketing automation? With trigger based emails.
Trigger based emails are email campaigns which are prepped in advance, and are set to ‘trigger’ (send) when specific criteria are met.
For example, you might be offering vouchers for free event goodies and drinks for any customers who attend your event. As soon as a contact is marked as having ‘attended’ your event, an email campaign including the aforementioned special treats is triggered to send. Your customer not only receives high value content this way, they receive it at a time and place that is meaningful to them.
This works particularly well with a marketing automation platform that caters to all channels in your marketing mix. The above example would work best if your marketing automation software not only includes trigger based email tools, but also event management features.
Your customers will feel valued and important if they receive email campaigns when and where they actually matter.
Reward customer engagement
How do your customers know you’re paying attention to them? Are they getting anything back for being loyal, interactive, and engaged?
A big part of making someone feel important is acknowledging their value. Your brand’s marketing strategy should include customer nurturing communication flows that acknowledge and reward loyal customers who stay engaged with your company.
With certain marketing automation software – such as Swift Digital – you can leverage engagement scoring tools to identify highly engaged customers and target them accordingly.
With Swift Digital, engagement scoring works like this:
- You assign ‘points’ to specific actions, e.g. 100 pts for opening an email, 500 pts for attending an event
- As these points rack up for any individual contact, you get an ‘engagement score’ overview for them
- You can use engagement scores to segment contacts into mail groups for targeting
With highly engaged customers segmented into their own mail group, you can get to work with rewarding them for their brand loyalty. Set up email campaigns, or email journeys, which acknowledge the recipients for their engagement, and offer rewards and incentives in return.
For example, you might want to send highly engaged customers discount codes for your eCommerce site, VIP tickets to special events, free products, and valuable educational materials.
Whatever you decide to send, make sure that your emails incentivise further future engagement. Your customers will appreciate your brand’s acknowledgement of their importance, and will be more likely to continue to interact with your company.
Give plenty of opportunity for interaction
Nothing makes a recipient feel more insignificant than never having the chance to voice their opinion.
One sure way of making your marketing strategy alienate your audience is to only send one-way communications that are solely promotional. These days, the average person is used to being forced into passive positions by aggressive advertising, but marketing automation gives companies the opportunity to creatively subvert this dynamic, and in doing so – increase engagement and brand trust.
We’ve mentioned this a few times in our article about marketing trends in 2019 – but one-way promotional content is out, and interactive storytelling is in. In order to stand out in the inundated inboxes of modern recipients, your email campaigns should give opportunities for interaction.
One of the easiest ways to carry out an interactive campaign is by using marketing automation tools such as embedded surveys, and polls which collect feedback. For example, running an email campaign asking contacts to vote for their preferred colour for next year’s product.
Other interactive email campaigns could give recipients the chance to enter competitions or play games – for example, asking event attendees to take and share a hashtagged selfie at your event for a chance to win a luxury vacation. Or you might ask recipients to play a (relevant) quiz game for the chance to unlock an online voucher code. Further yet, you might want to capitalise on the strengths of storytelling by publishing an interactive email campaign that asks for recipients to tell their stories; as long as they’re relevant to your brand.
Make your emails interactive to remind your customers that they are important as individual contributors, and that the brand-customer relationship relies on their input and loyalty as much as it does their business.
As the digital marketing landscape fills up to the brim with promotional content, all your customers want is to be made to feel important.
They’ve been the willing passive audience for countless other brands, and are ready to be active individual participants.
Make your marketing strategy about more than just brand promotion and conversions; prioritise your customer base, and make sure that your marketing mix includes plenty of relevant, timely, rewarding and interactive content.
Make your brand-customer relationships as solid as ever; remind your customers that they’re important, and they’ll be sure to pay you back in ongoing engagement.
Want to make your customers feel important with marketing automation? Talk to the Swift Digital experts, and find out how we can help your brand stand out. Call us on 02 9929 7001.