“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” says the popular Christmas song, and that goes double for business. The holiday season is filled with events and traditions that require gifts, products, and services that give the economy a healthy boost just in time for the new year.
Email marketing plays a critical role in holiday sales. Email is the preferred communication method of the masses and has the highest return on investment for marketing dollars. More than 70% of people say they have made a purchase due to a promotional email, and 92% of customers say they like to receive updates or promotions from businesses they frequent.
Still, in the rush to capitalize on the season, you may be missing key elements that drive customers to engage with your brand. Here are three rules email marketers can learn from the Spirit of Christmas to make their holiday season merry and bright.
1. Giving Is More Important Than Getting
Giving gifts is tricky business. It’s not just about buying someone a present; you have to put thought into it. You want the recipient to know how you feel about them. Your sincerity and goodwill is communicated through the gift.
This dynamic is also present between businesses and their customers. Customers prefer to spend their money with businesses they like. And customers like businesses who they identify with and who they believe care about their needs. A number of new studies have highlighted this fact, touting the advantages of “customer-first marketing.”
Customers are far more likely to be satisfied with a company if they believe the business prioritizes their needs over its profits. Moreover, half of satisfied customers said they would read marketing materials from the business, and 92% of satisfied customers said they would purchase from the brand in the future.
Daniel Burstein, senior director of editorial content at MarketingSherpa, summed the concept up nicely: “In this era of data-driven marketing and intense customer targeting … brands should think beyond just aiming at their customer, and instead use that data to elevate the customer.”
2. Quality Is Better Than Quantity
Most businesses today have been rushing to coordinate a storefront or presence on every channel available. They want to be optimized for each device and have a presence on each and every social media platform.
However, a study from Gallup about engaging financial customers found that customers prefer an excellent experience during every interaction over a wider array of channel options. The study found that fully engaged customers were extremely satisfied with most (88%) of the interactions with the bank, while actively disengaged customers were only satisfied with 20% of their interactions.
Indeed, today’s customer expects multiple channel options for doing business. However, as long as they have a few choices, the quality of those interactions is more important than the variety of channels.
3. Be Prepared
Most great presents or events require careful preparation, planning, and attention to detail. The same is true with effective marketing. Marketers today have access to a rich and vast amount of changing data about their customers that can allow them to send highly tailored and well-timed messages.
In the same Gallup poll on financial institutions, the researchers found that banks who used customer analytics to streamline their services had more engaged, happier customers. In one example, banks found that 75% of customers preferred to resolve problems through a personal channel – such as visiting a branch. As a result, banks realized that providing a premium service at personal channels was vital in order to neutralize threats and quickly resolve service issues. Plus, by providing premium service to the distressed customers, they turned a potential loss into a positive interaction.
Whether it’s an alert about an abandoned cart, an email promoting similar products, or a thank-you after a purchase, data-driven emails have a higher return on investment because they deliver the right information to the customer at the right time.