Most loyalty programs worth their salt come bundled with marketing tools – like email marketing systems – to help keep you in contact with your program members. Maintaining regular contact with your members is essential to building strong, long-term relationships, and email marketing is probably the most cost-effective method. But just because you can blast an email to all your members every day doesn’t mean you should.
Businesses that use the “blast” method will probably see positive results for the first two to three months of their new loyalty program’s email marketing feature. But after the initial excitement has worn off, the program members will become desensitized and, in some cases, annoyed. And the emails you send? Unread, blocked or flagged as spam.
The key to staying in contact with your loyalty program members and building that positive relationship is: Target. Target. Target. Send your members emails that will actually mean something to them individually. After all, they trusted you with their personal email address, so use it wisely.
When preparing email marketing campaigns, we suggest you use the following 3 “Rs” to better target your marketing efforts for the greatest overall result:
The Right Message: You’ve probably heard that it’s not always what is being said that matters, but that how something is said makes all the difference. Every part of an email campaign has a purpose, and often that purpose is to drive an action. For example, your email subject line should have the proper balance between relevance, urgency and the “so-what” factor; the action you are prompting is an email open, which is not as easy as it sounds. Craft the message carefully, whether it’s in the email subject line, the campaign headline, the body text or the call to action. Each of these email “parts” is essential to the overall action: getting the member back through your door. So take the time necessary to prepare the right message.
The Right Person: Any good writer knows that before you start writing, you need to know who the reader will be. The same holds true for email marketing, only you have an additional benefit that comes with a good loyalty rewards program: you know a little bit more about your intended audience than a lot of writers out there. By using your members’ demographic details, geographic location and past purchase data, you can narrow the marketing field and send campaigns only to individuals that are the most likely to take advantage of what you’re offering (e.g. you may not want to send a sale promotion for hiking boots to the rewards member who only ever buys high heels or dress shoes). By sending marketing emails only to the right people, you will greatly improve the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
The Right Time: With email marketing, timing is everything… and it’s not just a matter of not sending advertisements for winter coats in June (unless your members happen to be south of the equator). Timing can be a particular day of the week at a specific time; for example, if you target your campaign at business professionals, and you send the emails at 6:00am Saturday morning, your emails will go right to the bottom of the “Monday morning inbox” pile, leading to poor campaign results. Timing can also, however, have nothing to do with the actual date and time; auto dealers wouldn’t have very much success with an email campaign advertising the latest models targeted at members who just bought a new car two months ago. Perhaps the most important timing factor is how often a member is receiving emails. Depending on your business and the individuals you are emailing, 4 emails per month could be too few, just right or too much (and sending out a new email every day for a week is almost always too much). Reference the other two “Rs” to determine the right time – on every level – for each email marketing campaign you send.
By sending the right message to the right person at the right time, you’ll ensure your loyalty rewards members are receiving personalized offers and incentives. And the more personalized the offer, the more likely your customers are to stay engaged with your marketing efforts and to keep coming back for business – again and again.
What results have you seen from better targeted marketing in your business?
Think of companies that email you regularly… What offers are you more likely to respond to? Why do they work?