One of the great benefits of a mobile point-of-sale system is how it can make capturing customer email addresses an absolute breeze. With mPOS’s paperless receipts, you can seamlessly record the email address of customers at every transaction. This allows your email address list to grow naturally. But how should you use that ever-growing list?
First, take a look at your current email strategy. Are you executing an email campaign that hasn’t been adjusted in years? Do you enjoy working on your email campaign—or has it become an uninspired drag? Email remains one of the most effective ways to speak to your customer base, but there are certain things you need to bear in mind to capitalize on the particular ability of a smart, brief email to spur a reader to action.
Why is email still important?
Let’s begin with a bit of context: Email has been around for 45 years (born of military technology) but it only started to be widely used in the 1990s thanks to the rise of home access to the internet. Since then, an abundance of other social platforms have sprouted up to compete with email, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. But despite all that competition, email continues to be used daily by people all over the globe. Why is this?
The reality is that just like the old-fashioned mailbox, email has retained a certain prestige in an virtual world saturated with extreme brevity and caustic asides. It remains one of the best methods for direct, one-on-one communication and that’s why we rely on it to send important messages. We may not be certain that a social media message will make an impact despite the din, but we know that an email is a reliable, professional way to get in touch. Assuming people read it, that is.
Personalize your message
Let’s face it—getting people to open your email can be challenging. According to a 2015 report by Return Path, global email marketing delivery rates declined from 83 percent in 2014 to 79 percent in 2015. The solution is twofold: make sure sure you gain permission from your customers before adding their name to your list, and from here on, send only the very best content you’ve got, and not so often people get sick of you. If you’ve been granted access to this precious inbox, you need to earn your stay there.
While crafting your email content, remember that you are speaking directly to the recipient. This isn’t the time for a one-size-fits-all strategy. As EContent explains in this story about the tremendous power of email marketing in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, success is all about personalization. Think about who your audience is and write to them personally. Don’t be bland. Have fun. Use a familiar voice that is personable and that will connect with the human on the other side of the screen.
Watch your size
Beware of sending messages that are too long or too large. By adding huge GIFs, for example, you could inadvertently kill your campaign. You need to pay very close attention to the size of the images you are uploading, and don’t even think about adding anything over 2MB in size—this could seriously impede the chances of delivery. The same is true with word count—remember your own attention span as you flick through your inbox. Don’t harp on endlessly: be concise and to the point.
Explore targeted email campaigns
Consider sending targeted email campaigns. These are emails that are sent automatically when customers’ behavior changes. Say, for example, a customer has been stopping in to buy a latte most afternoons and suddenly stops coming. Send them a targeted email, that says “Hey, we’ve missed seeing you. Swing by some time and enjoy a free latte on us.” This simple act could help to draw that latte-lover back into your store by rewarding them for their loyalty. If you have an mPOS, you’re a step ahead because the system automatically gathers data about your customers and their buying habits so you can design perfectly aligned messages in no time.
Include a call to action
Vital to a robust email campaign is the call to action. This is a short sentence urging the reader to do something, such as “Enjoy a free latte on us” or encouraging them to check out a new offer that perfectly matches their profile. Why a call to action? Because after you’ve made it all the way into their inbox, you don’t want to lose their attention the second they’ve finished reading your words. Motivate your customer to further interact with your brand. Lure them onto your website, invite them to download a new product, or entice them to come to your store.
By rethinking and re-energizing your email strategy, you can dramatically improve your email ROI. As you launch your new campaign, remember to measure this return. Watch the open rates, but also check more broadly on click-throughs and subscription rates. By keeping a close eye on the metrics, you can fine-tune your direction. Chances are you’ll start to really enjoy sending emails again. And if you’re enjoying your emails, you can bet your customers are, too.
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