email marketing best practices

Email Marketing Best Practices: Customer Retention Still a High Priority

MarketingSherpa’s recent chart made me smile.

After reading through countless articles and blogs this morning as I attempted to get caught up on my email marketing related reading, I was happy to see a recent chart of the week…and to see that improving customer relations and retention were second in priority. Because most of what I was reading about was social this and social that.

This might just demonstrate that email marketers aren’t completely ignoring the power of email as they attempt to integrate their email marketing program with the efforts of their social marketing peers.

Tops on the list of email marketing objectives was increasing sales revenue. Fair enough! Email marketing is meant to provide email marketing ROI after all! But second on the list of priorities is a focus on keeping those customers one wins with the first priority.

I’ve heard it said that email marketing is better for customer retention than customer acquisition. That makes sense when you consider people’s attitudes towards unwelcome email from companies they don’t know. And email is a great relationship builder. Usually one gets email from a company when there’s already a familiarity. Either one has bought something or signed up for emails because there’s an interest in buying something at some point. When that happens, email messages from that company are welcome…especially when the email marketing department has worked hard to segment their audience and deliver timely, relevant messages.

As an email deliverability consultant, we at ClickMail can spend a lot of time focused on getting emails delivered to the inbox. While we’re looking at ESPs and dealing with ISPs and minding our clients’ sending reputations, we also must stay mindful of what happens when that email is delivered. All the email marketing best practices around email delivery problems are for naught if you don’t have a clear goal and a good plan for what you’re going to do once you get there.

If marketers are making customer retention their second highest priority, then they are paying attention both to the value of their existing customers and the value of email in general. And that makes me smile.

P.S. For tips on success once you do get to the inbox—whether you’re after customer retention or acquisition—download our whitepaper titled, “You’ve made it to the inbox. Now what?” You’ll find it in our eMarketing library.  

Published On: January 11th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Jared LaRock

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