Thursday, October 11, 2018

Supporting Your Buyer's Journey with Email



It’s true that the marketing funnel is anything but linear. That fact makes it harder and harder for businesses to recognize and fix gaps in their digital buyer’s journey. For small sales and marketing teams, that challenge is often even greater; it can be difficult to qualify and support all leads that your company generates in meaningful ways.

One solution to this growing challenge is to create better content experiences.  In order to do so, you need to audit common interactions your leads have with your business leading up to purchase of your products and services. Then you’ll need to find ways to scale those interactions. 

One channel that still remains effective in delivering information and supporting your leads in a scalable way is email.

Let’s walk through a typical buyer’s journey to uncover what types of email campaigns you may want to run to support leads, no matter where they enter the funnel.

Awareness

Awareness email helps to support subscribers that have expressed interest in your content but haven’t expressed explicit interest in your products or services (yet).  The idea is to provide them more of what they are looking for and over time also introduce them to your brand.

Send a welcome email

When someone subscribes to hear from you, how do you follow up? This is often an overlooked email, but can be incredibly important for your email health. Welcome emails average a 50% open rate and can help build your email quality score.  Also, it give you a way to provide subscribers with what next steps they can take to get the best experience. Take for example the below welcome email from Alamo Drafthouse.

Source: reallygoodemails.com

Send monthly or weekly newsletters

Newsletters are effective in two ways when supporting leads at the awareness stage:
  1. They provide a regular “touch-point” between you and your subscribers so that your content stays top of mind.
  2. They help you learn more about your audience’s interests.
Include a curation of new content from your website in your newsletters, along with any company news or announcements.

Examples:

Consideration

Consideration stage email can be used to support leads that have expressed implicit interest in your products or services. Maybe they downloaded a product guide, watched a product demonstration or visited a product page on your website.  They haven’t explicitly raised their hand to talk to your sales team, or purchased yet, but they may be right on the cusp of becoming a prospect for your business.

Ask questions and segment

Don’t forget that email can be used for proactively segmenting your buyers.  For example, let’s say your an outdoor sporting goods company that both sells and rents out equipment for those looking to take long hiking trips.  You may want to ask subscribers in their first email “are you looking to buy a pack, or rent one?”

This helps you to cater your content to what your prospect is looking for. 

Example:

Personalize your email workflows

Now that you’ve asked some questions you should different segments of your subscriber list. Use these segments to personalize content based on interest in your emails.  In a 2015 study conducted by DMA it’s reported that marketers saw a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns, over non-segmented or “one size fits all” campaigns.

Examples:

Send relevant offer emails

Offering a discount for first-time purchasers, or on a specific line of products or services? Your segmentation will also help you to deliver that message to those who might best be benefitted by that offer.  In the consideration stage offer emails can help you tip the scale in your favor because you’re creating a special value or exclusivity for your subscribers.  For example, the limited time offer in the Headspace email below.

Source: Reallygoodemails.com

Decision 

Decision stage email is targeted at helping prospects that have shown explicit, legitimate interest in your products or services. Maybe they have raised their hand to learn more from a sales representative, maybe they have put something in their cart. Whatever your business and sales model -- these are hot leads and prospective buyers that are at the bottom of the funnel and ready to make  purchasing decision.

Share a success story

For those of you with longer sales processes, after someone has explicitly expressed interest in your brand is the perfect time for touchpoint. Share a success stories from a current customer or to help build trust.  You may want to include a case study, a testimonial or a great use case. 

Example: 

Offer a free trial, or promote your guarantees

For SaaS companies the free-limited-time trial strategy is tried and true to usher leads towards making their purchasing decision.  But, consider whether your non SaaS product or service company has a guarantee of satisfaction within a set time, or any sort of “try before you buy” program. Reassuring prospects at the decision stage of those guarantees may be just the right email to send to close the deal or sale.

Examples:

Send abandoned cart emails

Noticed someone has almost completed a purchase? Try sending a reminder via email of what’s in their cart.  Also, if you notice after a few days they have not returned you may consider sending a follow up email to ask them why they decided not to purchase. This can teach you a lot about your products’ positioning in the market. Take for example the below email from Beardbrand.

Source: reallygoodemails.com

Post-Decision

Send out a survey

Now it’s time to see how you did. After you close a deal or sell a product you will want to follow-up with that buyer.  The time frame before following will range based on service or product offering and what makes sense for your business, but alway follow-up with a survey to see how things are going.

Examples:

Send upsell emails

Do you sell other products, services, or tiers or service of  that might be beneficial to your current customers? Then an upsell email can help to bring your customer right back to the consideration stage of their buyer’s journey with you. Use your segmentation insights to identify what the ideal strategy for upselling to specific segments might be. Take for example Dollar Shave Club’s approach below.

Source: reallygoodemails.com

Send reminder emails

If you are in an industry that offers one time services, but with recurring needs (think pest control, tax services and accounting, auto care, etc.) then reminder emails will reengage and bring customers back to you.

Based on the recurrence schedule that makes sense to you, and your customers last service date, you can automate reminders that are highly personalized and effective.

Email isn’t dead

Curious how your business can be using email to fill gaps in your buyer’s journey? Contact Ethical Digital today to talk email marketing.