Whether it’s B2C or B2B, email marketing can be used to equal effectiveness. For B2C models, email campaigns can be highly effective when sending customers exclusive discounts and rewards, such as personal discount codes or loyalty programs. If somebody has subscribed to marketing emails from a business, the content being sent out needs to be beneficial for those users in order to avoid unsubscriptions. For B2B models, with 81% of B2B marketers sending email newsletters as their most used form of content marketing. Newsletters are excellent for sharing updates and company news, as well as content the user may find of interest, such as recently published blogs.
Email campaigns are often sent to new customers who have recently subscribed to marketing communications with the aim of nurturing their journey through the marketing funnel. However, there are separate considerations that have to be taken into account when targeting emails towards existing customers. Here’s our quick guide for email marketing to existing customers, focusing on exclusivity as a concept for retaining subscribers.
Why send email campaigns to existing customers?
It takes a lot of planning, research and effort to gain new contacts. Growing a contact list is time-consuming, and relies heavily on people visiting your website, expressing interest or purchasing your products or services. There are also options for gaining contacts using social media, where social posts can include links to contact forms and share engaging content from emails in order to entice people into subscribing.
Once a contact has converted and became a customer, it’s important to keep them. Existing customers provide a valuable opportunity for businesses, as they’ve already progressed through their buyer’s journey and have a strong recognition and understanding of the brand. The cost of acquiring new customers is generally regarded to be XX% higher than retaining them, and that’s without considering the increased revenue and profitability that can come with increasing customer lifetime value.
From a sales perspective, the content sent to these existing customers can encourage repeat business. The customer is in the ‘loyalty’ section of the marketing funnel, meaning the content being produced can focus less on the previous funnel steps and more on conversions. Essentially, having an effective combination of new sales and repeat sales will further increase revenue for the business.
The power of exclusivity: Events & webinars
Everybody wants to feel special, and you can achieve this with existing customers using exclusivity. This can come in the form of either events and webinars, which would especially suit a B2B approach. Depending on the business, sending invitations over email for exclusive webinars with guest speakers or even celebrities can provide value and encourage users to stay subscribed. A larger scale option would be hosting annual in-person events, perhaps in the form of a Summer BBQ, where existing customers are invited via exclusive invitations. These events can be highly beneficial for B2B where networking is such a crucial aspect of generating leads.
The power of exclusivity: Discounts & promo codes
Another powerful option for retaining customers, particularly for B2C brands, can be the use of exclusive offers in the form of discount and promo codes. Sending unique codes to existing customers that only they can use for discounts on your products or services is a great way to boost engagement and repeat sales. As well as sending unique codes, applying a time limit for the offer can further enhance the probability of another sale being made. These exclusive codes will make existing customers feel valued and therefore more likely to purchase, or at least stay subscribed.
The power of exclusivity: Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs can be developed in order to keep customers engaged and buying your products or services. They are a major principle of loyalty marketing, which is a major digital marketing channel in its own right. Loyalty programs reward existing customers with points when they make purchases, engage with content, share with family members, or when it’s their birthday. As points are accumulated, they can be spent on various rewards such as free shipping, discounts or exclusive early access to new products. They can be complex to set up, but the benefits they provide for repeat sales and retained customers is exceptional.
Showing your appreciation
As we’ve previously touched on, expressing gratitude to existing customers for the purchases they’ve made helps to build their loyalty and in turn, increases the likelihood of them remaining subscribed. Email campaigns sent to existing customers should include a sentence thanking them, or ensuring it’s clear that you recognise their previous purchases and want to offer them value as a token of appreciation. This is the opportunity to tailor the email content to be more personable, and less sales-focused. Building loyalty is rarely instantaneous, and it may require an email schedule that aims to nurture existing customers over time.
Email marketing is key to many businesses and a major channel of digital marketing. Customers can be contacted for a variety of reasons, from sharing company news and latest blogs, to promoting specific products and services. The marketing funnel needs to be considered when creating email campaigns, and a part of the funnel that may sometimes be overlooked is the loyalty stage.
Existing customers should be retained by offering them value, often through exclusive invitations, content and discounts. It’s all about rewarding the customer for their loyalty, and receiving purchases or other benefits from them in return such as sharing your content with others. Abandoning customers after a conversion is wasteful; existing customers and repeat sales are a major aspect of generating revenue and building any brand.
Inflowing is a B2B marketing agency. We help B2B organisations do meaningful things with marketing. Whether that’s getting more leads, more visibility, or supporting their sales teams.
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