December 8, 2009

The Five Most Important Emails to Send Customers


Hostway Team

By Hostway

Email is taking center stage in today's small business marketing plans as advertising budgets are squeezed and doing more with less is becoming the norm. If you're not emailing your customers, you're missing out on one of the least expensive, highest return methods for increasing sales and building customer loyalty. Here are the five emails no business can afford to skip.

1. Order Confirmation

With a high open rate, the order confirmation email presents the perfect chance to make your customer feel good about her purchase. This email tells customers their purchase was successful and marks the beginning of the anticipation stage where they eagerly await the arrival of their recent purchase(s). Beyond stating the exact product or service ordered and the price, this email can be used to confirm why the customer bought from you in the first place and even cross-sell your products.

2. Welcome Email

Where an order confirmation email's main purpose is to verify the order and confirm its success, a welcome email should set expectations for future communications. If sent immediately after the purchase, a welcome email reaches a highly receptive audience excited about a recent purchase. It's a great place to communicate additional information about your company and your products and set the stage for a successful long-term relationship.

What should be included in a welcome email? It should restate the benefits of your email program. Here are some examples:

  • Early notification of new products
  • Early access to the latest sales and promotions
  • Exclusive sales and promotions
  • News, articles, features, podcasts, etc.
  • Recommendations for future purchases

3. Newsletter

Many people have a short memory span when it comes to purchases. A regular newsletter helps keep your business in front of people who've already taken the leap to purchase from you. It gives you a forum for establishing your expertise in your industry, providing tips on how to use current products or generating interest in new products. In short, it's a way to increase engagement with your products and services and your brand.

Here are some helpful articles to get you started with your customer newsletter:

4. Sales and Promotions

Slashing prices? Offering a special bonus for customers who spend a certain amount? Make your sales a success by drawing your previous customers back to you for discounts and promotions. An email marketing campaign is the best (most inexpensive) way to get the word out about your sale to a receptive audience.

5. Renewal Notices

The key to successful sales is to make it easy. If you're running a subscription-based business, chances are high your subscribers don't know when to renew without a little reminder. And with cluttered email boxes, it's easy to overlook, accidentally delete or just plain forget about a renewal reminder. That's why it's best to develop a series of renewal notices and send them out at intervals as the expiration date approaches.

Now that you have a plan for which email messages to send, you may be wondering how you'll build your list. Don't worry; we have you covered. Read Build an Opt-in Email List for some ideas.

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