You might be wondering how your strategy should change if, as seems likely, the country does not turn the financial corner soon. The answer is, in all probability, do what those in email marketing should be doing already.
The rather crude adage that for email marketing in particular it is more cost effective to spend money keeping customers than acquiring new ones is impossible to argue against. It will cost regardless of which methods you choose to acquire them. New customers require concessions and investment before they become established. Whilst there are ways of lowering these costs, you will start from a fairly high baseline.
Customer retention is something that should be high on your to-do list in any case but the present financial situation gives your email lists an added value. So how do you look after them?
One suggestion is to get personal.
Customers can be divided into four types.
Those who spend the most,
Those you feel will respond to encouragement to spend more,
Those who react well to marketing emails,
Those who appear vulnerable.
And individual customer can fall into more than one category. You should have an email marketing strategy to manage each type effectively.
Those in, perhaps, the top 10% in value need the most encouragement. To take them for granted is a certain way to lose them. They should be made aware, by deed rather than just word, that you believe they are special.
For instance, if you make an offer that is ostensibly for new customers only, then also make it available to those who spend most with you. Imagine their feelings if they discovered others were getting preferential treatment. You should ensure that they are aware that they, out of all your established customers, are being favoured. The simple way of doing this is to favour them.
Your email marketing software will tell you which of those on your email lists can be relied on to open the email but do not appear motivated to buy regularly. On the assumption that others on your email lists responded normally to the offer, you might feel that a little encouragement would make them put money on the table. If, by cutting margins, you get them to buy then your high standards and excellent quality products for the price will tend to keep them buying.
Do not bombard your responsive customers with email marketing so much as favour those products that give you a good return. Remember, however, that retention is vital and an occasional offer with little return for you might well ensure he stays on your email lists.
Your systems should identify those whose performance is dropping. Timely intervention with just the right product and pricing might well push them from being vulnerable into one of the other categories.
You need to identify where your investment will get its best return. And ensuring that a customer stays on your emails list is a good return. Targeting is an essential.