Given that obtaining subscribers to email lists is probably the highest single expense in email marketing, it can be seen as excellent advice that once you have them you should do everything you can to keep them. Well, everything within reason. However, anyone who has bought a number of items via email marketing can tell you that some companies take customers for granted.
You can take too much notice of one person’s experience but that will not stop me quoting one of mine as an example of how to really irritate a customer.
I recently bought a personal combination printer. It came by way of email marketing of course and the price was very competitive. I was very pleased with my purchase. After a month the low ink level warning came on to inform me that the black cartridge was three-quarters empty. A day or so later I received a marketing email from the company I bought it from.
My first thought was that this was excellent email marketing and I expected to open it to find an offer for cartridges. But no. What it consisted of was my printer at around 15% off the price I paid.
There are two points to this little saga: the first being the irritation of realising that had I waited I could have paid a lot less. As an exercise in how to annoy those on your email lists it was just about perfect.
A customer, other than one looking for material for articles, might well be upset to realise they are nothing other than an entry in a database. They might well come to the conclusion that there is little point in remaining on an email list if this is the level of service.
The second point is the missed opportunity. It is inexcusable as this is what email marketing is all about. A month after the sale of an item with consumables can be a good time to give customers a nudge. Go in with an offer of cartridges and paper.
In fact there are three points to consider. What about the lack of imagination? This is a month after I had paid out for a largish personal item. My salary cheque has, much to the irritation of my bank, put my account into the black. This is the time to tempt me with the way my life will be revolutionised if I only bought this latest item featured in the latest email marketing offer.
You have to make leaps of faith. A single printer might well mean that the person has a computer. As it is a combination printer, perhaps optical character recognition software might be appropriate, or maybe something to make scanning easier and more satisfying. What else you offer depends on what you have to sell.
Some say times are going to get a bit tougher. Therefore it is all the more important not to risk having customers remove themselves from your email lists just through a lack of thought on your side. Go out and get them and then keep them.