Author: Elaine Ip
Halloween has come and gone, but the fright isn’t over just yet. With its passing grows a sense of panic among consumer marketers everywhere. We are now in the busiest selling season of the year, with advertisements hitting consumers left to right. From those eagerly anticipated holiday sales to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consumers are receiving floods of communication every day. What will make your message stand out from the masses?
Determining how to nurture your customers is a good start, but for your message to really catch their eye, you need to have compelling content.
Follow these 4 guidelines to create content that resonates with your customers:
1. Trust is a Must
Without any personal affiliations with your customer, your words (in this case, your content) are what they hold you to. And nothing speaks louder than words than your actions. Make sure that your marketing strategy and activities deliver on what you promise. If you offer them a coupon, fulfill it. If your customer asks to be unsubscribed from your mailing list, remove them. If you don’t, not only will it hurt your credibility, but you’ll start to see less engagement and, ultimately, less conversions.
2. Identify Your John and Jane Doe
Understand who your target audience is so you can tailor your content to be relevant, interesting, and timed specifically for them. In this new digital age, customers share their information with you and in turn expect you to use it wisely. Use the data you’ve collected to properly segment and target your audience in order to build trust and relevance. Given the upcoming holidays and my affinity for buying beauty products, Sephora has nailed this down–targeting their audience *raises hand* with the right content.
On the flip side, I’ve been receiving emails lately with the subject line: Senior Apartment Listings in Your Area. Since it’s outside my demographic, you can probably imagine how annoying these have been. Impersonal and poorly timed messages make your customers question whether you even know who they are or understand them. Relevant customer nurturing is all about timing and the ability to demonstrate that you understand your customer.
3. Be in the Right Place
Consumers shift across channels throughout the day. Fine-tune your customer nurturing strategy for multi-channel engagement. Remember to be mindful of the content you put out on each channel to ensure that your customer experience is optimized and personal. Customers expect their experience to be a seamless, continuous conversation across channels and it’s your job to ensure this happens.
In the example below, you can see the shoe retailer Sole Society advertises their Cammila loafer to a select audience on Instagram. Then later on Facebook, their ad targeting offers me the same shoe in a different pattern. Instead, I clicked on a Business Insider article and Sole Society was there once more via another advertisement to continue the conversation with me–finally convincing me to click through to shop.
One of my favorite (and most dangerous) pastimes is online shopping. There’s nothing better than having access to a plethora of inventory at just the click of a mouse. Once in a while, even if I’ve already decided to buy an item, something comes up that distracts me and I won’t follow through and check out. With multi-channel marketing, I’ll receive an email a few days later reminding me about my abandoned item. “Still thinking this over? You have some great stuff in your Shopping Bag.” Thank you Nordstrom, I think so too! Time to check out!
4. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Justify your marketing spend. Your customer nurturing program needs to be measurable so that you can consistently track your progress and look for ways to improve it. Define the right set of metrics, review and adjust your nurture tracks along the way, and finally report your success.
Since email is a large part of most customer nurturing programs, here are the 7 most common email metrics that you may want to track:
- Sent – emails that actually moved through your engagement marketing platform
- Delivered – emails that were sent and not rejected by a receiving server
- Bounced – messages that were permanently rejected (hard bounce) and messages that were temporarily rejected (soft bounce)
- Opened – recipients who opened (viewed) the email
- Clicked – subscribers who clicked on a link, button, or image within your message
- Unsubscribed – contacts who clicked the “unsubscribe” link in an email and then followed through to successfully opt out
- Marked as Spam – subscribers who reported your email as spam
Take a step back and test your content on yourself. If you had received this from another company, how would you respond? Does it tell a continuous story? Would you open it and click through? Or would you unsubscribe or mark it as spam? Let’s not be biased here. By checking your content for these measures, you can ensure that your nurture campaigns aren’t going to waste.
With customer nurturing, you can build effective relationships with consumers throughout their buying journey. Embrace these best practices and watch your customers move along the purchase cycle! For a comprehensive description of customer nurturing best practices, check out our Definitive Guide to Customer Nurturing.
Have you seen an example of excellent customer nurturing in action? Or do you have tips to add? Please share them in the comments section below.