Over the last few years, customer experience (CX) has become a crucial part of any business that wants success. With how competitive the market is, if your business isn’t living up to your customers’ standards, they’ll have no problem going to your competitor instead.
Even tech giants like Google have noticed this, which is one of the reasons they use user experience as a ranking factor in search engine result pages (SERPs).
In this article, we’ll look at 6 ways you can improve customer experience with email marketing and set yourself apart from the competition.
6 ways you can use email marketing to improve customer experience
- Provide an engaging customer onboarding experience.
- Let them know you understand their struggles.
- Personalize their email experience.
- Encourage email conversation.
- Send thank you notes.
- Reward your customers.
1. Provide an engaging customer onboarding experience
When it comes to customer onboarding, the first impression is usually the most important. If your customers don’t understand how to use your product, can’t get any value from it, or find your company unengaging, likely, they’ll simply choose to go elsewhere.
This is why many of the most successful companies have made a point of providing an engaging experience for new customers.
For example, Rocket.net (a web hosting company) ensures that new users know exactly what to do to get started setting up their WordPress website on Rocket’s platform. For those who need an extra hand, they also provide links you can click to quickly contact their support team and have them migrate your sites for free.
Here are a few tips to help you provide customers with a great onboarding experience:
- Make an easy signup process. The more information you ask for, the less likely a user is to sign up. For this reason, you should aim to ask only for essential information and reduce friction. If you need to ask for a lot of information, try splitting it over multiple pages rather than asking for everything on one.
- Send a welcome email right away. At 91.43% open rate, welcome emails have a 42% higher open rate than the average email. This is mainly because subscribers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe or make a purchase. Therefore, this is your best chance to get your subscribers’ attention and let them know that every email they’ll receive will be full of value.
- Send a product tutorial or use cases. Users have likely seen how your product works from demos or screenshots. However, actually using the product is often a different story. At this point, you want to make it easy for them to start using your product by showing step-by-step guides.
2. Let them know that you understand their struggles
One of the most powerful ways to connect with your customers is by letting them know that you’ve been where they are and that you know what they’re going through.
This will allow them to see that your company isn’t in it just for the money but genuinely cares about their well-being.
For example, let’s say you started an electric vehicle company; you could include emails sharing your story of what made you so passionate about helping the environment and the current struggles that humans are facing due to things like pollution.
One thing to keep in mind is that storytelling in emails is different from storytelling in blog posts. Space is limited, so you don’t want to write a 3,000-word email. You need to make the story long enough to cover the most critical parts but short enough to keep your subscribers engaged.
This, of course, is easier said than done. Luckily, AI copywriting tools can help you write more engaging email copy and even long-form blog posts.
For example, a tool like Jarvis has an email template where all you have to do is add your company’s name, what your email is about, a tone of voice, and artificial intelligence will generate an engaging email for you.
3. Personalize their email experience
Marketing Land found that personalized email marketing campaigns lead to a 29% increase in open rate, 41% higher click-through rate, and a 600% growth in revenue.
However, email personalization goes beyond adding your subscriber’s name to the subject line or body of the email.
When creating a great customer experience with email marketing, you want to make sure that you’re tailoring emails to each individual’s interests — this is often referred to as email segmentation.
Basically, instead of sending the same generic email to all your customers, create different groups of customers based on the product they purchased.
For example, let’s say you have a health and wellness website to sell weight loss, muscle building, and general health supplements.
Someone interested in muscle-building supplements might not be interested in weight loss supplements; therefore, sending them emails about new weight loss supplements might lead to lower open rates and higher subscription opt-outs.
In this case, it’d be better to have three different lists that send tailored emails to each individual.
Here are the four main elements that make up a personalized email:
- Relevancy. What makes an email truly personalized is relevancy. Ensure that everything you send to subscribers is precisely what they’re looking for.
- Timing. Try your best to meet customers where they are in their journey. Let’s say you sell an online course; in this case, whenever a student has completed a certain lesson, you can send them an email. For example, Netflix sends customers emails after watching a show to recommend similar shows or something completely different.
- The human touch. People feel a deeper connection when talking to another human rather than a faceless brand. When sending emails, it’s often a good idea to put a face behind it. For example, you could have your emails sent from your company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or the person in charge of email marketing. If you’re worried about customers not knowing who’s emailing them, you could add something like “Christian at Encharge” to the “from” field instead of simply “Christian.”
- Images. While personalizing text and content is great, you can take things one step further and send personalized images. In fact, Encharge was able to increase their email click-through rate by 14x with image personalization and segmentation.
4. Encourage email conversation
Email marketing doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be a one-way street.
Having your subscribers reply directly to your email campaigns isn’t only a great way to connect with them and provide a better user experience but also a great way to keep your subscribers’ email clients from sending your messages to their spam folder. This is, of course, in addition to using an email service provider (ESP) or a marketing automation tool like Encharge that cares about IP reputation and deliverability.
Here are a few effective ways you can encourage customers or subscribers to reply to your emails:
- Ask them a question. This should be a thought-provoking question, not a question that can be answered with a simple yes or no — make them spend some time thinking of an answer. For example, if you have a health and wellness business, you could ask your subscribers what their biggest struggle is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Ask them to fill out a survey. Again, this will let them know that you actually care about their feedback and improving your business’s customer experience.
- Ask them to reply to get a discount or gift. Sometimes, you may send your customers a free sample or PDF download. However, instead of just sending them out of nowhere, ask your subscribers to reply to your email to receive the gift or discount.
Depending on how big your business is, replying to your customers’ emails can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it.
Whenever someone emails you, take the time to send a reply. This will make them feel heard, which in turn will make them feel more connected to you and your brand.
5. Send thank you notes
While many people are already aware of the importance of this, it’s still a widespread problem. One of the reasons people fail to send thank you notes is that they assume that they don’t need to.
However, your customers will appreciate it when you send them a quick and friendly thank you note after they’ve purchased something from you. These notes don’t have to be long, but they must be genuine and sincere.
Take a note from Bose and see how simple their thank you emails are.
If you can personalize your thank you emails, that’s even better. For example, if you’re sending a thank you for a referral, it’s important to mention what exactly the person did.
6. Reward your customers
Let’s face it. Most people love receiving gifts and winning prizes — after all, there’s a reason why we all love birthdays and contests so much, right?
Another great way to improve customer experience with email is to send small rewards or surprise gifts to your customers. They will appreciate you reaching out to them once in a while with gestures like this instead of a cold sales email.
In fact, a study by Manta and BIA/Kelsey called “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World” found that 64% of businesses with an active loyalty program mention that it makes more money than it costs to maintain.
Let’s look at some ideas you can use to reward your customers with some goodies.
- Incentives. This can be anything from loyalty programs and discounts to a first look at a new product you’re launching. People tend to like it when they’re part of something exclusive and insider information that others know nothing about. Once your customers learn that you tend to give these incentives, they’ll also be more likely to open your emails.
- Milestones. This could be anything from birthdays, membership anniversaries, or completing a certain task or lesson if you sell things like online courses. While gestures like this might feel small, they have a significant impact on the relationship with your customers. I don’t know about you, but I love it when restaurants hit me up with a free meal on my birthday.
- Contests and giveaways. Encourage customers to leave reviews, request product features, or share other ideas. Then reward them with prizes such as vouchers or branded products.
- Offer discounts from partners. Consider teaming up with other businesses to offer reciprocal discounts. For example, FlyingPress (a WordPress performance optimization plugin) has a partnership with Bunny.net (a content delivery network) to provide its users with all the perks of the premium version of Bunny’s CDN at a discounted price.
How to measure customer experience
Measuring customer experience is more than tracking and analyzing click and open rates. As a business owner, you need to understand the sentiment customers have towards your brand.
This information can be obtained by asking for feedback and sending out customer surveys.
For example, you could find out what percentage of your customers purchase other products and refer your brand to others — after all, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing techniques.
Making customers happy
When it comes to improving customer experience, email is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. When you send out emails, you’re reaching out to your customers and asking them to take an interest in your brand.
If you can make them feel appreciated, you’ll have a much better chance of winning their loyalty.