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Email Marketing Ideas

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As a custom software developer, Northsail prides itself on providing our clients with problem solving solutions that are always delivered on-spec, on-budget and on-time.

We're so committed to excellence in every project that we take on, that we won't accept a new proposal, if we don't think it's a good fit.

Just as your business works tirelessly to create strong connections with new and existing customers, we strive to build long-term relationships with every client we serve. Relationships that will carry on long after we've delivered their project.

With that in mind, we've collected some useful ideas for your next email campaigns that you can use in your own business to encourage faster customer engagement, drive urgency, and give you some email marketing ideas that could perform very well for you.

Welcome New Sign-Ups

Nothing reassures a customer that they've made the right decision in giving you their email address, quite like a pleasant welcome email.

This is an opportunity for your business to really introduce yourself to new customers, and the information you provide your target audience here could shape the way they see your business moving forward.

Consider sending them a discount code or redeemable coupon as a welcome gift, for them to use the next time that they're going to purchase from you. Most people don't expect something like this from a business they've only just started dealing with.

Not only will this incentivize customers to return, it can be a great stepping stone towards building stronger loyalty with new customers.

A Perfect Opportunity to Get to Know Your Customers

Welcome emails are always a great way to learn more about your target demographic and stay in constant contact, so that you can continue to tailor your marketing campaigns to what your customer base truly wants and needs.

Try building a small information form into your welcome emails (no more than 5-10 questions), and make sure you're giving customers the opportunity to share their first impressions of your business. A little direct engagement can prevent a new customer from becoming an inactive subscriber, and you might be surprised by some of the feedback you'll receive.

Make sure to include questions like 'What are some products you'd like to see us carry in the future?' or 'What could we have done to improve your first buying experience with us?' in personalized emails. Don't just use a basic email template. Make it unique and interesting.

Their responses will give you priceless insight into blank spots in your inventory, where you could be missing out on sales opportunities, or different tactics you could utilize to improve your customers' experiences dealing with your business in the future.

In turn, by making them feel heard, you're also building better customer relationships and customer loyalty, which is the cornerstone of successful email campaigns.

Invite Them to Participate in Your Promotions

As we talked about in How to Use Prizes & Rewards in Successful Promotions, one of the most important things that needs to be considered in running any type of business is making sure the customers' experiences are as easy and hassle-free as possible.

You want to try and stay in constant contact with customers, but you don't want them to feel pestered or annoyed by your future campaigns. This means you always need to be providing valuable content to your email subscribers.

One way to help your customers engage with your promotions and contests is to use your email lists to help spread the word about the current or upcoming events you're running. Part of making clients feel welcomed into your business is ensuring that you invite them to participate in these contests and promotions.

In fact, you may notice a sharp upswing in the number of customers that are signing up for these events, once you make the sign-up process faster and more convenient for them.

If you've been looking for email marketing ideas to increase your customers' engagement with your promotions, this is a perfect place to start.

Something is Always Better Than Nothing

For every future email marketing idea you put into action, ask yourself this question: 'Am I offering my customers something of value?'

Value is perceived in many different ways, depending on what market you're working within and what each customer wants or needs out of your relationship. Information can be important to share, but that information needs to be as valuable to the customer, as it seems to you.

For example, if you send a customer an email letting them know that you're offering a new product, will they care? That depends on how you frame the product's introduction and whether you're offering them something more than just that information.

Is this product only available for a limited time or in limited volume? Are you offering a markdown to encourage customers to try a new product? Framing product introductions like this can promote urgency, exclusivity and incentivize customers into purchasing products they may otherwise have overlooked.

If you can create value for the customer through these types of email marketing ideas, you're going to see a substantial increase in customer engagement, which will inevitably lead to better conversions.

Use Dates to Create Urgency

Have you ever received a promotional email that included a specific date stating when the promotion would be cut-off?

Even if you weren't interested in what they were offering, there's a good chance that you paused for that extra couple of seconds to consider looking further into the offering.

Putting strict limitations on how long you're going to offer a promotion creates urgency. If a customer is interested in what you're offering, they'll be quick to follow through with a purchase; because they want to take advantage of the opportunity before it's too late.

Providing a follow-up email to remind them that the promotion is ending soon is a great email strategy for re-engaging with customers that might have overlooked your promotion before, or forgot to take action, even though they were interested.

Think Seasonally

The same type of mindset can be applied to seasonal offerings. Centering some of your email marketing ideas around popular shopping holidays can be a clever way to engage with customers who aren't shopping for themselves, but are instead looking to purchase gifts for their friends and family.

Depending on your target demographic, you can use these types of promotions to really push the idea of the 'perfect gift'. Present the promotion as an easy answer, which they can use to finish shopping for their loved ones, in a way that's both affordable and convenient.

Remember: If you can present your products as a solution to a problem, rather than simply a purchase, customers will be much more likely to engage with your promotion and get excited about it.

Use Exclusivity to Drive Customer Engagement

As we talked about in our Ideas for Contest Prizes article, exclusivity is an incredibly useful tool that can be easy to overlook when you're coming up with new email marketing ideas.

Countless studies have been done that show consumers are very interested in purchasing products and services that other people don't have access to. This limited access creates exclusivity, and that exclusivity brings out the competitive nature in customers.

Whether it's access to certain exclusive facilities or a product offered in a unique color palette in limited volume, this separation from the normal offerings creates a divide between those on the 'inside' and those on the 'outside'.

When given the opportunity, virtually every customer will choose to be on the inside; if for no other reason than it makes them feel good to know that they have gotten something that other people won't have access to.

Include Countdowns to Drive Conversions

More than just using dates, using actual timers both in email marketing strategies, as well as on your website, can be a huge motivator for customers to take action. This is especially true if you use timers for both the end of the promotion and how much of the product you have left to sell.

Using these tools helps drive both urgency and exclusivity from consumers.

Customers are forced to act quickly if they want to take advantage of the promotion, and they know that if they don’t, they'll miss out on the opportunity to participate. You may even want to list that this is a limited time offer in your subject lines, so potential customers understand the urgency of your offer.

Be sure to make the purchasing process as simple and smooth as possible for these types of promotions. Any annoying delays between choosing to act and final payment could be enough to change their minds about making this purchase; especially if it's an impulse buy.

A Little Extra Goes a Long Way

Getting customers to actually pay attention to your email marketing ideas can be a huge challenge. An effective email marketing campaign requires the information to be clear and concise, but striking enough to hold the customer's attention.

This is where special offers (like offering mild discounts of 10%-25%, or showing customers products that you already have on markdown), can be a fantastic tool for pushing them towards that all-important Call-to-Action link.

You don't have to hurt your profit margins to make these types of marketing emails work. Small discounts draw customers in and encourage larger cart purchases.

Items on markdown have already been given a price reduction (usually for the purpose of clearing the inventory). You're not taking a bigger loss; you're just putting that information in front of the customer.

Loyalty Bonuses are a Win-Win

Showing customers that you appreciate their business is incredibly important, and one of the best ways you can do that is by offering them loyalty bonuses when you implement new email marketing ideas.

It could be as simple as designing an email campaign specifically around your existing customers, but presenting it to them individually as a 'special thank you' for their continued support.

You could also encourage customers to forward these emails to their friends and family, including a promotional code that new customers can use at checkout to give them a small discount; a code that will also reserve a small bonus for the customer that referred them, using the existing customer's email address that you already have in your database.

These don't have to be big bonuses for referrals, but anything you can do to encourage word-of-mouth from your loyal customer base is going to expand your business' reach; as well as save you money you may have had to spend on marketing campaigns, in order to reach those new customers.

Try Something New

There are a million new email marketing ideas that you could try. Creative, engaging email subject lines. Outside the box email content. Including social proof from other customers in your email newsletters. The real question is whether it will work well with your normal customer base, or if you can use them to entice new members of your target audience to try out what you're offering.

Start small, try out new email promotion ideas and track the results as much as possible. If something doesn't work, you won't have invested a lot of time or money into it yet, but if an idea really catches fire with your customers, you can ramp up the campaign the next time you run it to make it bigger and better.

The most important thing to remember is that any email marketing ideas need to engage, entice and excite your customers. You don't always have to offer promotions or discounts, but when you do, be tactical in how you design them.

We've discussed some ideas previously about how to intelligently utilize prizes and rewards, just don't let your own excitement about an upcoming promotion overshadow your ROI, or the price margins you need to adhere to in order for your pricing strategies to remain stable and profitable.

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