Sending emails to your customers is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Period. I neglected proper emailing to my customers forever, and it has cost me a lot. You don't want to be that guy.
So below, I've pre-written the 3 emails you need to be sending your customers NOW. This is a three-part post so that we can take the time to show you each email and what you should be doing in each.
For some reason email marketing seems to be an area that we all neglect, abandon, or do so badly it doesn't count.
Email as a selling tool has gotten a bad rap, and for good reason. Companies (ahem, GoDaddy) abuse the platform by oversaturating it with marketing crap.
SPAM has made it annoying. Texts and chat have made it look "slow" by comparison. Business has made it formal and boring. Social media makes it seem less personal.
But here's the thing. Businesses who know how to use email are still making tons of money with it, without any fancy voodoo or secret sauce. And when I say "tons of money," don't take me lightly. I mean millions of dollars. And even if making money isn't your number one goal, email can still help you. Building relationships with your customers is the easiest, fastest way to grow your business and sending good emails is the easiest, fastest way to build relationships.
Here are some other misconceptions about email I've heard a lot from our customers… you probably think some of this too:
"Writing great emails is hard"
- Scroll down, I wrote them for you. But yeah, it's not a 5 minute kind of thing.
“Sending emails is difficult and requires an expensive setup”
- Check out mailchimp.com and start using it fully in a few minutes… for free. We personally use a custom tool, but MailChimp is our favorite service on the market right now.
“No one opens emails anymore”
- Our open rate is 30%. We’ve heard of numbers north of this, but even 5% is better than 0. Here are some open rate averages by industry:
“Even if they open them, no one buys from emails anymore”
- NOPE. Ebay, Amazon, Zappos.Com are 3 companies that make a significant chunk of their revenue from email clickthrus (when people click links in emails that intend to sell a product). On a smaller scale, we launched an entire product through email and made $300k/year we wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Let's talk about the actual emails. I don't want anyone reading this to feel like it's yet another theoretical lesson. So I'm giving you three emails. I'm telling you how to use them. Let's do it.
The Three Emails:
- The Brand Welcome
- The Upsell
- The Check In
The Brand Welcome
The "Brand Welcome" is the email you send your customers FIRST after they do anything in your system. What does that mean?
If a customer has...
- Signed up for your mailing list
- Given you their email address for a "gift" like 10% off, Free Shipping, or an eBook
- Looked at products on your site after giving you their email (you'll need a tracking tool like customer.io or intercom.io to know what your customers are looking at or doing)
- Purchased anything from you
Send them a Brand Welcome email.
This is the email where you show them the type of brand you are, what your personality is. They need to hear what you sound like. This is your opportunity to show them that you're not like everyone else: boring and lifeless. They'd love to know the kind of business you are, who you are, and most importantly, how you'll make their life better.
Tell them where to go to find the things you think they're looking for. Help them use the product they just bought.
Let me quickly show you what a brand welcome email is not.
Keep in mind - this email is still better than nothing. But it's pretty close to that.
- Don't start with "Dear" unless they're buying stationery. Too dated. Too formal.
- "Thank you for your interest" is too passive and impersonal. Speak directly to them as though you saw them in a store or you're shopping alongside them as a friend.
A great rule is: Is this how you would talk to your grandma? No? Then don't. Talk to them like you'd talk to your grandma.
- If it looks like a cliche, take it out. These phrases are so easy to write but they come across as insincere. Insincere doesn't build relationships or make sales.
- If this is the first time you're emailing them, don't push them into a sale before you find out what they like.
Try this instead:
Here are some companies that did it well.
Check out Netflix's email from 2006 (yup, almost a decade ago). They were doing what I described above.
Post sign-up, there is a welcome that teaches you how to use their site, piques my interest with images of products I might be interested in, prepares me for future email contact, and signs off with a casual and sweet "Your Friends at Netflix." Not bad.
From a company that usually gets it right, here's an early welcome email of theirs - before their huge communication makeover - that wasn't awesome.
Cliche after cliche? Check. Impersonal references to "perks" that are just part of their normal offering? Check. Awesome images of their products? Negative.
The thing this email does well is it gives you the same menu in the email design that you get when you go to their site. They are starting the process of teaching you how to shop with them, but from this email...why would you want to?
We hope that part 1 of this article series was helpful. Stay tuned for next week's email to send your customers. It's the money-maker email but it's also the easiest to screw up.