I introduced Silverpop’s latest study, “Are You a Best Friend Brand? How Relevance and Trust Can Get You into the Inner Circle,” in a recent blog post. The study focuses on how consumers are being marketed to online, and how well brands’ digital marketing outreach is resonating. It should come as no surprise that our research confirmed that today’s customers expect tailored, personalized outreach that arrives when and where it’s most convenient.
The research also found that consumers tend to have a limited number of brands with which they regularly interact and make purchases – usually around five. As the buyer journey continues to evolve and become even more centered on the customer experience, it will be critical for businesses to become a "Best Friend" in order to succeed. I have highlighted three of the more notable takeaways, and tips for how marketers can succeed, below.
1) Relevance is at the heart of relationship building.
According to the study, 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the initial email outreach from a brand is tailored to them based on their likes, preferences and previous behaviors. Remember, to be successful today, personalization needs to go beyond “Hi %%FIRST NAME%%.”
Today’s most successful brands are incorporating behaviors from all channels – both online and offline – and delivering messages triggered from certain actions. For example, use geolocation services to send an offer via SMS when a customer enters a brick-and-mortar store, or email a gift card or discount offer when a buyer tweets a positive review of their purchase.
2) Trust is at the center of every good relationship.
In the United States, 70 percent of respondents indicated that their existing relationship and trust with a brand went a long way in determining whether they open the brand’s email messages. Building and maintaining trust is multi-faceted – you have to be cautious that you aren’t inundating your customers with “buy, buy, buy” messages.
In addition to your typical promotional offers, also incorporate informational messages – provide products that might go well with a previous purchase, ask for a product review and provide a unique offer or simply send an automated email from a customer service rep checking in. If you employ technology like automated programs and dynamic content, you’ll be able to apply these tactics to all types of products and services. (Read our "5 Tips for 'White Space' Emails That Educate, Entertain and Engage" tip sheet for more ideas.)
3) Don’t take advantage of the ones who love you most.
One of the most important things I speak about with marketers regularly is to not ignore your most loyal customers! In fact, existing customers can be a huge source of revenue for you. It’s easy to forget someone after they’ve made a purchase, so this is another area where tailored outreach is critical. You must strike an effective balance between zero contact and way too much because 34 percent of respondents indicated they would leave emails unopened if they receive too much from a brand. Unopened emails result in no revenue!
Consider incorporating tools like Web tracking – this allows you to send marketing messages based on a known user’s browsing activity. Since you already have their contact information, it’s simple to employ this type of tool to deliver extremely relevant messages. Also consider automated programs that celebrate a customer’s first purchase anniversary or send them a nice note or special offer on their birthday. These small touches go a long way in building a strong relationship with your customers.
I hope these few tips help you on your way to becoming a Best Friend Brand. Or, if you’re already there, I hope you’ve picked up a few new ideas to make the relationships with your customers even stronger. Just remember the key to any good relationship is listening – listen to your customers and then make sure you act on what you learn. You’ll be a BFB in no time!
1) Blog Post: Double Revenue by Focusing on Existing Customers
2) Blog Post: Leveraging the “Geo-Factor”: Using Mobile and Location Data to Drive Engagement
3) White Paper: 20 Ways to Personalize Content and Enhance the Customer Experience