I've been thinking a lot lately about the role of email marketing, particularly in an environment of growing customer control, emerging communication channels and the current global economic environment. I come to only one conclusion: Marketers' "batch-and-blast" approach and mentality must evolve to one that endeavors to speak as directly as possible to each recipient in a voice that resonates with each individual on their lists.
This means replacing, or at least supplementing, the usual deal-of-the-week email with messages that recognize the relationships and interactions you have with your customers, moving beyond the usual selling mentality to incorporate a healthy focus on communications and retention.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that companies are falling short in their communications. A recent Opinion Research Corp. poll found 46 percent of bank customers and 42 percent of mutual-fund investors don't believe their financial services companies are communicating enough with them in these turbulent days.
We are in a period where customers are more sensitive to price and value for their dollar and more likely to shop around and compare features and benefits, looking for the best deal. So, it becomes critical that marketers communicate trust and value with every message.
One way to increase relevance and loyalty is to create messages that provide additional value, including emails that:
I explain some of these more fully in a recent Email Insider column
, but you can see that these types of emails do more than just promote the latest offers. They speak to their subscribers as individuals, an accomplishment, when handled correctly, that makes the messages more valuable and more relevant.
Have you recast your email program to align with your customers' needs, or do you have other functions that email can provide aside from the ones I listed here? I would love to hear about them.