When it comes to writing emails, it’s easy to create one standard email and send this off to each of your customers. But in reality, email is not a one-size-fits-all.
In fact, there’s a good chance that several of your customers are at very different points in their customer's journey or buyer’s journey (in modern term) and therefore one issue may be at the top of mind for one customer, while for another, they are in a completely different place in their path to purchase and another goal is their top priority. As a business, how can you make sure your emails are keeping up with your ever growing, diverse group of clients while catering towards each of their individual needs? To answer this question is fundamental to Email marketing
First, let’s take a step back and remember the buyer’s journey.
The 3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey describes the research process a prospect takes on before making the decision to purchase.
There are 3 stages:
- Awareness stage: when a prospect has a problem they need help with, but the problem isn’t clearly defined yet
Example: “I want to invest in real estate, but I’m hesitant because of the complex work and time commitment involved. What are my alternative options?”
- Consideration stage: the prospect has now defined their problem and goes ahead to research all the possible solutions to the problem they’re facing
Example: “A great option is Alternative Real Estate Investments. I don’t need to do all the initial due diligence but simply need to select a project to invest in. What are the different options for Alternative Real Estate Investments?”
- Decision stage: the prospect has assessed the various solutions and now must make a decision with one of them
Example: “I really like the idea of land investments and there are 3 companies that offer it, which is best suited to help me get started?”
With the very likelihood that your customers are scattered through these three stages, understanding the buyer’s journey is key to helping you meet your customers exactly where they’re at. Recognize that because your customers are not all at the same stage, they will want different things from each other. And because their goals and pain-points vary, whether it’s by a big or subtle gap, different content will appeal and resonate with each customer a little better than the other.
For example, if you’re sending an email to a newly converted lead who is interested in alternative investments, you may include information about an upcoming webinar your firm is hosting where they can learn more and have any unresolved questions about the topic answered. But on the other hand, when you’re sending an email to someone who has been a long-time customer, you would instead send content targeted to maintaining customer satisfaction such as discounted rates or regular newsletters to keep them updated on any investment trends.
In this way, understanding the buyer’s journey for your specific business will shape what kind of content you create in your emails according to each customer’s current needs.
After figuring out what content to include in your emails, how do you decide which of your customers should receive it?
Here are 3 key points to help optimize your email marketing communications to match the customer's journey:
1. Tracking and collecting information about your leads and customers.
As your leads and customers interact more with your firm, whether it’s by clicking on a particular Call-to-Action (CTA), taking a certain amount of time before purchasing, or communicating with your firm primarily through social media, this is not the time to sit back and relax. With every activity and interaction they have with your firm is an opportunity for you to track and collect this data in order to learn more about who your leads and customers are so that you can segment and personalize the email communications you have with each of them.
2. Using email as a tool for lead nurturing
When it comes to your leads, they’ve shown initial interest in your firm but have not decided to make a purchase yet. Email becomes an invaluable tool here to nurture these leads by providing helpful, relevant resources tailored to their own needs and to learn more about them by addressing any doubt and questions they may have.
It’s important here to know when not to send an email. Use email only as a response to your lead’s behaviour and actions and be strategic in deciding which of those actions to respond to. You don’t want to be sending emails left and right, possibly overwhelming them. You want to ensure your lead has shown sufficient interest and engagement with your firm before you contact them further to start a larger conversation.
3. Map out the customer lifecycle and where you can integrate email communication.
Businesses can easily stop caring once the purchase has been made. Profit-driven marketing makes the mistake of seeing the purchase as the end-goal and a person as simply a transaction. However, once a lead becomes a customer, it doesn’t just stop there. Being intentional in further building a relationship with customers beyond the point of purchase is one of the most important elements to your firm’s continued growth.
To learn how to best create a relationship with your customers, let’s look over the 3 stages of the customer lifecycle:
- New customers: the goal here is to help them see the value of the purchase they just made and to get things going. Examples of an email to help get the ball rolling could include a welcome email on getting started, a purchase confirmation email, or an email celebrating any of the customer’s initial milestones.
- Ongoing customers: you want to further cultivate a relationship with your already existing customers and show them that they’re more than just a source of profit to you. Send emails that provide relevant support and value to them and address any needs that aren’t currently being met, such as a newsletter that keeps them updated on topics related to their purchase or an email offering discounts on related services.
- Evangelists: these are people who have benefited from and appreciate your firm’s services so strongly that they go on to share your brand with other people, becoming a key factor in driving your firm’s growth. Take advantage of using emails to create more evangelists by introducing things like special rates for customers, referral programs, or exclusive access.