Email as a tool to grow repeat customers – Pt. 2

Posted by Spike Glenn Edley

Our mantra is “consistency leads to trust, which leads to loyalty, which leads to people talking about you at bars and BBQs”, which is what you want. Email marketing allows you to prove consistency to earn that trust and allows you to give customers the positive stories that they need to share. It’s an opportunity to reinforce your points of difference, highlight why they should want to come back and share exclusive sales. There’s no shortage of kinds of emails that can be sent to encourage repeat business. It’s also a valuable way to collect additional data through competitions and surveys to members of your list.

A question our clients often ask is: How often should I email? With lots of marketing messages out there, there is a need for increased frequency of message sharing. While email is now far from being considered ‘spam’, for many there is still hesitation around emailing too often and ‘bothering’ people. The reality now is that your database has opted in – they want to hear from you.

We believe that the right email frequency for your business depends on your customers’ buying cycles. If, for example, you are selling luxury cars you will know that your customers are only likely to buy a new car every 3 to 5 years, at most. In this case a monthly email would suffice with perhaps some trigger-based emails after key milestones, i.e. a month after they have bought their car, when it’s due for a service, or with an upsell offer, like a towbar if you know their vehicle doesn’t have one.  If you were selling a product which gets used up often, you would increase the frequency, to suit.

Spike’s own retail clients get more than 70% of their sales from repeat customers and achieve huge returns on the investment they make in email marketing.

As a parting thought, I would urge you not to undervalue your database. And if you haven’t started gathering a database, it’s never too late – 94% of adults online have an email address, as well as 73% of 12 – 17 year olds, the buyers of the future. Either way, you are missing out if you’re not emailing.

Originally published in the June 2013 edition of New Zealand Retail Magazine