Can personalised email campaigns work as a loyalty-generating tool? The Risks and Rewards Revealed
The most powerful tool for marketing, branding, and for building customer relationships turns out to be plain old, ordinary email (Sterne and Priore, 2000). The appeal of email communication is cost effectiveness and time efficiency. More and more companies turn to email thus, the search to understand the process through which email campaigns influence consumers’ attitudes and behaviour becomes important (Oxford College of Marketing Blog, 2018). Wreden (1999, p3) described email marketing as the ‘Internet’s killer application’ because of the precision with which email can be tailored, targeted and tracked.
Email campaigns done well
Charlesworth (2009) states to produce a satisfactory email campaign it is important to follow seven stages:
1, determine the objectives of the campaign
2, develop the mailing list
3, develop the content
4, develop the landing page
5, test the content
6, test the technology
7, send the emails and measure the results obtained
Understanding what needs to be achieved by email marketing is vital, these will be the objectives that align marketing and sales. An example of an objective can be generating loyalty; Sending regular messages to your customers is a way of keeping in touch with them so they don’t forget you (Cross-Channel Marketing Tool, 2018)
Developing is a clean mailing list is vital and here is why:
Overtime, email lists can become cluttered and full of dirty data, which can result in some serious consequences such as reduced deliverability, spam-flagging and wasted time and effort from the marketer’s part and more seriously, the brand reputation can be compromised (De Wulf and Vergult, 1998). According to Godin (1999), when consumers agree to provide information and receive commercial solicitations, marketing can become more personalised and more efficient. In the data driven economy is undoubtedly the engine of growth and the driver of value in this information age. It is therefore crucial that brand strategists, futurologists and government regulators keep up to date with fast changing attitudes to privacy.
Here are resources on best practices on clean data;
When inserting links to the landing page, there is software that reports how many times those links were accessed. The main advantages of including links in the sent message are, on one hand the increase of traffic on the website, as well as the registered persons. The electronic message should be developed starting from the current positioning of the organisation (including its products / services / brands) and to materialise intro an attractive offer for potential consumers and strengthen the existing customer base, with exciting new news features or a friendly check in (Vegheş, 2003)
The final step Charlesworth (2009) states is to measure an email, this can be achieved using analytics. An advantage to using this channel of communication is results of an email marketing campaign can be easily measured using paid or free software, which generate reports based on the number of emails opened by the recipients.
The disadvantage of depending on open rate as the open rate is unable to provide any information beyond that the email was opened. It does not shed any light on what the recipient did after the email was opened. Did they click off the email immediately when they read the header? How much of the email did they read? The open rate tells you only how well people have responded to a combination of your subject line, and your company’s name, which is in the ‘from’ field. Therefore, there is no defined way to measure content in the email. (Blog, 2018)
Here are some great resources on how to effectively email marketing:
Evaluating the risks using journal articles to add a critical, academic perspective
Research undertaken shown in table 1, illustrates how email marketing (direct mail and email) from 1990-2000 performed to generate customer loyalty. Peppers and Rodgers (2000, p 4), claim that ‘clear benefits, including high response rates and low costs are rapidly turning email marketing into an invaluable tool’. As we established in the last post, email marketing has been growing rapidly since as a number one tool for companies to use (Chittenden & Rettie, 2002).
However, the use of email marketing can only be effective dependant on the targeting, the message, and the receptivity of the recipient. Briggs and Stipp (2000) have argued that the ‘lean-forward’ nature of the Internet increases involvement in streamed Internet advertising, this is a great alternative for a business without a targeted contact list, as email campaigns which are unwanted, untargeted and therefore negatively perceived are considered spam (Mehta and Sividas,1995).
There is a compelling argument to use email campaign exists as we established previously here. The challenges occur when using this channel to generate loyalty, measured through effectiveness.
Here are some links of how to measure effectiveness of email campaigns as a loyalty generating tool:
A further concern for businesses is privacy, trust and attitude toward a company influence consumers’ intention to interact (Chelappa and Pavlou, 2002; Belanger et al., 2002; Eastlick et al., 2006). Consumers that have not being nurture or targeted may consider emails as spam, Turban et al, (2000, p360) define spam ‘as the practice of indiscriminate distribution of messages without permission of the receiver and without consideration for the messages’ appropriateness.’ It is therefore not considered good practice to send unwanted emails to those who have not asked for them.
What is important to know?
It’s important to know what else is competing with email campaigns; such variables include blogging, social media and viral marketing.
A study by Journal of advertising research highlights an alternative to email campaigns mass media advertising, in other words going viral. Rogers (1995) states mass media channels are relatively more important for learning about a brand, whereas interpersonal communication is especially important for persuasion.
Thus, consumers communicating via email may persuade more readily than mass media advertising. Given other evidence, this is not surprising. A number of studies (e.g. Price and Feick, 1984; Udell, 1966) have endorsed the influence of interpersonal contacts on choices (Amdt, 1967). However, depending on the objectives of the marketing activity, it is important to understand what is trying to be achieved; this can range from brand awareness to customer loyalty generation
Forbes (2018) argue it’s important to use a clear subject line that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email, content that describes what benefit you are providing and creates an immediate emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc.), and then provide an enticing call to action to drive to a landing page where the offer or content lives.
Its’s important to take away the advantages of using this channel of marketing however, equally vital to weight up the disadvantages, here is a previous blog that has focused on staying competitive and raising above the clutter when it comes to email marketing; http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/hindswords/2017/11/23/hindadamou/
Here are some resources on what’s important to know for a successful email campaign;
To end, here are the best email campaigns out there that generate customer loyalty;
& thats a wrap! Happy campaigning!
Blog, T. (2018). Is Email Open Rate a Good Measure of Marketing Success?. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/customers/bid/109608/is-email-open-rate-a-good-measure-of-marketing-success
Briggs, R., Stipp H.(2000), “How Internet Advertising Works: New Evidence and Directions for Future Study”,Esomar Pre-Congress Workshop.
Charlesworth, A., Internet Marketing – A practical approach (2009) Elsevier, Oxford, ISBN 978- 0-7506-8684-6
Chittenden, L. & Rettie, R. (2002) “An Evaluation of Email Marketing and Factors Affecting Response.” Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing. Vol 11, Issue 3. pp. 90-95
Cross-Channel Marketing Tool. (2018). 6 objectives that you can achieve with Email Marketing – MDirector.com. [online] Available at: https://www.mdirector.com/en/email-marketing-en/6-objectives-that-you-can-achieve-with-email-marketing.html
DeWulf, C. Vergult., 1998. Antecedents and Consequences of Irritation and Attitude towards Direct Mail in Consumer Markets, Direct Mark Ed’ Conf, San Francisco
Dma.org.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: https://dma.org.uk/uploads/ckeditor/Data-privacy-2015-what-consumers-really-thinks_final.pdf
Forbes. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/05/07/tips-for-a-successful-email-campaign/#316cf8c4326d
Mehta, R. and Sivadas, E. (1995), “Direct Marketing on the Internet: An Empirical Assessment of Consumer Attitudes”, Journal of Direct Marketing, v.9, n.3, p. 21 -31.
Niall, J. (2000), The Email Marketing Dialogue, Forrester, Cambridge, M.A.
Oxford College of Marketing Blog. (2018). Understand The Customer’s Buying Behaviour | Oxford College of Marketing Blog. [online] Available at: https://blog.oxfordcollegeofmarketing.com/2014/11/27/why-its-important-to-understand-the-customers-buying-behaviour/
Phelps, J.E., Lewis, R., Mobilio, L., Perry, D. and Raman, N., 2004. Viral marketing or electronic word-of-mouth advertising: Examining consumer responses and motivations to pass along email. Journal of advertising research, 44(4), pp.333-348.
Peppers, D. and Rogers, M. (2000),Email Marketing Maximized, Peppers,Stamford, C.A.
ROGERS, EVERETT M. Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. New York; The Free Press, 1995.
Roberts, M.L. and Berger, P.D. (1989), Direct Marketing Management , Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.
Rask, M. and Dholakia, N. (2000), “Next to the Customer’s Heart and Wallet: Frameworks for Exploring the Emerging M-commerce Arena”, working paper. Available at [HREF6]
Sterne, J. and Priore, A. (2000). Email marketing. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Simon and Schuster, Godin, 1999. Permission marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers
Turban, E., Lee, J., King, D. and Chung, H M. (2000), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, N.Y.
Wreden, N. (1999), “Mapping the Frontiers on Email Marketing”, Harvard Management Communication Letter , 9 January.
Yeshin, T. (1998), Integrated Marketing Communications, Butterworth-Heinemann,Oxford,U.K.