Are you spending enough time on how to keep your customers coming back for more? A reliable, cost-effective and relatively straightforward way to do that is via your email marketing campaigns.

Businesses often place a lot of emphasis on acquiring new customers, and for good reason – they are important for growth. However, the customers that keep your business running are the loyal ones.

Did you know that 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition as compared to only 18% that focus on retention?

In this post we discuss ways in which you can boost customer loyalty through email marketing campaigns, but first – let’s go through the basics.

What is customer loyalty?

Customer loyalty, also known as brand loyalty, is when customers return to buy from one company (ideally many times), even when they are not the only option in the market.

A great example here is Apple, a brand who has super fans all over the world. People are known to stand in queues whenever a new iPhone is launched – true brand loyalty!

Even if your loyal customers account for a small part of your audience (perhaps 20%), they are the ones responsible for 80% of your revenue (the 80/20 rule applies here as well).

Let’s look at some statistics about customer loyalty which are likely to surprise you and make you rethink your strategies:

  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers,
  • 56% of customers stay loyal to brands which “get them”,
  • It can cost you up to 5X more to attract new customers, as compared to retailing existing ones,
  • Loyal customers spend 67% more on their favorite brands.

In theory it all looks straightforward, but there are many ways to build loyalty. One great way is email marketing campaigns.

Email is still the most relevant medium when it comes to building relationships with your audience.

Benefits of developing loyalty through email marketing campaigns

Customers aren’t the only ones that benefit from loyalty strategies, your company does too. By focusing on this strategy, you are able to increase your revenue – which is the bottom line for a lot of companies.

Do you know why that is? One reason is because the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas the probability that a new prospect will make a purchase is only 5-20%.

Building loyalty through email marketing campaigns is relatively straightforward and cost-effective. What’s more is that it is very likely to give you a higher ROI when compared to other marketing channels (four times higher).

Moreover, email marketing is an integral part of shaping customers’ experience with your business, and customer experience in turn is integral to developing customer loyalty.

With the right email marketing campaigns, you are able to establish a direct line of communication with your customers, build a relationship, and, finally, boost loyalty.

Once a customer is loyal and gets a consistent experience with your company, they won’t want to go anywhere else.

How can you develop loyalty through email marketing campaigns?

How exactly can you boost loyalty through email marketing campaigns? We have put together a simple list for you to inspire your next campaign.

1. Understand your audience and their customer journeys

The main strength of email marketing campaigns is that they are personal and intimate – except of course when they aren’t, they just end up in the trash folder.

For any marketing initiative to work, the customer needs to be at the center. This is even more true when you are creating email marketing campaigns with the objective to increase customer loyalty. To do this effectively, you need to create a customer persona (before you can start your personalization efforts).

A customer persona is a fictional customer that represents the key traits of your target audience. It is created by making educated estimates and researching your user behavior and web analytics.

Your customer persona can give you key insights into the thought processes of your contacts, and what you can do to incentivize them to come back for a purchase. Moreover, you can use the persona to figure out a customer’s pain points, and where they are on their journey.

The persona is essential because it gives you insight to the content that is valuable to your customers.

2. Tailor email campaigns to customer groups

Segmenting your audience based on their previous purchase patterns and behavior is key when building loyalty. For example, many airline companies work on a points-based system, where the more points the customer has, the more likely they are to advance a tier.

An email campaign with a loyalty program is a great way to engage customers and also encourage them to choose you for their repeat purchase.

When implementing a loyalty program, you need to ensure you communicate clearly all the details of the program, and what customers can expect.

Email marketing example

In the above email, Head Start Shop shows appreciation and clearly communicates how users can earn more points. They can do so by purchasing, referring friends, and also following the company on social media.

This program not only encourages repeat purchases, but is also likely to bring new customers through the “referral” part of the program.

Referral programs are among the most powerful marketing techniques available, with 74% of shoppers identifying referrals as a key factor in purchase decisions. As a result, focusing extra attention on your top referrers is worthwhile because they represent a huge source of new customers.

All in all, the email above is clear and informative, without being overwhelming. It is important to make a loyalty program that makes sense for both the customer and the company. If the customer believes it is not “worth it”, it is not going to work.

Another common mistake that companies may make is that they make the program too complicated. While this may work for some segments, it may not for a lot of companies.

Another great example of a perfectly crafted email campaign for loyalty purposes is that of Starbucks:

Starbucks email marketing

This email is visually appealing and the copy is straight to the point. This email is only a small part of their larger email marketing strategy, but it shows how through loyalty email campaigns like these, Starbucks not only rewards its customers, but also fosters a sense of community.

3. Personalized email campaigns depending on occasion

More than 90% of customers like receiving personalized content from brands. This is because personalization helps customers feel truly valued, helping to form strong emotional connections with your brand.

Because of personalization, customers may look forward to your email, instead of it just becoming “one more” in an already crowded inbox.

You must’ve received these newsletters yourself – it sounds like an obvious idea but not many companies are taking advantage of it.

This email campaign can be for anything from holidays to customers’ birthdays or anniversaries of when they first bought from you. We talked a bit about this and other newsletter ideas in a previous blog post.

Here are some occasions or events that you can send an email campaign for, in order to encourage repeat purchases, and ultimately customer loyalty.

  • Wish your customers “Happy Birthday”, and perhaps offer them a gift or reward (See example below).
  • Celebrate a holiday that is relevant to a specific segment of your audience. For example, a sweet deal for the 4th of July weekend for your American audience, and a gift for your Indian audience on Diwali.
  • Anniversary of when a user joined your mailing list or when they made their first purchase.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to think out of the box!
Voucher email marketing

4. Re-engage your inactive customers

Your inactive members, or those who have only purchased once, are actually some of the most valuable. This is because they are a group of users who are already interested in your product and brand.

That makes it easier to re-engage this group than to spending much more resources on finding new customers through expensive acquisition strategies.

The key is to make your email campaigns valuable to these customers. They might have disengaged because they weren’t happy with one or more aspects of their customer journey with you. They might have simply not come back because being loyal to you wasn’t beneficial to them.

It is your job to remind them why they need to come back and be your loyal customer (ideally ‘till the end of time)!

5. Share your brand updates (or culture) to foster a sense of community

If you bombard the contacts on your email list with promotions and offers, you are likely to be “marked as spam”.

To build a relationship with your customers and show them that you truly care, you should treat them like they are your friend. Something major happens in your life, you would want to tell your close friend, right?

Similarly, you can keep your customers informed of any brand updates. If you are a start-up, you can share your excitement when you have been acquired or received that much needed funding.

You can also send out email campaigns communicating the culture at your company, this could be one introducing a new and important team member or could simply be a “behind the scenes” email of an important event you recently hosted. The opportunities are endless.

This builds customer loyalty and a sense of community. A company that has done this well is Huel, look at their email below.

Huel email marketing campaign

Huel started off as a meal replacement drink, but as the email above says, “there’s more to Huel than you might think”. It is a whole community (they call them “Hueligans” or “Huelers”) and most of them are huge fans of the brand.

Part of their success is definitely due to having a high-quality product, but an even more important part is their investment in marketing – or specifically customer loyalty strategies.

6. Clean your lists for optimum email campaign performance

Imagine this – you do all this hard work and work on a great strategy, concise copy, and beautiful images for your email campaign. Yet, when it is sent out, you see the bounce rate is higher than it should be, the clickthrough rates lower.

If you don’t already maintain email list hygiene, or are not cleaning your lists often enough, use Emailable now.

You can use our Bulk, API or Widget solutions to make sure that you have only good quality contacts on your list. This will help you increase your deliverability and maintain a good sender reputation.

If you are still not convinced, read our post on “How email verification increases your Email Marketing ROI”.

Wrapping up

Building customer loyalty is important for your business, when it comes to increasing revenue and also improving your brand reputation.

A great way to build customer loyalty is through your email marketing campaigns, through which you are able to have a direct line of communication with your customers.

We talked about six key points when it comes to that, and are confident that they will help your next email campaign be a successful one.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us!