One of the core aspirations of any business is to create brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is the quality through which a business retains its customers by fostering a sense of devoted following in them. Increasing brand awareness and loyalty forms a key stage in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) practices followed by businesses.
It is said that 65% of an organization’s business is generated through its existing and loyal customers. That is a statistic which makes an emphatic case to highlight the importance of brand loyalty. To get a new customer can be 5 to 25 times more expensive than to re-engage or retain an existing customer. Repeat customers are spending 30% more on each visit than new buyers and are the source of 3 to 7 times the revenue when compared to first time customers. Any business which boasts of a large segment of loyal customers naturally projects a brand image which reflects reliability and trustworthiness. All this points towards greater efforts to be made by businesses in developing a well formulated customer loyalty program.
For customers to show brand loyalty, they need to be content and happy. In others words, brands first need to achieve customer satisfaction. The relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty was decided by a study by Harvard Business School. It said that customer loyalty or brand loyalty is preceded by customer satisfaction. In other words, customer satisfaction leads to brand loyalty.
Options available for businesses in building brand loyalty are varied and manifold. Among them what has been found out to be among the most effective methods is to develop brand awareness and loyalty through email marketing. A robust email marketing channel is a sure shot method in the world of digital marketing of products and services.
Here are a few facts and figures which show the enormous power of email marketing:
Email automation is the procedure of sending a business or commercial message en masse. Through this step, you can reach out to the entire group of subscribers (existing and prospective clients) on your entire mailing list in one go.
Modus operandi of building brand awareness and loyalty involves several diverse procedures which have proven highly efficient. Let us consider some of them which are most prevalent.
Building brand loyalty among customers can be broken down into two stages:
Initiate email contact with a welcome note and an introductory message. Let the customers know about your brand and its products and services. Make your emails personalized and let them speak to the customers on a one-to-one basis. Take care in how you communicate with your customers here since this step is incidental in the first impression formed in their minds about your brand.
Once you have the customers in your mailing list, help them develop a comfort level by keeping them in your loop. Make it a point to email your customers at any and every development that occurs in relation to your brand. Your messages could be about a product launch or a brand update. Send such emails regularly and often so that it improves your brand recall among the customers. Such informative emails help customers familiarize themselves with your brand and this helps build a trust in the customers’ mind towards your brand.
Once you have communicated to your customers and earned their trust, they are far more attentive towards you. This is the time for you spur them on to participate in special occasions like your sale or seminar or a survey. You need to design your messages in an apt and appropriate manner so that the customers feel encouraged to volunteer and participate in your activities.
These steps act as the foundation for your endeavors towards building greater brand loyalty.
After the customers are firmly a part of your email list, you can send them emails to show your gratitude for a purchase they made or an online order they placed. It is desirable that such messages are immediate and show genuine gratefulness. Such a gesture can give a sense of belonging to the customers with your brand and strengthens brand awareness and loyalty. Along with such a message, you could also consider offering the customers a discount on their future purchases or free products.
Customers like to be shown that they are remembered and wanted. Your brand could offer them benefits on purchases made on days which are memorable to them – like their birthdays and anniversary. You could get innovative and find more such “special days” which mean something important to your customers. Such measures augment a sense of kinship among the customers in relation to the brand and strengthen brand loyalty.
You could opt to show recognition of your valued and loyal customers by rewarding them with incentives. You could set up a points system through which the customers could accumulate points with every purchase and once they have scored a certain number of points, there could be a pay-off in the form of a huge discount or a special offer. This is a great way of taking care of customer retention and it also foments brand loyalty. You could be aided in this if you conduct a study of the nature of bonus offers that have met with better response and announce your perks befittingly.
Your email list could have a segment for privileged customers who are classified as “VIP”. They are special customers who enjoy exclusive benefits and perks from the brand. Emails are sent to them about invites to specific events, important product launches or exceptional sale offers. These are members of your email marketing channel who are earmarked for preferential treatment. They are customers who act as glowing advertisement for your brand loyalty.
These special customers are bound to have a greater affection and affiliation with you and have long term brand loyalty. They are sure to be delighted to be recognized as the brand’s esteemed supporters.
A great testimony of brand loyalty is when a customer becomes a spokesperson for the brand. Customers could then suggest and recommend the brand to their friends, associates and relatives and encourage them to purchase products of the brand. Such referral programs could be initiated through an email campaign. And it could also result in more email ids getting added to the email marketing channel with the addition of new customers. You could reward the existing customers suitably for every new customer that has been added to your email marketing channel through their reference.
Though emails are several decades old as a communication tool, they have gained greater traction with the use of mobiles. According to an estimate, people check their emails at a much greater frequency with their mobiles than they did earlier.
It is imperative that email marketing takes this development into consideration when formulating and composing email content. Emails now need to be visually well designed to suit how they appear across a range of devices: laptops, tabs and mobiles.
Emails are one of the most convenient forms of one-to-one communication. Emails are the go-to mode of communication for people of all generations. You can tailor an email to reach specific set of customers by designing it with an apt headline and nature of the content. You can have a better idea of how your emails impact the subscribers and achieve the marketing aims. Besides, reach of marketing through emails in unparalleled.
Brand loyalty and email marketing form a great pair. The advantages of email communication supplement the needs and demands of brand loyalty to splendid effect. Brand loyalty involves engaging and retaining existing customers at all times and to achieve that, email marketing is the perfect foil.