Tips to expand your customer base in 2013!

With Social Media and Mobile Marketing being having made their mark big time all the way through 2012, the noise of crowds claiming email marketing is dead is thundering louder than ever. But the fact that 77% of us want to receive marketing messages via emails comes as a relief in times of such frenzy. (Source: Mass Transit)

Organizations now rely heavily on Digital Marketing for sustaining their business. New customer acquisition being the most critical element in sustaining one’s business, today marketers are deploying all possible means to increase and expedite this process. Keeping in mind our learning from email campaigns throughout 2012, we at netCORE have come up with the following tips to expand your customer base in 2013.

1. Change your focus from sales-based to education-based.
Most marketers today see email campaigns as just another addition to their sales infrastructure where they display their products and provide a Call-to-Action for the recipient to make the purchase. While this isn’t entirely false, what they fail to understand is that even while they have put their best of offers and discounts forth, customers are essentially being bombarded with the sales pitches on a continual basis. As your emails becomes monotonous your customers eventually get bored and chances are that they won’t be as regular as at opening your emails as they used to be a few months back.

Keeping this in mind marketers need to communicate with their customers and prospects on topics other than sales – value adding content, useful information about a topic or problem or simply the best practices a person should adhere to while opting for a service/product (which is offered by their organization).

Providing useful content in your area of expertise will establish your organization as a thought leader within the respective industry vertical. This will entice customers into opening your emails, thus driving more traffic to your website as well as your or social media profiles. Providing links to your social media platforms through such emails, gives your customers a chance to interact and respond with you. This in turn increases engagement, thus inducing brand recall.

2. Ride the mobile wave.
The widespread development and acceptance of smart phones and tablets has resulted in people accessing their emails on the move as opposed to the standard office desktop or a laptop. 36% emails are opened on a mobile device. People are now carrying their emails wherever they go and engage with them at their will, throughout the day. This presents marketers across the globe with a brilliant opportunity to target prospects, delivering more time sensitive offers (i.e., movie tickets around weekends, restaurant vouchers prior to lunch or offers on favorite clothes/accessories during festive season).

3. Keep your emails light.
Extensive multi-column email layouts will give the best visual appeal when seen on a desktop or a laptop, but the same email won’t render as good on a smart phone. For success in the mobile device arena, the single column format is still the best. Given the elaborate features of a smart phone, marketers see the most success with layouts that are simple yet sophisticated – without much jazz – and those where the call to action is visible within the first scroll itself.

4. More focus on segmented and targeted marketing.
Marketers have learned that the ‘one size fits all’ mentality no longer reaps fruits, at least not with email marketing. 2013 will see more organizations move away from mass mailing and concentrate on smaller, customer behavior based email campaigns.

Marketers should collect customer data beyond the standard contact information. They should strive to collect customers’ interests so that they can conduct better segmentation and deliver content that is much more engaging, relevant and personalized to each recipient.

5. Use email to publicize social media presence.
2013 will be the year when marketers will discover that email is the key element in driving social media marketing results. The simplest means of increasing your website traffic is by linking driving more and more users to your social media platforms through your email campaigns. This will assure that you social media presence is visited by a much wider audience – one that has already opted to receive emails from you.

6. Get bolder when it comes to asking email addresses.
Email sign up forms are majorly restricted to the home page or in some page in the website that takes more than 3-4 clicks to be seen. This approach won’t get you many new customers.

Marketers must express their intention of wanting email addresses much boldly. This can be done by adding pop-up email signups on landing pages or even placing email signup forms (or links to them) on your social media platforms. Using tablets at events, conferences and trade shows is another interesting way of encouraging prospects to submit their email addresses.

7. Permission marketing still takes the cake.
With Anti-Spam laws getting implemented and observed across the globe and with major mail service providers (Google, Hotmail and Yahoo) tweaking their spam algorithms by the hour, in 2013, if you’re not seeking permission to send emails to your prospects, your marketing efforts will certainly go down the drain (even worse – the Spam folder).

Once you have their explicit permission, ensure that your recipients recognize your brand and the emails coming from you. Feel obligated that you have their permission and hence ascertain that you do not abuse it under any circumstance. Always send them the content they want (based on deep study of customer history or adherence to preferences stated while providing permission to you) and that will make them come back to you for more.

Jan, 16, 2013

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