Traditional corporations and companies have CRM or email marketing departments with elaborate email campaign calendars and schedules. New companies can muster up a newsletter, and maybe some site generated welcome messages. Web 2.0 companies – I’m glibly calling them – seem to randomly take one or two campaigns out of the hat with no cohesive plan.
My favorite whipping boy is MyShape (still waiting for call) a personal shopping service. They are ripe to easily tailor their emails, but instead, periodically send generic promotions. YouTube doesn’t seem to email market at all, as far as I can tel. Yelp does a generic newsletter and a nice system message of “you have a compliment.” One client of mine could only wrap their mind around newsletters. I brought up various other campaigns and they started to get excited about it, but then kept drifting back to the main newsletter idea over and over again.
So what is it about these new companies and their inability to be revolutionary, or even au courant, in email marketing? I would devise this simple calendar and set of programs for any fledgling company, especially if it is a web 2.0 company. The point of this package is to educate and engender loyalty in the early interactions that the customer has with your site. Oh, and an order would be nice.
1. Welcome Email- immediately sent up on registration on the site
Work with the engineers of your site to get this triggered automatically upon registration. The timeliness of this is very important. Include a basic offer if you want, but don’t overpitch.
2. Introductory education email
This contains content on how to access site, a good starter product. This is sent a few days after registration. If too salesy may get high unsubscribes so tone it down.
3. A weekly email to “week 1/2 old” new customers or registrants. It is split into two sections:
a) if purchase, email a “thank you” and offer on another product (ok if already bought product)
b) if has not purchased, offer discount
4. Transactional and functional email
Based on the core of your business, figure out some interaction unique to your site that you can use to communicate with your company. MyShape could send an email when a user enters in their measurements, or new inventory comes in that matches their shape. Yelp could post that there are new businesses in the user’s neighborhood. YouTube could notify the user on how many views they have received, or similar tagged videos.
The design of this package of programs is to focus on the early life of the customer. Studies show that all activity with new people come within first three months. Instead of working on generic newsletters, instead grab new members and put your efforts into those introductions, education, and early upsell opportunities.
1. Welcome Email
Logic: 0-3 hours from registration
Content: Simple welcome message with opt preference, and zip code offer for regional promotions
Data required: email address, date and time of registration
Note: This will be a different from address from the rest of the emails- rarely is an email vendor able to do this kind of campaign, and you will doubtless want to use the web application hosting your product to do the instantaneous email send.
2. Introductory Email
Logic: recent registrants, anywhere from 2-5 days.
Content: Don’t layer on the promotions, this is mainly educational, a “how-to” use your product and services.
Data required: date of registration, email address
3. Week Later Email
Logic: Anywhere from 7-11 days, 2 segments, has or has not purchased
Content: Thank you to purchasers, with cross-sell; Discount on popular introductory product on other segment
Data Required: Date of registration, email address, has/has not purchased flag
4. Transactional/Functional Email
Logic: Some activity unique to business. For Yelp, they send out this site based email the moment another user has posted a compliment on one of your reviews.
Content: Notice unique, personalized activity and notify or promote similar services
Data Required: has/has not done certain activity (may relate to content or serve user-built content). Using the Yelp example, has/has not received compliment, date of compliment.