When The 'R' In CRM Stands For Resends And Reminders
Convenience is the number-one reason consumers shop online; and consumers' inboxes fill quickly with multitudes of offers from their various mailing list subscriptions, plus some they never asked for. In addition, on some days the offers they want to see go into their bulk folders. So what could be more convenient for a customer than a company that understands that maybe their campaign got lost in the noise, or arrived at a bad time, and plans on giving their customers second or even a third chance at viewing the campaign and taking advantage of a great offer?
One of the things we have learned in following the email executions of hundreds of companies is that too many of them give up on their campaigns far too early in the process. Companies that "stick with it" tend to squeeze far more value out of each campaign they execute, build better relationships with their customers, and reap the rewards of increased sales and higher ROI.
What exactly does a resend and reminder strategy look like?
Companies that stick with their email campaigns typically take the following steps to optimize performance:
1. They identify people who did not open the campaign the first time and resend the campaign to them with a different subject line. From what we have observed, and contrary to popular opinion, customers do not find this annoying. How do we know? Complaint and unsubscribe rates do not increase. Some of the companies we follow even resend campaigns a third and a fourth time to non-openers with different subject lines, and with each send see significant incremental sales that produce positive ROI.
2. When people open the email campaign and do not click, these companies send them an extended offer. For example, a company sends a promotion of 20% off a cookbook. The person opened showing an interest in cookbooks, but did not click, showing no interest in that specific cookbook. A follow up message offering 20% off four additional cookbooks to that group of opener/non-clickers leads to more sales and positive ROI. Keep in mind that this follow up campaign also can be sent multiple times to non-openers with different subject lines.
3. The third subset of people who are valuable to follow up with are those who open and click but do not complete the purchase. Sending a reminder to this group of people a few minutes after they leave the website is very valuable. The reminder should include current promotions, but should not contain upgraded promotions. Something as simple as "Don't forget we are offering free shipping this week - ending on Friday," can have a strong impact on sending people back to the website where they complete a transaction.
How great are the rewards companies are seeing from using this strategy?
- Resending email campaigns to non-openers two additional times with different subject lines can increase the open rate as much as 50% without any decrease in the ongoing click-to-open rate.
- Increasing the breadth of an offer to people who opened the initial campaign, but didn't click, can directly increase sales by as much as 15%. Again this is inclusive of sending the resend multiple times to non-openers.
- Sending simple reminders to people who opened and clicked, but did not buy, can increase direct sales between 8% and 12%.
When you put all of this together, you can increase the sales for many of your campaigns by as much as 50%, much of it going directly to ROI.
Don't think this strategy only works for ecommerce or catalog companies, either! We have seen tremendous success when publishers use this approach to selling subscriptions, and even when not-for-profit companies campaign for donations.
Remember that when you move on from one campaign to the next, without really optimizing the results of the initial campaign, you are both increasing your expenses and leaving lots of revenue on the table. Not only that, but you're not paying attention to the needs of your customers and giving them multiple opportunities to convert.
Resends and reminders help put the "R" back in CRM by doing exactly what your customers want: an added level of convenience and a sense that the marketer is sensitive to their needs.