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If relevant, the simple email is the ultimate killer app

Email - the center of all cummunication

So what is the future of the humble email? Email lies in the center of all communication, be it a notification from a social channel, a confirmation of a purchase, a trigger based on behavior in-store / on the web, a newsletter, a bill or a statement. As companies continue to use the medium to communicate in some way or other, it’s time that a bit of thought is put into that bulk email that arrives in a customer’s inbox.

Email has progressed – we are now email consumers on the move – we are completely connected. This poses a two-fold problem – on one hand we sometimes feel the burden of information overload yet on the other hand, without the email to remind us to take action; it’s either deemed not important enough to us or we’ll forget to take advantage of that great sale, go online to view a bill or get that splendid room rate.

An inbox is prime real-estate, which is often over-run with irrelevant messages and spam. We should therefore make it easy for our customers to receive and consume the information we want them to have (and share).

How should companies be maximizing this killer app then?

Be relevant! Here are just a few basic ideas.

  • The must-have info:
    • A bill or statement. Make it easier for a customer to get their information. Don’t expect them to go through the 17 clicks to view it on a portal.
    • Sales and discounts. This email shouldn’t be cluttered with other information – your customers only care about the sale – give them what they want.
  • Email triggers:
    • Once a transaction is complete. This is the email that people wait for and it should be used to cross-sell services
    • Following their behavior either in-store or online. Acknowledge a customer’s behavior (e.g. you shopped in-store today. It was so great to see you. We see you didn’t purchase…) or cement the relationship based on behavior (e.g. you seemed interested in our policies online – here’s some more info to make it easier for you)
    • Abandoned carts. Remind a customer that they didn’t finish a transaction and you could be surprised as to how many come back to purchase.
  • Lifecycle messaging (messages that are triggered according to the lifecycle each customer has with the company):
    • Welcome (as a customer and to email messaging)
    • Birthday messages (if relevant and not cost-prohibitive, include a coupon)
    • Acknowledgement of tenure (you’ve been a customer for 5 years, thanks!)
    • Contract renewals and end of contract acknowledgments
    • Policy documentation

Email serves many purposes and the success of an email communication program relies on relevancy.

Are you relevant enough to be noticed in that essential communication tool – the inbox?

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