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E-Mail marketing: calling for creativity

Last week I discussed how to measure emailmarketing activities. I believe measuring is the first step to improvement. We need to measure the current state, change something, and measure again while asking ourselves: what does this do with my conversion? With my registers? With my number of visitors? etc. Once installed we can start being creative! I will start with the registration process. How can we make more of this process?

Too often I see the following process:

And even now, most of the time the process stops at the “Thank you! page”, so no e-mail is being send to the customer with a confirmation link.

Double opt-in or not?

First of all I believe it’s always best to have a double opt-in process in which the customer should give permission for a second time. This seems like a barrier to some, but remember: what is the goal? Having as much people possible signing up for the newsletter, or signing up as many people possible who are actually serious about the newsletter? I thought so, the latter of course. So in this case a double opt-in is also a check whether you are really emailing people who are actually interested in the newsletter.

Confirmed, and then?

Further, when looking at the process above, I miss an action point. The customer is being directed to a confirmation page. Based on whatever you already know from this customer, direct him to a relevant page, a page where he can buy/read/do something. For example: if you already know the preferences (as you may have asked this in the registration process) direct him/her to a page corresponding to his/her interests. If you don’t know anything, make sure to direct to a homepage.

If that’s the process, where’s the creativity?

The creativity is mainly in the process around this basic process. For example: why not making the registration process a welcoming campaign? Why not extending the process by sending the customer an e-mail that says: Dear customer, thank you for signing up for our newsletter. As a thank you you receive a 10% discount when using this email.” Or just “as a thank you we selected the following products that you might find interesting”. This all makes sure that the customer is being directed to the website again. You can also send the customer the latest newsletter.

We can even be more creative. For example in the hotel industry customers usually sign up for the newsletters in the registration process (while wanting to book a room). In that case send out an email to the person that just booked with the following text:

Dear Mr. Takkenberg,

Thank you for booking at our hotel in Amsterdam. While you are in Amsterdam from 1 to 10 July you can do the following things: Theatre, music, etc.

So you can inform the customer of the things that can be done in the city that they are going to, during their stay.

These are just some examples, but learn to play with the signing up process and feel how you can help the customer even better at that point already. Do not make him wait for the next newsletter on Thursday. Involve the customer directly: now is the time!