Today’s guest post comes from Hanna Andrezjewska, Communication & Marketing Specialist at GetResponse

These days, a successful marketing strategy needs to address more than just acquiring new customers and driving awareness. Every acquisition effort needs to be followed by a campaign to build a lasting relationship with an audience—a relationship that will result in increased customer loyalty, retention, and lifetime value.

Email marketing is still one of the best channels to drive customer loyalty and, paired with retargeting campaigns, can be one of the most powerful tools to deliver sales objectives. Email campaigns are relatively simple to manage and, thanks to modern technology, can be targeted, personalized, and responsive. On average, B2B marketers spend 22% of their budget on email*. It’s no wonder when it’s one of the highest performing channels from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective.

Here are a few ideas to boost customer engagement and loyalty with email marketing:

Deliver valuable content

Content-rich, relevant marketing can start with an online ad. By offering access to interesting resources (videos, tips, guides, etc.), an advertiser can boost brand engagement and leave a strong first impression. From there, they can further develop their brand image with targeted, customer-oriented email campaigns.

Follow up instantly

Building a loyal community is a long-term process. However, immediate response to customer interest is a necessity. Luckily, modern email technology enables automation of regular communication, starting with a welcome message immediately following first contact. According to DMA research, welcome emails are very effective—53% of marketers agree that welcome messages best help them achieve their business goals.

Respond to customer needs

Much like retargeting, modern email marketing seeks to deliver the right offer to the right people at the right time. Email automation tools can deliver messages selectively to customers who open a particular email, click a certain link, or even perform a certain action online (such as completing a purchase or not). Abandoned cart emails substantially increase transaction rates and revenue compared to standard email campaigns. Failing to match your subscribers’ needs will result in brand abandonment.

Drive loyalty with customized offers

Content is king. But, if it’s not relevant, content can do more harm than good. That’s why segmentation and customization are essential elements of an effective email campaign.

Increase personalized communication

It gets easier and easier to create an individualized approach mimicking 1-to-1 communications— such as birthday emails and messages triggered by a change in your contact’s online profile. The key is to collect detailed and accurate information about each subscriber such as: gender, date of birth, geo-location, preference, etc.

Use more than one channel of communication

Maintaining a dialogue with a heterogeneous audience requires a smart juggling between media channels—from online ads to email lists, from newsletter to FB fan pages, from fan pages to blog, etc. Cross-channel marketing needs to become part of your daily routine.

Integrating email marketing with retargeting is the key to creating successful multi-channel campaigns that can reach and engage a heterogeneous online community, drive long-term relationships, and increase your revenues.

*Source: DMA National Client Email Report 2013

About the author:

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Hanna is the communication and marketing expert for GetResponse, responsible for the brand’s content marketing strategy. As a blogger, editor, and copywriter, she’s always on the lookout for new industry trends, innovation and inspiration.