Some interesting facts:
- Among online brands, the competition to gain users’ attention is becoming fiercer by the day.
- Between 2021 and 2025, the number of daily email users is expected to climb from 4 billion to 4.6 billion.
- The average email user receives hundreds of emails per day (121 according to Campaign Monitor).
- If done right, email marketing can generate a huge ROI of $42 for every $1 spent, plus a 760% increase in revenue if campaigns are properly segmented and personalized.
What conclusions can you draw from these facts?
- Cyberspace is crowded.
- For millions of people, email remains a key communication medium, despite the rise of other media such as social media and messaging apps.
- Email provides an effective and personalized way for brands to connect with their audience.
This article is all about #3.
Email marketing is a great way for brands to build lasting relationships with potential and existing customers and garner their loyalty. In fact, email marketing is the key driver of relationship marketing.
Follow along to uncover the secrets of relationship marketing with email and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC)!
What is Relationship Marketing in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
Relationship marketing is a customer-centric strategy where brands focus less on selling and more on building close, long-term customer relationships that consistently generate beneficial outcomes – both for the brand and its customers.
Thus, the aim of relationship marketing is not just customer acquisition, but also customer retention and customer satisfaction. This is an important distinction between traditional marketing and relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing recognizes and acknowledges that it’s far harder to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one:
- The cost of customer acquisition can be about 7X higher as the cost of customer retention.
- You are 60-70% more likely to successfully sell to an existing customer, and just 5-20% likely to sell to a new customer.
Further, 95% of customers say that brand trust is an important driver of brand loyalty. And to garner this trust and loyalty, you need to invest in relationship marketing. Here’s where email and SFMC come in.
Now that we have clarified the meaning and importance of relationship marketing, let’s take a look at some strategies to help you set up a well-functioning relationship marketing program with SFMC.
And as we have seen above, building strong customer relationships starts with…
What: Knowing and Understanding Customers
How: Map Customer Journeys with Journey Builder
It’s impossible to forge a relationship with customers if you don’t know them.
Who are they?
Where do they live?
What do they do?
What do they prefer/like/dislike?
What are their needs and aspirations?
How can your brand meet their needs?
And how can you communicate to them that you can meet their needs?
The answer to the last question is obvious – through email marketing!
As to the other questions, the answers lie in getting to know your customers and making an effort to understand them. And this starts with mapping their customer journey. By visually mapping every interaction they may have with your brand, you can gain valuable insights about them, leverage this data to improve your email marketing, and thus build a relationship with them over time.
SFMC Journey Builder is a powerful tool to build holistic, multi-channel customer journeys and engage with them throughout the journey with personalized, two-way campaigns. With Journey Builder, you can also:
- Set up automated email campaigns for each stage of a customer’s journey
- Design tailored messaging and personalized interactions
- Understand where customers interact with the brand and take action to improve customer experiences through hyper-targeted email marketing
All in all, Journey Builder can help you build relationships with customers via email marketing from a very early stage in their journey.
What: Impress and Delight Customers with Awesome Email Messaging
How: Create Valuable, High-quality, Personalized Content with Email Studio and Content Builder
SFMC provides many powerful tools to power up your email marketing content. For instance, with Email Studio, you can design and send all kinds of targeted email marketing campaigns.
You can start with welcome emails.
Banfield starts off every new customer relationship on the right foot. This welcome email is cute, informative, and includes an attractive discount – all great ways to attract a subscriber’s attention, and open their hearts and minds to an ongoing relationship.
And then nurture your budding relationships with regular and personalized:
- Special occasion emails
- Engagement emails
- Notifications for sales and special offers
- Personalized monthly newsletters
- Holiday greetings
- Cart abandonment emails
This automated abandoned cart email from Pacsun is a great way to touch base with subscribers and show them, “Hey, we miss you!” Result: it boosts conversions and keeps subscribers coming back.
Take advantage of all the features that come with Email Studio, including:
- Templates and content blocks to quickly create and personalize content
- Profile and preference attributes to track subscriber information and tweak your personalization strategies
- Communications and data processes to build and support ongoing relationships
- A/B testing to test different email versions and send the version with the highest chances of opens and clicks
You can even track how each email campaign performs to understand whether you’re on track with your relationship-building goals.
Content Builder is another awesome tool in SFMC to help you nurture customer relationships through email and email content. Consolidate all your email resources in one location, and use them to create professional, responsive emails.
Use readymade content blocks to create mobile-friendly, responsive templates, and reuse these templates with different relationship marketing campaigns. Not only will you save time, you will also impress subscribers with the quality of your email design and copy.
You can also create hyper-personalized emails with dynamic content to win the competition for the inbox , build meaningful subscriber relationships, and even create loyal superfans.
You can even add personalized videos to templates to increase click-throughs by 200-300% and retention rates by 35%.
Adding a video to its onboarding email enables Vimeo to delight new users and set the stage for a strong ongoing relationship.
What: Make Customers Feel Seen and Heard
How: Create Targeted Subscriber Segments
If you send out generic messaging to every subscriber, they will know. And they will get mad. But if you send out personalized messaging that’s targeted to a particular segment – or even better, hyper-targeted to a particular sub-segment – they will know. And they will love it!
A one-to-one relationship with customers requires that you connect with them on a one-to-one basis. This requires segmentation, which is easy with SFMC and Email Studio.
Segmentation is crucial because people tend to ignore non-personalized commercial emails but respond better to personalized emails containing information that’s relevant to them. This includes information like:
- Their first name in the subject line or greeting
SFMC really walks the talk on personalization with this email that addresses the subscriber by name, and uses warm, second-person language to connect, engage, and convert.
- A birthday or anniversary wish with a free gift
Fitbit’s birthday email is not about selling its smart fitness tracker, but about making the subscriber feel special on their birthday, and encouraging them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. And who wouldn’t want to engage with a brand that cares about their health?!
- A special offer rewarding them for their loyalty
This loyalty email from Fitbit is “salesy”. However, it puts the offer front and center, clearly showing the brand’s intent to reward the subscriber for their loyalty.
- Attractive discounts based on their shopping habits or preferences
This email from Target catches a subscriber as soon as they abandon their shopping experience. With tailored “price alert” messaging, it attracts a user and shows them that the brand cares enough about their needs to stay in touch.
SFMC offers a rich data model, powerful insights, and user-friendly tools to help you segment your audience. For example, you can create data filters or SQL queries in Email Studio, identify relevant criteria to segment your subscribers, and then target each segment with the right message at the right time. You can also leverage SFMC’s Einstein AI features like predictive scoring to connect with audiences based on what they will do next.
The better segments you create, the more targeted your emails, and the stronger your customer relationships. And for this – SFMC is your friend.
A Final Word
In a world where people are busy, overwhelmed with information, and stingy with their loyalty, it’s hard for brands to build, nurture, and grow customer relationships. But the effort is definitely worth it! Fortunately, you have powerful technology and techniques at your disposal to do just that – Salesforce Marketing Cloud and email marketing.
We hope you found these strategies useful. For more advice on how to maintain strong customer relationships through email and SFMC, talk to the experts at Email Uplers.