Which marketer wouldn’t want to increase customer loyalty? If your aim is to get more repeat purchases and continued subscriptions you are in good company.

Not surprisingly, 45% or more of email marketers have improving customer loyalty defined as an email marketing goal. This is consistently seen in several reports.

Newsletters and content marketing are often used as relationship building tools. By keeping in touch with interesting content and promotions we establish a base level of lead nurturing and to stay top of mind with current customers.

But customer loyalty emails show considerable higher open and click through rates. Enough reasons to try the following 5 email marketing tactics and boost customer loyalty.

Tactic one: Redemption Reminders

Remind customers about their voucher, coupon and points based incentives that aren’t redeemed yet. Especially if it is about to expire this type of email is usually appreciated. The expiration also which gives an extra sense of urgency, it can boost direct sales.

Redemption reminder emails are often used in customer loyalty programs, but they works just as well with sales vouchers or gift coupons. Redemption reminders can be set up as an event driven email, triggered to send automatically as the expiration date comes near.

Tactic two: Early or exclusive deals

Exclusivity intrigues the mind, for fear of missing out can be a very strong motivator. If you are planning to have a big sale try and announce it among the preferred or VIP customers first, or even better make a special deal which is only for your best customers (preferably not extra discount, but a product plus, addition or special edition). They will appreciate it and just like the redemption reminder it is a direct stimulant for additional sales.

Tactic three: Thank-You’s

thank you email marketing customer loyalty

We don’t say thank you often enough. An thank you email for purchase, being a long time subscriber or writing a review, makes sure they know you appreciate them.

You can add extra spice to the email by making it a personal note from an account manager, service center employee or even the CEO. Another way of adding value to a thank you is to add a discount for a future purchase with you.

Although, if the relation is based on charity, contrary to expectations, rewarding contributors cuts donations in most circumstances. A study called “The counterintuitive effects of thank-you gifts on charitable giving”, showed just that effect. It can work, if you reframe the Context. The study also had an experiment where they gave away a nice bag with the charity logo on it and presenting it as a means of furthering the charity’s goals. In this case by increasing awareness and promoting the cause with the bag with logo.

Tactic four: Status and perks

Think about your VIC’s or Very Important Customers. This top 5% of your customer database can account for a large part of the company’s’ revenue. You should think about giving special status to customers who spend significant amount of money with your company.

Gold, platinum or diamond if you like, but it could also mean perks like a visit to your company or customer events or extended free shipping. These tiers can be incorporated in your email marketing program. By using segmented content and crafting a design that reflects the VIP status.

Tactic five: Delighting: Do something extra nice

Doing something extra nice, like sending a great birthday email can create a moment of customer delight. You should check out the birthday email whitepaper. Especially delightful when it is not expected. Customer loyalty is more similar to employee loyalty than you’d think. Get inspiration from these employee newsletter examples, most tactics work to delight customer too. But it can also be an appropriate and personal follow-up or a very targeted event-driven email that causes delight. This does require that all the service and product quality basics are covered, otherwise, a delight email might have quite an opposite effect. Just look for moments to do something extra, or create your own “moments of delight”. They are often appreciated and extra memorable.

Increasing customer loyalty

Current and repeat customers deserve special attention. Try to determine what the loyalty drivers for your audience are. Email marketing can be utilized to both increase the number of repeat purchases and continued subscriptions. Both directly with offers and reminders and indirectly by developing the relationship and brand preference. Making customer loyalty a priority might change the way you look at your regular newsletter too.

Image: flickr