Guest Post: How to Level-Up Your Email & SMS CX This Holiday Season
This week we feature an article by Devin Pickell, a Growth Marketer at Privy. He shares his quick tips for keeping your customers informed through email and SMS to level up their buying experience.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and you’re an online merchant expecting a large volume of orders to come through soon. That’s great news! But while you’re fulfilling orders, it’s imperative that you keep your customers in the loop on channels like email and SMS. Below are some of my best quick tips for keeping your customers informed and leveling up their buying experience.
Make the ‘welcome experience’ memorable
After someone signs up to receive communications from your brand, you should always automate a welcome email to reach their inbox within minutes. Welcome emails are often your first brand touchpoint with a customer away from your website, so the experience needs to be memorable. Below are three tips for making your welcome emails stand out from the rest:
- Offer a good discount right away. Free shipping won’t cut it, instead, offer anywhere from 20-30% off their first order. This is how you provide immediate value to your new customer.
- Send next-level content. Not that blog you’ve sent every new customer the last two years, send an insightful report they’d only get by signing up for email.
- Appeal to something greater. If your brand has an underdog founder story or makes a real-world impact, you should highlight this in your welcome email.
Welcome emails are some of the highest-engagement emails you’ll send to new subscribers this holiday season. Send them with a purpose so you can turn more new subscribers into new customers.
Over-communicate after the purchase
The post-purchase stage is one of the most important experiences a customer will have when buying from your brand. In fact, order confirmation emails outperform nearly all other marketing emails when it comes to metrics like open rate, click-throughs, viewing time, and revenue.
Your customers entrusted your brand when they clicked ‘confirm order’, now the responsibility lies on you to make this experience as comfortable as possible for them. My tip this holiday season is to over-communicate. Below are five steps for over-communicating with your customers:
- Confirm their purchase went through.
- Tell them when they should expect it.
- Build hype for them when that date is nearing.
- Send an email when their item arrives.
- Send a follow-up email asking them to review their product and rate their experience.
Your customers would rather have over communication and peace of mind than under communication and worries.
Get customers comfortable with SMS
You may think you’re spamming customers when sending them texts, but the reality is 91% of consumers said they’re open to receiving text messages from brands they like. If you can get customers to opt-in to receiving SMS, this gives you another channel to reach customers on the device they use most–their phones.
There are different types of SMS marketing, with some of the common including:
- Bulk SMS: Use this to send texts to large cohorts of customers. For example, you can send welcome texts in addition to your welcome emails if your customers opted in for SMS. Or you can send customers who spent $500 or more with your business an SMS coupon code.
- Two-way messaging: A great way to field customer service and support questions is through two-way messaging. Customers can interact directly with someone from your business without having to hop on a phone call.
- Transactional SMS: These are automated messages that keep your customers in the loop on the status of their purchases, a great tool to add to your post-purchase experience.
Brands that have a solid SMS communications cadence will find their customers are more likely to engage with them. It’s the perfect channel to complement your email strategy.
Make sure you’re ready for the holiday season
Inventory is prepped, your website is updated, you have price-drop campaigns ready to go, but what are you doing on the communications side to ensure your customers are informed this holiday season?
You can start by making their welcome experience with your brand better than expected. Send them coupons via email and SMS, tell them a blurb about your brand story, or offer them valuable content upfront.
After they purchase from your brand, make sure they’re in the loop on the status of their orders. Using email and SMS, or a combination of the two is the best way to do this.
Finally, know that your customers aren’t as hesitant about SMS as you may think. As long as you’re SMS compliant and offer your customers the value they expect from the channel, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd.
Devin Pickell is a Growth Marketer at Privy. He combines his skills in content marketing, SEO, data analysis, and marketing strategy to meet customers at the right moment in their journey.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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