February 7, 2012

Be My Valentine: The Marketer's Quest for Subscriber Love & Affection

by Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

Valentine’s Day is a time to remind those most important to you just how special they are.  While you may have a significant other in your personal life, let’s not forget to show some love to your customers.  I’m using my favorite Valentine’s Day candy to sweetly illustrate the customer lifecycle and include reminders for best practices throughout this very romantic, but sometimes rocky, relationship.

(Click on the candy to view the tip.)

Valentine Candy Customer Lifecycle


Be Mine 

Be Mine - Subscriber Acquisition

Oh, the early days of a relationship.  Are they that into you?  Can you work up the courage to ask for the first date?  Will they say yes?  We have the answers that can calm those giddy jitters.  Remember that timing is everything so consider all of the places you currently ask subscribers to sign up for your program.

Bronto Marketing Strategist, Fawn Young, provides excellent direction in her post “Grow your email list through Facebook: How To and Real Life Examples.”  Kristen Gregory, Bronto Manager of Strategic Services, shares “21 Ways to Build Your Email List Organically” which will surely inspire you find a few approaches to asking folks to sign-up.  Always keeping up with the latest trends, Steve DuBois, Marketing Strategist at Bronto, walks us through subscriber acquisition via QR codes in his post “Point, Shoot, Signup… Grow your list with QR Codes.”

Well, Hello! 

Hello - Welcome Message Strategies

Whew!  They have said they are interested by opting-in to your email program!  The post-acquisition phase begins with your welcome message/series.  Think of this as planning your first date.  You need to wear a nice outfit, take them somewhere they will enjoy, show up on time, and give them a reason to not have the first date be the last.  Many marketers underestimate the power of a solid welcome message series.  You need to impress, inform, and demonstrate the value of your brand. 

Check out a few “Top Tips for an Email Welcome Series” to see if you have your bases covered.  Also, learn how a Bronto Marketing Strategist fell for a 5 message welcome series in the post “Countdown to Conversions: A Welcome Series that Works.”  Lastly, Blooms Today, a Bronto Client, shares some Valentine’s Day successes that include the value of a strong welcome message.  

Be Good, but Flirt a Bit, Too! 

Be Good - Email Messaging Best Practices

Congratulations, you haven’t scared off your subscriber yet!  We have entered the “getting to know you” phase of the relationship.  It is important to focus on better understanding a subscriber’s interests and preferences.  Fawn shares tips to help you “Resolve to Really Get to Know Your Contacts!”  You also need to make sure you keep things interesting.  Kristen gives us “8 Key Ways to Keep Subscribers Engaged.”  You should also not be afraid to try new things.  Kristen chimes in again telling us to “Get a Personality & Leverage Social Media to Keep Email Subscribers Engaged.”

Flirt - Drive Conversions

Remember that we are ultimately on one knee waiting for our subscribers to say “I do” and purchase.  We need to make sure we continue to send the right signals and move the relationship forward.  I detailed tactics to help close the deal in my post “Push Clickers Across the Conversion Finish Line.”  Bronto Marketing Strategist, Kestrel Lemen, extends this theme to Facebook in her article “More than a Fan: How to Drive Followers to Buy.”  We also can’t discount the creative tactics that keeps the subscriber on the path to the longer term relationship.  Marketing Strategist, Anna Pfeiffer, helps you to “Find Your Email Inspiration: 4 Creative Tactics.”

The Big Moment

In the end, it’s the subscriber’s decision to commit and make a purchase.  Hopefully the evolution of the relationship from prospect to potential purchaser has been fulfilling for the subscriber and nurtured and respected by the marketer.  It is important to be prepared for potential rejection or for some honeymoon planning!

Marry Me! Did they purchase?

It’s Over, So Over… I’ve Moved On!  

I Don't - Subscriber Reengagement

Not the answer we wanted to hear.  Our dearly beloved has started to ignore us.  Should we fill up our Netflix queue with tearjerkers and avoid human contact?  No, no, no!  Let’s see if there is a way to win back the love and affection of our sweet subscriber.

It's Over - Subscriber ReengagementFirst take a look at “Four Easy Steps to Reactivate” to find the best way to analyze the causes for the distance and how to say the right thing to win back the subscriber’s interest. If your subscriber is still not answering your calls, Kristen recommends asking a very important question in her post “Will You Stay or Will You Go Now? How to Successfully Run a Make-Up or Break-Up Campaign.”

Moved On - List Cleaning

Finally, your subscriber may be telling you that they have moved on.  Things happen.  Take a moment to be sad but collect yourself and let Kristen boldly show you how to “Drop Your Email List's Dead Weight Without Sacrificing ROI.”

I Do! 

I Do - A Prospect becomes a CustomerOh happy day!  The subscriber said “I do” and purchased!  They have now entered what could be a lifetime commitment and transitioned from an undecided prospect to a customer!  We all know that maintaining a healthy relationship requires an ongoing effort so you can't stop working.  A cross-channel marketing plan should cover all phases of the relationship but making sure you are expressing your love across the board after the purchase is important.  Emily Keye, Bronto Marketing Strategist, helps you to “Set the Groundwork & Build a Cross Channel Promotion Strategy that Works!”  Emily also shares best practices for that moment right after the deal is sealed in her post “Transactional Message Musts & Missed Opportunities.” 

You Rock - User Generated Content

Remember that love is a two way street!  Your newly committed customer can do some work too.  Kristen shares information on building customer generated content in her post “Product Review Requests: Recommendations for Success.”

Soul Mate - Drive Long Term EngagementIt's important to take the time to appreciate your prospects and your purchasers throughout the year even when all of the delicious, cavity inducing candy hearts have left the shelves.  Make sure you evaluate your subscriber and customer relationships constantly and keep love alive.

Jim Davidson
Manager of Marketing Research

XOXO - Jim Davidson

Be Mine - Subscriber AcquisitionHello - Welcome Message StrategiesBe Good - Email Messaging Best PracticesFlirt - Drive ConversionsI Do - A Prospect becomes a CustomerYou Rock - User Generated ContentI Don't - Subscriber ReengagementIt's Over - Subscriber ReengagementMoved On - List CleaningSoul Mate - Drive Long Term Engagement

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Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

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