As marketers, we strive to continuously provide a positive experience for our customers. Email is a great way to do so, and is a channel in which every company is engaged in today.
But email offers so much more than just direct access — it also creates an experience for consumers and provides marketers with an opportunity to have a conversation with their customers.
For more than 15 years I have worked in the email marketing profession partnering with brands in the industries of retail, financial services, travel, hospitality and high-tech services. I provided strategic input on how to advance their email marketing programs. At the onset of my career, email was deployed without a planned campaign strategy. As a result, emails were siloed, very text heavy and were sent as “one-off” communications.
Today, email has transformed to be a dynamic and personalized marketing strategy. Marketers have the tools and technologies to leverage data to truly get to know their customers. No two customers are the same.
Being a frequent traveler, I often stay at Marriott properties. The Marriott team does a great job making email part of the overall guest experience. For example, once I check into a Marriott property, I instantly receive an email welcoming me to the hotel. The email provides an outline of the key items that are relevant to me during my stay. From personalized greetings at the front desk, to push messaging highlighting restaurant suggestions, Marriott’s email communications enhance my guest experience — in real-time — throughout my stay.
Marriott understands my needs, helps me organize my stay while onsite and creates a positive experience for me, all by simply opening an email. In addition to fulfilling my business needs, the emails provide me with information that is relevant to my personal life. I receive an update of my Marriott Rewards loyalty account, which informs me of my points, upcoming bonus opportunities based on my tier, how many nights I have stayed, how to earn a free night’s stay and more. As I switch gears and start to think about my next family vacation, this data is extremely helpful when searching the tropical properties that are on my list. And what appears in my personal inbox the next day? An email with a handful of suggested tropical properties. Now that’s email marketing at its finest.
As you’re planning your next email campaign, think about the experience you want to provide to your customers. Remember, today’s digital customer expects a dialogue between them and the brands they interact with. Send information that’s relevant to their needs. Make it personal. Keep it dynamic. Use email not only to help hit your weekly revenue target, but to create long-lasting bonds with your customers.
Dino Michetti is the vice president and general manager of client services at Epsilon. Michetti designs and leads the online strategies for Epsilon’s top-tier clients, with a focus on loyalty marketing programs. With deep experience and insight, Michetti builds partnerships with clients to execute marketing initiatives that are relevant, timely and result in increased branding and ROI. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.