Relevance revolutionized the franchise email marketing industry, moving us away from the batch-and-blast of old and on to the path toward one-to-one email messaging.
Relevancy always matters. No one can afford not to be relevant to at least some degree. And it is the franchises that provide the most relevant, targeted email content that will most likely win and keep a customer’s business.
Relevancy has also evolved as technology has enabled gathering and analyzing ever more data about each customer. That means franchise email marketing has also evolved to provide a much better customer experience at the inbox.
For example, a restaurant franchise might send out a birthday email and there’s a relevance to that: The customer is in fact celebrating a birthday. But the email marketer can take the next step to offer a coupon for that customer’s favorite menu item or wine, plus let that customer know what reservation times are open on their birthday with a link to click to confirm that reservation. That’s the difference between providing relevant content and providing a good experience. It’s being relevant, but taken up a notch…or two.
This level of relevance gets you the inbox engagement that helps you improve email deliverability, gain a competitive edge, earn brand loyalty, and gain opportunities to cross sell and up sell.
How do you make your emails even more relevant to your audience to improve customer experiences? You leverage your data to provide a better customer experience. You have to know your customer in order to provide the kind of experience that customer desires which—in a nutshell—is one full of relevant and timely interactions.
I think of it as a three-stage process I call Predict! Target! Message!
- Predict! Use email analytics to understand what customers are interested in and where customers are in the buying cycle.
- Target! Create a plan for targeted these customers with relevant messages.
- Message! Create content that speaks quite specifically to that customer with right time/right message email marketing.
Predict! Master your data with email reporting tools
It’s 2020. You have all the data you need. But Big Data can be a Big Headache when email is not analyzed and used.
In order to do the analysis necessary to get the customer insights needed, franchise marketers need email reporting tools that enable it. That means your first step is making sure you are set up to do your email analysis.
The next step is to study your customer data. Find segments and spot trends. Start to learn your customers’ behavior, what they react to and when. Then you can start to predict what to say and when.
Say you have a franchise related to the wedding industry. Through your analytics, you’ve figured out what brides typically do when (buy invitations, find the florist, order the cake, register for gifts, etc.). Maybe your email analysis shows brides look for a reception venue 9 months before the wedding, and at 3 months out, they are looking for a bakery to supply the wedding cake. That means when new brides become part of your database, you can predict what they will be thinking about when as they plan their weddings.
Target! Plan your content
After you’ve done your email analysis, gotten to know your customers and made your predictions, it’s time to create a plan for reaching out to those various segments with your franchise email marketing.
Go back to the brides and when they typically take on different parts of the wedding planning process. Now that you know this, you can plan the content that will be relevant for where a bride is in the wedding planning cycle. If it’s 9 months out, plan to send messages about reception venues. At 3 months out, send messages about the wedding cake, and so on.
Message! Create your content
After your content is planned out, it’s time to create it so it’s ready to go. If you don’t create relevant content upfront, there is a potential bottleneck related to all of this that happens when you need the content to fulfill your plan.
Creating that much content ahead of time might seem like a chore, but if you don’t, it might not get done. Many franchises struggle just to get the emails out the door. Yes, they’re doing the segmenting and analysis, but they aren’t getting to the next point which is creating relevant content for different audiences. Many lack the time and resources to create one good subject line let alone two for testing. So creating content upfront is imperative in franchise email marketing.
And once it’s created, it will in many cases be automated, meaning your time and resource investment will have a payoff. (Here’s some good advice for creating content for automated emails and this ebook will help you improve on that automated content.)
Has your degree of relevance evolved to be about the customer experience? For the smart franchise marketers, it will.