Email Marketing

Send Customers Emails They Want to Receive

Key Takeaway

The key to keeping customers not just on your list but also reading your emails is to send content that is relevant and provides genuine value. There are lots of ways to source and slice data to anticipate what customers might want to receive but the easiest way is to just ask them.

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    The last 12 months have been particularly difficult for airlines. They have urgently needed to explore new ways of generating income that don't involve selling tickets to passengers.

    Some interesting innovations have resulted. Qantas put on sale (and then sold out of) their retired 747 bar carts, a number of airlines sold "boomerang" flights that took off from and landed at the same place, while others were catering to a demand for microwaved, "in-flight" meals.

    Image: Qantas Airways

    While most of Qantas' 12 million members aren't in the market for a second-hand bar cart, all of them have needs that Qantas' can potentially service. This begins with personalisation - customising offers based, not on what is profitable for the business but what is of interest to the customer.

    A friend has been a Qantas Frequent Flyer for years and shared with me that over the course of last year he was sent multiple offers from Qantas Wine. He isn't a regular customer of Qantas Wine. In fact, he has never ordered from Qantas Wine. For all Qantas Wine knows, he could be an alcoholic and each of these emails is an unnecessary prod in the wrong direction.

    You might respond to this story along the lines of "well, he can just unsubscribe from these emails if he doesn't want them." While this is true,  once a customer has clicked 'unsubscribe' it is very difficult to get them back on the list. Future offers become much more difficult and more expensive to make.

    Every irrelevant email comes with the risk that you will lose permission to send subsequent emails.

    The key to keeping customers not just on your list but also reading your emails is to send content that is relevant and provides genuine value. There are lots of ways to source and slice data to anticipate what customers might want to receive but the easiest way is to just ask them.

    Do you want to receive offers about wine? Yes/No

    Asking questions demonstrates respect for the customer's preferences and increases the likelihood that future emails are read and actioned. It is a process that is of mutual benefit.

    You don't need to be one of Australia's largest businesses to find this out from your customers. Here's some great examples to get you started.

    And here's a good example from the Australian Pharmacy Council:

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