E-mail marketing campaigns work only as well as the Web sites to which they drive prospects and customers. Yet, paradoxically, most online marketers don’t use their Web sites optimally.
Most Web sites limit their sense of purpose to being a destination for customers and prospects. Clear navigation and relevant content, while still important, barely scratch the surface of what today’s more sophisticated users expect in a website experience. At a time when Web sites are called upon to rank well in search, attract visitors (or subscribers, customers, or donors), promote sales, contribute to customer acquisition, and keep customers engaged, it makes sense that a solution should be available that delivers a more robust customer experience, bringing together engagement, reengagement and community in a fully integrated solution that allows marketers to capitalize thoroughly on their websites. These three components, working together enable acquisition and drive sales.
Engagement occurs through a well-defined, planned, and implemented website that is easy to use, offers clear navigation, answers all of the obvious questions, and defines the company’s value proposition up front.
Reengagement involves using a customer or prospect’s Web site navigation history to automatically, using e-mail, provide them with additional content based on specific pages they visit and information they request. Web site reengagement is one of the home runs of emarketing. Web site reengagement programs driven by e-mail consistently see open rates greater than 50%, click-through rates greater than 35%, and actions per e-mail four to 10 times greater than any other e-mail campaigns.
Finally, adding a “community with a purpose” to your Web site enables your company to use social media tools to empower your best and most enthusiastic customers to help drive the company’s growth. Branded communities empower customers and prospects to interact directly with your company, learn from experts in the market, and share their ideas and opinions—in other words, be more then just a target of your marketing campaigns. Once engaged, your customers invite their colleagues, friends and family (your next best customers) to join the community.
Customers and prospects that become part of your community make purchases or give donations more frequently then those who don’t join, and they interact longer with your company. It is called improving lifetime value.
Acquiring new customers is an expensive proposition. Having a Web site that engages, reengages, and offers customers a sense of community goes a long way towards optimizing those acquisition budget dollars.
So build an integrated Web site experience first. Incorporate engagement, reengagement and community tools. Understand and clearly promote your sense of purpose. Only when your company’s integrated website experience is fully enabled is it possible to optimize your acquisition programs and drive optimal revenue, subscriptions, and/or donations that will exceed your goals.