Enhancing the customer experience leveraging the email channel

As marketers, we strive to continuously provide a positive experience for our customers.  Email is a channel, in which every company is engaged in today. But email offers so much more – it creates an experience for consumers and it 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 providing brands in the industries of retail, financial services, travel & hospitality and high tech services strategic input on how to advance their digital, email marketing programmes. At the onset of my career, email was leveraged as a tactic with brands deploying emails 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 a dynamic and personalised marketing strategy.

Marketers have the tools and technologies to leverage data to truly get to know their customers. And, no two customers are the same. Being a frequent traveller, 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 personalised greetings at the front desk, to push messaging highlighting restaurant suggestions, etc., Marriott’s email communications enhance my guest experience – in real-time – throughout my stay.

Marriott understands my needs, helps me to organise my stay while onsite and creates a positive experience for me all at the click of an open.  In addition to fulfilling my business needs, the emails provide me with information that is relevant to my personal life. For example, I receive an update of my Marriott Rewards® loyalty account which informs me of my points, upcoming bonus opportunities based on my tier and how many nights I have stayed, how to earn a free night’s stay, etc.  So, as I switch gears and start to think about my next family vacation, this data is extremely helpful as I search the tropical properties that are on my list.  And what appears in my personal inbox the next day? An email with a handful of tropical suggested properties. Now that’s email marketing at its finest.

As you’re planning your next email campaign, think about the experience you want it to provide to your customers, and 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.