Friday, May 5, 2017

CJM AND EMAIL - Anatomy of an Email Inbox 5-5-17

Happy May Day.  It is a beautiful time of year in Michigan when all the trees and flowers are in bloom. This weekend starts the annual Tulip Time festival in Holland.  I missed it last year, so am looking forward to attending this year.  I never knew the variety and colors of tulips until I experienced this when I first arrived in Michigan three years ago.

But, that's not our topic today.  What I would like to cover today is CJM or Customer Journey Mapping and how it can inform your email strategy and campaigns.  In some ways I've been doing this for years through my segmentation and customer analytics work.  We just now call it something specific and have a practice and discipline around it. The whole concept is to understand the decision funnel or journey and the content needed during that journey by the prospect with the goal of:

-  Providing the right content at the right time
-  Moving people faster along the journey
-  Getting more people to take the next steps in the journey (with you!)

There has been a lot written about this and the process and there are plenty of examples and options on how to do it, but the most important elements in my mind are:

- Think about it from the customers perspective, not what you want
- Understand that the journey starts well before they know about you
- Leverage research and analytics to understand what the customers content needs really are and what is appropriate at each stage
- Develop compelling content and deliver it in a variety of ways (including email)
- Insure your KPIs are in place and aligned to the experience and phases
- Create separate journey maps if needed for different segments and target populations (where the content needs may be vastly different)

Email, then can become an important and engaging element along this journey and a great way for you to deliver and reinforce this content to the prospect.

Below is a Journey Map I created for my RV industry clients.  As you can see this maps out the phases and marketing steps and where email fits into the journey.  This can be relatively similar for other businesses and industries although the marketing tactics may be different.

customer journey map

The point is:  EMAIL can be leveraged along most of the journey.

The next phase then of the journey mapping process is to think about your content and what aligns to the phases and how you get it in front of people.  For example, in the early funnel phases, general White Papers or articles related to your topic may start consumers down the path.  So in our RV example, an article on the "TOP 10 National Parks to See This Summer" might be early funnel content.  A comparison and evaluation of RV brands and types would be later funnel content.

Sending that later funnel content to someone who hasn't even considered RVing would not be appropriate or productive.

TOP Tips for CJM and Email

-  Build segment specific Customer Journey Maps
-  Create compelling content for each phase of the journey
-  Complete a content audit to find the gaps you have in needed content
-  Develop compelling content and types (video, audio, imagery, copy)
-  USE EMAIL to reinforce and deliver on this content
-  TEST and MEASURE along the way

Need help with your CJM?  Contact CRM Concepts to get started today.

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