Treat your online customers like your returning in-store customers


Retailers neglect the importance of a high-quality CRM Strategy for their existing customers

If you run your own retail store or have ever worked in one, you know that the #1 rule is customer service. Be kind, helpful and if possible try to remember their name. In the Age of Amazon, many Retailers have struggled to keep up and therefore expanded into online e-commerce. Trying to occupy new markets, increase their reach and create a new revenue stream. However many have failed to view the online market as an equal to their retail store. Customer Service is not set to the highest priority and many of them expect first-time customers to return with ease.

Customers have more possibilities than ever before which makes the role of Customer Relationship Management that more important. Ask yourself, how do you treat your returning online customers vs. your retail customers?

With the help of CRM Tools and Agencies like MailChimp, Newsletter2Go or Emarsys many companies have been able to set the groundwork for building a trusting long-term relationship. New Subscribers are introduced with a one-time Welcome Mailing and a voucher thanking them for their subscription. After that, subscribers are put in the pool with the rest of the existing customers and send weekly emails reminding them of any news or new products.


Is that the best way to build a healthy long-lasting relationship for CRM?

Compare your online behavior to the way you treat customers in the store. A simple welcome mail and a voucher compared to a simple handshake and a voucher in store at the register. The probability that that customer will return is significantly low. Take a look at the customer journey at your local Apple store, even if you don’t own one. Before the customer is given their new iPhone or MacBook the Backoffice already knows their first name and is greeted with: “Hey Max, here is your new iPhone”. Each customer is treated with the highest respect and employees have the goal to create returning customers and not sales.


So how can you create an online version of Apples in store policies?

To create a successful welcome mailing series, you want to introduce customers to your brand step by step to portrait your believes and USPs. As an online store you want to set yourself apart from big e-commerce shops like Amazon or Zalando, therefore you need to prioritize your USPs and introduce customers to your communication channels. These CRM mailings can all be set up to be sent automatically, which only requires a one-time effort.


Step1: Welcome Mail

Create a Welcome Mail that represents what you believe in and thank them for their trust in your Brand.

Set: Directly after Opt-In True


Step2: Brand introduction

Introduce your brand, your beliefs, and your communication channels. What is it that sets you apart from the rest of the online stores that sell the same thing?

Set: 2 Days after Subscription


Step3: Voucher Reminder

If the new subscriber hasn’t used their welcome voucher, send them a reminder and show him or her your best selling products. In the best case scenario, you will show products that she has already looked at in your store or that are currently in their basket.

Set: 5 Days after Subscription


Step4: Set-Up Newsletter Categories

The last step before introducing you new customer into the world of your brand is to show them what kind of newsletters they can expect from you. If possible, give them the opportunity to choose which categories he or she wants to receive. The typical categories are New Arrivals, Inspiration, Brand and New Arrivals.

Set: 7 Days after Subscription

Now you are able to release the customer into your existing list and send them newsletters everyone else is receiving. At first, this may seem as a big task at hand, but the effort to create a lasting relationship with your customers will ensure to create a large number of followers that are happy to send in the second and third order.

The presented series is orientated around short-term communication to ensure a healthy and long-lasting relationship with your customers. It’s the first step, followed by a series of long-term strategies to keep customers engaging with your content, store, and newsletters. Simply sending out Newsletters designed for optimizing Opening-Rates and Click-Through-Rates won’t help you sell your USPs over the long run. Create Loyalty Programs for your top 500 customers, integrate your local store/s into your online community and evolve as a store over time. CRM Strategies that don’t change over time usually see a higher Unsubscribe rate.

Don’t treat your online customers any different as your in-store customers. When working on new ways to optimize your CRM Strategies, think of the online equivalent to the offline world. The welcome mailing series only represents the first step to create the relationship, but without the groundwork, your new mailings and efforts will not have the same impact and therefore loose revenue from existing customers.

Simply book a free appointment to continue the conversation, and ask us questions about your business.