If you're gong to connect with your customers via email to congratulate them on a milestone with your product, don't wait for months after the milestone to do it. Especially in this real time world we live in now - where the product on my wrist gives you updated status on my product use continuously. A few months today seems like an eternity. And in this case, I'd long moved on from the product.
Just last week, Nike sent me an email congratulating me on becoming a NikeFuel Millionaire. Problem is, as I outlined in my recent post comparing fitness wearables, it's been months since I've worn my Nike+ Fuelband. It wasn't working properly and Nike wasn't able to do anything about it. Since then, I tried out Jawbone's Up for a couple months and then moved on to a Fitbit last month.
How can a company who has invested in all sorts of technology to feed them data on a real-time basis, be so far behind in their email marketing? And if a company like this can mess it up, surely your company can too. Connecting to your customers and celebrating milestones is a good thing. But if you can't do it in a timely manner, pull the plug. Just don't do it.
It was a real nice email. Offered me congrats on earning a million Nike+ fuel points, a free "Millionaire" lace token to commemorate it, unlimited free two-day shipping from Nike, highlighted my best day ever and gave me encouragement to achieve even more. But it was too late. I was a customer who had already left the fold.
If I had gotten it in a timely manner, would I have stuck it out with Nike+? Probably not. But I might have checked into their offers and found a way to make me stay. However, when it came, all it did was destroy my image of them as a cutting edge company who is far ahead of the pack in this digital, real-time, social world. One badly timed email wiping out millions and millions of dollars worth of branding efforts.
That's how important it is to make sure you're connecting with the right customers at the right time with the right message. Your company may not have Nike type money, but you face the same issues. Whether you're doing email marketing, direct mail, social interactions or any other way to directly connect with your customers, make sure you set up procedures that insure a timely response. Or it could cost you customers.