Vicinity How-To: Communicate With Your Customers Via Email

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Last week we gave you an introduction to the SMS texting feature that Vicinity merchants can use to promote sales, events, or specials in real-time to their customers. The texting feature is only one of the many ways merchants can converse with their Vicinity cardholders, and today we’re highlighting the platform’s email marketing feature.

Your customers’ sign up for Vicinity using their phone number, which makes it easy to send out SMS messages to your database. In terms of reaching them by email, customers add their own email address when they fill out their profile on the Vicinity website, and once a customer earns points in your store, they’re added to your Vicinity customer database.

The one major difference between text messaging your clientele and emailing them is that there is no fee for emails. You can send 1 email per week to different groups – a group is a custom set of clients that you can select, whether that’s an overall customer list, a VIP list, or an “at-risk” customers list. So you might want to email your overall customer list about an in-store promotion, but potentially offer an extra deal to your VIPs to thank them.

The best part about sending emails with Vicinity? No custom formatting, design work, or email marketing platforms. Using the Vicinity dashboard you can select your group of recipients, enter your subject line, write the body of the email, and send it directly from your dashboard.

And the beauty of email is that, it allows for more long-form content for you and your customers – no 160 character limit like in an SMS message.

Not sure what to say in your emails? Here are some strategies you could use to interact with your customers via email:

Special Promos

Customers always want to be in the know when a new promotion is on. You can send introductory offers or share information on a future promotion whether it’s for a special holiday or exclusive to Vicinity members. If you want, you can even throw in a little blurb about your points system, because remember – everyone loves free stuff!

Surveys

Want to know more about your customers? Distribute a survey via email to gain valuable customer insights. Want a high participation rate? Offer a draw for free goods and you’ll increase the number of responses.

Newsletters

Do you have multiple promotions running at once? Or maybe you just want to keep your customers up to date with the latest news and events. Send out a monthly newsletter to your customers to keep them in the loop about what’s happening. You could have a new employee that they will be seeing every day, or maybe you’re shifting from your winter menu to your summer menu – whatever your announcement is, emailing means you’ll get the message across.

Contests

While SMS is good for a short update about discounts or “double Vicinity rewards weekend,” if you’re promoting a big contest you might want to notify your customers via email. This allows you to clearly define the rules and regulations, and outline what they have to do to enter.

Email best practices:

Similar to how you don’t want to inundate your customers with SMS messages, try to limit the number of emails you send to any group of customers. Flooding your customers with deals might cause them to unsubscribe, so stick to one email per week at the most.

Not sure when to send your email to get the most impact? According to email marketing platform Mailchimp, the best time to send general emails is Wednesday and Thursday in the afternoon, but those can change depending on what you want to email, be it offers or updates.

Want to learn more about email marketing? Mailchimp has a great set of guides to help you get started.

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