Conversational Email a trend for 2017?

It’s time to conversate

Conversational Email

Conversations between customers and brands via messengers have become more mainstream recently, particularly with WeChat in China, but also with other messengers such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack.

But what do conversations have to do with email?

AA: Probably a little more than you think.
Re: MP: Really?
Re: AA: That’s right, allow me to elaborate.

A conversational tone naturally lends itself to email, a channel that is already very personalized. By focusing on the tone of your email, you might be able to stand out in an already cluttered inbox. This is exactly what the Barrack Obama Campaign emails did in 2012 with a simple “Barrack Obama: Hey” having been the best according to the campaign’s email director (neither of the 2016 American Presidential candidates performed as well as the Obama 2012 campaign with their campaign fundraising efforts –  data taken from the Center for Responsive Politics). With the wider adoption of conversations via messengers, customers might warm to seeing a similar tone with your emails.

Wechat WhatsApp

Wechat WhatsApp

Keep it real

Keep it real, be honest, don’t take yourself too seriously, write like you talk, ask questions that encourage your customers to respond (this will not only assist in sales but also have a positive impact on your deliverability, improving your reputation with various ISPs). You might then find that this casual conversational tone will help your customers better relate to you, and by extension to your brand also, creating a personal connection with the brand.

Make it even realer

So, you’ve kept it real, but why not make it even realer? When you talk to your friends, colleagues and acquaintances, you already know a whole lot about them: their interests, habits, preferences, moods and in some cases, perhaps a whole lot more!

Why not make use of what you already know about them in your conversationally toned emails? That tone will become a whole lot realer when your customer gets greeted with their name and  a permutation of content that takes their purchase history, website preferences, help desk enquiries and the like into account.

In the example below our customer service representative Charles gets an email from a customer Michael about the delivery of his Air Jordan shoes and Charles already knowing a whole lot about Michael’s purchasing history, pre-empts what Michael might want to add to his purchase.

Customer (Michael): Hey there! I just ordered a new pair of Air Jordan’s. Have they shipped already?
Re: Customer service (Charles): Hey Michael! The Air Jordan 9’s? They’ll be shipped this afternoon.
Re: Michael: Can I still add a pair of socks to my order?
Re: Charles: Sure thing, the same pair as last time? The Hare Jordan Crew Socks? L’s?
You can add them to your order here: http://bit.ly/2fB7Gou

Re: Michael: Great! Thanks!
Re: Charles: No problem. Hope you keep nailing those fadeaways.
A similar and completely automated, pre-emptive and conversationally toned email could also be sent out to our customer just after they completed their purchase. We do just that in example below;

To paraphrase what a well-known artist once said, start to conversate and you might just convert a few more. You can do this in different ways and this might help your brand build a greater rapport with your customers and that can only be a positive thing.

An extract of this article was first published in our Email Marketing Trendbook for 2017.

 
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