How To Use Email To Communicate Effectively With Your Customers with Matt Harris


Startups can’t compete with Enterprise orgs in many respects…

But where they can compete is at a customer experience level.

Matt Harris is the CEO and Founder of sendwithus, and he helps companies use email to provide the best possible customer experience.

Matt is a reformed engineer turned marketer and CEO. He started sendwithus around 6 years ago where his team developed an expertise around sending personalized emails, and he learned to build a sales organization along the way.

Matt joined us for this episode of The Intelligent Marketer to talk about how companies can use email to communicate better with their customers.

He provided 5 examples of how to do this in your organization: leverage sign up data, help customers find what they’re looking for, celebrate customer birthdays, encourage purchases from abandoned shopping carts, and get creative!


The Power of Communication

Outstanding startups are disrupting Enterprise orgs by competing at a user experience level. Startups are focused on growing and landing customers. They’re hyper-focused on your product and your customers. They know how hard it is to get their first 100 customers, so they put huge amounts of effort into as many different touch points as they can to communicate with them.

“Fundamentally, from a customer perspective, the difference between Uber and a taxi: they both get me from A to B, but it’s a different experience.” - Matt Harris


As a response to the threat, Enterprise orgs have renewed their focus on the customer experience. Using email is a great way to improve this experience.  So whether you’re working at a startup or a large company, here are five tactics that Matt and his team have seen to increase your engagement with your customers using email:

Example 1: Leverage Sign Up Data

When you have a customer first sign up for a demo request or a newsletter, your challenge is to use that data to provide them with a better experience.

Typical sign up forms ask for the potential customer’s first name, last name, and their email address, but why not ask for more information so you can help them?

Consider adding one more question like, “Can you share your reason for getting in touch with us?” This allows you to be able to make better recommendations for them in terms of products or content they might enjoy.

Example 2: Help Customers Find What They’re Looking For

When a customer interacts with you over the internet, they are often mulling over a large purchase decision, and they don’t necessarily have to make that decision today.  

Smart brands like Zillow use email to bring their customers along in their journey.  Zillow lets interested parties know when a house is available similar to what they’ve already been looking for (same neighborhood, same price range, etc.)  to provide a compelling experience. They’re always looking to provide value back to their customers.

Example 3: Say Happy Birthday

Building rapport with people over email is crucial, and wishing them a happy birthday is a no brainer step to doing so. You can also build rapport by celebrating the anniversary of them becoming a customer of yours.

Just focus on celebrating milestones with people; this yields great results in term of engagement. Some companies even leverage these milestones to show a “year in review” demonstrating the purchases the person has made in that time. This should be a fundamental part of your email strategy. It’s simple and can provide immediate ROI.

Example 4: Encourage Purchases From Abandoned Shopping Carts

This one might sound simple too, but you should be doing this! An abandoned shopping cart email just makes sense. It doesn’t have to be just one email where you follow up, but it does have to be a balanced approach.

Don’t let your cart expire for customers with large purchases pending. Hold onto these carts for a month or longer before wiping them clear.


Example 5: Get Creative

Grubhub has built a brilliant email tactic. If you share your location, they’ve built a system that monitors weather in their major markets and sends email updates accordingly. For example, if it’s lunch time in San Francisco and it’s raining, they’ll send out their “rainy day lunch” email basically saying, “It’s gross out today. Order GrubHub instead and get it delivered!”

This is a creative example of providing a great customer experience and using data to create that effectively.


This post is based on a The Intelligent Market podcast with Mathew Sweezey.
 To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Intelligent Marketer Podcast here. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to the podcast here.


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