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Customer journeys: where to start

A key aspect to any digital marketing strategy is understanding a customer’s journey with your brand. By mapping the customer journey, you can truly understand their experience with every channel, both online and offline. In doing so, you can deliver relevant and tailored experiences, improving your marketing performance and ultimately, ROI.

Understanding the customer journey

All of the touch points that make up the experience a customer has with your brand is displayed in a journey map. The journey starts from the customer’s first contact with your brand, during purchasing, after sales support and repurchase. If you’re looking to create a new email marketing customer journey, it’s important to review all journeys to ensure a complete picture of all the potential touch points a customer may have with your brand. A new email customer journey should focus on what you want to provide to the customer as well as what the customer would like to receive.

A customer journey review is the ideal time to evaluate how you’re currently communicating with your customers, putting them at the centre of your strategy. The goal should be to provide your customers with what they want, when they want it. 

What does an email marketing customer journey map look like?

There isn’t a right way of creating customer journey maps. The starting point will be different for all companies. It could start from the very beginning and map every journey a customer could potentially have with your brand. If this is the case, then your starting point could be working off a spare wall and decorating it with post it notes. Each note would detail the stage in the journey, touch point, trigger, email message and behaviour. It’s important to consider all marketing channels when mapping out customer journeys because there could be multiple touch points occurring at the same time. The key here is to ensure consistency and relevancy to drive optimal ROI. Journey maps are a great tool as they allow everyone within your organisation to review whether the message, timing and frequency is right for your customers alongside analytical data. 

As well as considering every marketing channel, taking into account how the customer is engaging with your brand is key. There are a variety of devices and ways a customer can engage with your brand. Optimising your brand for all channels is important.  Many companies are already providing customers with more choice, keeping the customer at the heart of their marketing strategies. For instance, Waitrose, are allowing their customers to choose which brands they’d like to receive offers for. Historically, promotions have been very much focused on what the brand's stores have to offer regardless of whether it’s relevant for their customers. This new promotional strategy by Waitrose understands the importance of the customer and drives more loyalty towards favoured brands. With personalisation now an integral part of campaigns, the customer should always be at the heart of your communications.