Last year, I switched to electricity and gas supplier Tonik Energy, primarily because, as a committed environmentalist, their electricity is from 100% renewable sources. Pricewise, they are incredibly competitive and matched my former supplier E.ON. They're also based in Birmingham and therefore tick the support-a-local-business box.
I've got no regrets.
With my tariff up for renewal, I received a reminder email (pictured) this week.
It was nothing short of genius.
Before asking me to click "buy again", they made me feel incredibly good about myself by updating me on the impact of my energy use. According to Tonik, I have prevented 780kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. It's impossible to imagine what this looks like, so they provided a handy comparison: my carbon-free electricity consumption has equated to taking an Audi A1 off the road for 8 months.
As a public relations professional, I've found myself marvelling at this genius piece of marketing.
If ever there was an example of a business completely in tune with its customers, this is it. They totally get the motivation for buying and know how to nurture and harness that motivation through compelling messaging. Without hesitation, I've signed up for another 12 months, and I've shared the news on Twitter.
At the heart of the communication is a simple story that has resulted in the customer feeling good about him- or herself. They've also created an impression that my relationship with Tonik is more of a partnership than a hierarchical business-customer relationship. Together, we’re saving the planet.
E-marketing is incredibly powerful when done right. Sadly, many businesses treat newsletters as merely an opportunity to tell customers about new products and services. Quite often, the focus or narrative is all about the sender. It needs to be about the recipient.
Next time you create an e-newsletter campaign, before clicking send ask yourself whether any part of the story you're telling makes the recipient feel good about themselves.
Don’t think about your organisation’s needs; instead think about what your customers need to achieve and how you’re helping them do this.
Take this approach and over time you'll see improved engagement, and increased sales resulting out of your “user-centred” e-marketing activity.