Flyers and brochures are all but obsolete. These days everyone is glued to their email, so if you want to get your customers’ attention, you have to go to the place where they spend most of their time: their inbox.
This is great news for retailers because email marketing is cheaper and more effective than ever. The average return for each $1 spent on email marketing is $44.25. Statistics show that retailers who use email generate 50% more sales-ready leads and spend 33% less than companies that don’t effectively utilize email to reach their customers.
This is because, not only does email allow you to attract your customers’ attention more quickly and efficiently, but it’s also more effective. Thanks to recent technology, retailers have access to more information on their customers than ever before, including their location, their shopping preferences, past purchases, browsing history, etc. This allows you to personalize each email you send.
Today, personalization means much more than just a name and an email address. You can say “Hey ______, look what we’ve got in stock!” Or you can say, “Hey _______, based on your recent purchases we thought you might be interested in these new jackets we just got in stock!” The first message will be deleted, whereas the second is much more likely to peak your target’s interest, tempting them to open the email, and hopefully click through to your website for some shopping.
In fact, the customers themselves have said using this data is effective. When polled, 80% of consumers said they found recommendations based on their previous purchases useful while 78% said they were more likely to be a repeat customer if they were sent an email that was targeted to them personally.
The numbers also show that personalized emails are more effective. They’re 29% more likely to be opened and 41% more likely to result in a click through.
Contextualization is similar to personalization in that you can use the data you have on each individual subscriber to more effectively target them. For example, by knowing where they’re located, you can access the weather in their area, which allows you to tailor your messages regardless of whether your selling clothes, furniture, or yard equipment.
If you’re trying to get customers into your stores (or you know from their purchase history they prefer shopping onsite to online), you can alert them to stores in their area. It saves them the time and trouble of looking it up themselves and makes it more likely they’ll make the trip.
Contextualization can also refer to the context of what’s going on in your store. Any time you’re running a sale or promotion is another great time to send out email campaigns. You can embed a timer in your email so your customers can see exactly how long they have before the sale ends. Nothing motivates consumers like a sense of urgency, especially when they know they can save some money.
HARNESS THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
You can promote yourself and your brand to your customers all day every day, but nothing is as effective as showing them what other people are saying about you. One good technique is to encourage your customers to share your content with their followers on social media by offering them a gift card or a discount. Make this easier for them by including links to social apps within your emails. When people see their friends and family talking you up, they’ll be more likely to do business with you.
But you don’t need all your current customers to be on social media in order to take advantage of everything it has to offer. You can embed live social media feeds into the email you send out to your customers. This allows them to see, in real time, what your followers are saying about you. If someone loves the shoes they just bought from you, encourage them to share their experience on social media and tag you or use a certain hashtag. Then you can let your entire email list see that happy customer and entice them to make a similar purchase.
ELIMINATE CONVERSION OBSTACLES
Consumers are increasingly doing the majority of their shopping online, and that doesn’t always mean on their desktop or laptop computers. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets for everything from sending and receiving text messages to getting their shopping done and you need to take that into account when sending your marketing emails. That means making sure your website is mobile friendly so your customers can seamlessly go straight from their email to your website to fill up their cart.
You should also make it as easy as possible for your customers to shop directly from their email. By including a “Buy Now” button in your email, customers can choose the item you picked out for them and purchase it without thinking twice about it.
Thanks to new technology, there’s no end to the ways you can promote your brand with an email subscriber list and a little imagination.