3 Tactics for Email: Promote, Personalize and Be Relevant
Multichannel marketers have an ideal way to boost sales, but not all of them use it. The method: sending emails to announce the arrival of a catalog. In a famous case study a few years ago, gifts and gadgets marketer Miles Kimball performed the optimal test. The company had 40,000 email addresses from customers who had purchased online and opted in to email communication.
Miles Kimball divided these customers into two equal groups. The first group received the company's spring catalog, along with an email timed to arrive in conjunction with the catalog. The email said, “Look in your mailbox for our new catalog,” along with some highlights of what the customer would find inside. The other 20,000 customers simply got the same catalog with no accompanying email. The result: Adding the email increased sales by 18 percent per household. Subsequent experience proved the value of this technique.
Today, many multichannel marketers use email to boost catalog sales. Consider that by 2007, 82 percent of 434 catalog/multichannel companies surveyed by the Direct Marketing Association were using email promotions. More than 44 percent of all print catalog sales now occur on the web, as opposed to phone or mail.
These results are reported in a recently published book that I wrote with Arthur Sweetser, chief marketing officer of the email marketing firm e-Dialog, titled “Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategies: From Hunting to Farming,” (RACOM, 2009). Here's just a sampling of some of the pointers from the book:
1. Make sure your email is relevant to those who receive it. Too many marketers blast identical copy to all their email subscribers. Catalog/multichannel marketers don't have to do this. Most of their email subscribers are customers, so they know what they bought and what they clicked on from their websites. Create categories of product interest for each subscriber, and feature these products in your email rather than pushing the “product of the month.”