5 Tips to Connect With Customers and Drive Revenue Via Email
We know that email is a powerful marketing channel that can deliver returns of more than $38 for every $1 spent, yet our latest report shows that most online retailers are leaving money on the table by over-relying on basic email marketing methods to drive return on investment and customer satisfaction. Hitting the Mark looked at the email marketing activities of 100 retail brands across multiple sectors, singling out exemplary performers — including ASOS, Best Buy, J.Crew, Overstock, and others — for mastering fundamentals and going beyond with comprehensive, innovative engagement strategies. The high performers reveal best practices that can help other marketers ramp up their email marketing efforts to better connect with customers, strengthen their brand, and maximize returns. Here's how to follow their lead:
1. Rely on customer data to create relevant, content-led emails that build rapport and drive sales.
Online retailers send an average of four marketing messages per week, but volume matters less than relevance. Too often marketers resort to untargeted email blasts rather than analyzing data to create and share personalized, relevant offers. While most send offer-led emails, many of the messages don’t mesh with customer activities and preferences. Eighty-three percent of top performers rely on behavioral information to clearly understand their customers and deliver compelling communication driven by insights and strong copywriting.
2. Get your timing right to meet customer expectations.
Using customer data is also critical to delivering communications that are specific to where a customer is in the shopping journey. Eighty-eight percent of top performers vs. 51 percent of others rely on data to deliver well-timed messages. For instance, they're able to understand that luxury brands, especially, expect prompt communication such as a welcome message immediately following a purchase, followed by aspirational content that will keep the customer engaged for future purchases. Data provides unparalleled insights into customer behavior and expectations, allowing retailers to communicate at the right time, in the right way.
3. Seize potential opportunities.
Only 40 percent of retailers send an abandoned cart notification, though the global shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 70 percent. Dell, the No. 1 performer in abandoned cart response analysis, sends emails with a catchy subject and engaging GIF, emphasizing the ease of purchase and offering a promo code to seal the deal.
4. Embrace advanced tactics offered by new technologies.
The latest innovative technologies provide effective email marketing automation, segmentation, and data gathering and analysis tools, enabling marketers to target, customize and scale communication; promote brands across channels, including stores and social networks; and quickly and easily communicate with customers. One-hundred percent of top-performing brands use advanced marketing tactics to personalize, humanize and avoid irrelevant communication, thereby creating more efficient, effective campaigns.
5. Prioritize user experience by offering a smooth path to purchase.
Seventy-one percent of respondents offer mobile-friendly checkout options (e.g., PayPal and Amazon Pay), though many are not optimizing the customer’s journey by perfecting the user experience across all devices and offering advanced search functionality on their websites. Best Buy is one retailer that's excelling at optimizing the experience by sending emails that work well on any device and providing advanced search functionality on its website to make purchasing quick and easy.
When done well, as seen by innovative retailers, email marketing can fundamentally change the way businesses communicate and engage with their customers. With continual advancements in marketing technologies and easier access to customer data, retailers are well positioned to deliver exceptional online experiences.
Skip Fidura is client services director of dotdigital Engagement Cloud, a customer engagement platform built for omnichannel marketing.
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