Email Marketing Trends Retailers Need to Know
Improving email execution processes, using personalization to create relevant content, leveraging marketing automation to reach revenue metics, and focusing on healthy and active list growth are four key email trends retailers should be focused on in 2016, at least according to the speakers featured in a Jan. 21 Total Retail webinar called “Marketers Talking to Marketers: 2016 Retail Email Trends,” sponsored by BlueHornet.
For Amy Madonia, vice president of e-commerce and marketing at Donna Morgan & Ali Ro, a womenswear brand with a focus on bridesmaids, ready-to-wear and party dresses, a key area of focus for 2016 is improving the company’s email execution process.
“In every business I’ve worked in, one of the toughest things to do is execute an email process that smoothly and seamlessly takes into account company objectives, e-commerce goals and branding, as well as responding to what's happening from a trends and best-seller perspective,” Madonia said. “This is something I look to continually fine-tune in 2016 to make that process better, more efficient and more reactive to what's happening in the marketplace.”
Another area Madonia is focusing on in 2016 is instituting a cart abandonment series.
“We have a [cart abandonment] series that’s about 85 percent of the way there,” Madonia said. “It’s an area of low-hanging fruit for us.”
However, Madonia warned that to be successful, these types of trigger email series have to be done in a sophisticated way so that recipients aren't gaming the system just to get whatever offer is attached to it.
“We’re going to work on that and get that live in the first quarter of this year,” Madonia said.
Finally, a key initiative for Donna Morgan & Ali Ro is improving the relevance of the brand to its customer base and understanding what the key insights are that will really move the business.
“Inboxes are as cluttered as ever before,” Madonia noted. “That puts the onus on us, digital marketers, to be even more cognizant of what's engaging and interesting to our user base.”
Madonia is focusing on customer engagement. "If we get the relevance piece right, all of the other KPIs will fall into line," she said. "One of the ways we do that is by staying very close to our customers across all channels.”
For footwear brand Crocs, the top email priority in 2016 revolves around “creating the most relevant content and delivering it to the right customers at the right time, while also delivering on our revenue and engagement targets," said Kelsey Vendetti, Crocs’ email marketing manager.
To do this, Crocs will focus on the following three goals:
- Increase personalization. “We’re very focused on creating a one-to-one relationship with our customers through personalized, engaging content,” Vendetti said.
- Lean on automation to drive engagement and reach revenue metrics. “We need to get away from manually doing everything,” Vendetti said. "I believe that you optimize, test, find the results and then automate those results to really scale your business.”
- Focus on healthy, active list growth through custom landing pages, lightboxes and social promotion. “Working in footwear, people only buy from us one to one-and-half times a year, so getting new consumers into our email program is really important.”
“Honestly, if we can do these three things, we will be in great shape,” Vendetti said.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.