The world of direct marketing is constantly changing, and new channels are opening up; SMS and Facebook messenger are currently on the rise when it comes to sales and marketing, and each present fantastic new opportunities for eCommerce businesses. Email, meanwhile, has been around for many, many years. Is it becoming obsolete?
The short answer is no. The various forms of direct marketing available are not replacing email, but supplementing it. Each has its place, and a scenario in which it is most effective. Particularly for online retail companies, email is a very useful tool.
Did you know that while email has low open and read rates compared to its SMS counterpart, statistics show that it has a huge ROI? EDM is well-established as a pillar for all marketing efforts, and we believe that it won’t be going anywhere for a long time. Online retailers, here are a few things to consider as you plan, write and schedule your emails.
Create and personalise content
One of the major advantages of email above other forms of direct messaging is that it allows you to include long-form content, and content in more than one form. You can write an interesting blurb or even a short blog post, include links for those who want to read more, pop in a captivating visual and even use video content right in the body of your email. You should put careful thought into every part of a mailer, from the title to the writing to the layout. Don’t make it too busy, but make it engaging!
As in any marketing channel, data is immensely useful when it comes to creating an effective email campaign. Knowing more about the customers on your list allows you to segment them and personalise your email content accordingly. You can start off small with this, perhaps separating your list into age groups and switching up the email content to ensure that it will be interesting to every recipient. From there, you may delve into segmenting by gender, location, previous purchases and more.
Don’t stick to generic content, either. Use current events and relevant themes in your emails—for example, seasonal sales, holiday-based content, and comments on what’s going on in the world. Just be sensitive and tactful.
Keep it regular
There’s a happy medium when it comes to your email marketing schedule. Just as you wouldn’t want to be in someone’s face constantly trying to sell them something in person, you don’t want to bombard their inbox with constant messaging. Too many emails is a catalyst for unsubscribing. That being said, you also don’t want them to forget about your company completely—and it would be a shame to miss out on more chances to get your products in front of them.
The frequency of your emails will depend on what you are selling. For items that people purchase often, several a week may be appropriate. For bigger ticket items, once or twice a month may be sufficient. In most cases, once a day is too much. The only real way to ascertain the ideal regularity of emails for your business is to experiment, and use the resultant data to guide you—open rates, unsubscribe rates and other metrics will give you an idea of what’s working and what is not.
Whatever the schedule you decide upon, we recommend that you keep it reasonably regular. There’s nothing wrong with adding an email here and there for a sale event or similar but otherwise, aim to stay on schedule so you’re not missing opportunities.
Sweeten the deal
Emails are a fantastic way to communicate sales to your customers. They can also boost sales through special vouchers and discounts—and this is particularly effective if you make your customers feel special with personalised offers. With the right software, you can offer discounts on items that customers have viewed or put in their carts but failed to purchase. Often, this will help them over the edge.
If you put some enticing offers in your emails and do it on the regular, your customers are much more likely to be motivated to open them. It’s the proverbial carrot which will lead readers to open the email, head to your site and, ideally, take a look around and become return customers.
Looking for more information about how to best use email as a marketing tool? You may be interested in our five quick email marketing tips. For help with your next marketing campaign, get in touch with the Media Giant team. We can provide guidance and strategy in all things direct marketing!