A simple way to personalize an email is by addressing each recipient by name. Attribute the message to a real member of the team. Make sure that the customer can reply to the email instead of an automated generic address which doesn’t allow replies.
Retailers can send the right message at the right time to increase email marketing success by 6x
On average, how many promotional emails do you think you deleted just this week without even opening them? What about this month or year? Were you able to identify with the messaging or did the subject line alone make you push the ‘delete’ button?
Most promotional emails depending on the quality of a campaign, will never even be opened. More often than not, this can be attributed to retailers failing to understand what consumers are looking for in their emails.
By taking a second and seeing what customers respond to in their inbox, you increase the chances that consumers will see only material that relates to them. When you combine a personalized approach with an advanced POS system and eCommerce software that collects and stores unique customer information, you can reach customers more efficiently with a higher level of personalization.
Email Marketing is Vital in Today’s Retail Environment
Personalized email marketing is an essential tool in any digital retail marketer’s kit. Email remains one of the most widely used means of communications between individual customers and the businesses which serve them.
Email Marketing Stats:
- 99% of consumers check their email through a browser or mobile device everyday
- On average, individual consumers will check their personal email accounts up to 20 times in a single day
- Most consumers only identify with about 5% of the promotional emails that they receive
- 78% of teenagers use email (really!), and almost 53% said they have made a purchase from marketing emails
- As of 2023, there are 1.8 billion Gmail users, 850 million iCloud users, and 227.8 million Yahoo users
- As of 2022, there were 4.26 billion email users globally with that number projected to increase to 4.73 billion in 2026
Email continues to be a convenient mode of marketing communication because it is asynchronous (necessary for the always-connected online world across global time zones) and totally independent, meaning you can use any email service on any device of your personal choosing.
This facet is now amplified with the introduction of artificial intelligence technology being embraced by global tech companies and email marketing services offering AI tools in the message composition and CRM management process.
Email send automation, consumer data mining, advertisement placement, message interaction metrics and any factor possible is being utilized for increasing the reach of personalized customer email marketing.
Watch a short video below to learn how you can personalize your emails based on past purchases.
Email Marketing Automation Breaks through the Noise
We know it sounds counter-intuitive to use automation in your retail email marketing strategy, especially when the average email inbox is overflowing with messages that are mostly commercial in nature. But when you implement a few simple methods into the automation process, your messages have a better chance of being opened.
Remember, most humans want to be respected and acknowledged as unique individuals. Don’t treat potential customers as interchangeable parts in a needlessly elaborate email machine.
Basic email marketing automation strategies:
- Create customer segments
The first step towards a personalized customer email experience is identifying key metrics. This data, collected from your POS system and eCommerce platform, can be categorized meaningfully to aid in the creation of effective email campaigns. Your integrated retail CRM system can then use this data to automatically segment customers based on various factors including, but not limited to, customer demographics, product type preferences, order frequency, average order values, and more.
- Personalize the messaging
Instead of sending the same email to a giant contact list uploaded from an equally large Excel sheet, you should send emails that consider their unique preferences and behaviors. Consumers can smell mass-generated cookie-cutter messages from a mile away and are more likely to delete it than they are to open it. Worse yet, they’ll mark mass message emails as spam which can impact your sender reputation with email providers and can even result in banning from the email provider.
- Keep messages relevant
The best lists and segmentation are useless when they aren’t used to create relevant messaging. This requires a full understanding across all of your sales channel integrations (in-store, online and marketplaces) and properly knowing what message to send that will likely result in a conversion. The key is attaching every shopping behavior, be it from a single website or in-store visit to a full conversion, into a response loop that automatically generates the most appropriate and relevant messaging.
- Automate the process
The process from creating segments, personalizing the messaging, sending out emails, and analyzing results should be automated. At Celerant, our email marketing automation tool can be integrated with our point of sale system, eCommerce websites, and mobile apps, and lets you create custom workflows that can trigger emails to send to targeted groups or to individual customers. The segments in step 1 for example, can be further automated and attached to triggers to send when specific events happen in the software. Examples of triggers can be actions such as (1) left products in their shopping cart, (2) birthday is in this month, (3) have loyalty rewards left to redeem, (4) purchased a product in which you want to encourage an online review, and more.
- Analyze the results
After your customer emails are sent, it is a necessity to measure the results. Taking your advanced marketing metrics such as bounce rates, conversions, click-through, open rates and more are an imperative factor to identify what is and what is not working. After you compile these results and analyze the finer points, you need to further experiment with different approaches to sending your personalized marketing emails.
Automated Email Marketing in Action
With the basic breakdown of creating an email strategy, let’s take a look at those steps when put into an example of an individual preparing for a hiking adventure:
A customer, planning a 6-month hike on the Appalachian Trail, begins her online research for the right gear. She stumbles upon a blog post titled “best ways to keep your feet dry on long hikes” and opts into the outfitter’s newsletter, signaling her interest.
She visits the store, engages with sales consultants, and experiences a product demo. Despite the informative session, she decides not to purchase immediately. This presents an opportunity for marketers to extend the relevance beyond the physical store.
The customer starts receiving personalized emails from the outfitter’s owner, establishing a credible relationship based on relevance. Knowing she’s embarking on her hike in 3 months and needs a full pack, the emails are tailored to her needs, avoiding an aggressive barrage of random messages.
The advanced notice of her hike allows the outfitter to pace their outreach, deploying weekly A/B tested messages. They even sync messages with known weather patterns and customer zip codes, such as suggesting essential tools for hiking Joshua Tree in the spring.
The outfitter uses customer behavior as a guide for their campaign. If an email generates a page visit or is read for five minutes, it’s a positive signal. However, if the email is closed within three seconds, it’s an indication to adjust the approach.
Takeaways for Automating your Email Marketing
By being able to create workflows and designate different triggers for different campaigns, you can create extremely personalized experiences which is the key to delivering value to your customers.
A customer who has abandoned her shopping cart might be nudged with an offer to pick up her product in-store. Another customer who has not purchased from you for a while might be enticed with Black Friday deals or a new product line.
Experimenting is like searching in the dark unless you have data guiding you. And if your company already has experience running successful email marketing campaigns, then you can use the data for strictly optimization purposes.
Automating the email marketing process frees up time and resources to focus on ensuring that your messaging is hitting the inbox of customers at the right time and with the right message.
Learn new ways to create an email strategy with our email marketing 101 eBook!
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