7 tips for dynamic commerce marketing emails

marketing, keyboardWith global brand and retail spend on digital marketing activities set to reach US$200 billion in 2015, there is no shortage of room to experiment. As commerce marketers tweak their methods, keep in mind these seven digital marketing best practices:

1. Resonate with relevance
Your marketing messages must connect with target recipients. So segmentation is the name of the game. Segmentation strategies have a bad rap for being too complicated and time intensive.

But it doesn’t have to be complicated; even basic segmentation can increase engagement and drive sales quite painlessly. For example, breaking audiences down into simple groups, such as purchasers and non-purchasers or males and females, can have a dramatic effect.

An analytics strategy can drive the right messages to the right people. This starts with understanding all that you can from your data. Review which emails are getting the best open, click through and conversion rates from which subscribers, figure out why, and then use these insights to guide your thinking.

2. Grow your audience
Even the best, most timely messages don’t provide much value if your target list is too small. With that in mind, there are some simple measures you can use to attract new subscribers.

Start with your site’s high-traffic areas. These are often where new subscribers visit first, so you’ll want a single field opt-in form prominently displayed at the top of your homepage. You may also consider using a pop-up on your website to prompt new visitors to sign up.

Make sure the sign-up process is as straightforward as possible and limit the number of fields required to join an email programme. Additional information can be gathered over time through pointed drip campaigns or a clever “manage preferences” call to action.

3. Focus on compelling subject lines
If a perfect email is written and no one reads it, was it ever created? Amazing content is wasted if no one opens the email.

While there isn’t a one size fits all approach to success, think through the call to action of your message and consider how you can whet a recipient’s appetite to open the email.

4. Socialise the conversation
Social media is a valuable channel through which brands can engage with consumers, grow their audiences and nurture deeper relationships. Retail marketers need to take advantage.

Make your online presence more measurable by capitalising on the significant interplay between email and social marketing campaigns. Social and email campaigns can readily complement each other.

For those retail marketers engaged with Instagram, you can promote your products with posts on the platform that trigger ready to shop emails to interested users who ‘liked’ posts of those products.

5. Keep your design device agnostic
Sure you know how your site and emails look on your mobile device, but do you know if the shopping experience on other tablets or phones is pleasing or even functional?

Do some homework to see how your customers are currently interfacing with your mobile assets. At minimum, ensure that you have a responsive design to your marketing emails, where content expands, contracts and rearranges, depending on the smartphone or tablet a person is operating.

6. Automate and reconnect
The ability to automate communications is a fantastic asset in a retail marketer’s toolbox– as long as it doesn’t result in a deluge of messages.

Decide which messages are the most important – a customer who’s just bought an item will be pleased to receive a shipping confirmation, but may not be happy with an email offering a discount on his or her next shopping experience.

Another favourite tool of retail marketers is the basket abandonment emails. Make sure the message is about service and not selling. Instead of featuring urgency or a discount in these messages, make them a simple way for shoppers to reconnect with their basket, or suggest similar items in-store or on your site.

7. Connect instore to online
Connected commerce is important, but there are a few simple ways that your bricks and mortar presence can help your digital marketing efforts.

Offer customers the opportunity to receive their in-store receipts via email. This is not only a valuable and contemporary service for customers, but also an opportunity to send them additional promotions around relevant products or invite them to join a loyalty programme.

As time passes, email marketing becomes increasingly refined. There are more techniques to use and more tools to tinker with. While you are doing what it takes to stay at the cutting edge, it’s a good idea to keep these seven core practices top of mind.

Shannon Ingrey is GM, Australia Bronto Software.

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