If you’ve been sitting gaping at your Facebook wall, waiting for engagement and sales to happen then get ready for a surprise. Email marketing is more powerful than any other marketing tool! An average urban Canadian adult spends close to six hours a day checking emails on his mobile or his desktop PC. There are obviously more email addresses than there are social media accounts and for the past 10 years, email marketing has been reportedly producing higher ROI than all other marketing channels. Emails bring 17% more value per conversion than social media and are 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. (Source: Adroll 2016 survey)
While email marketing continues to out-perform the more popular social channels, most retail brands keep their email marketing limited to newsletters that announce sales. Some add to this the ritual of sending an automated thank you mail at the time of purchase. There’s more to email marketing for retail, really! And if you do it right, your brand can live in their inbox, ready to pop out as soon as they decide to shop.
You’ve got a huge customer base. And if you try and put them into classes as per their shopping behaviour, what do you find? Customers who shop only at sales, customers who have stopped shopping from you, customers who are loyal to you and come back for more, customers who come to you for a specific need only. Now imagine sending a personalized letter to each one of them. Telling some their favorite brand is in-store or telling them you’re having a special wine and shop event, or calling them over to get a friend along and avail the 2 for 1 deal, or just telling them summer’s over, we’re ready for your fall needs and we miss you. To say all this with no ads interrupting, no social pressure of following or commenting. Just a personal email, between you and your customer. Wow!
If you are convinced to give email marketing a shot or if you’ve done so in the past and not really experienced an Aha moment, then these tips will come handy, designed specifically for retail brands.
From A Human To A Human
We don’t mean it like your brand is a human, we mean it literally. Your brand, of course, is human. But instead of sending the email from your brand, try using a real name. It could be you or your store manager, or an alias name which represents your team. Reports say that people are 30% more likely to open emails that come from a person rather than a brand. (Hint: names with two syllables works best better than single syllable ones). That’s why all Cucumber Marketing emails go from Helen or Julie. 😉
Emails should go to a human too. Don’t treat your customer like an email ID. Include that personal touch that best suits your brand voice. For eg, “Hi Samantha, It’s been long since you visited us. How’ve you been? We were wondering if you’d be interested in ….”
Follow The 411 Rule
The 411 rule is simple. 4 non-selling emails, 1 hard sale and 1 soft sale. So every 6 emails, this is the pattern you need to follow. This way your customer will learn to trust you and look forward to your emails. You could teach how to wear those new styles, offer her to review your latest product, invite her over for wine and preview and at the same time you could tell her when there is a sale on one of her favorite brands or when there is a new accessory that she could add to her collection.
You could argue that this is what we keep telling you to share on social media but hey, Facebook doesn’t always show your content to your followers. Your Instagram post might be going unnoticed. But what you have in your control, is your email. Make it the best one.
Your Subject Line! Woo Them Here
If you are not getting good open rates, or if your emails are making a straight dive into the trash can, it’s probably because your pick up line isn’t too good. Yes, don’t take offense but it is a pickup line because you are fetching for a conversation. You want her to take notice. Your retail customer is getting flooded by almost 90 emails every day, why will she read yours? Take these easy subject line tips:
Say something unusual – ‘For the love of pink.’
Ask a question – ‘When do you usually have coffee?’
Say something personal – ‘About last night, we just loved your …’
Surprise them – ‘This amazing gizmo will make your mornings better’
Leave them curious – ‘The last one is truly you’
Share Something Personal
Don’t bore them with sales sales sales. They don’t want to always talk about stuff that pinches their pocket. So talk about other stuff. Like fashion brands can share the perfect holiday wardrobe or an electronics brand can share tips to keep the gizmos updated, food brands could share what makes a perfect evening meal, a yoga instructor can share his views about the latest yoga pant trends. Just give them reasons to stay connected and visit your store. And not always for a sale.
They Should Be The First To Know, Literally
When you have promised them that they will be the first ones to know of your sale or your offers or new arrivals then keep your promise. Don’t defeat the purpose of them signing up for your newsletter. If you announce your offer/news/event on Facebook the same day as you send the newsletter, then that’s just cheating. Be good, there. Let your newsletter be special, eh?
CTAs Are A Thing. And So Are Landing Pages
So CTA. It’s not something that exists only for e-commerce websites. CTA existed long before internet happened. Every little piece of communication should have a CTA (Call To Action). And a CTA is complete with the perfect landing page. So let’s say you don’t sell online, but are sending a newsletter announcing new fall season products range. Your CTA will be to visit the store to explore the collection or if you have some blog that shows the latest collection then your CTA could be ‘ find our latest collection’. Where would this CTA lead to? Your ‘store locator’ page, your ‘blog’ or your ‘product(s)’ page, your ‘about us’ page – it has to lead to somewhere which is in tandem with your entire newsletter. One CTA.
Visually Beautiful. Blow Their Minds
I’ve saved the most important one for the last. (Though I’d been dropping hints with all the images here). Your email has to be beautiful. It should look great on a mobile or on a desktop and it should please on a sunny day, spread warm on a cold day. It should transfer the experience of your store/brand to their inbox.
There. That’s about it. These are quick and easy email marketing tips. But email marketing a very intricate and powerful medium. I like to call it a personal social tool. You will need an automated email service provider, you will need to track and analyze your emails, build your subscription list – it’s a whole new field to explore. If you want to talk more about this, you can always stop by our Greenhouse on Robson street in beautiful Vancouver. Or you can call us to discuss what’s on your mind. We love talking marketing. Yadda yadda yadda.
P.S. Don’t forget to read our amazing tips for retail brands in Vancouver – the perfect Editorial Calendar, common social media mistakes, how to use Pokémon Go for local marketing and ideas to make your sales work better.