How to Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

May 25, 2010 by  Filed under: Email 

Through all the social media hype, email has held its ground as one of the most effective online retail marketing channels. According to a survey by the E-Tailing group, 79% of retailers want to increase their spending on email campaigns. Here are some of the things that retailers can do to ensure their emails convey the message and achieve desired results.

Content and Targeting

Content is where most email campaigns fall short. As a customer, very few would like to repeatedly receive just coupons and discount-oriented emails. Most users have anyways gotten used to searching the web for coupons before making a purchase. So, these messages do not offer too much value for the time and energy users would spend reading them. On the other hand, users would show more interest if contextual content can be added to these emails along with a relevant subject line.

If a retailer knows that a customer was searching for a Digital SLR the last time he visited the store, the inclination to purchase will be higher if an email with buying decision help reaches his mailbox. Most big retailers have such product related content on their sites, but fail to leverage it in email campaigns. The goal here is to create such informational experience that your customers look forward to receiving emails and love to share them with friends.

Targeting of this type or another can significantly improve efficacy of your email campaigns. Messages that are relevant to the audience will always perform better. Depending on data and tools available, segmentation can be behavioral or based on interest, demographics or purchase-history. Retailers need to choose the right mix of targeting and segmentation approach based on kind of products being sold and target audience.

Frequency and Timing

There is no one size fits all here, but general rule is to avoid spamming your customers. When I start getting couple of emails everyday even though I only buy once a year, I will get frustrated and unsubscribe. Worst still, I may never buy from this retailer. Amazon, with all its brand power, can afford to do this and still attract Lion’s share of eCommerce traffic. Almost all other retailers would be perceived as spammers.

Frequency is also product segment dependent. A retailer selling diapers can afford to send emails more frequently than a retailer selling LED Televisions. It is always good to ask the user how often and when they would like to receive emails. It is common knowledge that emails sent on Mondays and around Holidays are not very effective.

Bring a Social Twist

It is imperative that all marketing messages integrate social touch points. This can come in form of embedding sharing buttons or links to social fan pages. Integrating social components expands the reach of your emails and increases brand awareness. This results in larger email lists, more site traffic and increased ROI.

Jasmeet S. Sawhney

Jasmeet is a retail industry expert with special focus on new and emerging technologies.

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