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Retailers from across the globe are using email marketing to announce new products, promote sales, recommend products or celebrate their customers. And, thanks to email automation, it’s easier than ever to set up and send campaigns that are triggered for just the right moment.

As a retail marketer, you know that email is an important part of your comprehensive marketing strategy. Or, at least you should know that. If you don’t, allow us to shed some light on just how effective email marketing is at driving retail sales.

Here are the facts

If you didn’t think that email was a big player in the marketing industry, think again. Forrester Research conducted a study in 2015 on marketing budgets, and what they found is that when it comes to online spending, email marketing is second only to search-related budgets like Google Adwords. That’s a major portion of digital spend.

When it comes to Return on Investment, it’s incredibly efficient as well. eTail’s study on Retail Marketing showed that 17% of total digital budgets comprised of email, which brought in an impressive 24% of revenue. Have a look at the chart below, email is the only form of digital marketing where the marketing spend is clearly outweighed by the revenue share:

Custora, a lifecycle marketing platform, have also shown that 15% of their retail client’s e-commerce sales come directly from email marketing. They have also pointed out that email is by far one of the biggest revenue-driving channels for customers, in some cases making up as much as 40% of their total revenue.

What we can learn from these statistics is that email marketing is clearly a powerful weapon for your sales-generating arsenal. But the data is one thing, using email marketing to successfully run retail campaigns is another. Let’s have a look at how to do just that.

Turning numbers into profits

The most effective way that retail marketers are learning to boost their sales is by getting rid of the shotgun approach. Gone are the days of mass-message email blasts of the same content to all your customers. Nowadays, a more customised approach is making sure that the right customers get the right message at the right time. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1 – Personalise your Campaign

Our data has previously shown that email campaigns with personalised subject lines are 27% more likely to be opened and interacted with than their non-personalised counterparts. According to the Aberdeen Group, up to 96% of organisations believe that personalisation will improve performance.

Personalisation can take many forms, from including custom fields of the subscriber’s name, details about their previous purchases or account, or even drilling down to geographic location. Use personalisation to push content that is relevant to your subscriber’s exclusive interests, where they are in your sales cycle, or based on any number of custom fields you may have captured.

By providing relevant content, your subscribers are far more likely to be responsive.

Step 2 – Segment your Database

Segmentation is the practice of splitting subscribers into groups based on information that you have captured. This can include things like age, gender, location, job titles, if they’re regular spenders versus occasional spenders and so on. Segmenting your email campaigns can provide a massive 740% Return on Investment. Why does this work? Well it comes back to relevance. The more targeted your campaign is towards your subscribers’ interests, the more likely they are to act on it.

If you want to implement segmentation, you need to collect the data on your customers, the more the better. Start with whatever information they’ve provided, and make sure you’re capturing any other information of relevance. This way you’ll make sure that you stay relevant to their wants and needs, even before they know it.

Step 3 – Use Dynamic Content

Our built in template builder has a nifty feature that allows you to decide which of your customers can see what content within your email campaign. Instead of sending the same content to the entire database and having half of it not be relevant to those receiving it, this way we can personalise the very mailer content itself to different customers based on segments.

There’s no more need to have a one-size-fits-all campaign, or even split your campaign up into several sends. With Dynamic content you can create two different versions of the exact same email that’s relevant to your customer’s data, and do it all from within a single campaign.

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The Bottom Line:

Most marketing is successful as long as it stays relevant. Make sure your customers are getting content tailor-made for them via personalisation, segments and dynamic content, and you’ll see the profits from your retail email marketing start to soar.

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