6 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Email Marketing Efforts

If you think email is an outdated marketing channel, think again. According to recent research, 68% of consumers prefer to receive brand communications via email. So how can you make the most of your email marketing efforts in order to acquire your best customers and keep them for life? We recommend focusing on these six areas:

1) Get Personal


Batch and blast email marketing is a way of the past. The key to success in today’s world is to get personal, and fortunately that’s easier to do than ever thanks to all of the customer data you can collect during digital interactions.

The first step to email personalization is to create audience segments. You can create these segments using:

  • Customer Attributes Static information like gender and lifetime value
  • Customer Behaviors Data collected over time such as email clicks and opens and products viewed or added to cart
  • Predictive Filters Data-based predictions about customers’ likelihood to take certain actions like unsubscribe from emails

Once you develop audiences, you can then use those segments to personalize engagement across multiple channels. For example, you can ensure your emails are relevant to recipients by populating content based on product affinity or recently viewed items.

2) Understand Your Options

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The next generation of triggered email programs will allow you to re-engage the entire customer funnel — not just cart abandoners. As a result, it’s important to understand all of your options, as pigeonholing yourself into certain types of programs can limit the value you realize. When considering your options, keep the following five types of triggered emails in mind:

  • Abandonment Target both early and late stage shoppers with abandoned category, search, product and cart emails as well as those who seem ready to abandon your brand
  • Product Catalog Give middle stage shoppers the push they need to make a purchase by notifying them of product updates around new merchandise, price decreases, low inventory or back in stock items
  • Recommendations Inspire early stage shoppers with recommendations based on their previous behavior, including cross-sell suggestions and wishlist reminders
  • Post Purchase Continue the conversation even after a purchase with post purchase triggers like confirmations, customer service surveys, product review and social share requests and next-sell recommendations
  • Reminders Keep your best customers close with reminders such as birthday or anniversary celebrations and replenishment suggestions for commonly purchased products

3) Create Beautiful, Functional & Effective Emails


The success of an email hinges on several different components, including how the email looks and the content it contains. When it comes to building a successful email, it’s important to keep in mind the following best practices:

  • Think cross-device and use responsive design to ensure a consistent experience rather than hiding mobile content for desktop users
  • Get personal from the very beginning by being product-specific in your subject line
  • Spark engagement by making email content product-centric, for example by placing personally relevant products above the fold and adding related products
  • Create templates that allow for a varying number of product features based on how many products customers have viewed
  • Keep usability and readability in mind by avoiding overlay links, dynamic text on images and custom font stacks

4) Close the deal


Your email lands in your customers’ inboxes, they open it and then what? Did you entice them enough to make a purchase? The following tricks can give that final push you need to really seal the deal:

  • Create a sense of urgency to buy recently viewed products with triggers for low inventory, price drops and back in stock alerts
  • Hit customers right at their time of need with intelligent replenishment offers that trigger based on their typical purchase timing
  • Garner trust by featuring new product reviews in your emails
  • Dynamically populate offers based on discount preference, cart value and more

5) Learn & Improve


How are your emails performing? And how can you optimize them? Key metrics to evaluate include delivers, opens, clicks, conversions, unsubscribes, attributed revenue and revenue per email. These metrics will help you understand how your program is performing over time, what’s working well and what needs improvement.

When you find areas for improvement, one way to optimize your efforts is through A/B testing. If you take on A/B testing, be sure to follow these best practices:

  • Isolate your test variables and always test against a control version
  • Test simultaneously to account for changes in behavior by season and changes in product catalog
  • Check if results are statistically significant before declaring a winner
  • Get creative with what you test — think about length, urgency, promotions, etc. — the options are limitless

6) Extend Your Reach


Finally, be sure to consider opportunities to expand on the success of your retail email marketing by going cross-channel. As you do so, consider the following use cases:

  • Find new prospects with Facebook Lookalikes by syncing focused audience segments, such as those with a high predicted customer lifetime value and high preference for a certain category
  • Keep customers who are likely to unsubscribe from emails in the fold by engaging with them on Facebook
  • Capture missed impressions on existing campaigns by integrating with AdWords Paid Search or Shopping campaigns
  • Target customers with high predicted customer lifetime value, share post-purchase cross-sell offers or deliver win-back offers to at-risk customers by syncing audiences with MediaMath
  • Create a seamless end-to-end experience with personalized hero images, banners, lightboxes and redirects on your website by syncing audiences with retail personalization software

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