• digital

Salmat business manager - lifecycle marketing Melle Staelenberg discusses the importance of a strong email marketing strategy.

Checking emails has firmly cemented its place in our daily routines and email is now a vital marketing tool. Email marketing is cost effective and highly efficient - also, most email platforms have become a breeze to use compared to 5 years ago.

Of the 1.4 million Australians who purchase women’s clothes online every month, 39% say email is the most important influence on their buying decision, so it’s a tool that fashion retailers can’t afford to misuse.

While it’s easy to master the email marketing basics, data is key for elevating you above the competition.

Your approach to data analysis, integration and actioning will decide if your customers see you as ‘on-trend’ or ‘last season’.

The number of emails we receive each day can be quite overwhelming. So how can you ensure your email stands out from the crowd? Personalisation.

Every customer is different, and it’s important to show each and every one of them that you know and value them, by understanding their behavioral patterns.

To achieve that, you need to constantly gather data about their interests and build personalised emails based on those insights.

For example, you might see that Sarah clicks most on content related to office attire, so you can ensure future emails to her feature similar content.

However, it is easier said than done. A common problem for retailers in Australia is that their data is stored in different databases and lists.

Often, email databases aren't linked to online user profiles or in-store purchases. This means you risk overwhelming customers with irrelevant marketing material, like sending them an email about a dress they just purchased from in store.

The different data you own should be consolidated in a single system, to give you the most holistic picture of your customers and their tastes. Data reconciliation is essential to craft targeted, relevant email communications.

The more data you possess about customers, the more you can segment them into specific categories, and the more variables you can personalise in your emails for each recipient.

This is how your email campaigns can win their attention, help you maintain a regular, healthy level of engagement and ultimately drive sales.

Conquest Sports, licensed distributor of Converse in Australia uses email marketing automation to know their customers better, incentivising data enrichment campaigns with discount coupons, and then sending them more relevant information based on their profile.

UK fashion brand Barbour used personalisation in email to grow their Click Through Rate (CTR) from 31.7% to a peak of 57%, whilst open rates soared from 41% to 61%. Consequently, the brand grew email from roughly 1% of revenue to nearly 6% of total sales.

Now that your systems are connected, and you have customers’ attention, your open, click through, and conversion rates are likely to improve. But the most efficient way to convert your browsers to buyers is email remarketing.

Those emails enable you to re-engage customers that didn’t convert, but showed a strong interest in certain products, or even abandoned their carts.

Knowing that for each purchase made, two transactions are abandoned, email remarketing is a powerful tool to transform missed opportunities into actual conversions.

They can be even more effective when you provide an incentive to encourage people to finalise their purchase. Imagine Sarah abandoned a cart with shoes and you retarget her a week later with free shipping, you might have yourself a sale.

Email remarketing improves the shopping experience of your customer by meeting their needs in real-time, and also helps refine your personalisation strategy.

Just be sure to review all your automated programs to avoid overloading customers with emails which would encourage them to unsubscribe. Most platforms make it easy to avoid this by allowing you to set daily or weekly limits and exclusion rules.

With consumers receiving hundreds of emails a week, it is important to cut-through the clutter.

In Australia, retail and consumer products see an average email open rate of 32.4% and CTR of 4.4%, but personalised email is proven to deliver 26% higher unique open rates, and six times higher transaction rates.

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