How retail marketers can drive innovation with email marketing

It began slowly about a decade ago, with Linens & Things closing in 2008, Circuit City in 2009, Blockbuster in 2010, and Borders in 2011. Now, it seems like every other day we hear news of yet another retail store closing, or moving entirely online (like Linens & Things did).

Part of this change is due to the ‘Amazon effect’, or the idea that consumers can get anything they want, when they want it – no need to trek to a store’s physical location. According to eMarketer, more consumers are turning to Amazon to research products before they buy instead of Google. The times are a changin’ indeed.

Want to learn how Movable Ink helps leading retailers create amazing experiences?

Download our ebook, Movable Ink for Retail.

 

But let’s look at the numbers. It should come as no surprise that ecommerce is the biggest driver of retail sales growth in the UK. According to eMarketer, UK retail ecommerce sales will rise by 14.2% between 2017 and 2021, driven mainly by mobile commerce.

So, despite what many have deemed a “retail apocalypse”, consumers will continue to spend both in store and online. But the way that consumers are spending is changing, and retailers need to adapt to survive.

Movable Ink Co-founder and CEO Vivek Sharma said it best in his article, The Retail Bubble: How to Survive and Thrive with Digital Innovation:

This is about more than square footage, financial missteps, or the ebb and flow of natural business cycles. This is simply another chapter in the never-ending narrative of creative destruction leading to digital innovation.

The retail landscape will continue to evolve, and it’s up to retailers to embrace digital strategies that create better customer experiences if they want to thrive in this brave new world.

There are many ways retailers can elevate customer experiences both online and offline to meet their business goals. Here are three of the ways they can make that happen with email marketing, along with specific tactics for each.

1. Strengthen loyalty programs with personalized experiences

Email is essential for a successful loyalty program, but many brands aren’t taking advantage of it. Too often, email content is an afterthought. There are so many opportunities to surprise and delight your customers using a sophisticated campaign, especially for your loyal rewards members. Here are a few ways that marketers can strengthen their loyalty programs with email.

Display 1:1 real-time spend and rewards points for every customer

Complicated rules and difficulty redeeming points can often be the downfall of any loyalty program. So keeping it simple is important. According to a study by Colloquy, the number one reason consumers give for continuing to participate in a loyalty program is that it’s easy to understand (81%).

Help customers see the big picture with data visualization

The use of data visualization in marketing, like infographics, has skyrocketed over the past few years. And it makes perfect sense— graphics are more engaging and visual data is easier to digest. According to the SAGE Handbook of Political Communication, the human brain can make sense of a visual in less than 1/10 of a second.

So, incorporating data visualization into your loyalty program emails is a no-brainer. And it’s not as much work as you might think.

Add authenticity with user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a fresh, relevant way to market your products and services. And while the concept might not be new, the ways that marketers are leveraging UGC totally are. Consumers are now content creators, uploading and sharing images of their favorite products and services as a testament to their brand loyalty. And the sheer volume of digital content has grown exponentially thanks to platforms like Instagram and YouTube that encourage social sharing.

You can add user-generated content to your loyalty emails by displaying a live social feed, like Twitter or Instagram, in the body of your email. It’s the best way to showcase real customers using your products, adding authenticity to your emails.

2. Drive revenue with personalized promotional emails

Personalized experiences make for better retail marketing experiences because they’re incredibly effective for getting your customer’s attention. It’s also a huge priority for most marketers. And yet only 40% of consumers report seeing any kind of personalization at all. Here are just a few ways that retail marketers can improve those experiences with relevant offers.

Use contextual elements like geo-targeting and weather personalization

Meeting your customer where they are at the exact moment they open your email makes your email content both relevant and helpful. This type of contextual marketing lets you promote offers based your customer’s location or weather conditions, no matter where they are when they open your email.

This is also a great opportunity to drive foot traffic to any brick-and-mortar store locations by providing a local map with the stores nearest to each customer, and providing relevant store hours too.

Leverage customer behavior like browsing history and cart activity

Each of your customers is different, each with unique preferences. If you serve them an email based on their past interactions with your website, they’re far more likely to convert. Behavioral marketing lets you leverage those interactions – whether its browsing history on your website or items left in their shopping – to create email content that speaks to each individual. You could even offer product recommendations based on recently browsed products.

3. Enhance the productivity of every campaign

Productivity is a major challenge for most retail marketers – lean teams, tight production schedules, and limited resources all factor into this. Here are a few ways retail marketers can take advantage of their existing content to create great, on-brand experiences in email.

Repurpose your content

Email marketing is ideal for repurposing your best content. If your company has a blog, pull your best blog content into your welcome email series to get it in front of your new customers fast. For retailers, this might be a blog post featuring best-selling or most popular products.

And don’t forget about images – take advantage of any product images you have on your website by pulling them into your promotional emails for a seamless, experience that’s on brand.

Use time-targeting

Time-targeting is a tactic for sending multiple offers with just one email send, thus saving retail marketers tons of time. It’s ideal for promoting a new offer every day, like many retailers do in their Black Friday emails. Time-targeting builds excitement, drives urgency, and gives your customers something to look forward to.

Want to find out how Movable Ink is helping leading retail brands accomplish all of this, and more? Download our ebook, Movable Ink for Retail.

The post How retail marketers can drive innovation with email marketing appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Marketers can now combine the power of email with Salmat’s SMS platform in Australia

We’re delighted to announce that Salmat’s SMS distribution platform, MessageNet, is the first Australian extension to be integrated into dotmailer, making SMS easier and more cost-effective than ever before.

Salmat’s Digital Business Manager for Lifecycle Marketing, Melle Staelenberg, believes that the combination of MessageNet’s SMS capabilities and dotmailer’s excellent marketing automation platform is primed to deliver great benefits for marketers and drive overall campaign effectiveness, particularly for time-critical campaigns.

“The SMS functionality integrates seamlessly with dotmailer’s clear, easy-to-use drag and drop campaign interface, making it simple for marketers to build automations with both email and SMS interactions at appropriate points in the campaign. Not to mention with SMS, marketers can expect an open rate of around 98%,” said Melle.

MessageNet for dotmailer enables marketers to automatically deliver an SMS when emails show no engagement. This is ideal for more urgent, time-sensitive messages such as sales promotions, password resets and other account-related information.

Founder & President of dotmailer, Tink Taylor, said that Salmat has been a Gold Partner of dotmailer for more than two years and the integration of MessageNet further strengthens this relationship:

“We’re pleased to continue building our strategic partnership with Salmat by making MessageNet available as an integration in the dotmailer marketplace. Combining SMS and email is a proven success formula for retailers. We see great potential for marketers to take advantage of this extension to achieve even greater results in a cost-effective and efficient way,” said Tink.

MessageNet complements email marketing, delivering undeniable benefits to marketers:

  • SMS has an open rate of around 98%
  • MessageNet is ideal for messages that can’t wait
  • 90% of all SMS messages are read within three minutes of delivery
  • Average click-through rate for SMS is 36%; more than five times what is typically achieved with email

Why not give it a try by signing up for a free MessageNet trial or for more information visit our App Directory.

The post Marketers can now combine the power of email with Salmat’s SMS platform in Australia appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Marketers fess up – The DMA Marketer Email Tracker 2017

 

In November 2016 we learned that 84% of consumers found less than half of their emails ‘interesting or relevant’. This came as a bit of a shock, as email’s consistently named the preferred channel for customers to receive marketing from brands. In fact, it seemed quite plausible that marketers had been given rather short shrift when it came to the evaluation of their campaign content.

The recent Marketer Email Tracker Report 2017 from the DMA puts paid to that idea. According to findings, only 9% marketers surveyed said that all their emails are relevant to their customers. Perhaps more worryingly, only two in five (42%) said that ‘some’ of their emails are relevant.

While it’s helpful to customers that marketers can identify and acknowledge their shortfalls when it comes to email relevancy, this is just the first step to solving the issue – and those who champion email will need to act fast to salvage its title. Skip Fidura, our Client Services Director and chair of the DMA’s Responsible Marketing Committee comments:

“The warning signs are there. Over half of consumers have considered deleting their email account to control the flow of marketing emails they receive. As email marketers, we have a responsibility to our customers, to ourselves and to our businesses to keep our channel not just viable but thriving long into the future.

It all hinges on trust.

Both parties put a great emphasis on ‘trust’ as the key motivator for email signups. For marketers, having a ‘trustworthy reputation’ was found to be the most effective way to bag initial customer data (38%), with consumers across all age groups agreeing. And this finding isn’t exclusive to the Marketer Email Tracker. A recent Forrester report found that creating a trust-worthy, resonant relationship beats offer-led marketing in the race to secure long-term email engagement.[1] Consumers will quickly disengage and move on if marketers can’t do enough to prove their value-adding status.

Email remains ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for the majority (95%) of marketers.

It’s time we address this disconnect.  Marketers are happy to acknowledge a reliance on email marketing to generate healthy ROI. Yet they admit their failure to create campaigns that sufficiently engage customers to the level they expect. Perhaps this discrepancy is the result of an underestimation of the customer’s expectations; or it could be that a lack of sufficient resources means that marketers aspirations can’t be reached in day-to-day practice. At dotmailer, we suspect the truth is a combination.

One thing ‘s certain: Email is valuable to consumers and marketers alike. The balance needs to be redressed now before it’s too late.

Want to get more info on building a better email relationship with your contacts? Download our best-practice guide: 5 tactics for better email practice.

 

 

 

[1] From Great to Amazing: Building Brands with Enduring Resonance, Forrester 2016

The post Marketers fess up – The DMA Marketer Email Tracker 2017 appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Is multi-persona messaging a quick win for data-poor marketers?

It all comes down to the data, as always. The more data you capture and store, the more you get to know your customers and the more you can tailor the message so it’s relevant to them. dotmailer is an advocate of dynamic content and most retailers start by segmenting based on their data fields (i.e. gender, location, ages) etc., specifically changing the image and copy of a campaign so it suits a specific demographic. Equally, it’s important to send different messages based on an individual’s behavior – i.e. their engagement statistics. A retailer may want to send a more offer-based message to individuals with a low click-to-open-rate (CTOR), as opposed to individuals with a very high click rate.

Nevertheless, e-tailers are going that extra mile and are segmenting based on the RFM model (recency, frequency, monetary). This requires having your customers’ ecommerce data to hand, in near real time, and then targeting them based on how recently they purchase, how frequently within a given period and their lifetime value (LTV). For example, you may want to send a highly personalized message with specific luxury products to a VIP customer whose LTV is more than $1,000 or £1,000. Similarly, you might want to target customers who have purchased three times in the past six months, perhaps with purchase recommendations based on similar/complementary products.

But, what if the data isn’t all there?

Multi-persona messaging is a clever way to induce a subscriber to convert. Remember, conversion isn’t necessarily a purchase, but rather an objective of the email campaign. We can measure conversions in event registrations, filling out a survey, etc. It’s performing a specific action that will enrich a brand’s relationship with their customer.

Multi-persona messaging is a great way to increase the likelihood of a subscriber clicking through. According to Econsultancy, easyJet has got this spot on. Rather than sending a generic message to all of your database, it’s much more strategic to send them an email with several different messages. easyJet, for example, highlights four or five target audiences and then matches them with an appropriate destination. A young couple with a backdrop of Paris, or a family on a Sardinian beach – for instance – are images that many people would identify with. This means that, instinctively, the subscriber will wholly focus on the message that relates most to them. This avoids distraction and drop-off, providing the perfect conditions for a click.

This is where content is key: both the image and copy need to reflect the persona of the individual. In the most recent DMA Consumer Email Tracker report, 68% agreed with the statement that most of the marketing emails they received included no content or offers of interest to them, and 84% now find less than half of their emails ‘interesting or relevant’.

Obviously, it’s best practice to build up preferences of your customers, segment them on this basis and then target them with specific messages. However, it can take a business years to conquer the marketing sophistication curve. In the interim, multi-persona messaging can be a quick win to deliver conversions.

The post Is multi-persona messaging a quick win for data-poor marketers? appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Meet Dan Morris, Executive Vice President, North America

  1. Why did you decide to come to dotmailer?

The top three reasons were People, Product and Opportunity. I met the people who make up our business and heard their stories from the past 18 years, learned about the platform and market leading status they had built in the UK, and saw that I could add value with my U.S. high growth business experience. I’ve been working with marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners for years across a series of different roles, and saw that I could apply what I’d learned from that and the start-up space to dotmailer’s U.S. operation. dotmailer has had clients in the U.S. for 12 years and we’re positioned to grow the user base of our powerful and easy-to-use platform significantly. I knew I could make a difference here, and what closed the deal for me was the people.  Every single person I’ve met is deeply committed to the business, to the success of our customers and to making our solution simple and efficient.  We’re a great group of passionate people and I’m proud to have joined the dotfamily.

Dan Morris, dotmailer’s EVP for North America in the new NYC office

      1. Tell us a bit about your new role

dotmailer has been in business and in this space for more than 18 years. We were a web agency, then a Systems Integrator, and we got into the email business that way, ultimately building the dotmailer platform thousands of people use daily. This means we know this space better than anyone and we have the perfect solutions to align closely with our customers and the solutions flexible enough to grow with them.  My role is to take all that experience and the platform and grow our U.S. presence. My early focus has been on identifying the right team to execute our growth plans. We want to be the market leader in the U.S. in the next three years – just like we’ve done in the UK –  so getting the right people in the right spots was critical.  We quickly assessed the skills of the U.S. team and made changes that were necessary in order to provide the right focus on customer success. Next, we set out to completely rebuild dotmailer’s commercial approach in the U.S.  We simplified our offers to three bundles, so that pricing and what’s included in those bundles is transparent to our customers.  We’ve heard great things about this already from clients and partners. We’re also increasing our resources on customer success and support.  We’re intensely focused on ease of on-boarding, ease of use and speed of use.  We consistently hear how easy and smooth a process it is to use dotmailer’s tools.  That’s key for us – when you buy a dotmailer solution, we want to onboard you quickly and make sure you have all of your questions answered right away so that you can move right into using it.  Customers are raving about this, so we know it’s working well.

  1. What early accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?

I’ve been at dotmailer for eight months now and I’m really proud of all we’ve accomplished together.  We spent a lot of time assessing where we needed to restructure and where we needed to invest.  We made the changes we needed, invested in our partner program, localized tech support, customer on-boarding and added customer success team members.  We have the right people in the right roles and it’s making a difference.  We have a commercial approach that is clear with the complete transparency that we wanted to provide our customers.  We’ve got a more customer-focused approach and we’re on-boarding customers quickly so they’re up and running faster.  We have happier customers than ever before and that’s the key to everything we do.

  1. You’ve moved the U.S. team to a new office. Can you tell us why and a bit about the new space?

I thought it was very important to create a NY office space that was tied to branding and other offices around the world, and also had its own NY energy and culture for our team here – to foster collaboration and to have some fun.  It was also important for us that we had a flexible space where we could welcome customers, partners and resellers, and also hold classes and dotUniversity training sessions. I’m really grateful to the team who worked on the space because it really reflects our team and what we care about.   At any given time, you’ll see a training session happening, the team collaborating, a customer dropping in to ask a few questions or a partner dropping in to work from here.  We love our new, NYC space.

We had a spectacular reception this week to celebrate the opening of this office with customers, partners and the dotmailer leadership team in attendance. Please take a look at the photos from our event on Facebook.

Guests and the team at dotmailer's new NYC office warming party

Guests and the team at dotmailer’s new NYC office warming party

  1. What did you learn from your days in the start-up space that you’re applying at dotmailer?

The start-up space is a great place to learn. You have to know where every dollar is going and coming from, so every choice you make needs to be backed up with a business case for that investment.  You try lots of different things to see if they’ll work and you’re ready to turn those tactics up or down quickly based on an assessment of the results. You also learn things don’t have to stay the way they are, and can change if you make them change. You always listen and learn – to customers, partners, industry veterans, advisors, etc. to better understand what’s working and not working.  dotmailer has been in business for 18 years now, and so there are so many great contributors across the business who know how things have worked and yet are always keen to keep improving.  I am constantly in listening and learning mode so that I can understand all of the unique perspectives our team brings and what we need to act on.

  1. What are your plans for the U.S. and the sales function there?

On our path to being the market leader in the U.S., I’m focused on three things going forward: 1 – I want our customers to be truly happy.  It’s already a big focus in the dotmailer organization – and we’re working hard to understand their challenges and goals so we can take product and service to the next level. 2 – Creating an even more robust program around partners, resellers and further building out our channel partners to continuously improve sales and customer service programs. We recently launched a certification program to ensure partners have all the training and resources they need to support our mutual customers.  3 – We have an aggressive growth plan for the U.S. and I’m very focused on making sure our team is well trained, and that we remain thoughtful and measured as we take the steps to grow.  We want to always keep an eye on what we’re known for – tools that are powerful and simple to use – and make sure everything else we offer remains accessible and valuable as we execute our growth plans.

  1. What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?

The questions we usually get are around price, service level and flexibility.  How much does dotmailer cost?  How well are you going to look after my business?  How will you integrate into my existing stack and then my plans for future growth? We now have three transparent bundle options with specifics around what’s included published right on our website.  We have introduced a customer success team that’s focused only on taking great care of our customers and we’re hearing stories every day that tells me this is working.  And we have all of the tools to support our customers as they grow and to also integrate into their existing stacks – often integrating so well that you can use dotmailer from within Magento, Salesforce or Dynamics, for example.

  1. Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?

In addition to the ones above – ease of use, speed of use and the ability to scale with you. With dotmailer’s tiered program, you can start with a lighter level of functionality and grow into more advanced functionality as you need it. The platform itself is so easy to use that most marketers are able to build campaigns in minutes that would have taken hours on other platforms. Our customer success team is also with you all the way if ever you want or need help.  We’ve built a very powerful platform and we have a fantastic team to help you with personalized service as an extended part of your team and we’re ready to grow with you.

  1. How much time is your team on the road vs. in the office? Any road warrior tips to share?

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, one year I attended 22 tradeshows! Top tip when flying is to be willing to give up your seat for families or groups once you’re at the airport gate, as you’ll often be rewarded with a better seat for helping the airline make the family or group happy. Win win! Since joining dotmailer, I’m focused on being in office and present for the team and customers as much as possible. I can usually be found in our new, NYC office where I spend a lot of time with our team, in customer meetings, in trainings and other hosted events, sales conversations or marketing meetings. I’m here to help the team, clients and partners to succeed, and will always do my best to say yes! Once our prospective customers see how quickly and efficiently they can execute tasks with dotmailer solutions vs. their existing solutions, it’s a no-brainer for them.  I love seeing and hearing their reactions.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?

I’m originally from Yorkshire in England, and grew up just outside York. I moved to the U.S. about seven years ago to join a very fast growing startup, we took it from 5 to well over 300 people which was a fantastic experience. I moved to NYC almost two years ago, and I love exploring this great city.  There’s so much to see and do.  Outside of dotmailer, my passion is cars, and I also enjoy skeet shooting, almost all types of music, and I love to travel – my goal is to get to India, Thailand, Australia and Japan in the near future.

Want to find out more about the dotfamily? Check out our recent post about Darren Hockley, Global Head of Support.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com