Ottawa (PRESS RELEASE – August 31, 2009) – With summer vacation halfway over, it’s time for retailers to start their back-to-school promotions. Email marketing is an easy and cost-effective way for retailers large and small to reach out to consumers with back-to-school deals and offers. A recent eMarketer study showed that email was second only to SEO in terms of effectiveness among other online marketing tools, clearly demonstrating the competitive advantage email marketing brings to any type of business – especially retailers during busier shopping seasons such as back-to-school.
Campaigner, a leading email solutions provider, is offering retailers email marketing tips and real-world retail promotion examples on how to maximize sales opportunities during this back-to-school shopping season.
Economic outlook for back-to-school 2009
The National Retail Federation estimates that the average family with children in kindergarten through 12th grade is expected to spend $548.72 on back-to-school products this year. On the other hand, college students and their parents will spend an average of $618.12 this year as they purchase more expensive electronics and dorm room items along with other back-to-school products. However, while people are still spending on school products, it’s important to note that research has also found that four out of five U.S. consumers said they will be changing their back-to-school purchase plans as a result of the economy. This can be problematic for retailers who rely on these busier times to gain a major share of their annual revenues.
Tips for driving sales with budget-conscious consumers
The following tips can help retailers enhance their email marketing campaigns and drive sales with consumers looking for value and savings.
1. Strengthen your customer connection in this challenging economy – In every email communication your top objective should be to get closer to your customers. We’re all living through challenging economic times. Find a way to acknowledge that everyone is tightening their belts and surprise your customers with a special deep discount or give away. Taking that extra step will strengthen customer loyalty, which will benefit you now and in the long run when customers are again able and ready to spend more freely.
2. Offer ideas on what are the must-have back-to-school items – Since many consumers will be reducing their spending, they’ll be focused on back-to-school essentials. Offer them ideas as to what are the must-haves for the upcoming school year. You could also accent your offers with attractive images enticing shoppers to make a quick purchase.
3. Promote special offers up front – Your subject line is the perfect opportunity to make sure your customers know up front that you are offering back-to-school specials. Since it is the first thing read, and often the decision factor as to whether or not your email is deleted, it’s important to show your subscribers what you have to offer. Provide them a deal they can’t refuse and that’s a guaranteed way to get your email opened!
4. Offer specials and additional incentives – When it comes to pinching pennies, offering online-only coupons, discounts and special membership pricings are enticing ways to grab the attention of potential shoppers.
5. Encourage future purchases with customer rewards – Offer special discounts, coupons and rewards for purchases made on school supplies that consumers can use on future school-related purchases. Ask customers if they would be interested in signing up for frequent buyers, customer rewards and birthday gift programs. Use these programs to your advantage by gathering additional profile information from participating customers that you can use for improving the timing and targeting of future email marketing campaigns.
“The back-to-school season is a perfect time for retailers to reach out to customers with the latest promotions and special offers,” said Steve Adams, vice president marketing for Campaigner. “It’s especially important for small businesses to keep in touch with their customers in order to show their value in comparison to the bigger brand companies. Email marketing is a great equalizer in this regard. ”
Retailers share back-to-school promotion plans
“We always have a big marketing push during the back-to-school season and Campaigner is a huge part of our success,” said Mark McKnight, eCommerce & Marketing Director of Rock Creek, an independent specialty outdoor retailer. “We promote our backpack sale through our newsletter which not only speaks to the back-to-school audience, but also to our core customers. These promotions through our newsletter have generated a higher ROI than any other channel.”
“Campaigner has helped us tremendously with our marketing efforts,” said Doug Ott of Olan Mills, a provider of professional portraits founded in 1932 with hundreds of studios located throughout the U.S. “We recently began a newsletter targeted mostly to mothers that includes special offers, discounts and coupons – and back-to-school provides memorable photo opportunities for families that last a lifetime.” Doug continued, “This tactic helps promote our business and build customer loyalty. Offering promotions through Campaigner has also shown us great results with our open rates!”
For businesses that haven’t tried email marketing, Campaigner has a 30-day free trial and free StartUp! services to help you design and launch your first campaigns. To begin a free trial today or to learn more please visit https://www.campaigner.com/registration/order1.aspx
Campaigner’s software-as-a-service email marketing solutions enable organizations to have highly personalized one-to-one email dialogues with their customers, measure how they respond, and analyze those responses to interact in a more intelligent, automated way – resulting in more profitable relationships. It is part of a total Software as a Service (SaaS) business communications offered by Protus that also includes MyFax, the fastest-growing Internet fax service used by individuals, small, medium and large business, and the my1voice feature-rich virtual phone service. Additional information is available at http://www.campaigner.com.