Email marketing remains highly effective for small businesses. But many brick-and-mortar retailers leave money on the table by not taking advantage of email’s personalization capabilities. Sure, you personalize names and subject lines when you send your emails. But that just scratches the surface of the possibilities this avenue offers. Keep reading to find out how you can use personalized email marketing for maximum results.
How Are Retailers Using Email and What Do Customers Think About It?
A recent study, The Value of Personalization Optimization for Retailers, found most retailers are stuck at a beginner level when it comes to personalized email marketing. Currently, 86% of retailers in the study use first name personalization and 66% use subject-line personalization, but the report notes that is the bare minimum a retailer should be doing.
The more you personalize your marketing emails, the greater the rewards for your business. According to the study, marketers who invest in advanced personalization efforts can see more than $20 in return for every dollar they invest. They also drive over 17% more revenue than marketers that rely on more basic methods.
Consumers actually like it when the marketing emails they receive are personalized. When the survey asked consumers, “What do you like best about the email marketing offers that you receive from retailers?” the top answer (55%) was “It includes products that are relevant to me.”
Conversely, irrelevant emails make consumers less receptive to your message and may even turn them off entirely. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they opt-out and ignore email marketing messages that are irrelevant to them.
The survey also found that delivering a relevant experience is the primary way retailers are attempting to compete with Amazon.
How to Use Personalized Email Marketing to Sell More at Your Store
Given all that’s riding on personalization, how can you accomplish it? Here are five ideas to get you started personalizing your email marketing efforts.
You can use dynamic pricing based on inventory levels, demand or other factors. For example, send different pricing offers based on factors such as whether a product is in high demand (and low in your inventory) or whether you have a surplus and want to clear out your stockroom.
2. Behavioral Targeting
What behaviors do customers engage in on your website or in your store? For example, if someone spends a lot of time on your site or in your store on weekends, email offers timed for Friday afternoon (right before the weekend) could spur them to shop and buy. If a customer spends a lot of time browsing one part of your website—say, children’s shoes—your personalized email marketing could target them with offers for those specific products.
Timing can be everything when it comes to sparking a purchase. That’s why time-based personalized email marketing can be so valuable. Is a warranty for a customer’s product running out? Are they likely to need a refill on a consumable item such as skincare or supplements? Is it back-to-school season again? Personalized email marketing can deliver messages that help simplify customers’ lives by reminding them of things they need to do.
4. Rules-based Personalization
You can deliver different emails to different customers based on rules you set. For example, you can segment customers based on location, gender, age, and other factors to send email offers personalized for that segment. That eliminates errors like sending discounts on children’s clothing to a customer who doesn’t have kids.
5. Live Inventory Data
This personalized email marketing tactic uses dynamic content fields that adapt when the user opens the email to display available inventory at that moment. If a product is sold out when the email is opened, the customer could be notified of this and encouraged to check back later or asked if they want to sign up for alerts when the product is back in stock.
Data, data and more data reamain key to successful email personalization. Fortunately, most shoppers share quite a lot of info to get targeted emails. Use a loyalty program that tracks customer data. And tie it to your email marketing. Ask for information when customers first subscribe to your emails. And conduct quick surveys via email to build a treasure trove of data you can use for greater personalization.
Related reading: Email Marketing Guide for Beginners
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