SmartEtailing Blog

Keep your customers coming back

By Suzie Livingston
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Email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective marketing tools. With 99% of email users checking their inbox every day, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss out on.

We have retailers ask about email marketing almost every day. It’s really no surprise because, for every dollar spent on email marketing, retailers see an average of a 38x return on investment. 

Take a moment to look at your own inbox. You probably have emails from national brands and retailers you’ve bought from. These companies understand the value of email marketing and staying in front of customers. Don’t forget that these are your customers too and you need to compete for attention.

The power of automated emails lies in the ability to leverage customer data to effectively communicate with your customers in a personalized way.

Two types of emails

There are two main types of marketing emails - automated and promotional. 

Automated emails are the highest performing emails when measured by open and click-thru rates. The power of automated emails lies in the ability to leverage customer data to effectively communicate with your customers in a personalized way. 

Automated emails allow you to pull in everything from the customer’s name to the bike they purchased to the last time they brought their bike in for service in order to deliver a relevant, valuable experience to your shoppers. 

By putting your POS data to work for you, you can send your bike customers content specific to the type of bike they bought. Increase shopping frequency by suggesting accessories, services, or events geared towards the type of riding they do.

The best part of automated emails is that they’re automated! Utilizing email services like Retail Toolkit, you can set up email campaigns and let them run. Stay top of mind without lifting a finger. 

Where automated emails are driven by personal data, promotional emails usually go out to everyone on your customer list.  

Promotional emails are what most of us think of when we hear “email marketing”. These emails are typically focused on sending a general message that you want all of your customers to receive. 

Promotional emails are great for announcing sales, promoting key categories, building brand awareness, and getting the word out about upcoming events and local rides. 

Although promotional emails have lower open and click-thru rates compared to automated emails, they are very effective at communicating with a large audience and increasing traffic to your website.

Email marketing best practices

Use these tips for automated and promotional emails to win sales, drive traffic, and engage with your customers. 

  • Deliver value

Send emails relevant to the season, your business, and your customers. 

  • Short, descriptive subject lines

Remember you are competing with every other brand out there for the customer’s attention, so make your subject line enticing and concise. 

  • Consistent branding

Customers should be able to take one look at your email and know it came from you based on the colors, font, and your logo.

  • Focus your message

Present your customers with a main topic and 2-4 supporting subtopics. We find this leads to the best click-thru rate and delivers the most value to the shopper, quickly.

  • Write for skimmers

Your customers are busy just like you and it’s likely that they will not sit down and read a long email. Make the takeaways obvious so customers can take a look and immediately comprehend what the message is. 

  • Include a call to action

You are sending an email to get your customers to take action. Use buttons and links with phrases like “Shop Now”,  “Schedule Your Service”, or “Check out our events calendar”.

  • Keep it mobile-first

Most of your customers will be looking at your email on their phone, so make sure it’s easy to read and navigate.

Have a plan

The steps to getting started are the same as maintaining a sustainable plan and sticking to it. 

Have a process for collecting emails in-store and online. Ask for each customer’s email address at the register and train your staff on the reason why. Add an email sign-up in the footer of your website to passively collect emails from interested visitors. 

The most common barrier we hear from retailers is that they don’t know what to send emails about. Start with what you are talking about in your store and the products you have available. Your customers want to know what’s new and ready to buy.

Plan your content ahead of time to make it easy to maintain momentum. Creating a regular cadence of seasonally relevant content will make your life easier.

As far as frequency is concerned, we recommend sending an email once a month then increase the cadence as your results improve. 

Make sure your website is merchandised to convert browsers to buyers. The customer journey from email call to action to catalog to the shopping cart should be easy.  Use the complimentary marketing content included in your SmartEtailing website subscription to make merchandising easy. 

As you begin sending emails, you are going to have more customers engaging with your website. Ensure your shopping cart is enabled and review your ecommerce settings to achieve the best results.

Get started

Now more than ever, it’s important to have an email marketing plan or dial in your existing email marketing. Whether you’re new to email marketing or a seasoned pro, we’re here to help you build lifetime customers.

Want more?

Suzie and Mark sat down with marketing pro, Hannah, to chat about all things email marketing.

Topics: Client Updates Marketing

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