As a retailer, you want to be as connected with your customers as possible. When you have a new product, you want your fan base to know so they can get to your store or to your website to make a purchase.
Not only do you want subscribers to receive timely messages about new products to help drive revenue, but you also want to keep them up-to-date whenever they make a purchase. You need to send payment confirmation emails, shipping notifications, and other transactional updates.
Retailers can also use strategic email marketing to improve customer retention, improve buyer trust, and increase conversion rates. With email, it’s simple to showcase products and reach customers right where they are.
In this comprehensive guide Campaign Monitor created in partnership with Shopify, break down email marketing specifically for retail. We’ll discuss why email is a great (and relatively inexpensive) marketing channel for retail businesses, as well as how to automate, personalize, and design beautiful emails to captivate and delight your customers. We’ll also offer helpful tips on how you can integrate your email marketing efforts with your existing systems.
Ready to read up on why retailers shouldn't skip out on email marketing? Here's why staying in touch with your customers can help shore up your sales:
Email Delivers the Best ROI
Retail businesses need a diverse marketing strategy that leverages many channels, but email should be front and center, as it ties directly to customer acquisition, conversion rates, and general purchase behavior. But don't take our word for it:
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. (McKinsey)
- 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. (MarketingSherpa)
- Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. (Monetate)
- A message is five times more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook. (Radicati)
- Email’s ROI was 28.5%, compared to just 7% for direct mail. (Chief Marketer)
The stats speak for themselves, and retailers are seeing how email can deliver more ROI than other channels, in part because email gives them a direct line of communication to their customer base.
Read the Entire Guide
To help you create compelling emails for your retail business to delight your customers, check out the full guide.
Email Supports Brick-and-Mortar Efforts
As a retailer, it’s easy to get so focused on web conversions that you forget how email can powerfully connect customers with physical retail locations. Never forget that many shoppers like to check out products in person before committing to a purchase.
Some retailers operate only online, but many others have physical store locations, or larger brick-and-mortar retailers carry their products. And email allows retailers to integrate both their on- and off-line efforts.
For example, De Beers uses email marketing to help connect subscribers with brick-and-mortar locations. During the last holiday season, they sent out an email encouraging customers to locate a store or shop their products online. In this way, they helped subscribers find their local retail location if that was their preferred shopping option.
Clever Ways to Integrate Email with Brick-and-Mortar Efforts
Unlike other types of businesses, retailers often have brick-and-mortar efforts running alongside their online marketing campaigns. Although online marketers often have web-oriented goals, it’s essential that brands take a holistic view, as there are many opportunities to integrate email marketing with brick-and-mortar efforts.
Retailers want to send emails that also help them with their brick-and-mortar efforts. How can they connect customers with their local stores?
How Retailers are Integrating Efforts
Running Side-by-Side Campaigns
Rather than making discounts exclusive to in-store or online shoppers, Sephora sends out discount emails alongside coupons. VIB customers (those who have opted into the store's loyalty program) receive a direct mailer that contains a 15% off coupon, but they also receive emails with the same deal.
Not only does Sephora send out email campaigns as well as print coupons, but their emails encourage customers to shop wherever is right for them, whether that be online or in their local store. They allow customers to save their email to Apple Wallet so that in-store shoppers don’t have to find, or print, the physical coupon.
By combining email and brick-and-mortar efforts, Sephora provides a holistic experience and creates excitement around their 15% off sale.
Providing Information on Brick-and-Mortar Retail in Email
New stores open, and parties are held. How are you going to tell local customers? Retailers now provide information to local customers via email, connecting brick-and-mortar retail with online efforts. This strategy can be used to promote in-store events, as well as special in-store sales.
For example, Fred Perry sent out the following email to their customers who live in New York to invite them to their pop-up event. The email functions as an event invitation, giving customers the date, time, and location of the event.
Connecting Web Visitors With Dealers
On sells shoes on their website and via retailers, and always wants to create a seamless experience between online and offline. To create this experience, On has a digital dealer program.
Customers can go to the On website, and browse dealers where they can try on and buy shoes. Customers can then book appointments with dealers directly through their website. On customers give information– why they want to book an appointment, what shoes they’re interested in– and On uses Campaign Monitor to send an email directly to the dealer.
The dealer gets info about the customer booking the appointment and can then prepare to receive them. The customer receives automatic notification email confirming their appointment. In this way, On connects local dealers and customers, creating a connected experience.
Encouraging In-Store Customers to Sign up for Email Updates
When someone comes into a brick-and-mortar location, are you finding ways to connect with them online? Many retailers require email addresses for loyalty programs, or simply ask if the customer would like email updates at checkout.
Enlist turns your iPad into a sign up form so that you can capture email sign ups at a brick-and-mortar location. All types of businesses are collected email addresses in this manner, and it works particularly well if you’re hosting an in-store event. The app even works without WiFi.
Shopify POS also allows merchants to send digital receipts to customers, then collects their email addresses in the back end for use in email marketing initiatives. You can also associate customers with their orders through POS, as this data could be useful in creating a personalized email campaign based on previous purchases.
With the use of automation, personalization, and beautiful design, you can develop an email marketing program that increases touch points with customers and encourages them to convert and ultimately purchase from your business. You can integrate your efforts with brick-and-mortar ones, becoming a retail business that harnesses the power of email marketing to drive epic results.