Email marketing is vital for many ecommerce merchants. What does 2011 hold for email marketing? Below are seven key email marketing tactics businesses should be planning for the upcoming year.
Craft email messages with increased personalization, through segmentation and targeting. Truly communicating with your customer at an optimum time with the right content will be essential for 2011. Consumers increasingly expect retailers to provide valuable offers based on their personal likes and behaviors. Ecommerce merchants should manage these expectations to remain competitive.
Relevancy is only half of the equation when creating the perfect email communication. Establishing value for the recipient is essential to causing your customer to take action. "Value" can be anything from an irresistible offer to helpful content or resources. Understand what your site visitors value and then deliver what they expect.
Frequency and Measurement
Establishing the right email frequency is a must for 2011. But this may be one of the most challenging aspects of your overall email plan. Measuring success in an email campaign is getting increasingly difficult, as is determining the perfect frequency. A metric as simple as an open rate gets muddied by issues like image blocking and widespread use of mobile devices. It is always great to optimize your mailing to be legible with images turned off, but your recipients may be reading your emails without an "open" ever registering. For 2011, email is evolving where branding may be just as important as action. Work on optimizing frequency to accomplish your goals without overwhelming your customers.
What separates the good from the great typically lies with all-around service given to the customer. Transactional emails play a crucial role in providing timely service with customers. Order and shipment notifications and satisfaction survey follow-ups are examples of service-oriented emails that every ecommerce business should be running. For more on transactional related emails, see "The Power of Triggered Emails; 6 Examples".
The increasing using of mobile is changing the way consumers behave online. Shopping experiences are changing, and as mobile use continues to increase, companies should accommodate these devices. On the list for 2011 is designing your email in order to be read on all types of devices.
The jury is still out for many merchants on the true power of social media and its effects on the bottom line. However, the continued growth of social media cannot be ignored. Those that are doing social media well are integrating their social strategies with email. Develop some creative ways to integrate the two channels together for increased performance. Simply having a social presence is no longer enough for any ecommerce site. In 2011, those who are truly engaged and active with their community will be set apart from the rest.
Acquisition and Reactivation
Prospecting and reactivation can contribute to growth for 2011. Email can be a powerful tool in both of these strategies. Acquiring new customers will be much more effective using a multi-channel marketing approach. In addition, targeting customers who have not ordered for some time is an easy email campaign to run, and with the right relevancy and value, reactivating these long lost customers may not be as hard as it seems.