Thrive Market and Sephora Tie for Top Spot: Thrive Market Wins with an Insights-Driven Approach to Email and Mobile, While Sephora Excels with a Robust Connection Between Online and Offline Channels
Liveclicker, a CM Group brand and the leading personalized marketing automation technology provider for retailers and publishers, announced today the results of the 2022 Retail Personalization Index. Thrive Market, the health-first membership for conscious living, and Sephora, global beauty retailer, have tied for the top spot in the 5th annual analysis. Thrive Market earned high scores for its sophisticated mobile app and email experiences using a data-driven personalization strategy that enriches the entire customer experience. Sephora saw success for its highly orchestrated online and in-store personalization approach based on loyalty and experiential marketing. DSW earned the third spot for its personalized communications during a customer’s first interactions with the brand and an online shopping experience that mirrors the one in store.
With a combination of DTC start-ups and large brick-and-mortar companies at the forefront this year, top performers prove that every type of retailer can use the zero- and first-party data they collect to create highly successful personalization strategies that deliver more value for customers and higher returns for brands.
“Over the past two years, brands have had to focus on short-term gains, whereas consumers have increased their expectations for meaningful personalization both online and in store. That means there is now a lot of work to be done in order for brands to meet these new customer expectations and see successful revenue generation at the same time,” said Jason Grunberg, General Manager at Sailthru. “With more retailers turning to zero- and first-party data strategies to drive the future of marketing, it is more important than ever to create value-driven personalized engagement with customers to collect insights that offer continuously better experiences – and revenue opportunities – across every touchpoint.”
The top five scoring brands in the 2022 Retail Personalization Index are:
“We are thrilled to have been crowned as a top performing brand in this year’s Retail Personalization Index. Personalization is integrated into our entire customer strategy, from the moment someone lands on our webpage, to our ongoing relationship on email and on our app. Our approach to personalization creates incredible value for our members – and drives strong performance for the business,” said Lindsay McGovern, Senior Director of CRM & Lifestyle at Thrive Market. “We see an accelerated first-to-purchase experience, stronger repeat purchase rates, and higher overall lifetime value.”
While Thrive Market dominated the mobile category with its highly intuitive app that is driven by past purchases and preferences, Sephora topped the website category with a robust loyalty-driven experience that makes the beauty retailer’s vast product catalog feel relevant to millions of customers — and seamlessly connects online experiences to in-store shopping.
Email also proved to be a top performing channel for DTC and native digital brands, such as 1stDibs, Wayfair and Fashion Nova, which jumped from 69th in 2021 to 12th place in this year’s overall ranking. Ranked sixth, Fabletics scored highest in email for its advanced product filtering and curated product recommendations among many features. Thrive Market also earned high marks for its email approach, in which the brand delivers an experience that is immediately personalized from onboarding data and continues to integrate even more advanced personalization elements over time. The brand also includes a combination of newsletters and triggered content in its emails that help gather additional insights and drive more sales.
Consumers are aware of the value exchange that drives personalization and favor brands that offer personalized experiences. A study commissioned by Coresight Research and Liveclicker as part of the 2022 Retail Personalization index, found that 71% of consumers will shop more often with brands or retailers that personalize their communications. While the vast majority (98%) of retail marketers use some form of advanced personalization, many are not delivering personalized experiences that live up to consumer expectations. While 71% of retailers think they excel in personalization in marketing, only 34% of consumers agree. It is critically important for retailers to develop more value-driven personalization that encourages true consumer engagement across channels and supports zero- and first-party data collection to support personalized marketing and commerce in the future. There is ample opportunity for retail brands who rise to the challenge, as 80% of consumers noted that they would share data in exchange for deals and offers, while 70% would share data for loyalty points.
A team of researchers calculated the scores of the Retail Personalization Index, which come from a checklist of 80 attributes that a retailer could implement to personalize and/or enhance a customer’s experience across site, email, mobile, other digital channels (which includes in-store, social, and traditional mail), offline, and privacy. The 2022 Retail Personalization Index also includes findings from three surveys:
Are your emails performing well relative to the competition? Which metrics should you focus on now that open rates aren’t as reliable after Mail Privacy Protection? And how can you work to improve those engagement-driven KPIs?
CM Group, our parent company, analyzed more than 100 billion emails sent through our platform in 2021. The findings are the most comprehensive email marketing benchmark data ever published.
We’re constantly asked what a good open rate or click-through rate is for email. The short answer is, it depends. Key engagement metrics can vary widely based on your industry, and other factors — like industry, audience, etc.
While it may not seem like much on the surface, recent swings in average open rate across all industries (up 3.5% year-over-year), and click-to-open rate (down 3.6%) are pretty significant! And it turns out, there’s a reason for it.
Released last September, Apple’s latest privacy feature effectively disables open rate tracking by pre-fetching (or downloading) an email and its images (including each email’s tracking pixels). By doing this, MPP is marking an email as opened, artificially inflating open rates for each user that has opted into the new feature.
When looking at the metrics year-over-year, it’s not hard to see how MPP is affecting open rates. But when you break it down on a month-by-month basis, it’s even easier to see.
Notice the small uptick in open rates once the developer beta of iOS 15 was released on June 7. Then again on June 30, when the public beta came out. Then, once iOS 15 was publicly released on September 20, we saw a huge uptick in open rates once again.
This is something we’ll likely see more of as Apple Mail users continue to activate the feature, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on throughout 2022.
Every marketer swears that they know the best day to send emails, but do they have the proof to back it up? See if you’ve been sending on the right days this past year.
When looking at email statistics by day, there doesn’t seem to be too much variance in how emails perform on a given day. Overall, weekdays — as usual — tend to perform the best, with the lowest engagement numbers falling on the weekend.
So, how do you use this data to upgrade your email marketing benchmarks in 2022? Let’s explore six email metrics key to increasing customer engagement, customer loyalty, and sales.
While MPP now obscures the accuracy of open rate as a metric, that doesn’t mean marketers have stopped using it — or that anyone doing so should stop adhering to open rate best practices:
Your CTR offers insight into how many of your total subscribers are visiting your website and ultimately converting through email. To maximize this year’s results, try these best practices:
CTOR is a good indicator of how interesting your content is to email subscribers. If your links, layout, copy, and overall content are interesting, then a greater percentage of your audience will want to click through to learn more. Especially after you do these things:
While it may be counterintuitive, it’s actually better for your email marketing if any unengaged contacts aren’t on your subscriber list. They’re probably dragging down your email performance because they aren’t opening or clicking on your messages.
However, that doesn’t mean you want a mass exodus of subscribers from your contact lists. The goal should be to build your sender reputation while maintaining engaged lists. Here’s how:
Bounced email addresses can be one of the most frustrating aspects of email marketing. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your emails make it to your readers’ inboxes.
Deliverability is the universal struggle among email marketing teams; you can get so many things right when developing high-quality content, but still struggle to get it in front of your audience.
Issues with ISPs, throttling, bounces, spam issues, and bulking hurt your deliverability and thus reduce the number of your emails that will land in your subscribers’ inboxes. Unless, of course, you’re following these best practices:
With these email marketing benchmarks and best practices, you can start building a better email marketing strategy. But if you really want to tap into this channel to maximize results, click here to see how Liveclicker can be the perfect partner for your brand!
What do email and retail marketing have in common? Besides looking completely different from what they did a few years ago, both are on the verge of another fundamental transformation.
With 2022 on the horizon, retail marketers will depend on email marketing to achieve their goals and elevate customer experiences even more than they already do. Traditional lines between brick-and-mortar shopping and ecommerce will continue to blur, giving any brand that harnesses the power of dynamic personalization technology a huge advantage in growing audience engagement, loyalty, and conversions.
Especially if you combine tailored content with advanced digital commerce tools to stay ahead of next year’s strategic evolution. Now’s the perfect time to create a winning email strategy — so start by incorporating three key tips that will help you take advantage of tomorrow’s retail trends.
While millions of holiday shoppers were excited to shop in-store for the first time in a few years, a large portion of retail consumers elected to stay at home because they’re still weary about COVID-19 safety protocols. Add in the growing popularity of more customer-friendly fulfillment options like curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), and all the trends point to a continued demand for hybrid shopping experiences fueled by email interactions in 2022.
With the support of AI and data-driven tools like live video, localized weather forecasts and customized store locator information, email continues to be a top-performing tool for creating stronger relationships with customers.
A personalized product recommendation is always best. Smart marketers tap into data like browsing history, customer reviews, and click-to-reveal offers to create moments of delight for shoppers. Studies show that personalization can deliver an ROI of $20 or more.
After all, you’ve spent weeks, months, or years collecting data to learn everything about your shopper’s buying habits, brand preferences, and what motivates them to purchase.
A “You Might Like These Items Too” list or a “Complete the Look” promotion is a fun, creative, and — most importantly — effective way to engage your email subscribers to capture customer preference data and make more sales online. Offering dynamic content to these interactions to make your hottest sellers easy to find — or to make finding that new item they didn’t know about five minutes ago a must-have purchase.
Email is even more powerful when you pair it with mobile and social commerce channels. But no two shoppers are the same.
For someone looking to comparison shop safely from home before visiting their favorite store to complete a purchase, a store locator embedded directly into your email experience alongside driving directions, hours of operation, and live inventory level displays, is an engaging way to bridge the gap between in-store and ecommerce experiences.
Meanwhile, others may be looking for a brand that makes it easy to browse and buy from anywhere at any time. Personalized video content, subscriber-sourced social media posts and product reviews, and integrated mobile app download messages are all excellent ways to extend your reach and keep loyal customers connected.
Today’s powerful AI technology gives retailers several mission-critical advantages to know your customer better, and to be where your customers are in real time. Liveclicker makes it easier than ever to enhance your email marketing strategy and work alongside your existing martech platforms and products of choice.
Ready to greet the future and change the game with a winning email strategy in 2022? Check out our latest round of Email Innovators Awards Winners to see how a more engaging email experience is only a few clicks away!
The media and retail worlds have more in common than ever. Between Apple’s iOS 15 privacy updates, impending doom for third-party data cookies, and a headstart to the holiday season, the moral of the story is that similar changes are occurring across both industries.
For members of both marketing crowds, this means audience data is no longer nice to have — it’s a must-have. Today, the value exchange you create with every reader, consumer, and email recipient is what separates your brand and makes your content stand out from the competing noise.
And that’s a huge advantage when it comes to creating stronger reader relationships. Especially if you’re laser-focused on engagement and able to take a page or two out of retail’s top-performing playbooks. After all, these companies have been using low-effort, high-impact email tactics to enhance reader experiences for years!
Exclusive access, more personalized messaging, and interactive email content can make any media or publishing brand’s marketing experiences more satisfying. These tactics can deliver:
What are you waiting for? Level up your email engagement rate and reader relationships now by downloading What Media and Publishing Can Learn from Retail’s Top Performers!
No doubt about it—retail customers love to click and collect. Cleaner stores and more crowd control? Great! Same-day delivery or free expedited shipping? Bring it on!
In all seriousness, a quick ramp up to new ecommerce services and pandemic-friendly fulfillment options helped retailers survive the last 18+ months. But going forward, these same tactics will inspire enough customer loyalty gains to become a standard part of any customer experience—especially for the buyers that didn’t (or couldn’t) make it to your stores in 2021.
No matter how much customers value these added services, however, they can be expensive to run. They also require extra attention and more personnel in order to give customers the immediacy and convenience they expect. This is a major challenge given ongoing staff shortages, especially going into the holiday shopping season.
So, where will the money come from to meet these higher customer expectations? Many retailers, whether they’re exclusively brick-and-mortar, ecommerce-only, or a hybrid operation, are hoping higher retention will cover these added expenses.
While many have refocused attention on personalization and email marketing to help them reach out to their most devoted customers, other, more savvy retail marketing teams are looking at new ways to capitalize on customer loyalty instead.
Customer loyalty, whether measured informally or through a tiered or VIP program engagement level, has always been a key driver for retention. However, retail customer loyalty strategies have shifted markedly since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
According to Clarus Commerce, nearly 70% of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult to maintain today. And while product quality and price still impact customer loyalty in some cases, the picture has become undeniably more complex.
A new kind of customer emerged during the pandemic, which Accenture christened the “Reimagined” shopper based on its 2021 consumer survey. These shoppers are less tied to price and product quality and more concerned that brands understand and respond to their needs, especially during economic or social disruptions.
In fact, Accenture’s study revealed that 57% of consumers would switch retailers if their regular brands don’t meet their expectations for health and safety, protect their data privacy, or align with their personal beliefs.
Customer loyalty programs are a good jumping-off point for building retention because they pay off.
“Top-performing loyalty programs can boost revenue from customers who redeem points by 15% to 25% annually, by increasing either their purchase frequency or basket size or both,” McKinsey reports.
Restructuring your customer loyalty strategy can help you incorporate these new customer expectations in more effective retention programs that don’t prioritize purchases, points, or prizes like the loyalty programs of yesterday.
But you don’t have to turn a loyalty program into a cost center instead of a revenue generator. Anything from a little fine-tuning to a reimagination of rewards, along with a healthy dose of employee empowerment, can turn a minor producer into a customer-retaining powerhouse.
So, don’t wait—take advantage of these 3 customer loyalty strategies now!
1. Go omnichannel
Call on all of your marketing channels to promote offers, notify members about rewards, and collect data you can use later to go deeper into personalized messages. This fits with another customer expectation—a seamless experience no matter which channel they choose to connect with your brand.
Email can remain your loyalty flagship because of its wide reach, personalization potential, and economical distribution. If you need proof, look no further than this noteworthy example from women’s apparel retailer Torrid.
Torrid sends each loyalty program member a detailed monthly statement that shows how much she earned in the last month, how close she is to the next highest rewards tier, and what rewards she can spend now. Giving this brand’s triggered loyalty emails a chance to supplement regular monthly reminders that encourage customers to spend rewards, move into a higher loyalty tier, or take advantage of a limited-time offer it expires.
Cheetah Digital’s Digital Consumer Trend Index 2021 found email outperforms SMS by 92%. But that doesn’t mean SMS can’t (or shouldn’t) still play a key role in your customer loyalty strategy. SMS or push notifications through a branded app can be just as effective as email for alerting VIPs to reward or tier expirations, short-term offers only for VIPs, or even reactivation pings for program members who haven’t purchased lately.
2. Enlist your employees in the loyalty cause
Nobody knows your customers better than your front-line store personnel or customer service specialists. Do they know your loyalty program as well?
Retail workers know how fast a casual mention of an unexpected loyalty perk, VIP discount, or other reward can turn a “just browsing” customer into a first-time buyer. Or appease an unhappy one enough to re-engage with your brand.
But if your employees don’t understand your customer loyalty strategy or can’t access it to suggest purchases that result in rewards, they can’t leverage your efforts to encourage more customers to buy or to redeem their rewards.
Lucky for you, three marketing tactics can turn your employees into loyalty program ambassadors:
3. Think beyond points and discounts
Shoppers certainly are, anyway.
“The heart of loyalty is not merely the cheapest price-point, but a brand that can foster community, recognizes the customer as an individual, and delivers content and product recommendations that reflect this,” according to Cheetah Digital’s Digital Consumer Trend Index 2021 report.
Most loyalty programs reward on purchases, but if customers aren’t in the market for products all the time, this strategy causes your loyalty program to lose value and meaning over time. So, use email to offer incentives or tier points for completing preference profiles, taking short quizzes, submitting personal data like birthday or postal address, or making friends-and-family referrals. That way, you can give your customers something no competitor can deliver or compete with: a highly personalized, engaging email experience.
The ripple effects of the pandemic—staffing shortages, supply disruption, channel-shifting for purchases, and continued economic uncertainty for many consumers—will continue to challenge retailers into 2022 and even beyond.
Building up an effective customer loyalty strategy is a key first step in retention. And not just to persuade them to buy, to buy more, and to buy more often—but also to give you many more ways to show them how much you value them as customers and people. That might be the ultimate tie that binds someone to your brand long-term.
It’s no secret that email marketers are dealing with increased workloads. Today, you’re being asked to do more than ever—and with less time, budget, and team bandwidth too.
Which is why centralized martech solutions are becoming more and more necessary with each passing day. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a nearly 40% increase in the use of API-based integrations among our partners—proving that brand-specific personalization tools are necessary for bridging the industry’s most important knowledge gaps by giving marketers access to their entire suite of integrated third-party platforms, software products, and data feeds from a single location.
With this in mind, we’re excited to announce our direct integration with world-leading brand language optimization technology provider Phrasee. And even more excited to see the brand-specific email experiences you create using this new, seamless combination of your brand’s best-performing content, loyal customer insights, and industry-leading personalization capabilities.
“We have a shared goal of creating a single, user-friendly hub for email marketers to make it easy to access the very best content and capabilities for their campaigns. Together, we offer a better overall service and more robust capabilities, and we’re thrilled to help email marketers integrate intelligent brand content support from Phrasee, easily and all in one place,” said Kenna Hillburn, Chief Operating Officer at Liveclicker.
So, what do you stand to gain from our Phrasee integration? Let’s explore the advantages brand-optimized personalization can deliver your business now!
Personalization is essential for any brand looking to build solid, long-term relationships with its customers. Not only does it help boost engagement, but it also can reduce customer acquisition costs—allowing marketers to focus on increasing the lifetime value of their current customers (a more cost-effective tactic) rather than focusing on engagement-driven audience metrics.
And while email experts are aware of this reality, many still struggle to implement personalization into their existing efforts and into their CTAs in a way that doesn’t sacrifice elements of their brand voice and style. Now is the time for brands to look past standard, non-personalized messaging in favor of personalized experiences that are woven into every step of the customer journey.
Liveclicker’s integration with Phrasee helps you create brand language that turns opens into clicks—and clicks into loyal customers. We make it easy for you to deliver personalized experiences with the right content, at the right time, to the right people—all in your unique brand voice.
Why is this so important? Because studies show that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than default or standard messaging, and 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase that is personalized. Together, we help you increase conversions by creating “brand-centric” copy in less time. And by making it possible to test your email experiences at the moment of engagement, you can be sure your team is always sending the most relevant, impactful content to every recipient.
Take the guesswork out of creating high-converting copy by testing multiple, AI-powered CTAs code-free in just a few clicks. Phrasee’s integration with Liveclicker helps you spend less time stressing over what works by adding proven, brand-optimized CTAs automatically to your live, personalized elements.
This allows you to quickly determine which option(s) are most likely to positively influence your click-through rates and immediately deploy that winning option to the rest of your campaign. That data is then automatically sent back to our system so you can create future CTAs that include the language that customers are not only responding to, but that they’ve come to know, love, and expect from your brand.
Creating and deploying new campaigns just became easier and quicker, particularly for nimble teams who don’t have much time to generate a bunch of new CTAs.
So, whether you want to introduce a new product category or roll out a new seasonal product, our integration makes it easier to automate your brand’s voice, create clear CTAs throughout your personalized experiences, and ultimately make each offer irresistible.
No more subjective squabbles over language or endless hours in the thesaurus. We know that the process of creating and testing multiple email messages can be long, overwhelming, and very subjective. Our integration helps you confirm assumptions based on data so you can stop creating copy that just sounds good and let the data tell you exactly what is good.
We also help you automate the process of adding variants to your personalized elements, A/B testing them, and updating the winning experience immediately so that your campaigns are optimized in real-time for success.
For more information about what our Phrasee integration means for you and email marketers everywhere, click here to check out Liveclicker’s Phrasee partner page. Or, read our press release to learn more.
For any media brand, your biggest competition to hook new holiday readers won’t be another network or news outlet. It’s all those holiday emails filling up your readers’ inboxes.
But don’t close the book on email until after New Year’s Day! Instead, check out these tactics that top retailers use to cut through the clutter, grab readers’ attention, and move engaged subscribers to act.
In other words, you can beat them at their own game. And if you keep reading, we can show you how.
As a media brand, email can connect your audience (and hopefully, a lot of new holiday readers) directly to your latest books, news stories, TV shows, streaming platforms, or subscription models. But a strategically designed newsletter can also move your audiences to your platform permanently—increasing their daily brand interaction and likelihood to buy.
So, instead of waiting for them to discover your content, use a well-timed, personalized email to nudge them into action.
A well-timed email can remind your new holiday readers when and why to tune in now instead of waiting to catch your shows later. Got breaking news? Share it fast in an email bulletin, and track individual engagement and responses to learn which content gets your audience excited.
You can even use the data you’ve collected directly from your readers or viewers to create highly personalized messages featuring dynamic content that looks as if you chose it just for them. This season, don’t be afraid to call on the power of email—and your audience’s propensity for checking their inboxes regularly—to stay in touch, to persuade them to engage with your emails, to reward them for viewing or reading your newest content, and to whip up excitement about new programs and whatever’s coming next.
Publishers will be among the most affected when Google’s plan to kill off third-party cookies in its Chrome browser goes into effect sometime in 2023 (or later if another delay happens). After all, every other browser is likely to emulate that move sooner or later.
Today, media brands are ramping up efforts to collect more first-party data before they’re forced to make any changes due to outside factors. And the email address is both a solid piece of first-party data by itself and the gateway to a reservoir of activity tied to it—from predicted future subscriber engagement levels to preference, interest, and behavior data tied to these unique digital identifiers.
Amidst all this email optimism, however, publishers share a data privacy concern with their retail compatriots.
They’re also figuring out how to grapple with Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature in its iOS 15 update, which masks the open rate in an effort to block the kind of tracking email senders rely on for engagement. (Click here to learn more about these changes and make your email marketing evolution possible.)
Today, one important question remains unanswered: How can publishers create engaging content that helps them attract and retain audiences and stand out in busy inboxes? Our answer: Watch what top retailers do and see which three of the following tactics work best for your brand.
1. Automatically pull live web content into your email messages
The secret to email marketing success in media and publishing is efficiency. And one of the best timesavers you can implement is automatically sharing out the content you post on your website with targeted audience segments who are most interested in it—and therefore the most likely to engage with your emails as a result of this addition.
Your subscribers and hew holiday readers alike will see your news as it happens. Tempting them to click through for the full story on your website. You won’t have to wait for them to discover your content on their own ever again.
You could create dozens of individual email newsletters with bits and pieces of fresh web content—but if you’re in the news business, that’s like writing newspapers one by one or hand-crafting a news broadcast for each viewer. It just doesn’t scale.
And sending one-message-fits-all news updates to everyone in your audience will turn off people who aren’t into what you’re sending. Especially new holiday readers who can find similar content in thousands of other places with a simple Google search.
Dynamic content implemented directly into your email experience through real-time data feeds or web scraping tools is the best way to avoid leaving new holiday readers out in the cold feeling disengaged. By using subscriber or viewer behavior, preference, and interest data to select and load content into designated modules in your email template, you can identify any audience perfect for a targeted campaign and maximize their engagement level through highly relevant messaging.
Bonus 1: If you’re tracking breaking news, trending articles, score updates, or any other dynamic content on your site, your emails will automatically update every time your subscribers open the email with a live scraping tool or data feed’s support—no need to keep sending emails every time something changes.
Bonus 2: Add live video from your event right into new holiday readers’ email experiences. If your subscriber’s browser supports it, they can watch your interactive content right in their message. If not, they’ll see an optimized static image they can click to view on your website.
2. Season static content with 1:1 personalized material
Emails from top retailers often include a mix of general news, like sneak-preview sales announcements, with content based on individual subscriber data from previous web behavior, email activity, or submitted content preferences.
This tactic combines discovery—showing your subscribers something they might not find on their own —with personalized content. And together, these two forces create a feeling of serendipity. The personalization you can offer may not be as obvious as it would be in a transactional email, for example, but it definitely has a more relevant look, feel, and message than a generic news roundup.
You can see this serendipitous mix of static and dynamic content subtly at work in the Food Network’s Recipe of the Day daily email below. Look for modules of dynamic content based on the recipient’s browsing or download history sandwiched between layers of static content.
3. Turn new holiday readers into first-time attendees with live calendar reminders
Remember the old days when you had to park yourself in front of your TV at a specific time to watch the latest episode of “Survivor,” “Blue’s Clues” or “Seinfeld?” If you missed it, you were out of luck until the next broadcast.
Today, streaming and live content have just about destroyed this concept. While it’s good to give your audience viewing options, wouldn’t you like to send them a reminder to tune in at a specific time so they can see your shows roll out in real-time?
A live calendar element helps you build engagement for any exciting event: whether that’s a season-opening TV show, movie premiere, book launch, and or special educational webinar. And by making your invite as easy and engaging as possible to act upon, you increase the chances a new holiday reader becomes a first-time event attendee.
Retailers use calendar invites to remind customers about new-product launches, big sales, store openings and other can’t-miss events. Here’s how it looks in a new-collection drop-date announcement from Tommy Hilfiger:
This year, invite your viewers from the same email you inform them about a new event by introducing “Add to Calendar” buttons and links. That way, subscribers have a one-click process to register for any online experience that’s automatically updated to their calendar app of choice—so when the big day finally arrives, a reminder email can automatically be sent without building, updating, and sending any follow-up messages manually!
4. Count down to the season’s every can’t-miss event
A customized email countdown timer is one of the most versatile retail personalization elements you can use to inject real-time anticipation for any kind of topic, article, or newsworthy event. Use these simple-yet-sophisticated elements to build excitement before an event—or to let new holiday readers know how much time is left before their first invite expires.
On its own, this is a popular tactic among retailers to let customers know how much time they have to shop before a juicy offer ends. But for even greater impact, combine your email countdown timers with any of the dynamic personalization tactics we’ve already covered in this blog.
In this email, Disney combines video and a countdown time to promote its programming for International Friendship Day. Just imagine the urgency and FOMO you can add to any email experience with the simple addition of a timer.
The holidays have arrived earlier than usual this year. It’s weeks before Black Friday, yet retailers are already feeling the usual frenzy of the holiday shopping season.
And if that wasn’t stressful enough, email marketers everywhere are dealing with extra obstacles in Q4: an onslaught of holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges—not to mention the lack of any end to these problems in sight.
For many retail marketing teams, holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges are posing serious threats for any content or product launches months in the making. The good news, however, is that we’re all in this together!
So, here are four ways you can use creative email solutions to eliminate customer frustration, sales friction, and negative experiences this holiday season—no matter how many shipping delays and inventory outages your company may face in Q4 and beyond.
Save your customers, designers, and delivery team from several headaches this holiday season by incorporating live inventory feeds into your email experience. After scraping personalized website content or embedding data feeds that consider recently browsed items, product and brand preferences, purchase history, and more, you’re able to dynamically display the most relevant, engaging promotions across every channel someone interacts with in real-time.
Beyond a more personalized, easy-to-browse shopping experience, leveraging live inventory in your emails means you’ll never need to deal with a broken page link, send a sold out alert, or make a last-minute update to push a different product ever again. Freeing you up to take on bigger, better things than holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges this year.
Customers want to shop, but may not be ready to buy yet for a number of reasons. While holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges may cause a few unforeseen problems, dedicate your Q4 emails to highlighting the positives to drive customer intent through urgency.
If new inventory arrives, for example, mention that it’s first come, first serve and will go fast. If inventory is running low, use a dynamic data feed to highlight the exact number of hot sellers left in stock in combination with urgency-inducing language to close the sale. Then, you can put the fancy decorations on your customer experience by using back-in-stock and pre-order email campaigns to re-engage any disappointed or dissatisfied customers.
When all else fails, promote gift cards and e-gift cards when faced with serious holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges to get more customers back inside your stores. While some may think a gift card is an impersonal email promotion, the reality is a lot of shoppers are uncertain about what they’re going to buy this year. And giving them the option of buying something is always better than not getting a family member, friend, or loved one a gift at all!
You can also send a gift card message with live data feeds and product recommendations to make these messages a little warmer. An embedded email poll is also a fun pairing to highlight the items you do have in stock ready for on-time delivery based on individual customer feedback and preferences submitted.
And if you have physical stores, you can drive shoppers to their closest location using a dynamic map with holiday hours to push store-only offers or gifts with in-store purchase. That way, your loyal holiday shoppers know you’re fully stocked to deliver an exceptional holiday experience.
Transparency is going to be key to your holiday campaign success in 2021. So, let customers know as early as possible when your standard shipping cutoff dates for holiday shopping are with countdown timers and one-click, add-to-calendar event email elements.
If you want to take personalized experiences to the next level, use dynamic tracking mechanisms in your messages to follow each individual shopper’s order and communicate shipping progress as it happens—all from the same email their purchase was confirmed from so customers have one consistent place to check anytime they need a status update or a deliver is running late.
As an email marketer, you can be forgiven for feeling as if you’re under siege this holiday season.
When you aren’t fighting the age-old battle to stay on your ISP’s good side, there’s the new challenge of balancing the dual demands of data collection and consumer privacy to deal with. And you’re already working overtime to meet your customers’ expectations for personalized email experiences tailored to their unique interests and activity.
Oh, and hit your revenue goals for the year already. Right?
Seriously though, it’s enough to make you want to hide under your desk. But don’t slide down there just yet.
Yes, you need to find new and creative ways to keep sending relevant and valuable emails to your customers. And there’s no doubt that Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature makes that job harder for many email marketers. Combined with the coming loss of third-party cookies, the moral of this year’s holiday story is you need to collect (and use) more data-driven email marketing strategies.
But fear not, for good news is only a sleigh delivery away. Because you likely already have a few data-driven email marketing strategies that only need minor tweaks to overcome these obstacles, achieve better results, and elevate your entire brand’s email marketing effort with as little extra work as possible.
So—whether you’re looking for an easy starting point to advance your personalization or an advanced tactic to be your Q4 gamechanger—make it a priority to try these three proven, data-driven email marketing strategies this season!
Every good email program runs on clean, fresh data. And every smart email marketer knows that the best data is collected directly from your customers. Capturing their brand and product preferences, online browsing behaviors, and overall engagement level and likelihood to purchase are all things you can observe or ask for via direct marketing channels.
But if you don’t yet have all the data you need yet to power a full-fledged one-to-one personalization plan yet? Just ask for it. Really, it’s that easy.
Embed a one-question poll or survey strategically designed to elicit a key data point from your most loyal shoppers. Then, using this insight, you can create highly relevant retargeting campaigns, audience segments, and follow-up polls that build on each customers’ answers to give you even more enlightening information about what they want from your holiday promotions.
This tactic takes a little work to set up, but as long as you have an email platform with the capability you can put social proof on your side and let your customers do your selling for you this holiday season.
Add a live data feed of customer-generated content such as reviews from your site or third-party sites like BazaarVoice and pair it with relevant products for an unforgettable email shopping experience. This is an excellent tactic to take your browse and cart abandonment emails to the next level, but they can work in promotional campaigns using dynamic content too.
What’s the upside of integrating content and feeds on the back end? More customer engagement on highly relevant messages, more potential for clicks and conversions, and higher revenue from your email marketing. Reviews and recommendations give customers more information, which in turn helps them buy more confidently. It’s a win for everybody at a time where most of us have never needed one more.
The pandemic drove many traditional store shoppers to embrace ecommerce in ways no retailer ever expected. And now, millions are returning to stores—but that doesn’t mean they value your online experience any less. McKinsey expects a “bifurcated” holiday shopping season in 2021, with 60% to 70% of adults researching and shopping both in-store and online.
Returning to stores also brings back the pre-pandemic spectre of long lines at checkout stands and the potential for real-life abandoned carts and shopping sessions. Head this off by adding a graphic showing peak shopping hours at each store, and use dynamic targeting to match each graphic to your customer’s nearest store.
If your customers know when your stores are less busy, they can plan more productive shopping trips. That smooths out the peaks and valleys of foot traffic—which your employees will appreciate because it gives them more time to help customers, stock shelves, and keep stores looking presentable.
This kind of integration might require a chat with your ESP vendor representative or account manager—but that’s okay. You’ll learn even more about what your platform can do for you! Plus, your rep will have more tips and tactics to help you get even better results from your data-driven email marketing strategies.
These three tactics are just a few of the tried-and-true holiday email strategies that will help you drive more clicks and conversions, a stronger customer experience, and greater revenue. For more fresh ideas and smart email strategies, download our Blueprint for Better Email Results guide and discover how you can do more with less using the data and technology you already have.
What’s scarier than a haunted house on a dark and stormy night? For email marketers, it’s being asked to churn out a last-minute Halloween promotion on the fly.
Don’t let that last-minute request throw you! Because our treat bowl is full of five last-minute Halloween email tactics to help you create maximum engagement—and eerie-sistible experiences—with minimal effort.
This year, Halloween enthusiasm has rebounded to near-2019 levels. The National Retail Federation projects consumers will spend $10.1 billion, or $102.74 per person, on costumes, décor, candy, and food, up more than $2 billion from last year’s figure.
Fortunately for you, plug-and-play interactive modules and personalized email elements recycled from previously successful campaigns will help you create attention-grabbing experiences in less time than it takes to put on your costume.
As always, begin your email planning with a specific goal for the campaign. Sure, you’ll drive a few extra sales, and that’s always a bonus. But a Halloween email campaign can also reveal data you can use to guide and refine your holiday email marketing content and targeting.
Emails designed specifically for engagement can tell you more about your customers’ preferences, generate fresh, new ideas, and help you collect the zero- and first-party data you need to create even more relevant messaging. So, let’s get started!
1. Click to reveal the deal
Mystery and Halloween—is there any more perfect combination? An effective email can be as easy as swapping in some Halloween visuals and asking customers to click on the one they like. You can go for fun (favorite candy or costume) or unearth some customer preferences by featuring Halloween-themed merchandise in several categories, but one thing is certain: this tactic is all treat, no tricks.
Whichever approach you choose, be sure to use unique promo codes and virtual gift unwrapping experiences to make customer acquisition and attribution tasks easier to track and apply automatically.
2. Suggest last-minute purchases and products
Gift guides are always popular. But this year, with the holiday shopping season and Halloween overlapping and inventory in a precarious position to deal with, your suggestions should reflect real-time order status and live updates to avoid disappointing customers who are ready to buy. If a product sells out, this real-time module can swap in a replacement automatically – no need to pause the campaign and rebuild the email.
3. Promote BOPIS and less spooky fulfillment services
You’ll never go wrong by helping customers shop quicker and more conveniently. Let time-pressed shoppers know they can celebrate Halloween even if they had to leave preparations to the last minute by highlighting your Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) service.
You can even include explicit details such as BOPIS locations and instructions for your order-availability notice directly in your emails to give shoppers one place for all the info they need. Just make sure your Halloween email campaigns stress ease of service and alternative fulfillment availability accurately.
4. Offer complementary options to delight every customer
Although Halloween has regained much of the steam it lost last year thanks to lockdowns and public hesitancy about gathering in large groups, not everyone is on board. Recognize this continuing hesitancy with content that refers to both large-group and at-home celebrations to the degree that it’s relevant for your brands.
5. Give Halloween browsers a second chance to buy
Browse-abandonment emails can prod some shoppers to buy if you send them out right after they break off a session. Now, go back to your browsers who checked out your goods early in the season but never went back to buy and tempt them with an offer—especially if it’s something they browsed before but has gone on sale in the meantime.
Reach out to your previous shoppers with a gentle email reminder, using a dynamic product recommendation if possible, that incorporates each shopper’s browse abandonment history and available inventory. You can thank us for that engagement rate boost later.
With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and all the other marquee Q4 shopping events right around the corner, Halloween might feel like an afterthought.
But a carefully designed interaction combined with these five last-minute Halloween email ideas can deliver plenty of value in the days leading up to Halloween, whether your goal is to drive extra sales, clear out inventory, or collect more data you can use to give your customers the best-possible experience.