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!
The workhorse of the marketing world—personalized email newsletters—are winning respect again from media brands and publishers that want to expand their subscriber bases and gather more first-party data.
These benefits haven’t changed over the years. What has, however, is the industry’s approach. Today, personalized email newsletters are one of the most effective ways to engage your audience, capture their attention, and deliver unique digital experiences that are personalized for each subscriber.
Are you ready?
In many ways, Morning Brew is the standard-bearer for this new phase of personalized email newsletters across media and publishing. After all, it grew from a single newsletter in 2015 to a household online brand featuring
Soon after, other media and publishing groups like news website Axios began adopting personalized email newsletters focused on general news content, special topics like business, politics, sports, or culture, local news, or some mix of all four.
To win in this new-age, hyper-competitive media environment, publishers will need innovative tools like dynamic content to make personalized email newsletters part of their subscribers’ daily routines.
Done well, dynamic content turns a static email full of manually curated content and hours of work into a perpetual, breaking news click-inspiring machine. Combined with live data feeds and personalized messaging, your brand can even update newsletters between the time you press send and your subscribers click open—making your email experience even easier and more valuable than your website’s homepage.
Personalized email newsletters help media brands expand their audiences—without the need for new content. Using real-time engagement data and audience feedback, you can use the stories you’ve already produced to create even more brand loyalty, affinity, and (ideally) revenue.
They’re also a rich source of first-party data collected straight from the same subscriber base you’re working hard to learn more about every day. Data powers these ongoing interactions—paving the way for deeper, more meaningful email experiences and dynamic content updates down the road.
Want to make email newsletters work for you? Download our What Can Media and Publishing Learn from Retail’s Top Performers Guide for a few fresh ideas you can borrow from ecommerce’s proven, engagement-driven email strategies!
Personalizing a prospective customer’s first visit to your website can give them a memorable customer experience. As long as you don’t cross the line from “Cool, this is what I’m interested in,” to “I’ve never been here before, why do you know so much about me?”
A few well-chosen data points can help you personalize first-time shopper experiences to serve up relevant content. And that’s even before your first-time visitors click around your site, use your search function, or sign up for your emails.
How someone found your website or email program is a data point many marketers overlook. Did they click from an organic search listing, a paid search campaign or an Instagram campaign? Did they opt in from a Facebook or LinkedIn post, find you on Pinterest or opt in at one of your stores?
All of these give you context and first-party data you can use to show first-time visitors copy, images or offers that are relevant to that source. One example: an opt-in invitation tailored to first-time visitors who click to your site from your Instagram page can convert better than a generic pop-up.
Cookie data gives you useful data you can convert into personalized content, even in this era of default cookie-blocking. Help wary users feel more comfortable about enabling cookies—and sharing their first-party data—by showing first-time shoppers what they’ll get in exchange for opting in.
Once your first-time site visitors find your site, your next job is to bring them back. Call on your email messaging program to keep your brand name in front of your customers in the inbox, to give them reasons to come back to your site, and encourage them to buy.
The onboarding or welcome series is your first step in that relationship. After all, it can help you achieve some key marketing goals:
Once again, your acquisition source is a data-driven starting point to personalize first-time shopper experiences—as well as the rest of your onboarding or welcome series messages for other audiences. Using dynamic content, you could send one version of your onboarding journey to subscribers who signed up onsite and another to people who opted in during checkout or when creating an account or registering for an event.
It’s really just good old-fashioned drip marketing, in which you assign customers to different messaging tracks, each with its own set of emails.
A welcome message for a non-purchaser, for example, could deliver an incentive intended to drive a first purchase or invite the newcomer to open an account. Customers who opted in during checkout, however, don’t need that extra discount. Instead, you could promote your mobile app or invite them to follow your social accounts. Later on, circle back after the purchase with a special offer to drive a follow-up purchase.
The preference center should be your gold mine of valuable data to personalize every first-time shopper experience—from web visits to email messages. But all too often we see classic examples of a good idea executed badly.
Sure you want to serve customers a lot of highly relevant, personalized products and services. But do you really want to make customers scroll through a long list of options on your website? That’s a nightmare for time-pressed users, especially if they’re peering at tiny mobile screens.
So, do the work for your customers instead. Ask for data gradually, over several emails. Begin in your onboarding series and then mix in preference-data request emails with your regular promotional campaigns.
The Thrive Market email below matches up a data request with customer interests. Sent as one email in a four-message onboarding series, it begins with a survey invitation. Note how the wording addresses one of the objections to doing surveys: “We promise it won’t take longer than slicing an avocado.”
Then, Thrive Market links directly to 12 different interior sites within its website. Click data on those links reveals their interests without asking for it outright—enabling the brand to drive dynamic content in future messages, too. What better way to make a first impression?
Your VIP treatment can make first-time customers and loyal buyers alike feel special. So special, in fact, that it nets you even more valuable data. The birthday-request email Sephora sends is a great example of this something-for-something value exchange.
One key feature in Sephora’s data-driven email program is the birthday email, which gives customers in its rewards program a gift on their birthdays. The email asking for birthday info generates a wealth of data (as you can see). And all for the price of triggering a sweet little freebie for the recipient.
Besides asking for the user’s birthday, however, this email also collects their personal brand and product preferences indirectly. By giving customers the option to choose their own gift, Sephora can find out which brands they like to shop, or if they prefer products or loyalty points over discounts. All of that data helps Sephora understand its customers better, improve messaging precision, and ultimately create some of the most personalized first-time shopper experiences in retail.
Tailoring email content to reflect web behavior is another best practice, especially with abandoned cart and browse abandonment emails. It can also help you resolve an age-old email question: when (and if) to add an incentive to encourage never-before-seen buyers to finish checking out.
Using dynamic content in combination with email triggers, you can automatically serve a discount or other personalized incentive to first-time buyers. Making them much more likely to buy from your brand—while simultaneously preventing every shopper from scoring a sale price or snagging up all of your deal sweeteners.
After securing a shopper’s first purchase, your next task is to ask for a second purchase. The faster you can bring first-time buyers back to buy again, the sooner they’ll become regular customers. That shortens the next-purchase cycle and decreases churn—a two-for-one winning tactic. The catch: it takes a highly personal shopping experience to do consistently.
If you’re not doing this yet, start small. Blend in personalized recommendations with your regular promotional content in a broadcast email. A “curated for you” approach that uses dynamic content to spotlight products based on each customer’s purchase history is an easy way to boost clicks, conversions, and engagement.
Unfortunately, the common assumption is that email only works for retail and media’s biggest brands. Many owners make the mistake of believing that small business email marketing success isn’t possible—or, at the very least, won’t work as effectively for them.
But that’s not even remotely true!
In fact, many marketers cite email marketing as their most lucrative channel for online engagement. After all, for every dollar your small business invests into email your team creates the potential for ROI of $20 or more. Giving your budget the most bang for its buck—no matter how big or small it may be.
That said, this investment takes time to pay off—and your company expects results now. So, here are four tips to inspire small business email marketing success right away!
Right now, you’re seeing more online traffic from first-time shoppers than any other time of the year. But if you’re not personalizing these engagements based on where new visitors are finding your brand from, you’re leaving a lot of potential revenue on the table.
For example, if you know a user came from a specific paid media campaign, personalizing their shopping experience to incorporate consistent messaging between their onsite, email, and mobile interactions increases their likelihood to convert—as well as your ability to take a running start to new, long-term customer relationships that keep them coming back for future purchases.
Social media channels are another increasingly popular small businesses are using to inspire email marketing success. By incorporating the same influencer, Instagram post, or a social media ad that brought someone to your site into their welcome experience, you create a highly relevant first impression that makes them much more likely to take advantage of future updates, offers, and exclusive opportunities like loyalty program membership.
Combined with a data-driven ESP, first-time shoppers can even be tracked via cookies on your site experience whether they sign up to receive your emails or not. But when they do, all of the collected first-party behavioral data can be used to personalize your messages on a one-to-one scale.
Your email experience should feel like a gift: thoughtful, personalized, and surprisingly delightful. But without an equally impressive CTA, even the most carefully planned interaction isn’t likely to lead to small business email marketing success.
Adding an eye-catching CTA is one of the easiest ways to supplement your spot-on marketing messages and boost campaign conversion rates. So, before you send your next email, here are a few tips for crafting irresistible CTAs that convince your customers to buy:
While ROI is obviously an important metric to help you gauge small business email marketing success, there’s an equally important—yet much less talked about—benchmark to consider: subscriber value.
After all, an accurate estimation of your email subscriber value lets any small business marketing team know how much it costs to acquire an engaged recipient, how much they’re potentially worth, and how many resources you should put into finding and retaining them. Once you have an understanding of these figures, it becomes much easier to make informed decisions about your strategy—and where you can make the biggest impact for the smallest investment possible.
Did you know that ESPs and third-party email services will often change your email’s code as you send messages out? After all, adding tracking pixels, removing unnecessary code that’s likely to get your interactions stuck in the spam filter, and rewriting links are standard ESP practices.
Left unchecked, however, these positive-minded changes can be bad news for your email rendering. Especially when you consider that email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail, Yahoo!, and Outlook play by their own rules.
For example, these companies make the decision to either enable or block email images by default—creating two very different renderings of your campaign (or more if you create additional personalized versions based on individual user preferences). And if you’re not aware of these issues due to lack of pre-send testing capabilities, you risk losing the impact your campaign could have had because your messages will appear broken to anyone that opens them.
Sure, you could put in hours of extra work testing every email across every browser, email client, and operating system your customers could potentially use. But teaming up with a powerful ESP or email partner is the most effective way to eliminate email rendering issues before they occur. These solutions put robust design tools and testing mechanisms at the tip of your fingers, allowing you to preview your email campaign across any device or ISP with a single click—before you press send.
Plus, many of these email partners will deliver an abundance of responsive, code-free email templates ready to use and email builder tools to automatically optimize your messages. Not to mention access to industry-leading reporting systems that shed light on the real-time strengths and weaknesses of every campaign.
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.
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.
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.
DIrect marketing channels like email, mobile app notifications, and SMS messages are almost certainly a part of your holiday marketing strategy. But if you’re only using these communication paths to push out one-size-fits-all emails and generic promotions, you’re failing to tap into Q4’s true business potential.
Because in 2021, three important holiday shopping stats we’ve found point to some major retail industry changes over the next few months.
And—much like last year—there’s no approach to guarantee 100% success. Between an earlier start to holiday shopping than ever before, new buyer behaviors and preferences, and alternative fulfillment options born from a need to avoid supply chain shorts and delays, you’ll need to be as agile as ever when it comes to planning, implementing, and executing your seasonal marketing strategy.
So, before you make significant changes to evolve this year’s holiday planning effort, think about these three holiday shopping stats and how they impact your brand in Q4 and beyond. Consider this blog our special gift to you!
It’s not exactly a secret that there’s a laundry list of problems plaguing the retail sector right now. Chances are, your customers are well-aware of the supply chain shortages and rising materials costs impacting your products. Which is why they’re already starting to put together holiday shopping lists and seek out deals on the gifts they know friends and family want in 2021.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by The NPD Group revealed that 51% of holiday shoppers plan to start stuffing their stockings before Thanksgiving this year—including 38% who will begin making purchases as early as this month!
For you, this means you need to start testing your holiday email experiences and campaign tactics now. Things like advanced audience segmentation and predictive analytics—when combined with personalization—can ensure your messages reach the right people with the perfect content at the right time.
This year, you’ll see more online holiday shoppers than ever before. But here’s the most important question: Will your recipients be reading your emails for their own benefit, or on behalf of someone else? It can be tough to identify individual consumers’ intent and who’s shopping for whom over the next few months. So, why not give your customers the best of both experiences?
While we’re about to kick off the season of giving, it’s critical to remember that only 27% of holiday shoppers are focused on browsing and/or buying products for other people. Meaning things like self-gifting guides and messaging focused on “Treat yourself” approaches are guaranteed to deliver more impressive results than you may think in Q4.
Now more than ever, it’s vital your emails offer something valuable to every recipient—no matter their motivation, engagement level, or who they’re shopping for. And you can do this by simply combining thoughtful, stay-at-home themes with highly relevant product recommendations and dynamic content to create convenient shopping experiences that deliver great gift-giving ideas. For your subscribers and their loved ones.
Since December 2020, year-over-year sales of holiday e-gift cards have increased by over 106%. And with more supply chain shortages and inventory challenges to deal with this year, you can be sure this trend will continue to grow as retailers and consumers alike search for gifts and shopping experiences that are impossible to delay.
So, if you’re looking to tap into the feelings of homesickness to drive consumer conversions and engagement this season, promote e-gift cards at every opportunity. It’s an easy way to generate revenue—especially among shoppers who are struggling to find the perfect present. Plus, it’s a sneaky smart way to prevent negative customer experiences caused by seasonal shipping mishaps that inevitably happen every year.
Want to incorporate even more modern retail trends into your holiday email campaigns? Check out our 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide for some fresh, exciting ideas you can implement with little-to-no extra work right now!
Combined company to focus on developing solutions for marketing’s most critical challenges from acquisition through retention and loyalty.
CM Group, a portfolio of martech companies focused on multichannel digital marketing, today announced its merger with Cheetah Digital under the CM Group name. The merger expands and enhances both CM Group’s and Cheetah Digital’s ability to deliver innovative email, omnichannel, personalization, and loyalty solutions. The combined company will own a broad array of technologies referenced in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, which orchestrate marketer communications with client segments across multiple channels.
Following the merger, the company plans significant investments across the portfolio to bring new products to its base of 70,000+ active customers. As marketers increasingly seek multi- and omnichannel technology solutions to meet modern customer expectations, CM Group will expand its primary focus from email marketing to overall customer engagement and give marketers the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers through the channels that matter most. Cheetah Digital’s Customer Engagement Suite solutions including Experiences, Personalization, Loyalty, and the Engagement Data Platform will help further accelerate the pace of innovation across CM Group’s existing products, enabling customer organizations of all sizes to meet the needs of modern consumers.
What differentiates CM Group is that each of its nine products focuses on specific verticals or market segments. The merger with Cheetah Digital will expand CM Group’s reach into the large enterprise segment. Key Cheetah Digital customers include Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Walgreens and Williams-Sonoma.
CM Group’s model enables product development and services to be tuned to the specific needs of each of its key customer verticals and segments, making CM Group’s products core to the marketing tech stack. By leveraging Cheetah Digital’s innovative solutions, CM Group’s brands will be able to deliver new vertical and use-case specific products to markets ranging from small and medium businesses to enterprises across key verticals including retail, ecommerce, media, publishing, financial services, travel and hospitality, entertainment, agencies, and more.
“Our merger with Cheetah Digital means CM Group will be well positioned to meet the needs of customers of all sizes and shapes, and we will continue to be their marketing technology partner as they grow by delivering the right technology at the right time, tailored to their industry and built for the scale at which they operate,” said Wellford Dillard, CEO at CM Group. “By keeping each CM Group product distinct and focused on specific verticals or market segments, we deliver superior solutions, expertise, and outcomes for customers when compared to the large volume of generalist solutions in the market today.”
“CM Group’s ‘home for every marketer’ model is a completely unique approach in our industry and in broader martech. This merger offers us the opportunity to bring immense innovation to the customers within the CM Group portfolio through an expanded suite of product offerings. The momentum of our ‘innovation engine’ at Cheetah will develop these solutions beyond email to bring net-new value for our customers,” said Peter McCormick, Executive Chairman at Cheetah Digital.
CM Group will continue to look for opportunities to accelerate innovation, augment existing product capabilities and add complementary technologies through future business combinations, bringing significant benefits to marketers and further accelerating CM Group’s organic growth.
“As marketers’ needs have evolved and organizations turn toward their own data as the foundation of their marketing strategy, CM Group is perfectly positioned to grow dramatically in the future. Their unique approach – having a suite of highly specialized data-driven offerings – creates an opportunity to become the leading provider of modern marketing technology to nearly every organization in the world,” said Adam Berger, Managing Director at Insight Partners.
“With these two organizations joining forces, CM Group is set to become a global leader in customer acquisition, engagement, retention, and growth,” said Sandy Gill, Managing Director at Vector Capital. “Marketers are looking for the next generation of technology to be specialized to their needs and CM Group is executing on a strategy that truly meets the needs of their customers while opening up new opportunities to accelerate growth within a fragmented martech landscape.”
The existing owners of CM Group, including Insight Partners, will remain majority owners of the combined company. Vector Capital, which was previously a majority owner of Cheetah Digital, will become a substantial minority owner of the combined company.