If you operate or own a retail business, you’ll know how fierce the competition is in this industry. Numerous businesses are selling products similar to yours, leading to intense competition for the attention of the same customer base. This forces them to invest a significant amount of time in strategic thinking.
To stand out, you must consistently communicate and engage with your customers and target audience. In this regard, effective email marketing is an outstanding method. By sending targeted and engaging emails, you can make your business a focal point and drive sales growth. A study reveals that 62% of shoppers prefer receiving information from retail brands through email, a percentage higher than any other channel.
Perhaps you’re interested in learning how to acquire shoppers’ email addresses, craft attention-grabbing marketing emails, and apply various email marketing techniques. We’ve compiled a handy guide to unveil the mystery of email marketing and help elevate your retail business to a new level.
What is an Email Marketing Plan?
An email marketing plan is a document outlining how you will use email to communicate with customers and potential clients. You aim to achieve specific marketing and sales objectives through these emails. The plan typically includes detailed information about your current and potential customer groups, types of email content, sending frequency, design, and format. Additionally, it covers the metrics you will use to track and measure the success of your email marketing activities.
In essence, email marketing in the retail industry involves sending messages to potential and existing customers about your store, services, or products. For instance, email marketing for SaaS might focus on generating leads and retaining existing customers, while retail businesses may emphasize promoting products and driving sales. The key is to customize each business’s email marketing plan based on its unique goals and target audience.
Benefits of Email Marketing for Retailers:
You might not be aware that for every $1 spent, the return on investment for email marketing is $36. By sending newsletters to subscribers, you can have complete control over content and distribution, maintaining brand independence and high returns. Importantly, with the continuously growing number of email users expected to reach 4.73 billion by 2026, this channel is likely to remain robust.
Learn about six types of emails to easily connect with customers, aiding in the growth of your retail business and brand.
1. Welcome Email:
The first impression is crucial, and while shoppers get a “real” first impression in-store, your first email sets the foundation. It’s an opportunity to greet, remind shoppers who you are, and establish a long-term relationship. Statistics show that 74.4% of customers expect to receive a welcome email upon subscribing.
In your initial email, you might want to:
- Introduce your brand and origin story.
- Express appreciation and thanks for registrations.
- Emphasize the type of emails subscribers can expect.
- Offer discounts or small gifts to welcome them and build loyalty.
2. Product Launch Email:
Email is an excellent way to notify existing customers about new products. These customers have actively purchased from you or shown a keen interest, making them likely to be interested in new products. You can announce new in-store products through a simple email or create a launch series to generate excitement. Provide early bird rewards or exclusive invitations to subscribers.
3. Abandoned Cart Email:
Abandoned cart emails are useful tools for businesses selling products online. If a shopper with an account on your website adds items to their online cart but doesn’t complete the purchase, your business can send them an email. These emails have a high open rate compared to other types and help recover lost (or forgotten) sales.
Reasons for cart abandonment include unexpected shipping costs, additional checkout obstacles (like account creation), and concerns about payment security. You can address these issues in abandoned cart emails to reassure shoppers and encourage them to complete the purchase.
Enhancement ideas for abandoned cart emails:
- Offer a discount if the shopper proceeds to checkout.
- Invite them to visit the store to view similar products.
- Share recommended products.
- Provide FAQs about the product to address any concerns.
The last suggestion might require more effort but has a high return. By asking customers to create video recommendations, you can enhance customer reviews and encourage future buyers with more confidence.
4. Special Event Email:
Events are useful tools for building relationships with shoppers and increasing store visibility. You can also collect customer email addresses during events. In addition to sending event invitations to existing subscribers, you can set up a “subscribe station” at events to encourage more people to join your email list.
Keep shoppers informed regularly through newsletters. Treat these communications as letters to your best customers, maintaining open channels of communication. Newsletters are an excellent way to stay ahead, consistently providing value, even if shoppers haven’t purchased from you in a while. When they’re ready to buy, you’ll be their preferred store.
You can do many interesting things with newsletters—here are some ideas:
- Share your latest content and resources.
- Interview creators and local businesses.
- Go behind the scenes of your business.
- Host giveaways and contests.
- Focus on “Product of the Month.”
- Conduct flash sales.
6. Product Recommendation Email:
Personalized retail email marketing is one of the simplest and most effective actions you can take. 71% of customers expect personalized service, and 76% get frustrated if it’s lacking. Moreover, companies effectively using personalization experience a 40% increase in revenue.
After shoppers register on your list, you can ask them to select favorite products in the welcome email or gather more information about their preferences and interests through a quick survey. This is a win-win—your shoppers only receive emails relevant to their interests, and you can sell more products.
In conclusion, email marketing is a powerful strategy that, when executed effectively, can enhance revenue for retailers of all scales. Following the outlined tips—creating suitable email campaigns, segmenting your email list, and using attention-grabbing subject lines, optimizing for mobile, including clear CTAs, and testing and measuring your email campaigns—will lead to successful marketing efforts for your retail business. Best of luck!
6 Techniques for Retail Industry Email Marketing Plans:
1. Developing Appropriate Email Marketing Campaigns:
Crafting effective email marketing campaigns is crucial for the success of any retail email marketing plan. Appropriate campaigns aim to resonate with your target audience and should align with your company’s email marketing budget and goals.
Key steps in creating successful email marketing campaigns include:
- Define Your Objectives: Clearly define the purpose of the email marketing campaign, whether it’s to drive sales, promote new products, increase website traffic, or build brand awareness.
- Understand Your Target Audience: Segment your email list to create targeted messages that resonate with your customers.
- Create Engaging Content: Develop rich, captivating, visually appealing, and personalized content.
- Choose the Right Format: Determine the email format that best suits your content and audience, such as newsletter format or promotional emails.
- Wisely Choose Your Email Campaigns: Consider how the email marketing plan may impact other forms of marketing, such as integrating email marketing with social media.
Combining email marketing with social media activities can be achieved by including social media buttons in emails, expanding email lists, nurturing relationships with subscribers, increasing social media followership, and enhancing engagement. Successful email campaigns are crucial for the overall success of marketing strategies, as failed email campaigns may affect the effectiveness of social media marketing.
2. Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list is a crucial step in customizing email marketing campaigns for specific customer groups, thereby enhancing engagement and performance. Retail businesses can segment their email lists in the following ways:
- Demographic Segmentation: Divide the email list based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, location, and income level.
- Purchase History Segmentation: Send relevant messages and offers based on customers’ previous purchases and specific product preferences.
- Behavioral Segmentation: Segment the email list based on customer behaviors such as website visits, abandoned shopping carts, and email engagement.
- Interest Segmentation: Send emails that align with customers’ interests and preferences provided through email registration forms or surveys.
Proper email list segmentation makes it easier to deliver personalized content to the right audience, a key element in retail email marketing strategy. Research also indicates that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that offer a customized customer experience.
3. Use Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines:
Email subject lines are the first thing customers see when receiving emails from your company. Therefore, ensuring subject lines are attention-grabbing is crucial to inspire customers to open your emails. Consider the following key points to ensure subject lines are attention-grabbing:
- Keep It Concise: Subject lines are best kept within 30-50 characters for readability and increased email open rates.
- Convey Value Proposition: Communicate your value proposition in subject lines to capture recipients’ attention, whether it’s discounts, exclusive event invitations, etc.
- Use Humor or Puns: Employ humor or puns to create standout subject lines, and use emojis in moderation to add emotion and personality（e.g., ：））
- Personalization: Include the recipient’s name and connect subject lines with their recent activities or purchase history, e.g., “Hi, [Name], you left something in your cart.”
- Create Urgency: Build urgency and exclusivity in subject lines, using words and phrases encouraging immediate email opening.
- Avoid Spam and Deceptive Content: Refrain from using spammy or deceptive subject lines, ensuring consistency with email content to maintain customer trust.
- If your team lacks professional copywriters, you may consider using artificial intelligence content generators, such as Ask Writer, to obtain a list of effective email subject lines.
4. Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices:
In the United States, over three-quarters of adults shop on their mobile phones, emphasizing the importance of marketing emails optimized for mobile devices. To ensure your emails display well on mobile devices, adhere to user-friendly layouts, clear buttons, and readable fonts. Short videos are an engaging way to share interesting details about your store and products. Even using animated GIFs in emails alone can increase return on investment by 105%.
Here are some tips for retail businesses on optimizing emails for mobile devices:
- Responsive Design: Adopt responsive design to make emails adaptable to screens of any device, enhancing readability and interactivity.
- Keep It Simple: Maintain a clean, simple email design, avoiding excessive text blocks or images to improve readability and navigation.
- Single-Column Layout: Use a single-column layout to ensure content is easy to read and scroll on small screens, simplifying design and reducing the risk of format issues.
- Optimize Images: Use optimized small images to ensure quick loading on mobile devices, avoiding large images that may cause long email load times.
- Use CTA Buttons: Utilize clickable CTA buttons, which are easier to tap on smartphones compared to plain text CTA links.
By implementing these optimization measures, retailers can ensure their emails are accessible and engaging on mobile devices, ultimately increasing open rates, click-through rates, participation, and sales.
5. Include Clear Calls-to-Action (CTA):
To create effective email marketing plans for retailers, ensure your Calls-to-Action (CTA) are clear and concise. A clear CTA encourages people to take specific actions, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading an ebook.
To ensure clarity in your CTAs, consider the following measures:
- Use Contrast Colors: Differentiate the CTA with contrast colors from other content on the page, avoiding blending with the background to make it more noticeable.
- White Space: Leave enough white space around the CTA button to make it stand out.
- Clearly Visible Placement: Ensure the CTA’s placement is clearly visible, whether positioned at the top of the screen to grab readers’ attention or presented after establishing a relationship at the end of the email.
- Use Action-Oriented Language: CTAs should use action-oriented or proactive language, directly conveying the expected action. For example, “Shop Now” or “Enjoy 20% Discount.”
Additionally, the language of the CTA should directly relate to the email’s goal. Ensure that the call-to-action language always includes clickable buttons or links, guiding customers to your website. By testing different display positions, find the most suitable way for your target audience and marketing campaigns.
6. Test and Measure
To determine which emails resonate most with customers and assess the actual effectiveness of elements such as subject lines, CTAs, segmentation, and personalization, testing slightly different versions is helpful. This is known as A/B testing. According to recent research by Litmus, brands that frequently conduct A/B testing have an investment return ratio of 42:1, while those that never test have a ratio of 23:1. Testing and measuring email marketing campaigns are crucial for retailers in creating effective email marketing plans. It allows retail businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of their email activities and identify areas for improvement. By doing so, they can optimize campaigns and increase the overall return on investment (ROI).
The first step is defining specific metrics you want to track. Some standard email marketing metrics considered by retail businesses include:
- Open Rate: The percentage of people who open the email or newsletter.
- Click-Through Rate: The number of people who click on links in your email
- Unsubscribe Rate: The percentage of people unsubscribing from the email list or newsletter.
- Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors taking the desired action (e.g., making a purchase or filling out a registration form).
- Customer Lifetime Value: The total business value of a customer over the entire relationship with the company.
In addition to metrics, you can run A/B tests on different versions of email campaigns. This helps determine which elements of emails can improve engagement and conversion rates. Variables to test may include subject lines, CTAs, and email content.
The next step after testing is to collect email campaign data and analyze it to identify trends and areas for improvement. Look for patterns in the analysis. Then use the information obtained from the analysis to make data-supported decisions. As a result, your email marketing campaigns will improve over time. Remember that testing and measuring your email marketing campaigns is an ongoing process if you want to increase overall return on investment.
Email marketing is a powerful strategy that can help increase sales, enhance customer engagement, and build strong customer relationships for retail businesses of various scales. To formulate an effective email marketing plan, follow these six key techniques:
- Develop appropriate email marketing campaigns.
- Segment your email list.
- Use attention-grabbing subject lines.
- Optimize your emails for mobile devices.
- Include clear calls-to-action (CTA).
- Test and measure.
By adhering to these guidelines, you will be able to conduct effective marketing campaigns, boosting engagement and sales for your retail business. Best of luck!