Email Marketing Tips for Retailers

According to the Direct Marketing Association, many retailers are failing to use email marketing effectively. A recent study shows that out of the top 100 shops and websites listed by Hitwise and IMRG, 60 percent failed to send a welcome message upon signup, and 19 percent never sent any messages at all.
Of the 100 sites, 10 percent didn’t even bother offering a newsletter signup option.

What can brick and mortar retailers take away from this? Email marketing is under-utilized by their online competitors, which opens up a terrific opportunity to drive traffic to traditional stores.

While the top online retailers may not be using email marketing to its fullest potential, that doesn’t mean that email marketing for retailers isn’t effective. Opt-in email newsletters are a terrific way to connect with customers, build brand awareness, drive traffic back to your store, and much more.

In order to avoid the failing grades of the top 100 retailers in the email marketing department, follow these tips:

Commit to email marketing. If you aren’t committed to making a real effort, then your email marketing campaigns are destined to fail. Make sure that you have the time to regularly create email marketing messages or delegate this task to someone that does.

Entice subscribers to sign up. You can do this at the point of sale by asking them to sign up in exchange for a small discount. Place flyers or sign up forms by your cash register as well. You could even hold a drawing by asking users to fill out an opt-form and place it in a fish bowl. Each week, hold a drawing and reward winners with a related gift.

Let your subscribers know exactly what to expect when they sign up to receive your newsletter. For example, if your newsletter will be filled with coupons and subscriber-only offers, let them know. If it will be loaded with useful how-to articles, make sure to tell them.

Send a welcome message. Over half of your competitors fail to acknowledge subscribers and welcome them to the newsletter subscription. Take this opportunity to set yourself apart and thank your subscribers for signing up. Your welcome message doesn’t need to be lengthy, but it should set the tone for your future campaigns.

Send engaging messages according to a regular schedule. Your messages need to be relevant and personalized – and they must arrive according to your subscribers’ expectations. For example, if your signup form said they’d receive a monthly newsletter, send your newsletter each month and don’t bombard them with irrelevant messages every day.

Make sure to remind subscribers why they are receiving your message. People often forget about their past actions. Not only can reminding them reduce spam complaints, it can also reinforce what your brand is all about. For example, if you sell cooking gadgets, you might say something like, “You are receiving this message because you had signed up to receive the latest culinary news and best discounts on cooking accessories.”

Send enticing offers as a reward for subscribers. Not only do exclusive offers reward your subscribers for their ongoing loyalty, they can drive repeat business.

While other retailers fail to leverage email marketing, you can set yourself apart. Make the commitment and live up to the promise of your signup form. You’ll be glad you did.