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5 Big Marketing Risks That Worked


Photo Credit: Alan Light via Compfight cc

We’ve talked a lot about tiny tweaks you can do to adjust your marketing strategy and achieve better results.

But sometimes, it’s less about optimization. It’s time for a big strategy overhaul, a rebrand, or a gutsy campaign to really net the results you’re looking for.

With that in mind, here are 5 examples of big marketing risks that paid off big time.

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13 Signs the Time for Personalization in Email is Now


The email marketing statistics don’t lie: The time for personalized email marketing is now.

The days of bulk mass messaging are far behind us. With so much capability in your email marketing tools and access to customer data, why wouldn’t you take advantage of being more personal in your messaging?

Based on an Experian report from earlier this year, 70% of brands still failed to use personalization in their email marketing. So I ask you, why?

In this post, I’ll review some of the key email marketing statistics that prove personalization is worth your time and which tactics may actually make your life easier!

1. Personalized subject lines deliver 26% higher unique open rates

Source: [Experian]

Whether you use the customer’s name, target them with a recent action they took (like abandoning their cart), or simply direct your message to the correct gender, personalizing your emails doesn’t have to take a lot of resources and it goes a long way. Half the battle is getting subscribers to open.

2. 60% of abandoned cart emails generate revenue and most of that revenue occurs in the first 24 hours of the email being sent

Source: [Salesforce’s Exact Target]

Use the data you have by initiating abandoned cart emails. Online shoppers are multitasking so by missing the opportunity to send a reminder, you’re losing out on a lot of revenue. Follow up with your customers and do it within a few hours to salvage that lost sale. You’ll thank us for it.

3. Personalized emails improve click-through rate by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%

Source: [Aberdeen]

Get more eyes in front of your emails and offers by including more personalization. While click-through rate may not always be your most important metric to track, conversions certainly are and we all know that you can’t convert customers who don’t ever get to your offer.

4. 61% of consumers prefer offers even if this results in less privacy

Source: [Monetate]

Privacy is a definite concern for customers and marketers alike, but if you don’t abuse the information you gather from your visitors, you can offer a better experience for everyone. Use offers and deals to your advantage, but be mindful not to bombard customers too frequently.

5. 94% of companies say personalization is critical to their success

Source: [Econsultancy/Monetate]

Amidst marketers, there’s no question personalization is important for success. Still, so many brands aren’t taking advantage of it. Now more than ever is your chance to take the lead, even if you’re only taking small steps.

6. 74% of consumers get frustrated when they receive or see content that has nothing to do with their interests

Source: [Janrain and Harris Interactive]

Some marketers claim they don’t want to irritate the customer by using too much of their data. While this is a valid concern, statistics show that you’re angering them even more if you continue delivering irrelevant messaging. Target your outreach, but don’t go overboard. Sprinkle in a healthy balance of personalized messaging and more generalized offers.

7. 54% of retailers that used automated product recommendations increased their average order value year over year

Source: [Forrester Research/]

Who says personalization has to be manual? Get your hands on a platform that allows you to deliver automated recommendations based on user behavior. Not only will this decrease your time spent on email, but it will also increase purchasing.

8. Adding personalization experience to shopping could lift sales by 7.8%

Source: [O2 - The Rise of Me-Tail]

There’s no need to spend countless hours or dollars on a marketing campaign or sale when simple personalization could give you a noticeable lift.

9. 80% of marketers define dynamic personalization in emails as highly important

Source: [Adobe and DMA]

Most marketers agree that personalizing your email tracks is key. Invest in an email tool that allows for segmentation and put in the time and effort to target your customers at a more individualized level – even if you can only manage a few different nurture tracks. Some personalization is always better than none at all.

10. Personalized promotional emails see transaction rates and revenue per email more than 6x higher than messages of the non-personalized variety

Source: [Experian]

Not all promotional emails are treated equally. Just because you have a great deal, consumers are almost numb to discounts and percent-off emails. In addition to offering a discount, be sure you’re also personalizing the products you’re sending. For example, send a dedicated email with similar items to each customers’ latest purchase.

11. 77% of consumers are likely to make additional purchases if an option that matches their preferences is presented to them in a personalized email from a merchant or retailer

Source: [Listrak]

As I said in #10, leveraging a customer’s latest purchase is one of the quickest ways to making them a repeat buyer. Once they hit checkout, you have valuable information about what that customer’s interests are so use it!

12. 45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations

Source: [Invesp]

Take on a more unified approach to personalization by delivering personalized products not just through email but across your site as well.

13. 59% of online shoppers believe that it’s easier to find more interesting products on personalized online retail stores

Source: [Invesp]

Your job as a retailer is to make the customer’s job in finding what they’re looking for easier. By using the data you have, you’re also boosting your customer service and what’s better than that?

What Are You Waiting For?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the ways you can market to your customers. That said, these numbers and stats prove consumers expect and appreciate personalization. So, for your next campaign, take the right steps to segment, target and build a stronger connection with your audience.

How are you personalizing your email marketing? Share your efforts in the comments below.

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5 Better Things To Do Than Another Daily Newsletter


[Photo credit: Death to the Stock]

There’s a ton to figure out when it comes to running your own online store.

There’s fulfillment, shipping, sourcing inventory, support questions… maybe even coordinating with manufacturers and creating a product of your own.

On top of all of this, you have think strategically about your email marketing program and actually sell things.

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What You Can Learn From Pottery Barn’s Email Marketing

I’ve written quite a bit about Pottery Barn’s marketing. I find them effective and for the most part, they do a great job of tapping into so many of the capabilities marketers have at their fingertips but don’t always leverage.

To be perfectly honest, however, I’m not sure I agree with their whole strategy because they tend to use lots of data, lots of tactics, and in the end, go a little overboard (ahem, they’re annoying).

That being said, they execute on each segment of the nurture track well and I think we can all learn a thing or two from their examples.

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How to Apply What You Know From Other Marketing Channels to Get Awesome at Email


[image via]

These days, there are more marketing channels than every before. If there ever was an era of multi-channel marketing, that time is now.

There’s social media, and then advertising on social media (Youtube ads, Facebook ads). You have blogging, email, events…it seems like there’s a new channel to try out every day, and it’s tough to bring it all together cohesively.

It’s also tough to learn a new marketing channel quickly enough so you can capture the opportunity of it before your competitors do.

I find the best way to expand my marketing knowledge is to rely on what I already know from other marketing channels and use that experience as a point of reference.

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8 Essential Practices for a Winning Post-Purchase Email

Congratulations! A customer just made a purchase. But, your job as a marketer is far from finished. The post-purchase period is an extremely critical point in the customer’s journey and in more ways than one, what you do after you get the sale is just as important as how you got that customer to checkout in the first place.

Post-purchase emails and nurture tracks help generate stronger customer loyalty, more repeat purchases, and above all else, help customers feel connected to your brand. Here are some key lessons from some of the best post-purchase emails out there.

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3 Ideas for Incentivizing Email Subscribers to Stay

The promotions tab in my Gmail inbox is a wide array of retailer newsletters.

Some emails are from one-time purchases from brands I no longer remember. Others are from companies I’d like to shop at one day, and others are from brands I want to shop at more. How did I get on these lists? Well, like many consumers, I signed up to get the initial discount. But more importantly, why am I still on these lists?

To be honest, I archive most of them without reading them, which tells me I have some cleaning up to do.

I’m like most consumers: There has to be a clear value to me for being on that email list. Otherwise, the incentive for me to be there will wear off over time.

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4 Characteristics of Effective eCommerce Newsletters

There’s a common misconception in eCommerce that spending resources on useful content and newsletter distribution is a waste of time and a distraction for your busy customers. While it’s no secret that email effectiveness has decreased in the eCommerce business, that’s no reason to drop them altogether. The biggest shift you as retailers need to make is letting go of the generalized approach. Newsletters aren’t going to be read if they aren’t relevant to the customer, so whether you change up the tone, the personalization features, or the cadence of your sends, something has to give.

The good news is that there are eCommerce companies doing this well and you can learn from them. Here are four elements of effective eCommerce newsletters you should try.

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Are Daily Deals Right For Your Online Store?

Daily deals are appealing for the eyeballs, email acquisition, and potential online sales. But are they really worth it in the long run?

With the rise in daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, there’s no question that this model can be an effective but it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into – for better or for worse.

Daily deals are short term sales that last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. The deals offered typically range on the higher side of typical discounts you’d see online. Instead of 10% off, we’re talking deals as high as 90% off of certain items in that limited amount of time. For many brands, deals are also limited in number, simply adding to the demand and urgency for purchase.

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What You Need to Know Before Launching a Win-Back Campaign

Engaging inactive customers could be just what your business needs to drive sales. But, how can you decide whether or not it’s worth your time and effort to engage those older, inactive customers when you could just spend your marketing dollars (and hours) on acquiring new ones?

Here’s why: Based on our own calculations, return customers generate 4x more profit than one-time customers.

And if that’s not enough, it’s always worth testing something before you write it off.

Win-back campaigns are an effective tool that when executed right, could do amazing things for your business.

At the simplest level, win-back campaigns are a series of emails sent to customers who have not engaged with you in a while. Your goal is to get these customers to open their email, thus re-engaging with you, and from there, you can nurture this relationship further in an effort to boost spending.

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