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Rising acquisition costs have put retention marketing back in the hot seat. As more and more brands bolster their retention marketing strategies, email marketing and messaging are getting a second look.
In a recent webinar, “New Year, New Email Marketing Strategies” leaders in the ecommerce industry shared their insights into what makes a great email marketing strategy and how to leverage the data from each campaign.
What we learned:
- Changing mail privacy policies require brands to adjust metrics in order to properly guide future send procedures.
- Personalize email frequency depending on individual preferences.
- Create omni-channel customers through email marketing.
- Julie Evans, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Omaha Steaks
- Jenna Posner, VP of Digital, Snipes
- Chad Goorhouse, Email Marketing Manager, Frontgate
- Gregory Leibon, CTO, Coherent Path
- Moderated by Veronika Sonsev, Co-Founder, CommerceNext
Keep reading for the webinar’s key insights or watch the recording below.
According to Coherent Path, email marketing should be focused on going beyond the next step in order to optimize the entire customer journey. This can be achieved through utilizing creative flexibility and optimizing usage via training, testing and personalization.
Over the last couple of years, as ecommerce moved ahead at breakneck pace, some brands and retailers have fallen into some common email traps in their accelerated loyalty plans and efforts to get programs out the door quickly. This panel covered it all, from the challenges to the solutions and best practices.
The Latest Email Marketing Pitfalls
Many brands fall into the trap of increasing email frequency for recent customers, which results in irritation and unsubscribes. Avoid oversending emails by testing into email frequency levels and send time personalization. This will also help spread unengaged sending over time, and avoid getting flagged by email servers.
Additionally, this could help reduce effort by marketing teams to allow for an increased focus on building the brand. Omaha Steaks deploys email marketing frequency testing and cross-channel understanding to gauge if they can spend less, while tracking sales per customer to see long-term wins.
Engagement Tracking Challenges
Recent updates to Apple iOS privacy guidelines are changing the way opened emails are tracked. Emails may be opened automatically, which distorts open rates and could impact your brand’s future send guidelines. Brands will have to adapt their metrics and possibly use new guidelines to drive future send procedures, such as using CTR.
Optimizing the Journey for Email Marketing
Adjust your Metrics
Now that open rate metrics are increasingly distorted, it’s important to modify metric guidelines to understand the success of your emails. Some of our panelists are using metrics like click activity, browse activity or direct purchase from email. Third-party data can also be helpful to gather additional information on the consumer and further segment into consumer groups.
Another metric to pay attention to when evaluating recent customers is the 90-day retention rate. Omaha Steaks uses this metric to predict the future value of the customer, as well as taking a look at their lifetime value.
Personalize your Creative
Tailoring your metrics and analysis for email campaigns will allow brands to better contextualize engagement data. Pay attention not only to click rate but also to what creative they’re clicking and where it was located on the email. This allows your team to fully understand the customer’s journey with the email and guide future layout decisions. These patterns will allow for further personalization.
Once you discover patterns in your creative, this creates value for reusing and optimizing templates. Leveraging strategies across zones, templates and campaigns reduces effort and increases revenue.
Create an Omnichannel Customer Experience
Email marketing can be a great data capture strategy in order to start cross-channel relationships with customers. Snipes uses in-person purchases interactions to create an email customer profile and create customers that are shopping across channels. This data informs triggered communication and allows Snipes to deploy SMS messaging and push notifications. To learn more about how to further engage with customers using SMS check out our session on SMS.
After receiving one purchase from a customer, the second purchase becomes the goal of email marketing. Our panelists use a variety of strategies to engage with previous consumers such as using a combination of channels to communicate the brand value proposition.
“Knowing what to say means you can say things less often and can have the most relevant conversations,” Coherent Path noted. Email marketing is more important than ever as brands focus on retention strategies and personalization. Knowing what creative elements are working and how to measure their success will allow your brand to optimally describe your value proposition to each customer.
To learn more about creating personalized interactions with customers this year, check out Reimagining Ecommerce: Solving the Considered Purchase Sales Problem.