Turn Your Retail Emails Into Ecommerce Campaigns

Working in ecommerce isn’t as different as many marketers
believe. Retail emails can easily take on the same style as more
traditional email marketing campaigns. So there’s no reason to
stress over creating ecommerce campaigns, especially if you have a
background in email marketing already.

It’s important to note that email marketing benefits not only
those brands that are solely online, but also those with a more
traditional setup (a brick-and-mortar storefront).

Begin in store and continue online.

Email marketing is an extremely valuable part of any retail
brand’s marketing strategy, even if you don’t have an online
store. In fact, even if you don’t have an online storefront or
simply haven’t gotten it set up yet, you can (and should) be
collecting your customer’s email addresses in-store.

Email marketing is an outstanding way to stay in touch with your
clients, whether it be sending them updates on the company, sending
out holiday best wishes, or even celebrating their birthdays with a
special offer.

If you aren’t quite sure on how to start
collecting customer emails
for your retail emailing list, here
are a handful of ideas to help get you started:

  • Host a local event: This can be a great way to
    not only get to know your local community, but gather essential
    consumer information, such as their email address. This way, you
    can send them valuable information on the event as it gets
  • Encourage signing up for a customer loyalty
    Have a signup sheet at your register and ask
    customers if they want to become a part of your email list to
    receive special offers and updates
  • Ask for customer feedback: Have a flier
    available in-store or at checkout to hand out to your consumers,
    asking them to leave you some feedback online through a survey.
    These surveys are a great way of collecting consumer information,
    including their email.

Once you’ve started gathering your customer’s email
addresses in person or online via the methods above, you can start
including them into your retail emails and campaigns.

6 retail emails you want to include in your ecommerce campaigns

Retail emails
aren’t all that different from your traditional
email marketing campaigns. The difference here is that your primary
focus is to make a sale of some sort instead of simply getting
readers to click through to your site and check out an article or
another piece of content.

Here are 6 retail emails that you’ll want to be sure to
include in your ecommerce campaigns.

1. Welcome email series

Retail or not, once you’ve gotten someone to give you their
email to join your subscriber list, you need to take the time to
welcome them and show your appreciation to them. With retail
emails, this is a great way to talk about who you are, what your
brand’s about, and maybe share with them a little something
special to start the relationship off right.

Take this example from the skincare brand APTO.

APTO welcomes new subscribers with a special promo code

Really Good Emails

In their welcome email, APTO not only takes the time to
summarize some important facts about their brand quickly, but they
include a special free shipping code to be used on the receiver’s
first order. This is a clever move for retail emails because it
encourages your new subscribers to click through and browse your
site, as well as encourages them to make the conversion from
subscriber to consumer with the option of saving extra money with
the free shipping incentive.

2. Opt-in emails

Whether you received a customer’s email address in person or
online, you need to send them an
opt-in email
to confirm that they genuinely want to receive
your promotional email content. While this step is often included
in a brand’s welcome email series, that isn’t always the case.
In fact, some brands (especially those who received a customer’s
email in-store) choose to send the opt-in email prior to sending
their welcome series to ensure that their customer wants to hear
from them.

When it comes to your email campaigns, retail or not, these
opt-ins should never be left out of your email marketing strategy.
Consumers are protected under a variety of . So, if you don’t
send an opt-in email specifically asking for their consent to send
them promotional content, then you can find yourself in

Now, people can opt in through a variety of different forms,

  • Newsletter signups
  • Verifications
  • Class enrollments
  • Account activations and more

In this retail email example from Zulily, the brand chose to go
with an “activate my account” CTA in order to get their new
subscribers to verify that they want to continue receiving content
from them.

Zulily has users opt in by activating their account.

Source: Pinterest

While this is a great example, it follows the lines of a single
opt-in. While there’s nothing wrong with a single step opt-in,
most companies now choose to use a double opt-in process. This
allows them to make sure that the subscriber didn’t mistakenly
sign up.

A typical double opt-in will ask for a user to enter their email
manually into a form, which will then be followed up with an email
asking them to verify their email or their account.

3. Targeted campaigns

Targeted campaigns, also known as segmented campaigns, target a
very specific subset of your subscribers. This is a particularly
important campaign for retail emails because it helps you send more
personalized messages to your subscribers. Personalization is key
to any email marketing campaign, and it can be difficult to get
personal when sending retail messages.

Using vital consumer information to segment your subscriber’s
lists can help with this immensely. You can segment your customers
in hundreds of different ways, including:

  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • VIP status
  • User preferences
  • Past purchase history
  • Past browsing history and more

Adidas utilizes user segmentation in their retail emails by
targeting gender in many of their emails. In the example below,
they can send a targeted message based on their customer’s
gender, which will then send one of two messages to each of

Adidas uses gender as a way to target specific audience members.

Campaign Monitor

4. New stock notices

Product launches, new stock notices, and inventory updates are
all tremendous retail emails that can be sent out for ecommerce
email campaigns. In fact, they’re great ways to help encourage
your previous customers to return and make future purchases.

Kate Spade is a brand that sends out regular new inventory email
updates to their subscribers because their items are frequently
sought out by consumers. That means that stock can quickly dwindle
both in stores and online. Sending out updates on a new stock is a
great way to not only keep your reader informed, but to generate
more buzz around your products or services.

Kate Spade sends out new stock emails to excite consumers.

Campaign Monitor

5. Reviews and surveys

Retail emails don’t have to be purely promotional, even though
the aim is to convert subscribers to consumers. One great way to
make your emails seem less promotional is to ask for your
subscriber’s feedback. The feedback can be on anything,

  • Experience shopping online
  • Experience shopping in-store
  • Product reviews
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Research inquiries (i.e., interest in future products and
    services) and more

Retail brand Anthropologie does a wonderful job of downplaying
the promotional aspect of their email by masking their effort as a
reward for customers taking their time to fill out a short

Anthropologie gets their consumers interacting by sending out surveys and thanking them with a special offer.

Really Good Emails

Not only does the subscriber feel as though their voice is being
heard, but that they’re appreciated, since they’re receiving a
special 20% off their next full-price purchase. That extra-special
treat will encourage the subscriber to click through to the website
and hopefully make a purchase.

6. Re-engagement emails

Have you noticed a lull in orders or decreased engagement? Then
it may be time to incorporate a re-engagement campaign into your
retail emails. These emails are intended to help you reconnect with
subscribers who’ve gone quiet or have simply stopped interacting
(e.g., opening or clicking on) your emails.

Subscribers can go dormant for many reasons, and it’s vital to
find out why they’ve gone inactive before you can start designing
a re-engagement email campaign to help bring them back. There are
several different ways to do this, including sending out a customer
satisfaction survey.

If you offer a free trial of your products or services, you may
notice that many people go inactive as soon as their free trial
ends. One way to help get them excited about reactivating or
continuing their subscription is by offering a special one-time

Jet does an excellent example of this by offering up subscribers
who’ve tried their services an additional 15% off their next two

Jet offers a special discount to free-trial members as a way to encourage them to continue shopping with them.

Source: Really
Good Emails

Wrap up

Retail emails, while different from many traditional email
marketing messages aren’t as different as they may seem on the
surface. While the aim is to increase sales and overall revenue,
they still can be designed to inform and make your readers feel as
if they’re more than just another sale in your eyes.

A few emails that can easily be made into ecommerce campaigns

  • Email opt-ins
  • Welcome emails
  • Surveys/feedback emails
  • Re-engagement emails
  • New inventory announcements
  • Targeted emails

With more brands moving online and joining the ecommerce
community, we at Campaign Monitor are happy to announce that
we’re releasing a new email marketing product for ecommerce
stores. Want more information? Be sure to check out
our CM Commerce page

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Turn Your Retail Emails Into Ecommerce Campaigns
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Turn Your Retail Emails Into Ecommerce Campaigns