All companies have a marketing plan that’s been devised over countless hours and months of deliberating on what campaigns and promotions work. As we all know, far too well, plans tend to change, and no matter how prepared you are, there comes a time, as a marketer where you are throwing together last minute emails to send out the same day. While we hope that this is the case only some of the time, more and more often we see overfilled inboxes with impersonal emails. Based on these rising trends, here are 5 things apparel, or any, retailer should stop doing.
1. Sending Everyone the Same Message
As consumers become even more connected via technology and spend more time purchasing online it’s really important to up your personalization game. From specific, tailored offers, to personalized product recommendations, consumers are asking to be marketed to on a 1:1 level. Yes, sending promotions is a key piece of marketing for any retailers; however, it’s imperative to segment your lists based on any number of criteria such as, the promotion itself, the type of products/categories being highlighted, location (event based marketing).
2. Daily Emails
In conjunction with point number one, sending an email every day is overkill. Instead of spending all of your creative energy writing 7 promotional emails, use that time and creativity to set up a triggered post purchase thank you series - this will take care of starting to cement a relationship with your customers - and focusing on a few key campaigns (segmented, of course) per week. Important to note, these campaigns should not be sent to every single person, so make sure to think about what criteria you want to use to segment your customer base.
3. Taking on the Big Box Names (Directly)
Let’s face it, Amazon, Zappos, and other large name big box retailers are crushing it. Instead of trying to take these large name stores on in head to head combat, focus on what makes you stand out. What special products, services, VIP programs, etc do you offer that would make a customer crazy to shop anywhere else?
This email from Birchbox is a great example of the first email in a welcome series. It walks through how their subscription works in a very easy to understand way. Obviously, your business may funciton in a different way, but use this opportunity to thank your customers and explain what makes you, you.
4. Focusing Only on the Products
I touched on this a bit in point 3; however, it’s a big one so I’ll say it again. Your products are great, you know that, your customers know that, but it’s going to take more than just steady product emails to make your customers feel warm and fuzzy when they receive an email from you. Make sure you’re personality and brand voice shine through your emails, and help tell the story of who you are as a business. The best thing you can do as a retailer is make your customers feel like a part of the family.
5. Using Outdated Technology
Consumer technology is always changing, and retailer technology should map to these changes. While it’s impossible to keep up with all of the trends, it’s important to keep an eye on new innovations that have the potential to be a game changer. For example, two newer technologies that can have a large impact are onsite tracking and predictive analytics.
Onsite tracking allows retailers to track a site visitors behavior from products and categories they looked at to what they searched for on the site. This information can then be used to trigger campaigns such as browse abandonment, price drop, out of stock, and back in stock notifications. Anonymous visitors are tagged with a unique ID, so when an email address is captured, retailers have a backlog of all the subscriber’s new behavior.
Predictive analytics are a key way to help retailers achieve mass personalization fairly easily. Using data science and back end algorithms, retailers can create automated emails based on predicted order date, replenishment date (for consumable products), recommended products, cross-sell opportunities, and more.