Three Email Strategies for Retailers

By: Gina Lee De Freitas

Establishing a strong email program is a must for retailers. Competition from Amazon and others continues to build pressure on brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, changes on social platforms – most notably on Facebook – are making it harder for brands to get their messages out there. 

The solution: Your shoppers’ inboxes.

According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, throughout 2017, email generated more than 50 times the return on investment, even as email opens, clicks and click-to-open rates declined. 

But, while many retailers have an email program to reach their current and future shoppers, too many don’t evaluate the success of their e-marketing program. It not enough to build a list and send out content. Here are three things every retailer should do to improve on the performance of their email strategy:

1. Evaluate how many people are opening on mobile and desktop. Mobile open and click rates are higher than desktop, according to Yes Lifecycle – but not by much. For the fourth quarter of 2017, the company’s analysis of more than 9 billion emails showed that 52.9 percent were opened and clicks on mobile devices, while 47.1 percent were open and clicked on desktop.  

Why this matters: You need a responsive email design that works on desktop AND mobile. If you find it too heavily skewed on one side or the other, it’s possible you’re missing out on a lot of your market. The design and experience should be similarly pleasing on both.  

2. List size matters – as long as it’s continually refreshed. Retailers should look at the size of their list, even if it stays the same. Retailers should refresh their list often, purging it of those who never open their emails and adding new customers and subscribers.  

Why this matters: If you’re consistently sending emails to people who never open them, you are wasting your time – and jeopardizing the integrity of your list. Refreshing nonresponsive list members with new consumers will grow your bottom line. 

3. Evaluate which emails are connecting with your specific audience. Martech Today found that the top performing retailers sent out regular emails but not too many. Most included a shoppable menu what would appeal to all of its customers, plus, the top scorers didn’t use heavily promotional subject lines.  

Why this matters: You don’t want to pester those on your e-mail list, but you don’t want them to forget you, either. By having a shoppable menu for all of your customers, you won’t turn off the group who may not be interested in your current promotion.  

Email marketing evolves quickly. Don’t be afraid to fail. But, do it fast. Once you’ve evaluated the metrics of your email strategy, don’t be just willing to pivot: Be excited. Reaching your customers through their email inboxes is a powerful (and effective) way to spread your message and get people to walk through your doors.

About Brick to Click!

With decades of experience in retail marketing, Gina Lee De Freitas, President of IMM, and Corien de Jong, SVP Executive Creative Director, have the insights and strategies you need to take your in-store and online retail traffic to the next level.

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