Do you currently use email as a marketing tool for your retail store? Do you regularly engage with your customers through email newsletters or send email promotions? If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you’re losing tons of money without even realizing it. That’s because retail email marketing is an excellent way to acquire customers and also engage with existing ones. It just means that with email, your chances of expanding your business is higher. Here are a few more reasons why an email is a lucrative option for business:
- An estimated 3 Billion people use email worldwide. That’s 1 Billion more than Facebook!
- The ROI on email is massive! It’s highly affordable and even more effective.
- 75% of consumers prefer business transactions via email.
With more stats like these, It’s no wonder that email is the king of marketing channels. Therefore, if you’re serious about growing your business, you should probably start retail email marketing right away, the right way.
This post will, hopefully, help you do just that.
Start retail email marketing with these simple steps
If you’re relatively new to email marketing, then this guide is for you. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be sending out your first email campaign in no time.
1) Build an email list
The first step to begin retail email marketing is to build an email list. Since more emails mean higher chances of conversion, try to acquire as many emails as you can. This step is crucial since your email list is the only source of long-term leads for your retail store.
You can build your email list in any number of ways, in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned below:
a) Collect emails in-store
For most retailers, the retail store is probably the first point of contact with customers. And it is here that you have the best chance of acquiring their emails. The secret to doing that is to understand possible reasons why customers aren’t willing to share their emails. Mostly, it’s either of the two:
- They find it tiring to fill out the contact form manually.
- Or, they are afraid you’ll use their email address and annoy them constantly
By eliminating these two factors, you might make it easier for your customer to provide you their email. Here is how you can do it:
(i) Use software to capture their emails:
Collecting emails using pen and paper is not just a good idea anymore since it requires more effort on the customer’s part, consumes time and the data is not stored properly. Moreover, there is always room for manual errors while your customers fill out the form. Use software for this because, it is faster, more comfortable, and stores the data efficiently, all in one go.
(ii) Make collecting emails, a part of the purchase cycle:
Collect email IDs from every customer who purchases by making it a mandatory input to generate the bill/invoice. Additionally, send an e-invoice of their purchase to their email address. Thus, you not only collect their email but also start some form of email engagement by sending the e-invoice.
CASA’s software can help you capture contact information quickly and efficiently. All you need is an electronic device such as mobile or tablet, and you’ll be building your email list in no time.
(iii) No spam assurance:
Let your customers know that you care about them. Assure them that their email will not be used for spam. Instead, tell them about any special benefits they might receive( if you have any). Making a customer feel safe is crucial since your whole relationship hinges on their trust in you.
b) Capture email from your website
If you have an e-commerce website, use it to capture customer emails. There are a few ways you can do this:
(i) Use pop-ups
Use pop-ups or other types of email opt-in forms to get their attention. After that, offer them something valuable in exchange for their email ID. Usually, retailers claim to offer special discounts to email subscribers, and this works for the most part.
(ii) Start a blog
Start a blog related to your niche because it is an excellent way to get noticed by customers. Write about anything that might interest your customers, problems they face when shopping and the solutions. Give shopping tips and stats that might interest your customers and, overall, provide value through your blog. An excellent blog will automatically start collecting emails since customers would be eager to get your awesome posts ASAP.
(iii) Use Social media
Social media is another excellent way to engage with your customers. You can try putting out ads that offer something special in exchange for the customer’s email. You can post blogs and other content and take them to your website where they’ll browse through your offerings and make purchases, giving their email IDs in the process. Or you can build a personal connection with your customers and simply ask them for their email.
Suggested read: engage with your customers through social media.
With these techniques, you’ll be building a long list of emails in no time. Which now brings us to the next step in retail email marketing.
2) Sign up for a retail email marketing software
Building an email list is just the beginning. But to derive value from them, you need to send out regular email campaigns. Moreover, you should be able to track the performance of those campaigns, and for this purpose a retail email marketing software is essential. These software tracks open rates and click rates and thus provide valuable insights on the quality of your subject/content. Some email marketing software also offers high-quality forms that help capture emails.
However, if you’re looking for a retail email marketing software, specially fine tuned for your retail store marketing, try out CASA’s email software. It is designed specially for retailers to promote their store and products.
3) Segment your email list
Once you’re ready with the software and your email list( which I hope is huge), you’ll need to segment your subscribers. That’s because, for maximum customer engagement, you have to send personalized emails to your subscribers. It ensures you stay relevant and also makes sure you send the right emails to the right people.
CASA’s retail email marketing software can segment subsribers at the click of a button, no matter how large the list is or how vaired the subscribers are. It’s a great way to save time, manual effort, and is more efficient in handling the data. CASA also dynamically segments subscribers based on their reaction to the previous campaigns. It segments subsriber who opened, didn’t open, clicked, etc. Thus, this helps in re-targeting and re-engaging appropriately.
Here are few ways you can segment your initial list of subscribers:
a) Gender & Age:
If you sell products for both men & women, then segmenting according to gender makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to promote offers for skirts and Kurtis to men because that would be a disaster( unless, of course, it’s a new fashion trend among men to wear women’s clothes)
Segmenting based on Age is more relevant when you sell products that are popular across age groups. For example, you might want to promote offers on video games for young adults instead of old people.
You might get a lot of subscribers from your website who probably aren’t from your locality, or even your country, for that matter. Sending them an email that promotes in-store discounts is a recipe for unsubscription. That’s because you are sending completely irrelevant offers to someone who has less than 0.000001% of using it. Segmenting based on region also allows you to time your email campaign right, for that region or country, for maximum engagement.
c) Purchase history:
Put your customer data to good use by segmenting customers based on what they last bought. This can help you send relevant & personalized suggestions and offers for the customer.
d) Segment based on loyalty:
Would you like to show affection to your most loyal customers by sending them special offers? I bet you do! That’s why it pays off to separate the loyal ones from the new ones. Show special care to your loyal customers to keep them coming back. In case one of your loyal customers hasn’t been to your store for a while, here are some tips for activating and re-engaging customers.
4) Learn retail email marketing best practices
Sending an email campaign is not as simple as typing out a few words and hitting send. There’s more to it than that. If you are really serious about sending out successful emails, you need to learn a few of the email marketing best practices. Starting with ” how to write the best subject lines“, ” what is the best time to send an email“, ” how to personalize your email for maximum conversion” etc. Email campaign success rates depend on a lot of factors. But by optimizing your email with these best practices, you can dramatically improve your success rates.
5) Send, Track and Analyse
If you’re familiar with the best practices of email marketing, then it’s time to hit the send button. Create your email with an awesome subject and a great content and then send it to your customers. But wait, your job doesn’t end there. Now comes the hard part- Tracking, testing and analyzing.
You can only learn so much from blogs and resources. Most of your learning happens through experience. After sending your campaign, sit down and analyze how it has performed. This is where email marketing software helps out.
They help you track the open rates and click rates, and this gives you valuable insights into the quality of your email. Is the open rate too low? Then your subject line needs some tweaking, or your timing was off.
A low click rate means your content wasn’t impressive enough even though your subject did its job well. The more emails you send and analyze, the more insights you’ll get. And the more insights you get, the better you will be at creating and sending awesome emails.
To wrap up, email marketing is an excellent way to increase customer acquisition and engagement. So make sure you take full advantage of what emails have to offer.
Start your retail email marketing with the following steps:
- Build an email list. Collect as many emails from your customers or potential customers as you can. Come up with creative ways to make customers give you their emails.
- Sign up for an email marketing software. It can help you send quality emails, track and analyze your campaigns and help you become a better email marketer.
- Segment your email list. Segmenting allows you to personalize your messages and help you send the right email to the right people at the right time.
- Learn retail email marketing best practices. This will help you send better quality emails that convert more.
- Send, track and analyze your emails. The insights you get from tracking and analyzing your campaigns will definitely accelerate your learning. It will help you figure out what’s wrong and what corrective action needs to be taken.
Starting out as a new email marketer can be quite daunting. As a newbie, you’re bound to make mistakes. But, don’t worry, it’s a part of the learning process. Make as many mistakes in the initial stages as you can because that’s what will help you learn and grow. Read blogs, guides, and other resources to improve your knowledge of email marketing for retail stores. Complement your learning by running A/B test campaigns. Do this, and I’m sure you’ll keep getting better in email marketing.
Try out CASA
Need an email marketing software specially designed for your retail store? CASA’s retail email marketing software has got you covered. If you’d like to see a free demo of our software, fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch.