Looking for ways to grow your email marketing program? Chief Marketer recently talked with Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, who shared ideas on ways to grow your email list and improve the performance of your email marketing initiatives.
1. Go beyond the "batch and blast" with triggered promotions.
New and established small- to mid-sized online merchants feel the impact of competition from large online retailers Amazon. One solution is to mimic the site's successful email marketing methods, with emails triggered by on-site behavior. "Make email a bigger part of your marketing program by going beyond your usual blasts," he says "Large retailers mail once a day, and that might be something for a smaller merchant to consider."
"Try to tie behavior on your site to trigger emails—for example, if someone browsed the snowshoes page on your site and then abandoned their cart, retarget with other snow-related products," notes Kramer. "We've rolled out about 150 cart abandonment campaigns in the last 18 months and they can be 'found money' for marketers."
2. Encourage sign-ups with modal pop-ups.
About 10 years ago, online merchants were acquisition happy, trying to acquire new names at every turn. That mania no longer exists for many marketers, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be actively building your file.
One model that works well is a modal pop-up window on your site. These work well when a small incentive is offered in exchange for the address, say 15% off the next purchase. "This can double your email address file within a year," says Kramer, noting that sweepstakes also work well. One client recently grew their list by 11% by running a sweepstakes
Another offer that works well to boost sign-ups and overall site is a small gift with purchase, says Kramer. If your average order is typically $150, try to boost that up to $175 by offering a free gift with a $175 purchase if the person shares their address. "Leverage the site traffic you already have to acquire new names."
3. Don't ignore social media.
Use your email marketing to drive your audience to content in social media that is engaging, says Kramer. Pinterest boards are a great way to encourage social sharing, and give you a way to listen to what your customers and prospects are thinking. "Highlight your social content by using things like screenshots of your Facebook wall showing comments and reviews," he notes. "Not enough brands are doing a good job of incorporating their rating and reviews into emails."
Kramer notes that one client found that emails which included a product review had a 50% higher conversion rate than ones that didn't. "Leverage your customers' stories."
4. Test your creative and keep it relevant
If you're only mailing once a week, you can rely on offers to populate your email's content. But if you're mailing daily, you need to get more creative, says Kramer. Humor can be effective if you're mailing frequently, as long as you keep your content relevant. "Frequent mailers may get great returns—but their [customer] turnover may be high."
And don't be afraid to test which products and approaches work. For example, while a hero shot of one exceptionally performing product might work for some marketers, smaller images of multiple options/images/styles/flavors might work better in other niches.
"There is value in product discovery—think of the way Pandora helps people discover new music," says Kramer, noting that you should also look at the segments on your list who have never purchased. "Consider ways to get someone who has never purchased to become at least a one time buyer. And don’t forget to look at those who purchased in 2010 but didn't come back in 2011."