Hyper-personalisation. Multi-touch campaigns. Automated intelligence. The revenue opportunities for commerce marketing continue to grow as technology becomes more sophisticated. Savvy brands that understand the tactics they need to tap into to stay ahead of the competition will be rewarded with new business and more loyal current customers. The challenge is understanding which tactics are going to deliver the most significant returns, and should be prioritised as a result.
To help you navigate in this increasingly complex space, we surveyed 300 retailers to learn what email marketing tactics they are currently using, which tactics they think are most effective and which ones they plan to implement in the future.
Used effectively, email marketing can enhance the entire customer lifecycle: From convincing a shopper to buy to maintaining the conversation after the first purchase and identifying opportunities to encourage customers to buy again. With this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that over half (64%) of the surveyed retailers plan to increase the volume of emails they are sending this year. 32% will continue sending the same amount.
The raised email volume will increase the competition in the inbox, so making a good first impression will be more important than ever. Capturing customer preferences and behaviour data and marrying that with email automation allows you to send more targeted, relevant messages from the outset.
The research revealed that, on average, brands employ 7.2 different email tactics. Looking at the findings by sector, the pressure of a crowded market and expectations of multi-channel consumers are driving clothing and automotive brands, in particular, to deploy a greater number of tactics. Using an average of 8.5 and 8.4 tactics respectively, retailers in these sectors feel the pressure of greater competition, which pushes them to explore more opportunities to generate revenue.
Of the options available, the commerce tactics most commonly used by marketers are segmentation (83%), a welcome series that starts the relationship with new email subscribers (74%) and remailing shoppers that didn’t open the first message (64%).
In taking time to understand the individual needs of your customers, you will be able to identify the tactics that are paramount in driving the value for your business. Retailers rate email-exclusive offers (99%) and cart recovery emails (98%) as most effective. So if you are not yet using these tactics, consider moving them to the top of your list of options to test.
The tactics least frequently used by retailers are re-order reminders (11%), SMS and mobile campaigns (9%) and gift reminders (7%) – presumably because these are more complex tactics that require a bigger effort to execute effectively. Still, they offer brands a great opportunity to meet the customer expectation of truly personalised interactions. So, whilst these may be lesser-used strategies within a commerce marketer’s toolbox, they should not be discounted.
Email continues to be a key route to revenue – and this will surely increase as brands become more creative in their use of tactics. The top-three tactics on marketers’ future plans are VIP/loyalty campaigns (59%), dynamic content (58%) and a personalised post-purchase series (55%), all of which will be hard to achieve without smart, sophisticated marketing automation.
Having an effective commerce marketing strategy in place is vital to maintain and grow your customer relationships. Above all, staying close to consumer behaviour will enable you to evolve with them. There are more ways available than ever before to understand your customers and meet their changing needs. By continually tracking and benchmarking the success of your programmes and by implementing new tactics that are going to resonate with your audience, you will be in a better position to increase sales and encourage customers to return.
About Saima Alibhai
Saima Alibhai has over 10 years of experience in the marketing technology industry, working alongside clients internationally in the UK, Europe and Latin America.