How Email Marketing Can Help Your Retail Business

by Emily Retherford

3 min read

Email is an efficient and effective marketing option for retail businesses, even compared to flashy Instagram accounts and cutting-edge proximity technology. Your customers may actually respond more favorably to an email than a commercial or Facebook post – an Adobe survey found that 58% of respondents preferred that brands use email to get in contact. With thoughtful targeting and a bit of experimentation, you can design marketing emails that boost sales and bring in new customers.

Cost-Effective

For retail businesses on a limited budget, email is an inexpensive way to supplement other marketing efforts. Accounts are free, and you can use free or low-cost services such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor for layout and design. The savings can be considerable – according to Experian, email is 20 times more cost-effective than standard media.

Targeted Marketing

Modern consumers are overwhelmed with promotional messages from all sides. Email offers the opportunity for highly targeted marketing that speaks directly to each individual customer’s needs. Your mailing list is the key; it lets you segment subscribers by age, location, purchase history, and more. This information makes it easier to send relevant emails that reduce your unsubscribe rate.

Customizable Content

With your segmented mailing list, it’s a breeze to match your message to the target audience. If you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store, you can send a grand-opening invite only to customers that live within 25 miles. Before schools get out for spring break, customers with children might respond well to an email about swimsuits for the whole family. Your company can also customize content to suit current business goals. During a special sale, a sneak-peek preview email is one way to drive website traffic. If you’re looking to move a specific product, you can send a discount code to encourage sales. Follow and share buttons help your business build a bigger social media presence.

Consistent Branding

Compared to other common communication platforms, such as Facebook and Pinterest, email gives you complete control over branding. HTML lets you integrate signature headers, logos, color schemes, fonts, and imagery styles directly into the email body. These recognizable visual elements create a familiar feeling that connects customers to your brand experience.

Mobile Optimiziation

Email can be optimized for mobile phones – an important feature, given that Adobe’s survey revealed that 43% of respondents and 88% of millennials use their phones to check email. Optimization helps you get your message across by keeping the reader’s attention at every step. A compelling subject line, such as “Your $10 coupon is enclosed,” can convince a customer to open the message. Once a reader is inside the email, content is king. For best results, use a layout that places your value proposition or call to action at the top of the screen to minimize scrolling. When in doubt, use buttons rather than links; they’re easier to activate on a mobile touchscreen.

Easy Tracking

Tracking and analytics are crucial to any successful marketing campaign, and email is well-suited to both tasks. Most marketing email services include integrated tracking and customizable reports. With MailChimp, for example, you can see which emails are opened most, identify recipients who didn’t open specific messages, and monitor the sales from each campaign. This information helps you understand which content gets the highest response, so you can design more effective messages. Some programs also include click-tracking services that tell you where on the screen to place buttons to improve click-through. With its budget-friendly price tag and customizable features, email is an ideal retail marketing tool. By spending time to devise targeted campaigns, you can support new products and boost sales where you need it most.

References & Resources

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