E-Mail Marketing Recommendations

Make sure your email marketing is mobile friendly, segment it, and use it for referrals

There are many ways you can market your small retail or e-commerce business, good old-fashioned email is still the No. 1 driver of both customer acquisition and retention for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) in this industry.

According to the SMBs surveyed, email marketing is responsible for a whopping 81% of customer acquisition and 80% of customer retention. That’s far above the second- and third-most effective marketing channels for customer acquisition and retention, which are organic search and paid search.

The good news, of course, is that email marketing is easy to execute and affordable for even the smallest business. Just 20% of respondents say email is the marketing method they spend the most on—so they’re achieving these impressive results on a budget.

You’re probably already using email marketing, but are you using it to its fullest potential? Here are 5 things you need to do to power up your email marketing campaign.

Make sure your email is mobile-friendly. With customers increasingly moving to mobile platforms to search, browse, and buy, the report predicts that mobile marketing will play a bigger role in the budget of SMBs going forward. Whether you have an e-commerce business, a retail store, or both, your customers are using their mobile devices to find your location or search for the types of products that you sell. They’re also checking their email on their mobile devices, so it’s important that your emails be readable on mobile. In addition, make sure that any links in your mobile-friendly emails go to mobile-friendly landing pages. Finally, ensure that whatever call to action you ask customers to take on those pages can be executed easily on a mobile device.

Use email to get customers back to your website. More than half of SMBs in the survey say they have implemented cart abandonment reminder emails, which they describe as a highly effective email marketing tactic. In addition, 30% of SMBs email product recommendations, and 24% of SMBs email product page reminders. Emails are an effective way to re-engage with customers who may have visited your website, viewed product pages, or even placed items in their cart, but didn’t take the final step to purchase. Since most people check their emails regularly, emails have a good chance of reaching these customers, even if they aren’t actively searching for the product you sell.

Be sure to track the results of your emails so you can see which types of messages are working and which aren’t.

Segment your emails. Use the customer data you collect to segment your emails based on customer demographics, habits, and behavior. This will enable you to target your emails more effectively. For example, if someone purchases children’s clothing from you every back-to-school season, you can send them relevant marketing emails before that season rolls around to capture their business earlier. Be sure to track the results of your emails so you can see which types of messages are working and which aren’t.

Encourage recipients to forward your emails. Getting referrals from existing customers can be a highly effective way of acquiring new customers, the report advises. Customers trust their friends, and referred customers typically place bigger orders than the average customer. One way to get more referrals is to craft marketing emails encouraging customers to forward them to friends. You can also offer an incentive, such as a percentage off coupon for the person making the referral if their friend makes a purchase. Or, try emailing an offer for deals that can be shared with a friend, such as buy one, get one free.

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