With more merchants competing for holiday shopping dollars using more frequent email promotions than ever before, the quest to earn opens, clicks and conversions has never been tougher. An obsessive focus on relevance can help merchants score inbox wins.
Shoppers’ attitudes toward email are largely positive, with one in four consumers saying email is a great way to find out about offers and promotions, according to technology researcher Forrester. Perhaps surprisingly, email even performs well among younger shoppers, with 9% of 18-to-34-year-olds saying they’ve clicked on an email to purchase featured items, versus 7% of consumers overall.
But there’s a limit to shoppers’ goodwill. More than 71% of consumers say they start ignoring emails when multiple messages are sent per day from the same brand, and close to 60% say they often delete emails as soon as they’re received, according to the 2014 MarketLive Consumer Shopping Survey. Half of shoppers say emails rarely get their attention, and 38% admit that they scan most emails on their phone rather than read them carefully on the computer. Fully 37% of consumers told Forrester they’ve unsubscribed from an email list, and 24% wish it were easier to unsubscribe.
The action item
To prove that they deserve a spot in shoppers’ inboxes, merchants should adopt a “less is more” attitude and deliver only the most relevant offers possible.
While merchants who’ve deployed personalization services can most easily fulfill this goal with individually-tailored messaging, brands with less-sophisticated implementations can still deliver relevant experiences and earn subscribers’ goodwill. All merchants should:
- Up frequency only when justified. Merchants planning “12 Days of Christmas”-type promotions have a built-in reason to send daily updates. By contrast, sites whose offerings change less frequently through the season should scale back email accordingly.
- Display geo-relevance. Including region-specific shipping deadlines or local store hours can boost convenience for shoppers.
- Use social ties to drive interest and clicks. Engage shoppers with messages tied to their social recommendations or shared products, or use participatory social campaigns to trigger shopping invitations, as MarketLive merchant Modell’s is doing with its season-long social sweepstakes campaign. The Subject: line “Pick-Em Week 2 Results Are In!” spurs recipients to open the email to see if they’ve won the weekly contest; the message contains a 20% discount offer for everyone, redeemable in-stores or online.
Watch for 5 more holiday tips on the blog through Black Friday, and read up on winning strategies in MarketLive’s holiday whitepapers.