A recent McKinsey article titled: "Why Marketers Should Keep Sending you E-mails" highlights the continued importance of email marketing to retailers. Here are a few stats from the article:
1) 91% of US consumers use email daily. 2) Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. 3) Email-prompted purchases have a 17% higher order value than those coming from social media.
But not all email campaigns are created equal. The number of marketing emails sent to US consumers in 2013 is estimated to be 838 billion. How can your company stand out? The answer is relevancy. Instead of sending a flood of mass emails, learn what is compelling to each customer and tailor your emails accordingly. McKinsey admits that this strategy takes a bit of work:
"Customer information often lives in different parts of the organization and must be aggregated to create a single view of each consumer. A targeting engine must be built to guide the right message to the right person. And operations need to be ready for the change; creating and sending 3,000 e-mails a day is very different from sending one mass e-mail blast."
But modern software platforms like AgilOne offer these capabilities in an easy-to-use format. And the results are undeniable:
"one financial institution increased revenue from target segments by 20 percent by using life-cycle events to trigger personalized e-mails to existing customers; home-goods retailer Williams-Sonoma reported a tenfold improvement in response rates by adopting personalized e-mail offerings based on individuals’ on-site and catalog shopping behavior."
Not only are the business results compelling, but consumers get a far better user experience as well since they don't have to sort through dozens (hundreds?) of irrelevant emails. Instead, they get notifications and/or discounts for products that are compelling to them.
Large retailers have been using these targeted marketing methods for years with increasingly good results. The good news is that new innovations in data management and business intelligence are driving the price of this type of technology making it easily accessible to smaller companies. By taking advantage these new tools, smaller retailers have the opportunity to realize the same increases in customer retention, revenue and margin as the big guys.