A successful marketing strategy is one that utilizes multiple channels or platforms, and engages with the target audience wherever they research, browse, and shop. Email is one of those crucial channels through which marketers can drive conversions through strategic informational and promotional advertisements. If your business isn’t yet using email marketing, you’re missing out on quite a few benefits.
A Closer Look at Email Marketing
Any marketing material sent to consumers via email is considered email marketing. This includes informational emails and alerts, as well as longer, HTML-friendly e-newsletters. Businesses use email marketing because it offers a favorable return on investment (ROI), it’s efficient, and it’s cost-effective.
Consumers Prefer to Receive Email
Marketing surveys suggest that when consumers are given a choice of receiving promotional material via text, email, or social media, more of them will choose email over social media. Text messages rank dead last. Savvy marketers encourage online shoppers to sign up for email newsletters and promotional alerts because it’s an effective way of generating large volumes of leads. Email marketing can also create a sort of compound interest effect, since consumers who sign up to receive email can be encouraged to forward the emails to their friends and family.
Email Increases Cross-Selling Opportunities
Marketers love capitalizing on cross-selling opportunities. These occur when consumers are urged to purchase another product related to the one they’ve already purchased or they’re thinking of purchasing. Amazon, for example, is a master of cross-selling. Each time an online shopper views a product page, he or she can scroll down to see an automatically generated list of similar products. Even if the consumer decides not to purchase the item on the original product page, he or she is likely to view the other products. Amazon does the same thing when a consumer adds an item to a digital shopping list or wish list. Consumers are given a brief list of other items that they might also be interested in.
Clearly, cross-selling is an effective way of capitalizing on the urge to make an impulse buy. Email lets marketers increase their cross-selling opportunities. Shoppers who make a purchase online must enter their email address to receive the sales receipt and shipping notifications. Once the marketer has the email addresses of shoppers who have purchased a particular product, those shoppers can receive email notices advising them of upcoming sales and informing them of related products.
Email Increases Upselling Opportunities
Upselling is similar to cross-selling. Once a consumer makes a purchase, the marketer can send out an emailed message urging that consumer to upgrade the purchase to a more expensive option. As an example, let’s say that Jane Consumer recently signed up for an audiobook club. For a monthly fee, Jane can listen to up to five audiobooks per month. Jane receives an email welcoming her to the audiobook club, and explaining the many features and benefits of her membership. The email also includes an invitation to upgrade her membership. For just a small fee increase, Jane could have access to unlimited audiobooks each month. The temptation is too great for Jane to resist, and so she clicks on the convenient “Upgrade Now” link in the email to complete the transaction.
Email Can Prevent Canceled Appointments
Brick and mortar businesses that primarily sell services, rather than products, can use email marketing to remind their customers of upcoming appointments. Consumers see emailed reminders as less intrusive and more convenient than phone calls. Plus, compared to making reminder phone calls, sending out automated reminder emails saves the company a great deal of manpower.
As an example, let’s say that Jane Consumer has made a dental appointment for a routine cleaning. A few days before her exam, she receives a reminder email. It asks her to click on a link to confirm the appointment. Jane does so, and is directed to a website thanking her for her confirmation. The confirmation website may also let Jane know that the dental office is running a special on teeth whitening treatments, which she could choose to add on to her already scheduled appointment. In this instance, not only does email save the business from losing revenue from a missed or canceled appointment, but it can also offer an upselling opportunity.
Email Can Include Consumer Surveys
Savvy marketers don’t often pass up opportunities to learn more about their target audience. The more you understand about your audience’s buying habits, needs, and wants, the better you can target them. Email marketing enables you to learn more about the target audience by increasing the likelihood that a consumer will take a few minutes to answer a survey.
Let’s say that Jane Consumer visits a website to read health information. She’s researching tinnitus, and wants to know if diet can affect the condition. A pop-up window appears asking Jane to take a brief survey about her website experience. Jane declines to take the survey. Later, Jane makes an online purchase for a dietary supplement intended to alleviate tinnitus. She receives an emailed sales receipt. Below the receipt is one multiple choice survey question. Since Jane already has the email open, she goes ahead and selects her answer. The survey was integrated directly into the email, which increased the chances of a response because Jane didn’t have to open a new window to answer it. She could also see that the survey was only one question, so she figured she might as well answer it.
The Use of Email to Rescue Abandoned Carts
Yet another brilliant use of email by marketers is push notifications intended to rescue abandoned shopping carts. Even after a consumer visits an e-commerce website and adds an item to the shopping cart, he or she might decide to close the browser window before making the purchase. Perhaps the consumer is short on time or just wants to think about the purchase for a bit longer.
A few hours after a consumer abandons a cart, the online store can email a notification to the shopper that the cart was abandoned. The email might mention that there are only four of those items left in stock or that the sale is ending soon. It might also remind the consumer that the store is offering free shipping and free returns. And of course, there will be a convenient link to return the shopper to the abandoned cart.
The Use of Email to Build Loyal Customers
Your business goals almost certainly include building a loyal customer base. Email marketing can help you achieve this. Email messages and newsletters can remind your customers of the benefits of choosing your brand. For example, let’s say Jane Consumer has purchased a pair of shoes from an e-commerce site. Later, she receives an email from the company informing her of a members-only sale. Jane is pleased to discover that her previous purchase automatically qualifies her as a “preferred member,” which makes her eligible to save 20% on her next order. Jane has transitioned from being a satisfied, one-time customer to being a loyal, long-term member.
Salem Local Digital has a longstanding history of connecting businesses to their target audience. With our digital presence solutions, your company can Surround Your Audience with effective advertisements on the radio, the Web, and in print. Get in touch with our team of digital marketing specialists today, and let us know how we can help you achieve your business goals.