Email marketing has one of the best ROI’s of any marketing channel at around 4300%, according to Direct Marketing Association. Yes 400%, you read that right.
But why does it work so well? When someone gives you their email address it feels to them like they’re handing over their first born child to you.
Because consumers are sick and tired of spam and unpersonalized messages, they need to feel like they’re getting something very valuable from you in exchange for their personal address.
When you do manage to entice them and they hand over their much coveted email address, congrats, that means they feel you’re trustworthy. Once you’ve got that email, you should respect it by doing your best to send only top notch marketing emails.
Maybe you’ve done some email marketing a bit in the past and perhaps you’ve even had some success; look at you, that’s awesome! But there is probably even more that could be done to take your email marketing to the next level.
Marketing Sherpa recently published a study on JewelScent, an eCommerce store that sells home fragrance products such as candles, hand soaps, body scrubs and bath beads. They expanded their email marketing efforts and increased order volume by 478% with a revenue increase of 384%!
Andrew Gambino, Director of Marketing and Analytics at JewelScent said “What we wanted to do with email was [to] really go with the customer-centric approach. All of us are customers of different brands, and we really took that into consideration when we were building our email practices.”
He then added, “What we wanted to do was make sure all of our touch points that we had [with customers] made sense and made the customer’s experience with our company just the best experience that we could come up with.”
In August 2013, they began working with existing customer data to build an email marketing program. We’re going to take an in depth look at what JewelScent did to increase their revenue and order volume and how you can too.
What JewelScent Did
They targeted their existing customer base with fun and exciting promotions such as buy-one-get-one offers or percentage based offers. They tested different types of offers to better understand what their customers liked best. Armed with that information, they were able to be more effective in the future.
When JewelScent launched products twice a month, the email messaging that described those new product was written in the same language their ideal customer would use. This made sure the offers resonated with their customer base.
Lastly, JewelScent added sweepstakes and giveaways to their promotional emails in order to grow their email list. Store credit and products were used to reward customers. Here’s an example from their St.Patricks Day promotional sweepstakes.
JewelScent knew the value of utilizing their existing customer base for giveaways. Gambino stated “We know referrals coming in from people who already transact with our brand and already like our brand are worth a lot more than going and paying for a sweepstakes entry.”
1. Get to know your customers and experiment with different offers. JewelScent did a great job of testing out different types of offers and you should too. Over time, testing will show you what resonates and what doesn’t. The better your offer matches the preferences of your customer, the more they will trust you and the more likely they are to take action.
Remember, your customers signed up with you for a reason, so don’t give them one to unsubscribe. If you want to wow your customers, you have got to do better than a $10 discount.
2. You ideal customer should be able to identify with you and using the lingo they use is a perfect way of achieving this. Using generic speak won’t help you stand out in a sea full of emails. I’m signed up to ThinkGeek and I love receiving emails from them because they are one of the few brands that actually catch my attention when I scan through my inbox. Here are some examples:
3. Building your email list should obviously be pretty high on your priority list. You can do this by running contests aimed at generating referrals. The idea is that in order for your customer to get more entries into a contest they must email their friends about it. Once their friends get the email, they will hopefully enter the contest too. Then, they will email their friends in order to get more entries and cycle continues. Voila! You’ve got a ton of people that now know about your brand, and your email list is growing like wildfire.
What JewelScent Did
The team at JewelScent wanted to consolidate their email marketing and social media channels.
Derin Oyekan, co-founder and CMO of JewelScent said “There’s definitely the ecosystem to consider, so we always try to get our email subscribers to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and follow us on Pinterest, and we try to get our Facebook followers to subscribe to our email list. So we cross-promote any promotion we have across both channels.”
Some of their tactics include:
- Popups, modal boxes and banners on the website
- Social media links and icons in every email send
- Giveaway campaigns that encourage sharing and liking on social media
Gambino added, “The messaging is very consistent across the two channels … whenever we are running a promo for email, it’s usually pretty consistent with what we’re running on Facebook. And we have the ability to actually message [those promos] a little bit earlier on Facebook and let people know that these are things to watch out for on their email.”
Integrating your social media with your email marketing is a must. You want your customers to be sharing your products, contests and what they bought on their networks right? Of course you do. Make it easy for them by including links to all of your social networks and even encouraging them to do so.
Keep your promotions and messaging consistent across your social media and email marketing as well.
What JewelScent Did
JewelScent made sure to take advantage of special occasions. Two which did particularly good for them was their Black Friday and one year anniversary campaigns.
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year whether online or offline and to stay competitive you need to have a great offer.
For Black Friday, JewelScent offered a 30% discount plus two bonus rings with a purchase. It was one of the best days the company had in terms of all KPIs which included email metrics, orders, sales and average order value.
For JewelScent’s first anniversary, the company created an anniversary candle that was the first candle the company released, containing three rings. Through social media their team promoted the upcoming anniversary by teasing their followers that a special something would be offered in celebration of their anniversary.
When the email campaign for the anniversary went out, the clickthrough and open rate were above average.
1. Take advantage of special occasions and make them as unique to your business as possible. For such occasions, keep your customers curious and excited by building suspense through dropping hints to your audience on your social networks.
2. Your sales strategy for big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be thought out well in advance and again, you can tease your customers for months in advance. Target has already got their Black Friday landing page set up encouraging their customers to sign up and it’s only May! But, they’ve done this because they want to build their list and start getting people excited now.
Start Increasing Revenue
One of the most important things to figure out before you start expanding your email marketing is to define your KPI’s. JewelScent focused on:
- Open rate
- Clickthrough rate
- Conversion rate from email campaigns
- Revenue per subscriber
- Lifetime value of subscribers
- Average order value
- Revenue per thousand emails sent
Focusing on 7 different KPI’s is probably a bit much for a small to medium sized business. Picking one or two and making a plan around improving them is a great place to start. Once you’ve picked your KPIs make sure to track them with your email software or website analytics, and see if there is anywhere you are falling short and could improve.
We want to hear from you! What is your experience with email marketing? Is there anything you’ve done exceptionally well that you could share with us?