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  • November 9, 2007

Takeaways from ‘12 Can’t Miss Email Strategies for Online Retailers’ webinar

Earlier today Elastic Path hosted a webinar called “12 Can’t Miss Email Strategies for Online Retailers.” Here are the 12 strategies presented by Carolyn Gardner, director of e-marketing services at Sitebrand:

1. Think quality, not quantity when it comes to lists.

2. Build, don’t buy your list. Here are some tips for list building…
>>Make sign-up easy. You can always get more information from subscribers later.
>> Be clear about how frequently subscribers will receive emails to people from being unpleasantly surprised.
>>Provide instant gratification via a welcome email.
>>Make outing out easy and clear.
>> Jason Billingsley, VP of innovation at Elastic Path, added, follow up on non-confirmed double opt-ins to convert more of them.

3. Send meaningful messages.
>>Design emails so they’re scannable.
>>Think one-page, because people don’t like to scroll.
>>It’s okay to repeat the call-to-action several times throughout the email.
>>Design emails with a mix of images and HTML text so they make sense when images are blocked.

To prove this last point, Gardner shared these two designs with images on…

…and with images off.

Notice that the version designed with images off in mind generated more than seven times the revenue of the other version. That’s a valuable lesson that a lot of retailers can learn from.

4. Send targeted offers.
>>And add urgency. Consider trying online-only one-day sales.

5. Respect the preview pane.

6. Leverage print, but modify for inboxes.
Gardner presented this example of this Baby Back Country print campaign…

…that was optimized for email. Notice that the logo is brought up to the top, along with body text, which is HTML so it will appear even when images are blocked. There’s also a clear call-to-action.

7. Be compelling, not overwhelming.
>>Be strategic in the links you include.

8. Send triggered emails.
>>Send welcome emails.
>>Consider sending “back-in-stock” emails to folks who click through to a product that has become out of stock. She provided this example of a “back-in-stock” email from Roots:

9. Send win-back emails to customers that haven’t converted in a while.
Gardner shared this example of a win-back email from Indigo:

10. Timing matters.
>>There’s no perfect time to send, so you have to figure out what’s best for your subscribers.

11. Not another e-newsletter.
>>Think about what you call your emails. Calling it a newsletter may evoke something that’s of a longer format than it actually is. Consider e-flyer, e-alerts, e-update, e-promo, e-flash, and e-update as alternatives.

12. Test, measure, refine.


Nov. 13: Free Multichannel Marketing Webinar. Get the details.
Nov. 15: Free Webinar on email competitive intelligence. Get the details.
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