3 Email Marketing Tactics to Test While Business Is Not As Usual
By Mike O'Brien | May 20, 2020
You already knew the spread of coronavirus is having an unprecedented and unpredictable impact on the retail industry. Though we don’t know how or when it will end, we do know one thing: Consumer behaviors have changed. That may mean spending less, shopping different brands and categories, or even being more inclined to take advantage of omnichannel options like curbside pickup.
As elected officials lift stay-at-home orders around the country, a Coresight Research survey found that 45% of consumers still plan to avoid shopping centers and malls. That makes ecommerce and email marketing more important than ever.
As retailers navigate this uncharted territory, Sailthru wanted to help them communicate with customers, save sales, and lift loyalty. That’s why we produced Business Not As Usual: 14 Email Marketing Tactics to Test Now. Working with Monica Deretich, a former VP at JustFab currently serving as our Retail Advisor, our team identified the 14 tactics, drawing inspiration from emails our clients have sent and even what we’ve seen in our own inboxes. Here’s a preview:
Curbside Pickup and BOPIS Are Here to Stay
Last year, consumers picked up 11% of online purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. Omnichannel offerings like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup were already growing in popularity. The only options for many consumers at the moment, they’re even more prevalent these days.
Best Buy has done such a great job with its curbside experience that the retailer retained 81% of last year’s Q1 sales despite the lack of foot traffic. Customers who take advantage of curbside pickup have a one-hour fulfillment guarantee and immediately receive helpful information to facilitate a smooth and contactless pickup experience. Best Buy also sends real-time updates while customers are parked, including some “popular” recommendations for good measure. There’s even an option to have someone else pick up the order. That’s key; many people currently run errands for older, sick and at-risk loved ones.
Let People Know About Your Good Deeds
Surveying 1,000 consumers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that 56% are happy to hear how brands are helping out their communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, whether it’s donating money or products, or taking care of their employees. The 4A’s conducted that survey in mid-March, as we were all inundated with “important updates around COVID-19.”
Thrive Market’s commitment to the world has been on display for the duration of this pandemic. Instead of surge pricing in the face of online grocery’s unprecedented popularity, Thrive Market established a relief fund. This charitable endeavor includes everything from coordinating deliveries for loved ones to donating grocery stipends to healthcare workers and first responders. Thrive Market raised $365,000 within the first month and a half, and CEO Nick Green has since pledged the remainder of his salary for the year.
Personalizing Every Element of Your Emails
Email was always a retail marketer’s best friend. With a median ROI of 122% according to the Data & Marketing Association, it’s by far the most lucrative marketing channel. With limited foot traffic in stores, retailers are naturally sending more emails, making it an even more crucial channel.
To stand out in the inbox, brands need to lean on personalization. While many people hear “personalization” and think “product recommendations,” that’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Personalizing everything has long been a part of JustFab’s successful email program. JustFab uses personalized send time to reach a customer’s inbox when they’re most likely to engage. What’s more, the subscription retailer uses customer behavior to determine people’s preferences, and leverages dynamic content accordingly. For example if a customer is a big shoe shopper, JustFab will email with shoe-specific subject lines and hero images, as opposed to something more generic.
For more tactics, including how to use employee-generated content and communicate store updates in real time, download Business Not As Usual: 14 Email Marketing Tactics to Test Now.
2020 Holiday Marketing Playbook
With all that has happened this year, we expect to see a holiday season unlike any other. That said, the time to start testing and building out email and CRM strategies is now. Along with our Retail Advisor, former JustFab VP Monica Deretich, Sailthru has developed this playbook to help retailers crush Q4 and beyond.
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