Key Takeaways from the webinar Season’s Best: Proven Email Strategies to Ensure a Profitable Holiday Season

Today we presented another webinar in our holiday series featuring Listrak Customer Relationship Manager Kaye Peloquin and special guest Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research.

Below are some key takeaways that were tweeted during the presentation. A link to the webinar on-demand will be posted shortly.  

Sucharita Mulpuru: 

- Email marketing is still very much alive. It’s still incredibly important to the retailer’s portfolio.

- Survey with shop.org shows retailers have 20% or more of their marketing budget allocated to email.

- Email spend continues to grow over time for retailers. Retailers report working on improving their use of it.

Email to house list, display ads, paid search and affiliates are retail marketing workhorses.

- Even with 15 years of online experience under their belts, older tactics continue to work best for retailers.

- According to surveys, shoppers are often attracted to shopping online through email.

- Email is especially important to driving shoppers to online retailers during key days of the holiday season.

- Email is held to a higher standard by retailers in terms of attribution for conversions.

- Even with narrow attribution windows, data shows that email is still a key driver of conversions.

Mobile is increasingly important for email. 20-30% of all retail is reported to be coming through mobile.

Number one thing shoppers surveyed said they did on mobile phones is reading emails.

"Mobile marketing" is often about mobile email optimization despite the "hype" about many other tactics.

Personalization, segmentation, deep linking to apps, cart abandonment emails and email collection boxes are key.

Listrak: 

- Holiday period this year is 35 days. Need to prepare at least 35 emails.

- Plan how much revenue is needed weekly, daily during the season based on what you made in 2013.

-  Broadcast emails = 66% of revenue; triggered = 33% - How many of each did you send last year to make last year’s revenue?

Look at revenue on un-segmented vs. segmented emails sent in 2013 and take segmentation to a new level in 2014 to increase revenue.

- Make shopping easy for subscribers during the holiday season. Holiday gift guides are key. Help them find something for everyone.

Long, scrollable emails are fine. In fact, they generate more revenue.

- Tune up your modal lightbox. A/B test timing and on what pages it appears; use a holiday theme.

Expand your gift guide concept into and add holiday visuals to your welcome series emails.

If your third cart abandonment email is still converting, it’s the time of year to consider adding a fourth.

- An email or two triggered by browse and abandon activity are great this time of year.

- Back in stock alerts are also very important this season and a great acquisition point.

Key segments: last year’s holiday buyers, active 2014 buyers, 60+ day subscribers who are non-buyers. Segment them differently.

Winback campaigns can generate up to a quarter of post purchase revenue for clients.

Active buyers should be recognized for loyalty, but don’t necessarily need to be offered deep discounts.

- Often just saying thank you to loyal customers is enough to keep them coming back for more.

Don’t forget, holiday shoppers are also shopping for themselves!

Subject lines are important for subscribers who have not yet converted. Deep discounting may be necessary.

- Take advantage of increased site traffic to acquire new subscribers this time of year. Try to capture emails multiple places.

Consider a holiday-themed modal and offer for acquisition during the holiday season.

When acquiring new customers, let them know what they should be expecting. Allow them to opt down when email cadence increases.

- Personalized content is key - in subject lines, gift guides. Campaigns should be based on behavioral data. 

- Personalize product recommendations and group by price for easy holiday shopping. Ratings and reviews are also very helpful.

Email Treats for Halloween

For retailers, Halloween might be called the unofficial first “holiday” of the holiday season. But what if you don’t sell costumes, candy or seasonal decor? With a little creativity you can still take part in the fun, delight your customers and bring in some revenue: 

No costumes? No worries! In this creative promotion, Aerie urges the shopper to be her “boo-tiful self” and sets the percentage off and timing of the sale to match the date.

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Rather than relying on “scare-city,” Lands’ End gets shoppers’ attention with a big BOO! and then treats them to a promotion that continues for days after jack-o-lantern candles have gone out.

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In another great example of “No costumes? No worries!” AEO merchandises outfits that eerily resemble some well-known spooky characters.

Although they likely don’t have caramel apples or candy corn on the menu, On the Border still finds a way to get in on the Halloween action with this genius promotion. 

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We love how Little Caesars uses reverse psychology to “frighten” visitors into subscribing. Just think how many busy parents are looking for a quick and convenient dinner to serve before their little goblins hit the streets. 

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And finally, AC Moore simply uses the occasion as a reason to reach out to subscribers with nothing more than well wishes, which is sometimes just the perfect treat. 

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For some additional tricks, check out this post from SEO PowerSuite. 

Ross Kramer explores The Beauty of Browse Data in an article for Multichannel Merchant

Today, Multichannel Merchant published an article penned by Listrak CEO Ross Kramer that explores a few of the many uses for browse data.The opportunities he outlines include:

- Triggered remarketing campaigns

- Marketing emails

-  Back in stock alerts 

- List segmentation

You can read the article here and find out even more details in Listrak’s latest whitepaper, Bringing Browsers Back: How to use Browse Data to Create Personalized Recommendations.  

Webinar: Season’s Best - Proven Email Strategies to Ensure a Profitable Holiday Season

Have you signed up for the next in our series of holiday webinars? There’s still time! 

On September 23, join Listrak and our special guest, Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research, for the webinar Season’s Best - Proven Email Strategies to Ensure a Profitable Holiday Season. 

In 2013, 16% of all holiday eCommerce sales were generated through the email channel, and that number is trending upwards. In this hour-long presentation, Sucharita, Forrester VP, Principal Analyst, will provide an overview of the current state and importance of email marketing as we enter the holiday season. Following, Listrak will present an overview of the best of the best ideas for maximizing holiday email strategies, including: 

- acquisition

- remarketing

- winback

- data-driven personaliziation

Register today. 

What’s in my inbox?

Travis Buck, Creative Director

Recently I received this clever email from Ann Taylor. It’s a simple short sale promotion but the design and use of animation really made it stand out. The design is very simple but the idea of an input field really enticed me to click, almost expecting that I’ll be able to type something and click “GO”. That’s the simple beauty of it. There’s no need for a “shop now” call to action.

Another creative email I received was this re-engagement message from Urban Outfitters. The text message theme is very clever and the overall design fits right in with their usual off the wall style. I like how the two calls to action are integrated into the text conversation. One of them is actually an unsubscribe link. It may seem counter-intuitive to reduce your list size. However, sending emails to subscribers that want to receive your emails will produce higher click-through rates and increase your ROI.

How to Optimize Your Email Marketing Strategy with Data

This blog post from Listrak Channel and Customer Marketing Manager Kate Lowry was co-authored with Emma Tzeng, Content Marketing Manager at Gigya. Gigya helps businesses acquire and know their customers by registering users across devices, consolidating data into a single customer view, and integrating into marketing applications.

The volume of email hitting subscribers’ inboxes is on the rise and is at its peak during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 30% of all US email volume occurred during the holiday season, which was an increase of nearly 13% over the previous year, and even more is predicted for this year.

No wonder consumers feel overwhelmed. In fact, 45% report email overload as a reason for not opening an email.

So how do you get your message across to the overwhelmed, indifferent masses?  The answer lies in first party consumer data and email personalization.

Read more

What Makes me Click: 4 Tips for Creating Scrolling Emails

By Jerica Reddig, Listrak Marketing Intern 

Today we present this season’s last blog post from Marketing Intern Extraordinaire Jerica. We have enjoyed her lending us her fresh perspective on the consumer’s take on what’s in her inbox and hope you have, too! Join us in wishing her the best for this coming school year. We hope to see her back in our offices - and on our blog - again soon! 

“Above the fold” is a phrase that originated in the newspaper industry and refers to the space that is above the crease in a newspaper. The principle - to put all important content “above the fold” because that’s what consumers will scan to see if it’s worth buying - has been used for years. Yet with social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, users are forced to scroll down for more content, which means it’s okay – and sometimes preferable – to send scrolling emails. Well, as long as you follow these four guidelines:

Read more

What Makes Me Click: 4 Ways to Add Humor into Emails

By Jerica Reddig, Listrak Marketing Intern

Laughter is the best medicine, and an effective way to stand out in the inbox as well. Humorous emails are relatable and compelling to read. What makes them so effective is that humor can shock, refresh and even brighten your reader’s day. In essence, your company becomes humanized in your subscriber’s eyes.

Okay, okay, you get it. Humor + Emails = Lots of Clicks. But how do you actually incorporate comedy into your messages? Here are 4 ways to do it:

Subject lines

Subject lines are the first impression your subscribers have of you. Catching your reader’s eye will drive that open rate higher which will ultimately boost overall engagement. The examples below do a great job of not only grabbing the reader’s attention but also tying into what the actual content of the email itself is.

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Making the Most of Back in Stock Products

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In our latest Holiday 2014 post, Jerica, Listrak intern extraordinaire, reports on effective ways to turn out of stock situations around this holiday season: 

Being out of an item isn’t just embarrassing, but can be damaging to your company’s reputation and result in loss of potential sales. This is especially true, and more likely to occur, during the holiday season. However, there are clever ways you can turn this potentially damaging situation into a great experience:

Back in Stock Alerts

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Read more

To Send or Not to Send More Email: That Is the Question

So, just how much email is okay to send? It’s a question on many retailers’ minds, especially as we enter the holiday season. 

Recently, Elyse Dupre of Direct Marketing News interviewed Listrak CEO Ross Kramer and Listrak client, Alex Cresswell, of Lisa Leonard Designs, on the topic for an article that appears in the August issue. 

In short, Ross and Alex suggest that it’s okay to send more if …

- your target customers are in market

- you’ve segmented your list 

- it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday 

- you’re leveraging scarcity 

…and you shouldn’t send more if…

- your customers are making big-ticket purchases 

- your customers aren’t receiving your emails 

Read the article to find out more.