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Lisbiz Strategies: Add email marketing to your digital strategy

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

Lisbeth CalandrinoDigital marketing uses online channels and methods that allow you to analyze what is and isn’t working. Because we’re talking about electronic media, this analysis can be done immediately. You can make changes on the spot if something isn’t working, which is not always possible with every marketing channel.

When I was in the retail business, I used weekly newspaper campaigns and never knew whether the customer had actually seen my advertisement. We would ask if they had seen our ads and most could not remember. Oftentimes they would tell us about a competitor’s advertisement thinking it was ours. This was just more money sent down the drain. However, this doesn’t have to happen if you plan your campaigns and stay on top of the statistics.

You’re probably incorporating Facebook, YouTube and Twitter into your digital strategy, but when and how often do you post? Do you check your statistics? Do you only post when you have a sale?

You must be consistent to get results, regardless of the methods you use. You have to determine how often you want to post and then schedule it. You need a long-term campaign to determine what to send and when. All of these digital channels have a way for you to check how you’re doing.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.02.05 AMMany think email marketing is old. However, it is very sophisticated if done right. What’s more, email marketing ensures your content is going directly to a known customer who wants to hear from you. You just need to have good subject lines and interesting emails.

According to Wordstream, 80% of retail professionals indicate email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention. Another statistic, according to MarketingSherpa, states 91% of people actually enjoy receiving promotional emails, with 61% stating they would like to receive them weekly and 15% wanting them daily.

Following is what you need to do to make your email marketing work:

Have good subject lines. The subject line is the first thing your customer will see when she checks her emails. Make sure your subject lines catch her attention and spark curiosity.

Segment your customers. Don’t send the same emails to all your customers. Different customers have different needs so when you put customers in your database, choose the appropriate category. I know you’re saying, “Do I have to do all this work?” Using a technique called data mining will help you determine buying and pricing for a specific group of customers. This is what the supermarket does with the information from your special discount card. They find out who you are and what you buy. Then they target you with special offers.

Check your open and click- through rates. If your emails aren’t getting opened, you need different subjects. There’s no reason for a click through unless there’s something to read. Always have some type of offer for the reader.

Keep the focus of the email on the customer, not yourself. All customers want information to help them solve a problem, even if it’s five ways to cook tomatoes. You need to know your customers and their angst. You know, what keeps them up at night? Be personal, be yourself, be trustworthy.

Keep trying. Not everything you write will be a hit. But every time someone says, “I love those articles I get,” you’ll know you’re on the right track.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Lizbiz Strategies: Don’t let your emails collect dust

November 21/28, 2016: Volume 31, Number 12

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 3.56.12 PMI was recently in Staples and the clerk asked if I would like my receipt sent to me. I told him a paper one would be fine and then he said, “I can do both.” He was still trying to get my email address. My friend is the manager so I went over to talk with him.

“Emails must be pretty valuable,” I said and he replied, “They’re another form of currency around here. Every time we get an email we know we can reach out to another client who has bought in the store. Once we know what you’ve bought, we can send you specials on that product. We automatically can look back at what you’ve purchased and make sure we send you information on those items. We own you Lisbeth.”

I laughed but realized how seriously they take their emails. Before going to Staples, I was in Home Depot buying a bag of rock salt, and of course I was asked if I wanted an email receipt.

Two famous thought leaders would have loved the concept of email marketing. Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it,” and American statistician W. Edwards Deming famously said, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” One thing about email marketing, it can be measured.

Email marketing is a real arena for big and small business. If you’re not marketing to your customers you can be sure your competitors are. We all know that Home Depot is constantly staying in touch and letting customers know when they are having specials, including flooring.

If you really want to get into the swing of things here are a few email marketing tips.

Sign up with an email marketing company so you can develop a marketing program that will automatically be sent out to your valued customers. This will make sure your campaign will get out on time and that you have assistance with your program. A good company will not only help you plan but will have content for you.

Look ahead, way ahead. You don’t want to miss important holidays or events. February is Go Red for Women. The American Heart Association created this event to draw attention to women and heart problems. During this month you can raise money and hold an event for the cause. This is a good way to connect with your female customers, and the American Heart Association might also include your event in their email blast.

Find ways to connect with other businesses that have a substantial email list. You can hold an event with them and share your lists. Hopefully their customers will come to your event and you will be able to put their emails in your database.

Emails can go viral if you have a “share” button on the top. Don’t forget to tell your readers to share the event on their social media pages or directly to their friends.

Your emails should drive customers to a specific landing page or offer you want them to see. Create a white paper that they can sign up for. This allows you to see you’re your customers are looking at.

If you want to hear more about email marketing I will be presenting “10 Ways to Attract Customers to Your Store” and sharing a “Case Study on After- Sale Marketing” at TISE on Jan. 17 and 18, respectively.