Some may call email the little engine that could – while it’s a long-established channel, it keeps chugging along, picking up steam worldwide as an effective marketing tool. It’s no surprise then that Radicati Group stated that the number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day is expected to reach more than 257.7 billion by the end of 2020.
With this volume comes results. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an ROI of 3800 percent. It’s because of this channel’s profitability that retailers across industries face pressure to send more emails, more often than ever before.
We recently conducted a survey examining how retail marketers currently think about and plan their email marketing calendar and found that, despite sending multiple emails to customers each week, 65 percent feel pressure to send even more emails to boost revenue and drive awareness. Fifty-seven percent reported sending three or more emails a week, while 11 percent of that group send five or more each week.
While volume is clearly a hot button, email marketers know that relevance is also of critical importance. For instance, 81 percent of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email (Source: eMarketer) while 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement (Source: eConsultancy).
And yet, our survey found that email marketers are relying too heavily on what worked last year (85%), with a majority leaning on major events and holidays (87%), rather than thinking about each individual’s actual interests. This email marketing strategy also leads to a heavy reliance on promotions; 76 percent of our survey respondents stated they rely heavily on email promotions, such as discounts, to drive revenue.
So, while the pressure to send more emails is not surprising, don’t fall into the volume-only trap. If content is not relevant, performance will suffer and customers will tune you out and simply take their business elsewhere. That’s why we here at Coherent Path talk about serving an email diet that’s catered not only to business goals, but also to individual customers’ evolving tastes and moods. By using the data from customer interactions to inform what you should do next, you can deliver individualized communications based on each customer’s preferences while also exposing more of the product catalog and increasing the productivity of existing email content.
This approach enables retail marketers to hit those short-term metrics and leave customers with a higher propensity to click through and buy more (and in a diverse variety of categories), strengthening your relationships along the way (without relying on discounts!).
If you’d like to learn more about the challenges and common themes that email marketers are facing, you can download a copy of our survey, The Email Marketers Dilemma, from our website.
Also published on Medium.