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Marketing Reality Check

Email Marketing

22,393 is a number of incoming emails at my “spam, promotions, maybe I will find good discount” email box.

3 is the number of emails I actually opened this week and didn’t take any action after.

2 is the number of emails I didn’t open but remembered the subject lines and searched for to use when I needed a discount.

Every time I click on something, I expect people of the other side of the email to learn and next time be more on target to what I would be interested in. This will save my shopping time and hopefully, save me money as well.

Customers are become smarter and smarter and so their expectations of advertisers are becoming greater. So far only a few companies that have been emailing me, have really seemed to learn my behavior and are using the right triggers.

One of them is DSW Shoes. I shop there randomly but I am always motivated to go to the store and check something out after they send me small discounts with a specific time limit. “Use this $5 off coupon in the next month.” Why not? They do not constantly spam me with coupons so it gives me time to appreciate a value of their offer.

Second is Chewy.com. As a happy owner of 2 dogs and a not very good driver, I, of course, prefer online ordering for dog food that can be delivered to my door step. Chewy figured out that many customers forget to order dog food on a consistent basis, they don’t like to pick up the ridiculously heavy bags, and they made it easy – auto-ship dog food every month. It’s delivered super-fast and right when you are about to run out of the last bag of food. They keep you informed via personable emails which make you feel like they value you as a customer, know what you need, and deliver the value.

Remember the 22,393 unopened emails? This indicates that the majority of the other companies that advertise to me have a lot to learn from DSW and Chewy. But how do they fix that? The answer is collect, integrate, and learn from the data.

Don’t just blast people with emails and hope one of them will convince them to buy from you. In this technology and data era, companies need to realize the power of knowledge and use it to better their marketing outreach initiatives and their knowledge of the customer and the customer’s needs.

Here are a few simple steps to start:

  • Connect the dots with your technology. What data do you collect; does it answer your questions? Can you integrate the various pieces to form a full picture?
  • Use data to answer questions that can give you actionable results. It is not about just knowing, it is about acting on valuable knowledge.
  • Perform customer clustering analysis to figure out who your customers are, what makes them valuable to you, and what makes them special or different, compared to other customer groups.
  • Don’t just send an email, understand the comprehensive picture of customer responses via all channels.
  • Analyze responses to determine the level of interest in products/services.
  • Tailor your communication style and channel based on customer profile and preference.

And remember – Test! Learn! And modify as you go!

By Iuliia Artemenko

Iuliia is Black Ink's Product Manager.

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