It's Not About More -- But Better -- Emails

Most e-retailers have a lot of products -- but whether you sell 10 skus or 50,000, your product catalogue pales in comparison to the number of potential customers you have. Unfortunately, each of these potential customers is (1) only likely to be interested in subset of the products you offer; and (2) at different levels of readiness to purchase.

The market solution to this mismatch problem over the past ten years (in regards to email marketing) has been to simply blast your marketing to more people, to get your promotional message to enough who satisfy those two criteria. This of course ignores the fact that 2% click-through rates don’t mean that 98% of people don’t like your products, but rather that your mass-promotional message only resonated with 2% of people.

The problem today isn’t in the deliverability, it’s in the engagement. In other words, the solution for marketers is not to send more emails but to send better emails.

A better email is tailored to the two aforementioned components of any potential customer: their preferences and their stage in the buying cycle. This is why cart abandonment emails are so incredibly successful: adding a product to cart at least partially reveals both a customer’s product preferences as well as his or her stage in the buying cycle. And the kicker? These emails are automated.



However, marketers are only now realizing that the remarkable open rates, click-through rates, and revenue-per email metrics e-retailers see in cart abandonment emails can be brought to other email marketing messages as well. Consider window shopping emails, which are sent when a customer views a specific category of products two to three times in a given day. These emails contain product images of the viewed skus as well as related products to help customers engage in auto-discovery. These emails can have a click-through rate of over 15%, which is three to seven times higher than the industry average for promotional email.

These triggered emails represent a way for marketers to stand out against their peers, and the way that e-retailers will be able to compete in the Amazon-dominated world of e-commerce.


2 comments about "It's Not About More -- But Better -- Emails".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, November 20, 2013 at 5:21 a.m.

    Totally agree. Don't over-market or under-market, and get the timing right. And send relevant content. Here's the issue at slightly greater length:

  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, November 20, 2013 at 5:25 a.m.

    BTW 2% click through rate *doesn't* tell you anything about how your message resonated. Some people don't click any more, e.g. preferring to use their existing shortcuts, so they don't show as clicks even if they purchase whatever you are marketing.

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