The Email Edge: Keeping The Spark Alive

Good work -- you’ve got the sale. Now what? Do you drop the whole thing? No, that’s just the start (or maybe the re-start). You’ll need to do an email follow-up and maybe even pull the customer into your loyalty program. And while some firms have not yet learned the gentle art of re-engagement, many have.  

Take Papa Murphy’s, a pizza chain with 1,500 outlets. Loyalty 360 reports today that the company is “significantly increasing return visits and driving measurable results” with tailored messages delivered in digital channels.

Working with Bridg, the company has “targeted regular customers, largely on social media, who had begun to lapse in their regular buying patterns,” elaborates. These customers were offered ads that featured a coupon for $4.25 off a pizza order, providing a one-week redemption window in-store or online.”

The result? “The campaign produced $3.58 in revenue for each $1.00 in ad and technology spend from lapsed customers and combined immediate revenue and incremental revenue in the year. In addition, some percent of customers who clicked on the ad signed up for Papa Murphy’s email database, which also added value,” continues. 

Then there’s CoffeeForLess. As Business2Community repeated in a case study yesterday, it pulled in $500,000 in six months with “data-driven lifecycle marketing.” These emails had “66% higher open rates and 125% higher click rates compared to their average rates for the same time period.”

Pharmacy chain Walgreens launched its Balance Rewards loyalty program in 2012, building it to 150 million members, including 85 million actives, according to a recent article in Medical Marketing & Media.

Data analysis enables Walgreens to identify high-value customers and to “ultimately driving loyalty. Indeed, Walgreens targets members at each stage of their customer journey, such as through its acquisition, win-back, and loyalty and retention campaigns,” Medical Marketing & Media writes.

These companies have learned that customers will respond when you offer them value. But that requires strong analytics, behavior-triggered email and personalization. And not all firms have those capabilities. As MediaPost recently reported, based on a study by Retail TouchPoints and Magnetic, 22% of all retailers send no triggered emails.

What’s holding them back? Some insights on this general problem may be found in a survey by MessageGears and Ascend2. Of the 78 executives who shared their views, 54% cited improving email personalization as a top priority. And 46% listed building customer retention. Those were the two major goals. But these are not the most difficult tasks. The top barrier to email success (cited by half) was enriching data quality. Second was improving email personalization. Increasing customer retention was far down the list.

The holdback, obviously, is data quality -- and personalization is tied to that. At the same time, behavior-triggered emails were rated the most effective personalization tactic, followed by individualized email messaging.

Whatever you do, don’t overstay your welcome. Walgreens tries to avoid unsubscribes by sending direct mail pieces, not emails, to non-buyers, Medical Marketing & Media continues. Marketing Tech News warns today against “standard ‘batch and blast’ emails.” And indiemark reminds its blog readers that 40% of the consumers in a survey would decide not to unsubscribe if only a brand would let them change the frequency of the emails they’re receiving.”




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