Supply chain issues, an ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to impact holiday shoppers this year. And at a time when companies annually hope for a significant uptick in revenue, marketers need to be on top of their game to keep customers engaged, informed, and interested.
While modern technological tools such as websites, chatbots, and social media platforms can educate and assist customers quickly, email marketing is still a vital strategy but is often underutilized by companies large and small, says Jeff Pedowitz, President/CEO of The Pedowitz Group and ForbesBooks author of F The Funnel: A New Way To Engage Customers & Grow Revenue.
“Beefing up your email marketing for the holidays is essential, and it’s an effective way for brands to communicate, especially when customers are being advised to start shopping earlier due to supply-chain problems,” Pedowitz says. “Brands need to get ahead of the curve by reaching out to customers through email and creating added value in their messages.”
Research shows nearly half of marketers rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel. In another study, 90% of content marketers say email engagement is the top metric they track to measure content performance. Pedowitz gives some tips on email marketing and offers ideas to engage customers.
- Don’t blast one email to your entire database. “This is often called ‘batch and blast,’ “ Pedowitz says. “A series of three emails performs better than a single email. One study showed there were 90% more orders for a welcome series of emails.”
- Know your audience. “Your audience is smart and expects you to send emails that only pertain to them,” Pedowitz says. “If you don’t, studies show the vast majority of consumers will delete the emails, unsubscribe, and become less willing to buy your product or service.” Therefore, Pedowitz says companies must take time to segment their target audience. “Not only will you minimize the negative customer reactions to mistargeted information or promotions,” he says, “but you will be ahead of your competitors.”
- Know how to engage them. Email engagement centers on three fundamentals, Pedowitz says: a strong subject line, simple, to-the-point copy, and graphics if applicable. “Short, concise subject lines will engage the reader,” Pedowitz says. “Create a sense of urgency with your email, without sounding like spam. Measure engagement with email subject line tools from CoSchedule or Email Subject Line Grader.” Pedowitz suggests a summary of the product’s/service’s benefits with bullet points. The majority of the copy should put the reader first. “Leverage pain points or needs of the audience and even their personal motivators right up front,” he says. “Is there a particular problem you can help them with?”
- Offer added value. “Given the supply-chain problems, in lieu of instant gratification that comes with receiving the actual good or service, marketers can interest consumers in becoming part of the future production process,” Pedowitz says. “Invite them as VIPs to help design the next wave of products and services, and let them receive those products and services as future gifts.”
Pedowitz also suggests a virtual immersive experience, which offers customers a value in real-time, and monthly promotions in which customers get a discount and an added gift to go with their purchase. “Go above and beyond for prospects,” he says.
“The holiday shopping season is when marketing campaigns kick into high gear,” Pedowitz says. “Emails play a significant role in connecting with your brand audience, telling compelling stories and improving conversions.”
Jeff Pedowitz is ForbesBooks author of F The Funnel: A New Way To Engage Customers & Grow Revenue, and President/CEO of The Pedowitz Group, a consultancy that helps companies create and execute new business models for driving scalable revenue in a digital world. He has over 25 years of experience leading successful B2C and B2B organizations. Pedowitz is widely recognized as an industry expert and thought leader, writing and speaking on a variety of topics related to Revenue Marketing™, demand generation, marketing operations and marketing technology. He hosts a weekly podcast, CMO Insights, interviewing sales and marketing executives on the topics of business transformation, digital transformation and the customer experience.