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Weekly Retail Media Note #159: eMail Is Working Big Time Again

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It’s Time To Understand Direct Mail Is Working Big Time Again 

A recent study shows that retail marketers share similar goals for 2017, and they’re looking to meet these goals by stepping up marketing initiatives in a number of areas. Alison McCarthy writing in eMarketer (020817) noted an October 2016 survey from Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that the top objectives for marketers worldwide this year are to increase sales, improve customer engagement and improve customer acquisition. In order to support these goals, respondents are most likely to prioritize channels such as email (68%) and social media (54%).

Retail marketers are also looking to incorporate online and offline channels to get greater insights into their customers this year. About four in 10 marketers say they will implement cross-channel attribution initiatives and test tools for channels and content in 2017, while about a third say they’re looking to implement data-fed, consistent views of their customers and integrate automated offer optimizations.

The study found that the majority of retail marketers are already using tactics such as social media share buttons and video to engage with customers. Other marketing tactics, such as dynamic offers and user-generated content are less commonly used, though many retail marketers are interested in implementing these technologies.

Despite the hype around new technologies like beacons, virtual reality and augmented reality, only a small percentage of retail marketers expressed interest in using them. In fact, more than half of respondents said that these technologies do not apply to their brands at all.

Sophisticated and personalized direct mail campaigns have been hitting big numbers in open and click-thru rates during the past 12 months. In a specific campaign, consisting of 24 flights, the open rate equalled 48.94%. Astonishingly, the click-thru rate averaged 46.74%.

These numbers are will above average as, according to MailChimp statistics updated February 1, 2017 noted that the open rate for retail was 20.96% with a click-thru rate of just 2.50%.

One of the reasons for the higher open rate under the CNA|SOPHIS 24 customer flight campaign was due to the concentration of mobile friendliness. Research shows the rise of mobile email marketing to the point that nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets, a 500% increase in four years.

According to Litmus, one of the best sources for star on email marketing shows why it is so important to consider how well your emails render on mobile. It’s based on the percentage of opens on different platforms. The uptick in webmail opens is again largely due to Gmail defaulting to open images.

Across all industries the average results of UK SME email marketing campaigns were: 

  • Open Rate: 22.87%, an increase from 21.47% the year before.
  • Click-Thru Rate: 3.26%, an increase from 3.16% the year before.

U.S. email campaigns shows that despite some social media marketing specialists occasionally saying that "email marketing is dead", open and clicks are in fact rising. According to the Epsilon Email Marketing Research Center, which has data for North American and European trends, noted that marketers are having to work harder through delivering more personalized relevant creative to achieve this. The rising results are not just plain worded emails. These are powered by imaginative creative strategies and unique delivery platforms.

The Epsilon data is interesting since it has insight on triggered emails which aren't usually separated in types of industry benchmarks. These are often more personalized and occur at an earlier stage in the retailer’s relationship with their target before email fatigue has set in.

The fact of the matter is this: email marketing is a superb way to increase engagement and traffic into your front door. And that means an increase in your revenue with an increased ROI.

It’s Time To Understand Direct Mail Is Working Big Time Again
By Lance Hanish

Lance Hanish is Co-Founding Partner in CNA|Sophis Integrated Marketing Solutions one of the leading marketing firms serving the home furnishings industry. An award winning writer, director, producer and advertising/ marketing consultant, he can be reached at:

(480) 619-8999
eMail: Lance@CNASophis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CNASophis
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