This is a guest blog post by Windsor Circle, a Demandware Certified Partner

 

By some estimates, consumers receive well over 400 commercial email messages every month, many of which are no doubt ignored because they are completely irrelevant to the recipient. Generic batch-and-blast emails just don’t work.

Nevertheless, email marketing remains an important engagement tool for merchants. Since every customer is at a different stage of his or her shopping journey, retailers should leverage specific buyer traits, including product and purchase history, as well as demographic information, to create relevant, click-worthy email campaigns.

We know that customers are far more inclined to respond to targeted, relevant email messaging, which can ultimately lead to increased revenue and retention.

Here are the top five types of email campaigns proven to retain customers and drive revenue:

Product Education Emails

A great way to build a stronger relationship with your customer is to create educational emails that enhance the usability of your products. evo, an outdoor lifestyle retailer, noticed a high number of returns on ski boots, which they attributed to the difficulty people had trying on ski boots at home. To combat this, evo created a how-to email series, sent automatically to anyone who purchased ski boots, explaining how to try on and customize their new boots. Although the information was repurposed from evo’s website, the emails received three times as many opens, and nine times as many clicks as other emails sent during the same time period.

Replenishment Emails

If you sell a product that needs to be reordered on a regular basis, like coffee, an easy way to remind your customers to reorder is to run a replenishment campaign. For example, once a customer has purchased from CoffeeForLess two or more times, Windsor Circle analyzes the data and sends email based on the customer’s predicted reorder date. If a customer has only purchased once, but you know the average usage rate of the product, you can set up a replenishment campaign based on an estimated reorder date as well.

Birthday Emails

Birthday emails are an extremely simple way to get great opens, clicks, and conversions. Artbeads.com sends a “Happy Birthday” email each year to customers for which they have a birthday recorded. These emails generate 246% more opens and 256% more clicks than their standard promotional messages.

Anniversary Emails

Anniversary emails are another way to reach customers and let them know you value their business. MyBinding for instance, sends an anniversary email one year after a customer’s first purchase, thanking them for their original order with a 15%-off coupon. Anniversary messages typically generate a 250% increase in engagement when compared to other promotional emails.

Win-Back Emails

Acquiring a new customer can cost a retailer nearly five times as much as retaining an existing customer. A good win-back campaign increases your customer retention, and typically includes three emails sent over a period of time, based on the average order latency of your customers. For instance, SurfStitch triggers these messages four, eight, and 12 months after a customer’s last purchase. Six months after SurfStitch began its win-back series, they saw a 72% decrease in customer churn.

Relevant, targeted messages build and strengthen the relationship between the customer and the brand. These five suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the creative campaigns a retailer can implement.