The holiday shopping season may be well under way, but it’s not too late for retailers to rethink some of its last-minute e-mail blasts to help boost conversion rates and avoid becoming inbox clutter.
During a recent Webinar, “End of the Year E-Commerce Survival,” hosted by e-commerce solution provider MarketLive Inc., San Francisco, the president of Chicago-based the etailing group Inc. Lauren Freedman offered suggestions on how retailers can make the most of their e-mail marketing campaigns using creative, but simple, strategies.
Below is a sampling of four effective e-mail blasts used by retailers last year that are sure to be top strategies again this year.
Ratings and Reviews:
More consumers are reading online ratings and reviews before making a purchase. In fact, nearly 65% of the time, customer ratings reviews are read “most of the time” or “always” prior to making a decision to purchase a product, according to Freedman. That said, it’s only natural for retailers to embrace the power of the community and highlight top-rated holiday products on the site via e-mail.
Here, The Home Depot features four of its top-selling products using a clean, organized and easy-on-the eye layout, complemented by festive holiday colors. Clicking on the top-rated items pushes the consumer back to the site.
Retailers know many shoppers wait until the last minute to shop for holiday gifts, and some can cash in big time by offering consumers extra motivation to make a final purchase.
Blissworld.com takes the negative of waiting until the last minute and turns it into a positive by offering shoppers a gift-with-purchase on orders over $50, while reminding them about its second-day shipping cut-off date. Its “procrastination has its perks” tagline is innovative and adds extra appeal to shoppers making last-minute decisions, Freedman said.
Road Runner Sports’ e-mail campaign offers many incentives in one, ranging from gifting ideas and deals. But it also touts a very critical message: “Deck the Halls … Avoid the Malls!”
Giving shoppers reasons why they should shop online, such as avoiding the malls or saving gas money, resonates with customers, especially during a time when customers are looking to save amid a struggling economy. Road Runner also couples this message with conditional free shipping to help close the sale.
End the year in style with a warm, branded thank-you message acknowledging a shopper’s continued patronage. Freedman suggests retailers use a category-related lifestyle photo and messaging, similar to PetSmart’s e-mail campaign seen here. PetSmart sent this e-mail three days after Christmas last year, and also included a masthead with category links to encourage more shopping in the days ahead.