Email Marketing. Sending emails. Email delivery. Email Tips
Email marketing can be daunting for anyone, let this guide coach you on the basics to help you make the most out of Thirdshelf's campaigns.
What are campaigns?
Email campaigns are direct marketing messages sent to customers in order to inform or incite an action. This is done primarily using a list of existing customers who have consented to receiving material from you and your business by providing their email address.
Your relationship with a customer goes beyond their in-store experience, which is why areas such as social media marketing have taken off over the last decade. However email marketing is not only still relevant but one of the best ways to target your customers with more accuracy. Our campaigns are seamless and automated, and can be deployed following little set up.
Additionally, Thirdshelf analyzes your campaign performance so you can keep track of the monetary return and conversion, allowing you to make adjustments accordingly. By the end of this article you will have the email marketing concepts you need to start using campaigns.
Before we go into structure we need to talk about tone. One of the key features of Thirdshelf is the fact that it is what the industry calls “White Label”, meaning it is invisible in the eyes of the customer and it's your branding that is represented. During your onboarding you will set up your visual branding elements, mainly logo, primary colour and accent colour. Yet branding goes beyond just that, your brand is the tone and personality that your business has.
You want that tone to carry over into your marketing habits and be consistent throughout your marketing channels (i.e social media, website, Thirdshelf). Although Thirdshelf provides excellent default email subject lines and content, the best practice would be to write your own using the tone your customers are familiar with and take advantage of the image field to go beyond your logo and tailor each campaign using a unique and engaging image.
Email Subject Line
The next step is the email subject line, your first virtual impression with the customer that will convince them to open your message. Here are some quick tips on building a strong and convincing subject line that will increase you open rate.
Punctuation isn’t necessary: Unless it’s a comma you should avoid punctuation especially exclamation marks as too many tends to raise some flags with some spam filters. Question marks are acceptable and periods are optional.
Capitalize on Capitalization: Capitalize each word in your subject line, it is not only more enticing but easier to read especially on mobile. ALL CAPS are frowned upon as they are associated with yelling and like exclamation points they can be seen as spam to some filters.
Rule of 50: Your email subject should be no longer than 50 characters. Customers open most of their email on mobile, quickly scrolling through subject lines and choosing what they want to open based on the time they have available. By reducing the word count you are making that choice easier, remember less is more.
Your subject line should be fulfilled by the content in your email. For example “Are You Ready For Summer?” as the subject and your content would be the solution “We are introducing a new Linen line perfect for hot weather, come in store and see for yourself.” and finally a call to action “If you find something you like enjoy this 15% off offer”. Your subject line is the top of the funnel that will lead your customers to your call to action and ultimately in store.
The engagement funnel below illustrates how important your subject line is. If the customer is not convinced that the message is worth opening or considers it spam you will lose your opportunity to engage with them be it reminding them what their points balance is or sending them an offer for their birthday. Your convincing subject line will cause your customer to open the email, read it and understand the message you are trying to convey. As seen above, if your customer understood your message correctly they should see that it fulfils the promise made in the email subject line and acting on your offer is the way they will accomplish the overall goal of the email.
Thirdshelf’s templates allow the use of an image that can be contextual to the reward being offered or simply part of your branding. Make sure that your images are within the specifications of ( Thirdshelf Image Dimensions ), relevant and of good quality. A picture is worth a thousand words, which means they serve to enhance the message you want to deliver while keeping the word count relatively light.
Earlier we discussed the content you should keep out of your email subject line, what we left out is the fact that you should keep offers out as well. Let me explain why, the offer you are sending your customer is much more than that, it is an invitation. Whatever the offer may be, you are providing it to help your customer achieve a goal. From back to school shopping to treating themselves on their birthday, your offers will enhance your customer’s experience by inviting them to come in the store and let your offer help them achieve that goal.
- Percentage off
- Dollar Reward
- Free Service
- Free product
Aligning your offer with a goal for the customer helps in choosing which type would be beneficial. That being said many are often inclined to give a flat amount or percentage off which is the problem, everyone is doing it. Why should a customer come back to your store? What do you have to offer that a competitor doesn’t? Here is an opportunity to showcase a free service only you provide or give discount a specific product that only you know well and carry. You are still offering an incentive but one that stands out from the masses and incites genuine loyalty. It is important to include any exceptions to the offer both in the fine print and in the offer description.
Segmentation is the practice of splitting your customer list into more targeted groups. By default, Thirdshelf will analyze your sales data and segment your customers into the following categories:
- First Time Customers
- High Value Customers
- Slipping Away Customers
- Dormant Customers
You can use these segments to improve your sales by say converting part of your first time customers into High Value by getting them to come in again or bring back Slipping away or dormant customers with a campaign tailored to them. On top of these five segments, Thirdshelf allows you to create and use custom segments. Using conditions such as age, gender, POS customer groups, purchase frequency and many others. This allows you to create powerful custom campaigns such as Valentine’s day campaign targeting all male members to come shop for that special someone. Depending on your configuration with your POS you may create custom groups within it which Thirdshelf will pick up to be used for targeted campaigns for example, creating a group in your POS for all Snowboarders in order to send a campaign encouraging them to come shop before the season begins.
The majority of emails are now viewed primarily on mobile so it is important to keep this in mind when creating your email campaigns. Keeping the overall length and respecting the suggested image dimensions are both simple yet effective ways to make sure your customers are reading your campaigns and act on them.
Once you launch your campaign our software will keep track of its performance and let you know how many offers were redeemed and what the conversion looked like. Using data you will have a better grasp of which campaigns work best for your customers and adjust your strategy accordingly. Checking performance at the end of a campaign or once a month if its an ongoing campaign will help you not only improve conversion but in general help you learn how to best communicate with your customers.
5 Second Test
Lastly, when you finish creating a new campaign have a friend or colleague go over it using what is called a 5 Second Test. The goal is for your tester to objectively look at your Email Subject Line and tell you if it incites them to open. Following this it would be repeating this test but on a quick read through of the content. They should be able to know why they are receiving this email, what you are offering and how to redeem it. Make sure they ask questions to make sure to catch any exceptions to eligibility you may have on a reward so you may make the necessary changes to your offer description.