October 28, 2013

Email Marketing Generates A Different Customer

Here's something interesting, from a recent project.

Take a look at the average price point of items sold, by channel, for the past twelve months:
  • Phone / Mail = $34.52.
  • Online = $35.02.
  • Email = $31.74.
  • Paid Search = $36.78.
  • Organic Search = $35.60.
  • Affiliates = $35.55.
  • 3rd Parties = $38.56.
Look at the email row.

This one comes up, often. The average price point of an item purchased via email marketing is fundamentally lower than other channels.

Oh boy.

Then look at this one - this is the percentage of transactions that include a discount/promotion:
  • Phone / Mail = 21%.
  • Online = 34%.
  • Email = 62%.
  • Paid Search = 40%.
  • Organic Search = 41%.
  • Affiliates = 48%.
  • 3rd Parties = 24%.
Oh boy.

What story does the email channel tell you?
  1. Email buyers (not email subscribers, but email buyers) purchase inexpensive items.
  2. Email buyers are most likely to purchase via a discount/promo/coupon code.
Again, this comes up in most of my projects - email marketers have spent 15 years maximizing opens/clicks. The end result is that email buyers demand "a deal".

If you observe this happening in your business, then it is time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion with your email marketing team, especially if you promote an "omnichannel" strategy of sameness across all channels. Your email team is pulling customers away from the very sameness you're trying to promote.

It's common to observe that the email marketing team yields buyers who prefer a different merchandise assortment than the rest of the business. This creates tension - do you maximize email marketing, or do you demand that email follow suit and promote the overall brand?


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