November 09, 2016

Modern Email Contact Strategy

Subscribe to enough email programs, and you are utterly pummeled by percentage off offers. That's what those of us who are responsible for generating sales and profit feel like we have to do.

Meanwhile we read that email campaigns need to be
"personalized, relevant, and engaging". That's what folks who sell products and services to us want us to do.

So the "right" answer might be somewhere in-between what we have to do to generate sales and what our partners want us to do (and, of course, what our customers want us to do).

Think of your email contact strategy this way. You start your "week" (not necessarily on Sunday/Monday either ... your "week" might begin on Wednesday or Thursday) with your weekly theme/story. The theme/story isn't about discounting, it's about your point of view for the week.

The next email in the "week" has new merchandise that supports the point of view for the week. We all need to find ways to promote new merchandise. One way is to feature the new items that align with the weekly story.

The third/fourth emails are "plug-and-play" emails ... each customer receives a personalized merchandise assortment based on prior purchase behavior. These campaigns are designed to maximize sales. We all know that personalized content performs 15% to 50% better than a standard bland message, so let's take advantage of this fact.

If you love discounts and promotions, then use the fifth email of the week to communicate your pricing story.

The rhythm, then, is this:
  • Story.
  • New Merchandise Supporting The Story.
  • Personalized Merchandise Supporting The Story.
  • Personalized Merchandise Supporting The Story.
  • Discounts/Promotions.
This shifts the focus away from discounts/promotions on a daily basis.

I mentioned that your "week" does not begin on Sunday or Monday. It is typical that Tuesday is peak sales day in e-commerce. So your rhythm might look like this:
  • Thursday = Story.
  • Friday = New Merchandise Supporting The Story.
  • Monday = Personalized Merchandise Assortment Supporting The Story.
  • Tuesday = Personalized Merchandise Assortment Supporting The Story.
  • Wednesday = Discounts/Promotions.
Unlike a lot of things I talk about, I don't have proof that this is the "right" thing to do. This is my opinion. I believe we need to "take back" email marketing from the discounters and promoters. And how much effort would it take to test idea for two weeks?

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