Having worked at Google in their advertising sales time I have a good understanding of search engine marketing and a reasonable understanding of digital display and search engine optimisation, however one area I and the rest of the Shoes of Prey team have very little to no experience in is email marketing. At the moment for Shoes of Prey we have an email list with about 6,000 subscribers who we send a monthly email newsletter to. We don't promote our email list on our website or give people a reason to join so our current email subscriber list is only 6,000 which is low considering we've had over 1,500,000 visits to our website since mid December. Our emails aren't tailored at all to the customer, all 6,000 subscribers get the same email and some months we don't send the newsletter at all. Our email marketing efforts could use a lot of improvement!
Some ideas we've been discussing for how we can better use email marketing include:
- Shopping cart abandonment emails - say a customer designs a pair of leopard print shoes but doesn't order them. We could send them an email a few hours later with some photos and video showing how leopard print is on trend this season. If they still don't order we could then send them an offer for a free sample of our leopard print leather so they can see the material in their home and how it might match to their outfits.
- Encouraging repeat orders - An important metric for an online retailer is the customer re-order rate, or the number of customers who order a second, third, fourth time etc. We could use email marketing to encourage customers who have purchased from us in the past to reorder from us again.
- Offering different subscription options & capturing information about the customer - some customers may just want emails about new products, some may only want special offers, some may want information on fashion trends. Offering customers the option to select the type of information they want to receive will then help us tailor how we communicate with each customer.
One thing I've read that works very well for email marketing is sales and discounts. Because we are trying to build a mid to high end women's fashion brand and we've seen the impact constant sales and discounting has had on businesses like Myer and David Jones this is not a path we want to go down, but we still think email marketing could work very well for us.
At the moment we use Sydney based Campaign Monitor for our email newsletters which we are very happy with, however it's not designed for the sorts of tailored email marketing we want to do moving forward. We've had conversations with Silverpop and Email Direct and both their products look suitable, we plan to talk to some additional email providers as well.
We're considering hiring for a new role which would be part financial analyst part email marketing manager and the idea would be that this person would take on the email marketing role at Shoes of Prey.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the following, particularly if you've had experience in email marketing: 1. Any additional ideas on the types of email marketing we could do? 2. What types of emails have you seen that work particularly well for generating sales? 3. Any experience working with Silverpop, Email Direct or similar email marketing providers and how did you find them? 4. For businesses that are successful with their email marketing, how much time does it take to run effectively? Is a 50% role for 1 person too much or not enough?