By Kristen Dunleavy, senior content marketing manager at Movable Ink
Email has long been the workhorse of digital marketing. It is the most natural channel to deliver on the promise of personalized digital experiences. Email allows for a direct and intimate 1:1 relationship between a brand and its customer.
In fact, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, according to eConsultancy — and a whopping 90% of marketers feel like they’re already doing effective personalization.
So why is it that only 40% of consumers feel like they’ve experienced any personalization?
Achieving next-level personalization is a challenge for most marketers, who have precious little time and resources to spare. Implementing a personalized campaign without the right solutions could take months to get out the door.
Retail marketers in particular face a unique set of challenges. With increased competition (the Amazon effect, anyone?) and the fact that shopping has become an omnichannel experience, the stakes are higher than ever. Retail marketers need to create the personalized experiences their customers crave while avoiding putting a strain on their resources.
Developing a long-term, repeatable strategy is the first step toward achieving these goals. Creating 1:1 experiences in email helps retail marketers do the following:
Drive performance. Help customers make complex purchasing decisions, which often involve complementary products from partners. Emails need to teach customers how and when to use a product to keep them engaged and clicking throughout the customer lifecycle.
Enhance productivity. Quickly react to fast-changing customer demand, which requires email marketers to coordinate email with website content, using live pricing, inventory, and purchasing trends. Emails that show the wrong price or promote out-of-stock items don’t just lose revenue, they hurt the customer experience.
Elevate experiences. Showcase the authentic customer experience found in Instagram photos and Twitter posts of customers and fans. Emails that don’t incorporate curated user generated content (UGC) fail to capitalize on the growing power of social influencers.
So what kinds of personalization tactics work best for retail marketers? Here are just some of the ways that retail marketers are using email to see those incredible results.
Personalized Loyalty Email Campaigns
Loyalty email campaigns are key for long-term customer engagement. Here are a few ways retail marketers can create more personalized experiences in their emails.
• Showcase real-time spend, points, and other program content that is personalized up to the millisecond and changes every time an email is reopened.
• Eliminate confusion from outdated point values from different sources, or stale hard-coded data that can lead to costly customer service inquiries and program attrition.
• Add on-brand data visualization of points accrued and their redemption values mimicking the exact design of your web and mobile experiences.
• Accelerate points burn with 1:1 redemption recommendations that customers qualify for at the moment of open.
1:1 Email Promotions
With email personalization, retail marketers can target the right customers with the right promotions. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
• Drive customers to in-store locations with local maps, geotargeting, weather personalization, and other contextual elements based on their location at the moment of open.
• Target the right customer at open time with customer preference data and website behaviors, such as browsing history and cart activity.
• Display best-selling and recommended products to drive customers to act fast.
Creative Variations With Contextual Elements
For retail marketers with a number of store locations and customers spread throughout the country (or even the world), it’s important to target the right people with the right content. Here’s how using creative variations can help.
• Automatically generate content variations, including language and location-based variations to best serve international customers.
• Create personalized, time-targeted promotions with a single email send to keep customers engaged over time.
• Develop campaigns with a number of variations that are consistently on-brand and render perfectly on any device.
1:1 email experiences help retail marketers create real connections with their customers, keep them engaged over time, and drive powerful results. Oracle Marketing Cloud and Movable Ink work together to help retail marketers create these experiences every day.
To learn more about how Oracle Marketing Cloud and Movable Ink partner with leading retail brands, download our ebook: Creating Compelling Retail Experiences with Movable Ink + Oracle Marketing Cloud.
Kristen Dunleavy is the head of the content marketing program at Movable Ink, the leading provider of intelligent content for email marketing. When she isn't writing, you can find her training for her next physical challenge or sampling new cuisines (but not at the same time).