Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category
Some of us look forward to it and dread it. You would be surprised to find that teens actually embrace email. Perhaps it’s a special offer, a promotion to receive coupons, announcements, or daily information about news and trends.
Are they actually reading it?
For the most part, some of us forget why we signed up for certain email campaigns. Email is one promotional tool that provides the lifeblood of information to different digital channels. Time sensitive reports should be made known immediately through your social media channels and cross promote on your emails. However, is it the most effective medium to get your message across to teens? Email might be that one opportunity to get your message across to them during their busy day. It should be viewed as an intimate conversation with your customer. Social media is a place to share a conversation with your customers, friends, family and perhaps colleagues to gain feedback, interact, and stand up for your beliefs. As social media and mobile usage have become more apparent in our lives, Millennials and teens will appreciate your emails if you give them a reason to feel important in your communication style. Remember some teenagers don’t have access to text, smartphones, or permission to use certain websites or online services. Email can also be used to appeal to parents, teachers, or their peers to influence teens to take action.
One may think email would not be popular with teens because they have used more social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with brands. According to a recent report in Mediapost, “95% of Millennials who fan companies on Facebook also subscribe to commercial email. 95% who follow companies on Twitter subscribe to their email list. While less than 2% of Millennials only engage companies through Facebook.”
Teens continue to request information via email and value its importance. Yet, no catchy sales gimmicks are going to go over well with this audience. You better be careful following strict permission-based tactics. No one likes surprises or SPAM in their inbox! “Millennial subscribers receive 7.4 permission-based email messages a day. 87% of 15-24-year-old consumers that use email sign up for permission-based email.”
Make sure teens are well informed about what they are subscribed to with your email campaigns. If possible, show an example of the type of mailing and make it easy to potentially unsubscribe with one click.
Be courteous to your audience who is giving you their personal contact information and don’t abuse that privilege by sending out too many mailings. Use email to promote specific announcements on sections of your site, personalize a message, or guide them to what’s happening on different social media channels. It’s important to ask your audience their thoughts to guide them to make comments to Facebook/Twitter, or direct them to address concerns with your customer service and/or marketing department. Respecting teenagers thoughts, opinions and creativity will in turn reward you with respect for your brand.
The day and age of buy this, try this, and oh it’s on sale are not always convincing. People are more cautious today with many choices and some are being frugal. Despite the economy ups and downs, people will be evaluating their purchases decisions and retailers need to be inventive to generate new business. It’s those subtle niceties that attract consumers, being genuine and the reputation that one finds the value in his/her purchase. Whether it’s the accessibility and assortment of merchandise in the store, the personal relationship a customer has with a salesperson, even the cleanliness, or if you just enjoy the adventure to find the best bargains. All of this and more come into play that keep customers from coming in and out of the doors through the experience with a retailer.
Kevin Ertell, VP of Forsee Result’s retail strategy division, recently did a study that reported half of the top online retailers have a minimal to nonexistent Facebook presence. “The consumer/retailer relationship on social media is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon,” he said. “Our most loyal customers are likely to reach out to us on social media, but it’s how we interact with them once they get there that fosters greater loyalty and the likelihood to buy from us in the future.”
One thing to keep in mind is that some consumers don’t want others to let the secret out of the bag and participate in online communities to share their fashionable finds for fear they are uncovered by others. It can be a sport and very competitive hunting down an item before someone else. How will retailers re-act to that as well?
Retailers need to learn to drive visits to their stores by not only showcasing the hottest styles off the runway onto the racks, but some are now seeking to adopt new technology to engage and retain new business through social media tools, create informative and user-friendly websites, and use new mobile applications to improve upon their service.
What sets a great retailer a part from another is not only satisfying one’s need, but making it a great experience. More and more brands and retailers have had to assess their business practices to stay competitive and consider offering new experiences for their customers. It’s not just competing with other big box retailers or local stores but eCommerce continues to grow, people are seeking new ways of convenience, a connection, as well as a reason to take time from their busy schedules to go to stores.
It’s surprising to see how many retailers are lacking their use of social media tools to bring greater awareness of their products and service to their customers online. Regardless, people are creating their own groups on Facebook and they have resorted to online communities to spread their passion for specific retailers, fashion designers and brands.
Retailers need to rely on new technology and face-to-face encounters with their customers to learn more about their interests, demands and enhance the experiences for customers to feel proud of their purchases. Additionally, some retailers have been slow to adopt new methods of mobile communication to facilitate better transactions. In certain cases, the employees have done a great job listening to the demands of their customers by honoring coupons sent via email now displayed on one’s phone to offer a discount in person. Yet, many are lacking this convenience.
Below are just a few ideas to keep in mind to consider your customer’s interests, providing convenience and getting one to come back to your store:
- How about a mobile GPS locator to track the next fashionable store that offers your favorite designer?
- What about email or other alerts about new items arriving daily/weekly? Why not create buzz online in a fashion community about a new designer shipment and offer a coupon towards your next purchase to a select group?
- Recognize your customer’s interests, passions, talents and involvement in other online communities by creating a promotional program that aligns well with your brand and allows people to participate through user-generated content.
- How about a bi-weekly newsletter for people to subscibe and offer promotional updates?
- Partner with another brand, service, or seek an endorsement from a celebrity, or even better yet make your customer feel like a star creating a new promotion that rewards them.
- Promote an event through Facebook or email, where you drive traffic to the store and one can browse new merchandise, but also be entertained with a VIP reception.
- Collaborate with other local retailers and raffle off free make-over consultations, manicures, or other services.
- Let your customers share their own stories and become brand evangelists as fashion editors for your store writing about their wardrobe finds online. Allow the audience to vote for their favorites.
- Partner with companies such as CardStar to offer a mobile loyalty card service.
- Community involvement and charitable causes are important to people today. Why not partner with a non-profit and portions of your purchases go to certain organizations?
- Provide an online platform that is monitored internally for customers to speak-up about a poor incident in store to alert others and make good on that experience rectifying the situation.
- Hold contests online that drive traffic to the store and vice versa.
There are lots of things to consider, some are easier to execute than others, but it’s important for retailers to take action, listen and start to experiment to see what works best in their environments and how people respond.
So if you are sending your resumes on Monster, beefing up your LinkedIN profiles appealing to hiring mangers and HR executives, one comes to wonder why are certain opportunities only being given to certain individuals? Is it really just luck, who you know, timing, or how you best market yourself? Is it about putting as many keywords in your resume to get the hiring manager’s attention? It’s a combination of a few things to see what works best for you based on your background and what you can offer. Today there are lots of talented people laid-off, people looking for work in all areas and new graduates on the horizon adding to the competitive landscape. Honestly, it’s exhausting with all the resources out there. Yet, it’s important to be noticed where you can stand out in your industry. Why is it now that we have to go to numerous channels to manage our identity online, seek-out new positions as we document our experiences in hopes to get noticed? We are all learning with the advancements in new technology. It’s about using the virtual world to bridge the gaps and build stronger relationships. For those of you looking for jobs, including myself, I’ve noticed that many companies aren’t recognizing the transferable skills. I believe there are some innate skills to identify with someone that proves they will go out there to make something happen regardless of their background. Commitment, Passion, Enthusiasm, Creativity, Professionalism and of course a little Humor can go a long way in the right hands.
In certain cases companies aren’t sure what exactly they need to be successful or understand their needs in this evolutionary time. Why do companies take action to attract audiences convincing people to provide personal information in order to generate new leads and spam people with useless information? Some businesses are trying to catch up playing a game of cat and mouse. The attitude has been if everyone else is doing it we should be doing too. Yet, that is not always the best approach to follow but rather test different segments of the market to see if audiences are receptive to certain information. I believe it’s important to use traditional marketing tactics and be open to experiment with the new concepts. You should try something new as you prepare yourself for the next big break around the corner.