E-mail marketing for your e-commerce business

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Despite the rumors of the impending death of e-mail marketing, overtaken by social marketing and mobile technology, e-mail is still the most popular medium for receiving marketing messages.

Unfortunately, many e-commerce marketers continue to use the old spray and prey and blanket blast.  While effective in the past, today's consumers are increasingly online savvy and require a more sophisticated level of engagement.  Yet, many of us are still not employing personalization, list segmentation or more advanced e-mail methods readily available by many e-mail providers.   

Encourage customer subscriptions with content and advice, rather than the typical promise of a promotion on your next visit.  Keep your customer up to date of what is going on in your industry and how that could affect them.

Making your e-mail campaigns more targeted and personal is critical, especially for those e-commerce businesses that sell both multiple categories through multiple channels.  Do not miss the opportunity to capture customer data through both Kiosks and POS.  This is a great place to collect relevant information to improve targeting.  If you're a manufacturer, work with your retailers to generate customer e-mail or mail-in subscriptions. When your customer buys your products through their stores, you can further increase relevant subscriptions and understand where you can broaden and or expand product development.

Create your segmentation from recent orders, profile preferences, shopping habits and loyalty. Make sure to both hygiene and pander your lists. Add analytics to your segmentation depth.  A/B testing in e-mail will help you decide what segmentation and content works best.

Content is king, still.  More advanced personalization includes dynamic content promotions and merchandising.  Include rules that will deliver specific content segments based on the profile data of that recipient.  For example, if you are an electronics retailer, you could segment by: beginner, intermediate and advanced.  This information and segment will continually change depending on what the customer purchased last.  Deeper personalization would combine dynamic content with unique landing pages. You can take a customer from e-mail to Web site and maintain that deeper segmentation and personalization.  Some e-mail providers have introduced geo-location targeting for e-mail delivery.  

Delivery is often taken for granted.  Having a strong partner with ISP relationships and deliverability management is a necessity.  Advanced features like frequency or recency will help you temper the number of e-mails you send to your customers.  You can tailor your communication to your customer, without overwhelming them.   

Suffice to say, in a down economy, not maximizing your marketing tools will leave you behind your competitors.

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