Tie email to in-store traffic to stimulate offline sales

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The relationship between email and the offline world isn't always friendly. On one hand, there is e-commerce and email, which have worked well together for a long time. But given that offline contributes 94% of total retail sales (Forrester Research, US Online Sales, 2009-2014), why aren't we trying harder to forge a friendship between email and bricks and mortar?

There should be email campaigns in every marketer's arsenal designed to explicitly drive store traffic and sales.

The question in every marketing plan is “Where do you start?” With some minor tweaks, several of your current campaigns can be repurposed for offline use.

Begin by thanking them. Online thank-you programs typically produce results in excess of 10 to 15 times the dollar per delivered of a promotional email. Send a similar message thanking folks who have gotten in their car, found a parking spot, walked through the mall and parted with their hard-earned dollar inside your store. Tracking the response of a thank you note is easily done with unique promotion codes.

Tell them what's new in the neighborhood. Would you let your customers know if you had introduced click-to-chat, a simpler checkout process and customer reviews? Yes. Now think about offline possibilities. What are your opportunities to inform and assist your customers?

Tell them about a new store opening, special event, remodel or new department. Better yet, if you're collecting offline purchase information and tying that to your customers, then let your customers know when you have a new arrival of their preferred brand. Chances are if you make something a big deal, your customers will think it's a big deal, too.

Deliberately tie channels together. There is no doubt that the shopper who is connected to you via multiple channels will ultimately be more valuable to you in the long term. Why not create an event, announce it with email, share it socially, and then host it at your store?

These are just a couple of ideas. Email isn't selfish, it can play nice with your other channels, and it's probably pretty excited for you to introduce it to social and mobile, too.

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