Add Content to E-Commerce E-Mails, Brady Tells MeritDirect Co-op Audience

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HARRISON, NY -- Direct Marketing consultant Reggie Brady addressed key e-mail strategies July 14 at the MeritDirect Business Mailer's Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference.

Ms. Brady highlighted a series of ways to retain customers through personalized e-mail campaigns with content targeted at segmented clients.

"Even if you are in e-commerce and just looking to sell, I like the idea of including some kind of value-added content in your e-mail campaigns," Ms. Brady said. "Useful educational content will make your campaign stronger."

She stressed the importance of lifecycle, with the first 90 days of the relationship being a key time to build and establish a long-term relationship with a client.

Two other important factors to retaining customers were a combination of profile data and response data. This marriage, Ms. Brady said, would guarantee success.

Ms. Brady cited a host of examples including a Brooks Brothers' campaign that used gender segmented e-mail campaigns related to sales of accessories to women. This effort led to an increase in sales, she said.

Identifying inactive names worked for BMW, which sent e-mails with a photo of a man asleep in a parked car. The text read, "Are We Boring You?" This comedic campaign drove an increased response rate in clicks to the BMW Web site, Ms. Brady said.

Re-mail was a strategy that worked for the famous Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV. The hotel had a $100-off sale, which it e-mailed to a large list. It tracked the clickthrough rate and found 1,000 clients had investigated the promotion on the Greenbrier site .

The hotel followed up this e-mail with another e-mail to the 1,000 clients and saw $75,000 worth of room bookings.

The presentation wrapped up with tips on testing and sending triggered messages to follow up after a customer has put items into cart and not completed the purchase.

"Sportssection.com follows this up, asking if anything was wrong, if there was a technical error," Ms. Brady said, "while 1-800-Flowers is aggressive and reminds buyers that they forgot to finish the purchase and offers additional items, just in case the customer didn't find what they were looking for."

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