<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=3353132&amp;fmt=gif">

The Marsello Blog

Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.

ClockIcon  READ

10 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty Without a Points Program

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

Loyalty is everything. In an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, brands are constantly vying for customer loyalty, for good reason: loyal customers are often the most profitable. 

Plus, one of the best ways to tap into earned media (like word-of-mouth advertising, which most consumers trust above other advertising methods) is through—you guessed it—stronger customer loyalty. 

Perhaps the most common way businesses try to foster brand loyalty is through a points program. However, if companies simply provide a cut-and-dry rewards program and call it a day (as opposed to a spend-based loyalty program or VIP program), it can make customers feel unvalued or not like VIPs. 

In addition, if a program is solely about the points, it may fail to differentiate itself from other more competitive programs in the market. 

Industry data shows that just 18% of rewards program members actively engage with all the programs they're a member of, showing how some rewards programs may offer too little value to the customer. Oof. 

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Let's get started!

 


 

1. Set up email and SMS automations focused on bringing customers back

Email and SMS marketing are great ways to increase customer loyalty, as you can reach customers directly through their inboxes and mobile devices.

For best results, send triggered messages based on certain behaviors or actions your customers take. For example, you could send a message to a customer who hasn't made a purchase in a set amount of time or provide a voucher or discount as a way to say thank you after someone has made their first purchase. 

Pinjarra Bakery is an excellent example of a business putting email and SMS marketing to good use. The company uses Marsello to power various campaigns that entice people to come in.

“We send out an SMS blast to our loyal customers first or our loyalty customers first giving them first access to come in and try the product before we release it to the public,” Daniel explains. “And of course, we conveniently time the blast to go out around lunchtime so people are probably getting hungry that time of the day and so far the results have been great.”

Limited-Time-Pinjarra-Bakery-SMS-next-to-man-eating-a-pie-1

Another idea is to reward your customers' birthdays. You could track birthday purchases and the rate of redemption—all of which is valuable data that can be leveraged for more tailored marketing down the road.

Easy-to-implement options include sending a one-time special discount or a freebie via text or email. Just make sure to use unique codes to track the effectiveness of your automations.

2. Setting up targeted segments

Did you know that the average email open rate is just 21.5%? To make your emails more relevant, segment subscribers into different groups or categories based on criteria like location, age, or behavior. By doing so, you can better cater to each segment through the content and deals you offer, intrinsically creating more value for your customers. 

Oh, and as a pro tip, consider using your subject lines to gauge interest in new products and themes you're considering offering.

3. Foster a strong community incidental to your brand

A brand community, when done right, is a way to rally together your most loyal customers or people who are the most interested in what you have to offer. Communities bring people together, which drives loyalty through shared experiences, meaningful connections, and a sense of belonging.

Marsello customer Pace Athletic is a master at community-building. The company has a run club that includes social jogs for all fitness levels. These run events end at local pubs where members can socialize, relax, and build friendships over a meal or drinks.

See if you can implement similar initiatives in your business. If you run a game shop, you could consider running a monthly board game night at your location. Brewery? Maybe a recurring beer tasting event or a pub quiz. Whether you want to keep it casual or more formal, brand communities are a great way to tap into brand loyalty and customer advocacy.

4. Offer exclusive access and early releases

Never underestimate the power of exclusivity. By fostering a sense of unique value or desirability—either by offering limited availability or exclusive access—brands can tap into the age-old desire of customers wanting to get something that's hard-to-get. 

You can use this to your advantage by targeting your top spenders or frequent purchasers and creating a segmented campaign. Reward them with access to exclusive events, pre-sale access to limited edition items, or other similar events. 

Take, for instance, Nordstrom, which gives members of The Nordy Club (the company's loyalty program) early access and extra discounts at sales events.

the nordy club - loyalty example

5. Start a referral program

To start things off, assign each consumer a unique referral code. Then, when they share your business with their friends, you can see if a purchase or subscription was made through the code and offer the customer (and maybe even the referred person) a reward. We recommend offering rewards that aren't point-based, like a free product or exclusive discount.

Also, make it easy to refer others: consider including a template with their unique code that customers can copy and paste. By reducing the friction around referrals, you'll make it easier for your brand to harness the power of earned media.

6. Provide valuable content and resources

Another great way to build customer loyalty is by creating content that's both informative and helpful for your customers: all with your own branding, of course. 

Let's say you run a makeup or beauty company: you could do TikTok or Instagram user-generated reviews of your products, do tutorials on how to apply certain products, or make a Q&A video about frequently asked questions. 

When you offer tips, guides, and tutorials on topics your audience cares about, you position your company as an expert and drive brand awareness by playing the long game.

7. Collect customer feedback

The best way to improve and understand customer satisfaction is through feedback, and what better moment to get feedback than right after a purchase? You can consider offering a small perk like free shipping on their next order as a small incentive, but what's crucial is to make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and to ensure they don't feel pressured into doing so. 

Marsello's customer feedback capabilities allow shoppers to provide input with just a few clicks, so the experience is effortless.

Check out this example from Madame Fancy Pants, which uses Marsello's customer feedback capabilities to create a simple, visually appealing survey so customers can quickly rate their shopping experience.

Marsello-Madame-Fancy-Pants-Customizable-Feedback-Survey

Already have customer feedback? Be sure to act on it to improve your retention strategies. And don't forget to proactively inform your customers about any changes and updates you've made so they feel heard and seen.

8. Create a customer-centric culture

Improving customer loyalty isn't just about what you put out there—it's very much an inside job. The people in your business play a crucial role in fostering customer loyalty, so you need to instill the value of customer-centricity in your teams. 

You can do this by providing ongoing training and development focused on customer service to keep folks at the top of their customer support game. 

A great example of this in action comes from Zappos, which has built a reputation for exceptional customer service. The company provides extensive training for their employees, including a four-week program that emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction. This commitment to training has helped Zappos achieve a high level of customer loyalty and a strong brand reputation.

Another example is Pace Athletic, who run a regular running club for their community. Why we love it? Pace Athletic live and breathe what they do - a running club is a natural extension of their brand, and a way to connect on a deeper level with their customers and followers. 

The Pace team don't organize a running club to generate sales (at least not directly). But it does drive brand awareness and sales as a result. When their community build deeper relationships with the Pace team, they want to come in-store and ask for the staff's recommendations, suggestions and pointers. They want to support their local business, and the people behind it.

If you are passionate about what your business sells and what you represent, building community will come relatively easily. But it does take time and requires a commitment, so don't be disheartened if you don't see the revenue impact right away.

 

9. Invest in unique products and services

People stick with retailers and restaurants that consistently provide products and services they won't find elsewhere. So, strive to deliver unique and high-quality offerings to all of your guests. 

If you're in retail, this can come in the form of trendy fashion or homeware products that enhance your customers' lives. If you're a restaurant, this could mean offering exclusive and innovative dishes, sourcing locally grown and fresh ingredients, or creating a unique dining experience with exceptional ambiance.

When you do this consistently, you build a loyal customer base and differentiate yourself from the competition.

10. Implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives

Doing good is good for business. Industry data shows that consumers are more likely to choose brands that promote CSR aspects like sustainability. According to Neilsen, "a whopping 81% of respondents said that it's extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. When it comes to action, 73% said they would either definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment."

To that end, it may make sense for your business to develop sustainability programs that focus on reducing environmental impact. This could include minimizing waste, using renewable energy, and sourcing sustainable materials.

Of course, CSR isn't just about sustainability. Social responsibility also encompasses societal issues like fair labor and community. So if these values align more with your brand, start exploring ways to support social causes. For instance, the brand TOMS partners with non-profit organizations that work on various societal issues, including access to mental health resources, community rehabilitation, and education.

TOMS initiatives - loyalty examples

Before you begin...

To ensure that your customer loyalty approaches are paying off, you must track key metrics regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing significant time and money for no result. While you may not need to track all of the data points below, familiarize yourself with them and check in with your marketing team to determine which ones are the best for your organization. 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures customer satisfaction and loyalty based on how likely customers would recommend a product/service to others on a scale of 1-10. Detractors are 0-6, while Promoters are 9-10. A score over 50 is generally good, while above 70 is great.
  • Customer Retention Rate: The rate at which your customers stay with you over a specific period, which reflects the effectiveness of your loyalty-building efforts. Make sure you balance this with customer acquisition strategies.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is an indication of the total revenue expected from a customer over their entire relationship with a brand. It's a great way to identify more valuable customers and assess the long-term value of customer loyalty programs.
  • Repeat Purchase Rate: The proportion of customers who make repeat purchases, which indicates ongoing customer engagement and loyalty. Customers with a high RPR should be targeted when launching new products or services.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This provides immediate feedback on customer experience and loyalty; it's the average score given when you ask customers how happy/satisfied they were with an experience.

While this isn't an exhaustive list, tracking some (or all!) of the above metrics will put you well on your way to quantitatively understanding how your brand loyalty efforts are paying off.

Final words

We've covered a lot of ground looking at the top ways your business can foster customer loyalty without needing a points-based program.

While you don't need to implement all of these at the same time, we recommend trialing out at least a couple of these methods and seeing what sticks. Most importantly, this shouldn't be a "set it and forget it" approach. You need to stay attuned to the feedback received and stay in the know on industry best practices. This way, you'll be ahead of the curve and continually improve customer loyalty. 

If you're looking to create an omnichannel loyalty program that offers real value, Marsello has you covered.  From SMS and email marketing to loyalty and referral programs, Marsello can help you from start to finish.

Speak to an expert today.

 


 

Need help? Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Speak to an expert

 


 

Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

    Most Popular

    Recent Articles

    The Marsello & Klaviyo Integration: How Does it Work?

    ClockIcon  READ
    Marsello's integration with Klaviyo harnesses your in-store loyalty and order data to help you run more effective, personalized campaigns. Here's how it...

    Marsello has integrated with Klaviyo to create the ultimate customer marketing platform.

    In the fast-paced world of retail and eCommerce, one constant remains: your customers. However, in today’s highly competitive retail environment, customers are inundated with irrelevant promotional emails, making it harder than ever to cut through the clutter and get them shopping.

    By connecting Marsello to Klaviyo, you can harness your in-store loyalty and order data to create detailed segments and run more effective campaigns in Klaviyo.

    Let’s explore the integration in more detail.


     

    What is Klaviyo?

    Klaviyo is a unified customer marketing platform designed to help engage customers and drive sales with email campaigns, SMS, and more. It’s one of the few email marketing services designed specifically for eCommerce, and with an impressive database of over 110,000 paying customers, it’s no wonder brands choose Klaviyo to manage their campaigns.

    Here are a few benefits Klaviyo has to offer:

    • Segment your database using historical data and real-time behaviors for targeting
    • Build coupon codes for automated flows and campaigns
    • Use built-in templates and automated emails for simple workflow management
    • Accurate reporting and attribution for each campaign and channel

    Not using Klaviyo? Discover more about its features and benefits here

     


     

    What is the Klaviyo loyalty integration?

     

    The Marsello and Klaviyo integration combines Klaviyo's advanced email marketing features with Marsello's omnichannel loyalty software to create the ultimate marketing platform.

    Marsello’s point of sale data is the key factor here, syncing in-store loyalty and order data to Klaviyo customer profiles in real-time, empowering your team to personalize your marketing with the latest insights from both your eCommerce and POS channels.

    See Marsello and Klaviyo in action with your business
    Book a call with an expert to try Klaviyo and Marsello together.

    Book a demo

     


     

    Why connect Klaviyo to your Marsello account?

    Because Klaviyo does not integrate directly with POS systems, you’re only using a fraction of the customer data that’s available to you.

    When you integrate Marsello with Klaviyo, you can bridge the gap between your POS and eCommerce data, providing you with valuable insights into customer purchase history, spending behavior, and preferences. This connection enables you to centralize your customer data and create a more seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

    “We have many customers that shop with us in both channels and expect a seamless loyalty and marketing experience.”

    Hayley Greenstein, Managing Director at LEGO® Certified Stores

     


     

    How do Marsello and Klaviyo work together?

    Marsello's customer loyalty and order data gets synced to Klaviyo in real-time. This enriches Klaviyo customer profiles with omnichannel insights, enabling better segmentation for more effective, tailored marketing campaigns.

    Here’s what you can do with Marsello and Klaviyo connected:

    • Push customer properties to Klaviyo profiles: Sync customer properties into Klaviyo, enriching customer profiles with relevant data.
    • Sync customer events to your Klaviyo account: Use events to automate timely and targeted emails based on your customer shopping behavior, loyalty engagement, or feedback responses. These events are dynamic and sent to Klaviyo in as close to real-time as possible. Sync events like POS and eCommerce orders, loyalty activities, and feedback responses.
    • Sync your loyalty and order data into Klaviyo: Seamlessly transfer POS and eCommerce loyalty and order data to Klaviyo customer profiles in real time for a complete view of customer spending behaviors. Understand who your customers are, and how they like to shop.
    • Create omnichannel offers and coupon codes to use in Klaviyo campaigns: Generate omnichannel discount codes for your campaigns and automatically load them against specific customer profiles. Give customers the flexibility to redeem their coupons in-store or online.
    • Create more detailed customer segments for campaigns in Klaviyo: Utilize your in-store and online data to create targeted customer segments and workflows in Klaviyo. Harness your segments to run more personalized campaigns that go way beyond your VIP database.

     

     

     

    Diving deeper into event sets

    Best integrations for klaviyo - retail

    When you connect Marsello and Klaviyo, you unlock a treasure trove of valuable loyalty and order data such as purchase site, order total, product selections, and more.

    Let’s learn more about the specific data sets that get synced to your Klaviyo profiles.

    POS and eCommerce orders

    By syncing your POS and eCommerce order events into Klaviyo, you can create a 360-degree view of your customers’ spending behavior with your business. With this data, you can create targeted segments and automations based on in-store and online orders, enabling further personalization of your email marketing efforts.

    Loyalty activities

    Using Marsello’s loyalty program, you can encourage customers to return by rewarding them with loyalty points for each purchase they make. Sync loyalty events into Klaviyo to create custom segments and automations based on loyalty program engagement, then use customers’ loyalty profile information to further personalized your marketing efforts. For example, when a customer claims a coupon but hasn’t redeemed it, you could send a follow-up email that recommends products and encourages them to shop.

    Feedback responses

    Finally, using Marsello’s customer feedback features enable you to measure customer satisfaction with their shopping experience, helping you keep track of what you’re doing well and how you can improve. Sync feedback responses to Klaviyo to help measure customer sentiment. Create segments and automate follow-up emails to help nurture customer relationships with your brand.

    Learn how to use Marsello properties and events in Klaviyo

     


     

    How to connect Klaviyo to your Marsello account

    Now that you know how Marsello’s loyalty and order data can empower your email marketing campaigns, here's how to enable the Klaviyo integration within Marsello.

    In your Klaviyo account, you will need to generate a new API key with Full Access to Profiles. 

    To create an API in Klaviyo

    1. Navigate to API keys under your profile settings
    2. Enter “Marsello” as your Private API Key Name

    1. Under Select Access Level, select Full Access Key
    2. Click Create. This will generate your new API key.
    3. Copy this key and keep it ready to paste into your Marsello add-on settings.

    If you haven’t already created a Klaviyo account, you can do so here.

    How to enable the Klaviyo integration in Marsello

    1. First, log in to your Marsello account
    2. In your Marsello admin, navigate to Integrations > Add-ons
    3. Find Klaviyo in the list of add-ons and click Connect

    1. Under ‘Klaviyo API Key’ paste your Marsello API key, or follow these instructions to create one.

    1. Click Save. Your Marsello & Klaviyo accounts will now be connected.

     


     

    Final words

    Integrating Marsello and Klaviyo creates a more cohesive customer marketing experience, unlocking new levels of customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

    This powerful integration brings together the best of both platforms, combining Marsello’s in-store POS data with Klaviyo's advanced customer marketing tools to help you understand your customers and increase engagement with highly-personalized marketing campaigns.

    Now that you know how Marsello’s POS data can enrich your Klaviyo campaigns, it’s time to try it for yourself!

    See Marsello and Klaviyo in action with your business
    Book a call with an expert to try Klaviyo and Marsello together.

    Book a demo

     

    Next read: 5 Klaviyo Integrations Every Retailer Should Be Using

    How to develop a retail email marketing strategy – 7 do’s & don’ts

    ClockIcon  READ
    Navigate retail email marketing for yourself with our 7 dos and don't to combat simple mistakes that often occur in email marketing strategies.

    7_tips_atlas_blog_marsello_banner

     

    It’s common knowledge that your retail email marketing strategy should help to grow your business by helping you maintain regular contact with your customers. Rather than waiting for them to come to you, you can reach out to them to encourage a wide variety of interactions, from making a purchase to referring other customers to your store.  

     

    Your marketing strategy should include a collection of one-off, automated, and follow-up emails. As you begin to build out these strategies, it’s important to be aware of some of the essential ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of email marketing. This will help ensure you create email content that drives customers back to your store, converts them, and keeps them coming back time and time again.

     

    Quick links:

    1. What is retail email marketing
    2. Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth
    3. 7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy
    4. 7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    What is retail email marketing

     

    Retail email marketing begins with gathering email addresses from both current customers and leads, be that at the checkout or through initiatives like advertising campaigns. From here, you can start fleshing out captivating campaigns designed to excite and entice email recipients whilst also driving the goal you initially set for the campaign

     

    Think of email marketing as a singular channel that can be used to contact customers in a variety of different ways with unlimited success criteria. Emails are flexible too. They can be produced on a schedule, such as monthly or weekly, or just whenever you have new content to share with customers. Or they may be produced on an ad-hoc basis when there is news to share, like a product launch. They can be tied to other campaigns, like SMS or social media. But there are a few things to consider when developing your email strategy.

     

     

    Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth

     

    A retail marketing strategy can help you achieve multiple goals. With your existing customers, you can:

    • Stay front-of-mind with reminders, which is especially important if there is a long time between purchases,
    • Communicate and build excitement for promotions with teases, early-access and exclusive offers,
    • Strengthen customer relationships by maintaining customer engagement,
    • Send timely reminders to encourage repeat purchases, based on past purchase details,
    • Encourage customer referrals through incentives and reminders.

     

    With potential customers, you can: 

    • Promote your brand story and build trust by sharing more about your business,
    • Help leads understand the variety of products you offer and what solutions you can offer them,
    • Nurture new customers as they move through awareness, consideration, and onto decision,
    • Offer updates such as product releases or new menus that could excite them.

    Consistent communication is especially important for products that require some research or a long lead time.

     

     

    7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    A mac laptop sits open with gmail loading on the screen

     

    When building email into your retail marketing strategy, there are several actions you can take to ensure it’s a success. The first for these begins with how you grab your audience’s attention. Then, ensure your content is action-driven, concise, and easily digestible. Finally, make sure you’re reaching the right people, and creating an outstanding customer experience ensures ongoing engagement.

     

    1. Have a great subject line


    Subject lines can make or break the impact of your email marketing campaign. Those few words have to convey to your audience enough to make them want to open your email and read more. A great way to improve your open rate is to use personalization. Adding a customer’s name to your retail email subject line makes them 26% more likely to be opened. This can easily be achieved by adding a merge tag to your subject line or email content.

     

    Once you’ve decided on a few different options to use for your subject line, it’s a great idea to use A/B testing. This allows you to get back real data on what your audience responds positively to.

     

    2. Use an official email ID 


    You’re a professional business and want to come across as such to your customers. Using a generic, free email address that ends in something like @gmail.com or @outlook.com will not tell your customers that you are an established business. Instead, using an email address that ends in your business name will convey to your customers that you are legitimate.

     

    For example, we use xxx@marsello.com for our email marketing; this means when our customers see it in their inbox, they’ll know exactly who it’s from and what it’s about and helps to build trust in emails from ‘@marsello.com’ accounts.. You can use services like Google, Outlook or Squarespace to get official email addresses for your business.

     

    3. Experiment with different CTA’s

     

    7_tips_atlas_blog_marsello_image_8


    Your call-to-action is another place where using A/B testing will help you to manage your content and improve your results. Your audience may like buttons that prompt them to “Buy Now!”, or they may need more information first and prefer an invitation to “Learn More Here”. A/B testing gives you data on what is going to drive the best results with your specific audience.

     

    You can also test out different creative options. Alternate featured products, imagery, color themes, and button placement can all provide valuable data. You can then review click-through rates if you’re looking to raise brand awareness. Or, if you’re looking to drive purchases, look to see which emails resulted in the most purchases to further refine future emails.

     

    4. Keep your message concise and to the point


    Your audience is busy. They want you to get to the point. Whatever you’re emailing about, whether it’s a new product or a sale, let them know upfront. In journalism, this approach is about not burying the lead. Think in the same way. Tell your audience what you want them to know in the opening of your email.

     

    One way to do this, especially relevant for newsletter-style retail emails, is to give an overview at the top. Let them know what’s further down the email so they can skip to the parts that are interesting to them. This means they won’t miss out on important information and you’re also respecting their time.

     

    5. Create content aligned to your content marketing strategy

     

    3 people work from an open laptop, selecting colour images


    Email marketing for retailers is more than just creating emails. You need to also consider where you’re sending your customers and what other information will support them on their purchase journey. Creating content provides more ways for your customers to interact with your business and products.

     

    There are various types of content you can create. You can undertake photoshoots, create video content, start a podcast or write blog posts. This content can then be shared across social media, your website, and in your emails. It can show your customers more ways to use or wear your products, care instructions, or behind the scenes of the production.


    6. Create a targeted email list

     

    Using targeted marketing lists ensures you are getting the right messages to the right customers, at the right time. Personalization goes beyond just adding a customer’s name. It also means sending relevant information. This could be abandoned cart notifications, when new products are launched or when specific products go on sale. Whatever is right for each customer segment.

     

    Segmenting your list leads to an increase in your open rate. Your audience will know that when they receive an email from you, it’s relevant and worth opening. This makes them more likely to click on links and to complete purchases. Marketers have found segmenting your audience can increase your email revenue by 760%.

     

    7. Create a great user experience


    Your overall retail user experience needs to extend to your email marketing. Begin by not overloading your recipients with information or options. Trying to take on board too much will only overwhelm your customers and lead to them not taking any action at all. You have 11 seconds to convey your story to your customers. Use it wisely.

     

    Also, take into account Hick’s Way. It states that the more options there are, the slower we are to make a decision. And the more likely we are to not decide at all. Think about which choice you’d make faster: between chocolate or vanilla ice cream or between 100 flavors. Using only a single call-to-action throughout your email will help keep your customers focused and not lose them to decision fatigue.

     

     

    7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    A phone with a mostly blank screen with just inbox in the top left corner

     

    Now that we’ve covered what you need to make sure you have done, let’s cover off what you need to make sure you’re not doing. Negative customer experiences can quickly undo any good work you’ve done. 

     

    1. Send overly promotional emails


    The overly hard sell rarely works. Your customers, and potential customers, don’t want to feel like you’re constantly in their inbox pushing your products. Instead, you want to show up, offer advice, provide information, and ensure your customers think of you when they’re ready to purchase.

     

    When writing your emails, check and see that there is value for your customers in each one. It could be information on expiring loyalty points, new season launches, or upcoming events. It could also include discounts but the value of the email doesn’t have a monetary value. Find various ways to provide value to your customers to ensure they continue to open your emails.

     

    2. Not optimizing emails for all devices

     

    A hand scrolls between using a tablet and iphone. A cup of coffee also sits at the top of the frame

     

    When you are designing your emails, you’re likely to be doing it on a desktop. However, when your customers read them it’s likely to be on mobile. Ensuring each email is optimized for mobile devices ensures your customers can read them easily and that the design is intact.

     

    The key elements to look for when optimizing your emails are images and layout. Large images can be slow to load on mobile devices. Some people will also have images turned off to reduce data usage. Ensure your images are small and that your email still makes sense without them. This can mean making sure they don’t contain essential text. Also, review your layout on a smaller screen to see how it is adjusted. Make sure images and text are in the right order and text isn’t cut off.

     

    3. Purchasing an email list


    Privacy and personal data should always be taken seriously. It might seem like a good idea to purchase an email list. You can reach additional people you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. You can grow your audience and turn more people into customers. However, there are severe downsides to purchasing an email list.

     

    Because these people have not given you permission to email them, they may mark your emails as junk or spam. Then email providers are likely to start marking all future emails as spam. This can prevent you from emailing customers who have signed up to hear from you. If you’re considering purchasing a list, our advice is don’t.

     

    4. Not adding an option to unsubscribe


    Customers want to feel in control of their email inboxes. Being able to pick who they are receiving emails from is an important part of this. Just because someone no longer wants to receive your emails doesn’t mean that they are no longer a customer. They may be closing an email account or prefer to get updates on another platform.

     

    By creating an enjoyable, simple unsubscribe process you’re more likely to keep the customer. The button or link to unsubscribe should be easy to find within your email. Once clicked, take them to a branded page with options. It might be certain content that they don’t want to receive. Or you may be emailing them too often. Providing them with the ability to adjust their email settings may mean that they stay subscribed. 

     

    5. Not personalizing your email campaigns

     

    a woman uses a video conferencing software at an open-plan office space


    Adding personalizations to your emails is a great way to make them more engaging and relevant to each customer. This can be done at the level of market segments. If you sell a range, contact customers with specific products. This will increase the relevance of the emails and improve the customer experience. 

     

    Personalizations are also relevant at the customer level. Including the customer’s name in the subject line increases the likelihood of it being opened. Also sending abandoned cart or loyalty point expiry emails that are customer-specific helps to nurture your customer relationships.

     

    6. Manually creating every email


    You only have so much time to create and send emails. But you need to be using them to stay in regular contact with your customers. How to make this whole process more efficient? Templates and automation. First, work out what sort of emails you frequently send, then build simple templates that you can use for each type.

     

    Using a system like Marsello that allows you to automate your emails will save you time. You can build emails that will be sent based on certain triggers, ensuring that all messages get sent when they’re relevant. This can help encourage sales by prompting customers when they’re most likely to purchase.

     

    7. Overusing images in emails


    Images might make your email look pretty on a desktop, but what about on mobile? The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices. So two of the key ways to make your email campaign successful is to ensure your email makes sense without the images and loads quickly. 

     

    Data usage caps mean that some people will have images turned off on their emails. If there is key information in your image, your customers might not be able to understand your email without it. So make sure the email makes sense without any images. Also, ensure that any included are an appropriate size to decrease loading time. 

     

     

    Final Words

     

    When designing your retail email marketing strategy, there are a few simple tricks to ensure it is a success. Using an automation system like Marsello can help speed up the setup process. It will also ensure you are reaching your customers at the right time, which means not missing out on potential sales.

     

    Are you interested in building a successful email marketing strategy for your retail or eCommerce business? Request a demo from the Marsello team to see how you can create tailored, personalized emails to drive traffic and sales.

    ent here…

    Email Marketing Best Practices Guide for BFCM 2021

    ClockIcon  READ
    Halloween, Hanukkah, or BFCM – picking your marketable holidays is just the first step. Send undeniable emails this season with our email marketing guide.

    It’s common knowledge that holiday email marketing is both essential and fiercely competitive. Not only do you have to ensure you’re standing out to customers by creating beautifully crafted emails that meet the following best practice guidelines, but you also have to schedule those emails to send at the perfect time to land in front of your customers – the right message to the right customers, at the right time!

    Get on top of your holiday marketing by mastering it early! We've designed the following infographic to help you confidently create campaigns for BFCM, and all the holidays surrounding it.

     

    Email Marketing Best Practices Infographic:

     

    Alt tag: An in-depth infographic that gives retailers a step-by-step set of instructions on how to create email campaigns that appeal to customers and stay out of spam filters. The advice includes giving customers the option to unsubscribe, adding calls-to-action, including product images and clear branding/logos, suggested email sending times and including a holiday offer to entice customers in.

     

    Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even President’s Day, picking your marketable holidays is just the first step.

    As you can see, there are many components that go into creating a winning holiday marketing campaign. So what else can you do to ensure you’re capturing your customers’ attention? 

    We've put together a few simple steps and tools you can use to make sure you're prepared for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and any other holiday during the season! And all of this is easy to master with Marsello's features: 

     

      • Plan ahead with a marketing calendar – Prepare for the upcoming holidays with the help of the Marketing Calendar feature. Whether you need a reminder of the upcoming holidays’ dates, or you want to schedule a series of holiday-specific campaigns, the Marketing Calendar makes this easy. Learn more.

      • Make use of pre-made email templates – If you’re strapped for time, one of the most effective ways you can create a campaign that you know will capture customers’ attention and keep you out of their Spam folders is by using pre-designed email templates. Not only can you customize your campaign to ensure it fits your brand, but you can also schedule your campaign for the future, helping to save you time now and down the line. Learn more

      • Boost your email campaigns – Seeing lower than expected email open rates? Never fear; that’s a common complaint at this time of year! Automatically resend email campaigns with a different subject line to everyone who didn’t open it the first time around! Learn more.

      • Send SMS campaigns – Follow up your holiday email campaign by sending an SMS campaign to those customers in your chosen segment who have opted-in to your SMS marketing. Learn more.

      • Offer loyalty points promotions through campaigns – Offer a points promotion for the days of the holiday and then focus your holiday email marketing campaign around that points promotion. Use enticing deals like double points to ensure your brand is in front of customers’ minds before the holiday has even arrived. Learn more

      • Make the most of data-driven customer segmentation – All signs point to personalization! Market-specific emails to different customer groups and watch as your engagement rates increase. Read how Spanish shoe brand, Yuccs, did just this last year over BFCM and saw outstanding results! Learn more about Customer Segmentation

     

    Now you’ve got all the tools you need to get started, head across to your Marsello admin and start creating.

    Alternatively, sign up today or book a demo.

    Get Marsello

    How to Use a Marketing Calendar to Manage Your Campaigns

    ClockIcon  READ
    Learn how to use the Marketing Calendar feature to organize your marketing campaigns, schedule future campaigns, track your campaign success, and more.
    Marsello's Marketing Calendar with a campaign scheduled for the future.

     

    Email marketing is still the most effective means of marketing and communication that you can do. In fact, research suggests that almost 70% of businesses use email marketing as part of their campaign strategy, which means you could be behind the curve if you’re not making the most out of email marketing. And when coupled with other campaign strategies like SMS marketing, points promotions, and carefully curated customer segments, you’re no longer part of the curve, you’re ahead of it. In fact, you’re leading the charge!

    And managing your marketing efforts is an essential part of both understanding the success of your campaigns, and planning for outgoing campaigns. Whether it’s a holiday marketing campaign (BFCM is just around the corner and the perfect time for a points promotion) or just keeping track of when campaigns are sent so you can better look back at what has caused an uplift in sales … and it all comes down to timing.

    Introducing a Marsello feature that will feel like you’ve just hired a marketing assistant: the Marketing Calendar. The Marketing Calendar feature is a month-by-month timeline representation of when and how you’re connecting with customers through campaigns, as well as making it easy for you to manage and create emails, SMS, and points campaigns through the calendar.

     

    How to use the Marketing Calendar

    Under ‘Campaigns’, on the right-hand side of your screen, you can toggle your Campaigns view to view the Marketing Calendar. As you can see in your Marsello admin, the Marketing Calendar displays a month-by-month format (which can be adjusted to a weekly or daily view too) and shows which campaigns have been sent within the current calendar month, and which campaigns are scheduled for the rest of the month. This means that you’ll see any SMS, email, or points campaigns within this timeframe, and easily identify gaps in your marketing.

    One of our favorite features of the calendar is that it makes it really easy for you to create and schedule new email, SMS, or points campaigns by clicking on the date that you’d like to send the campaign. This will bring up the usual campaign creation window which means it’s so easy to use!

    And the ease of use doesn’t stop there! 

    Usually, a points campaign will last a few consecutive days, just as The B Code did when they created a points campaign to promote their online loyalty program. Deciding the span of your points campaign and creating it is simple! Just click-and-drag from your preferred points campaign start date to the end date and the ‘create a points campaign’ window will automatically appear.

    Just remember, promoting your points campaigns with email and SMS campaigns will dramatically increase the success of your points campaign while also promoting your loyalty program. A powerful marketing tool during the holiday season when it helps to stand out to your customers with more than just the occasional holiday discount.

     

    Marsello marketing calendar with halloween promotions scheduled.
     

    Using email templates to quickly create eye-catching campaigns

    Creating a campaign with the Marketing Calendar feature takes a few clicks; and with the holiday season fast approaching, there’s plenty of campaign ideas and themes to keep you busy. Because of this, we’ve gone ahead and added several BFCM email campaigns to your templates library. These templates are designed to enable you to quickly get started with an email campaign without the added stress of wondering what to include in your email content or planning designs.

    So, how do you add a template to your campaign? 

    Once you’ve clicked on your desired campaign date within your Marketing Calendar, the rest is easy!

    1. Select ‘Email campaign’ as the campaign type that you’d like to create.

    2. Then opt to ‘start from template’. 

    3. Select the template you feel best represents your brand and the ‘feel’ of your promotion. 

    And from here, it’s just some simple customization steps to ensure your desired template fits your brand and your campaign goals:

    1. Add your store logo

    2. Update header image links to your store

    3. Add a discount and any terms

    4. Customize your copy/text

    5. Drag in product recommendations or showcase specific products

    6. Add your social media links at the bottom

    Let’s dig a little deeper and get into why the Marketing Calendar is useful to you. 

     

    Why is a Marketing Calendar useful?

    Not only does a Marketing Calendar make it simple for you to plan, create and send new campaigns, it is also an important tool for tracking the success of your past marketing campaigns, how often you’re communicating with customers, and what your scheduled marketing strategy is for the coming month(s) (and as the holiday season is fast-approaching, hopefully, it’s starting to look more and more planned). Let’s break each of these points down a little.

    • Tracking your marketing success:
      What are the goals of your campaigns? To increase your revenue and sales (conversion rates), to promote your store (open rates), or to push your loyalty program (engagement)? Maybe you’ve released a new collection of products or you’re announcing a sale. By combining your marketing calendar (with clear send dates) you can easily compare the success of each campaign to your insights over the days that follow from when you sent the campaign and deduce if that campaign had a remarkable impact on your revenue or other goals.
    • Frequency of communication:
      If you’re emailing your customers every day and seeing low open rates, low engagement rates, and, as would be expected, low conversion rates, then perhaps you could switch up the frequency and consistency of your messaging and try contacting customers every other day, or weekly. The Marketing Calendar gives you a visual overview of what you’re currently doing, making it easy for you to adjust your strategies. Whether you could contact customers a little more often, a little less often, adjust your campaign designs or content, or could possibly look at including more personalization, the Marketing Calendar will make it easier for you to make these decisions and monitor their results.
    • Scheduling marketing for the coming weeks:
      As we’ve covered, the calendar makes it easy for you to add whatever type of campaign suits your current and ongoing marketing strategy. With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time to look at your scheduled marketing campaigns and decide if you need to be contacting customers earlier, creating promotions, boosting campaigns, or even dialing your marketing efforts back so your customers know that when they hear from you, it’s going to be undeniably good.

     

    Final Words

    Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re running a well-oiled marketing machine, the Marketing Calendar is an easy and effective way for you to track your campaign marketing efforts, create new campaigns, and plan for events such as the holiday season. 

    With just a few clicks you can create new email, SMS, or points campaigns and track their success with ease. The month-by-month visualization of your marketing (which is also adjustable to a daily or weekly view) will help you to see how often you’re sending different campaign types and make it easy for you to plan future campaigns. Get a head start on your holiday marketing and start creating campaigns from the new Marketing Calendar.

     

    Learn more about campaigns

    How to create customized automated campaigns to drive sales

    ClockIcon  READ
    Custom automations are perfect for requesting reviews, offering a post-purchase service or a timely cross-sell. Read more to learn how to use this feature.

    Retailer using Custom Automations to trigger an automated email to all their customers in 2 days time.

     

    Custom Automations are here! Now, you can easily design and enable your own custom email and SMS automations, giving you full flexibility with your automated marketing campaigns. By pairing this new feature with Marsello’s other tools, such as RFM Segmentation and your loyalty program, you’ll be able to create the perfect email flow or SMS Campaign that stands out and sees results.

    With Custom Automations, the options are endless. Automate campaigns that send to specific customer segments or trigger when a customer makes a purchase. Automated flows are perfect for requesting reviews, creating a referral email series, offering a post-purchase follow-up service or a timely cross-sell, just to name a few ideas.

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations. 

     

    Home Goods Hardware encourages window shoppers to complete a purchase

    Window Shoppers can be notoriously tricky to convert to loyal customers. This hasn’t dissuaded Home Goods Hardware, though. The beautifully branded homewares store, based out of Australia, was one of the first to create a Custom Automation and we love their ingenuity.

     

    Email that welcomes customers by saying, “Thanks for joining the family” and offers them a 15% off discount on their first purchase.”

     

    The campaign features just one simple email that welcomes customers within the Window Shoppers (those who’ve created an account with the store but not completed a purchase) segment and encourages them to make a purchase with a 15% off discount code. With a 49% open rate and 7.5x ROI, Home Goods Hardware are reaping the rewards of automated marketing and we love that they’re doing so by targeting smaller customer groups. There are only 512 customers within their segment and with a 4.2% conversion rate, they’re really making the most of a potentially forgotten customer group.

     

    Read more about Home Goods Hardware’s success with Custom Automations.

     

    To create a similar style of Welcome Newsletter to Home Goods Hardware, try customizing and enabling the “Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups” template found at the bottom of your Automations admin. This easy-to-use template is set up to target customers who’ve only just signed up (1 hour after they’ve created an account), and encourages them to make a purchase by offering a 10% discount. Customers then exit the flow when they have made an order or the flow ends. 

    Let’s take a look at how you could use Custom Automations.

     

    Integrating customized automations into your marketing

    First thing’s first, the Custom Automations feature isn’t restricted to email campaigns! With the incredible open rates of SMS marketing (as much as 5x that of email marketing), they’re a powerful tool to add to your marketing campaigns. 

    This isn’t to say that email marketing is anything to be sniffed at! With a drag-and-drop email builder, customizing your emails to showcase your brand and products is as easy as selecting what content you’d like to include. 

    As we mentioned, Custom Automations are perfect for asking customers to leave reviews, incentivizing referrals, following up with customers after they’ve shopped, welcoming customers who’ve shopped recently, and more. Let’s break down some of these ideas

    • Requesting Reviews – The ins-and-outs of requesting reviews and customer referrals are quite similar when it comes to defining an audience; you’ll want to target customers who are loyal and have shopped recently. Add a delay to your automation that targets customers 5-7 days after their purchase, giving them time to receive the product (if bought online) and use it. Make sure to be clear where you would like them to leave a review too! If you use social media most often, add your Social Icons with the email drag-and-drop builder. 

    • Incentivizing Referrals – Much the same as requesting reviews, target loyal customers! Try setting up your automation to target customers who have shopped recently (last 5-7 days), and shopped more than three times. Remind them that this is an easy way to earn loyalty points and that their friend will also receive a gift too (ensure you’ve enabled your referral program within your Loyalty Program settings).

    • Post-purchase Follow-ups – If you’ve got a product that needs to be replaced regularly (subscription-based beauty products would be one example), you could create an automation flow that reminds customers to refill their order after three or so months. 

    • Welcoming Customers – Welcome new customers who’ve not yet made a purchase. Similar to Home Goods Hardware’s campaign, you could target customers who have signed up within the last day but not yet made a purchase, Each message within your flow could incrementally offer your customers a slightly higher discount, encouraging them to make a purchase. Alternatively, you could simply customize and enable the Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups automation which is found within the Automations tab of your Marsello admin.

    Let’s delve into the actual set-up of automated flows to help you understand these ideas a little better.

     

    Setting up your Custom Automations

    You’ll find Custom Automations under the ‘Automation’ section of ‘Marketing’ within your Marsello admin. Once you’ve elected to create a Custom Automation, you’ll have a range of options that that help you set up your automation flow.

     

    The creation of an Automated Campaign which requires the selection of Email, SMS, Points or Time Delay.
     
    1. Name your automation. While your customers won’t see this, it will help you to find the automation within your admin and adjust or track its results.

    2. Choose your trigger. Depending on what trigger you select, this will dictate how your customers enter the automation’s funnel. This essentially means that your customers must complete a specific action to receive your automation. Your trigger options include:

      • When an order is completed – When a customer makes a purchase, they will enter the funnel for your automation.

      • When a customer enters a segment – When a customer has been added to the segment because they have met the segment conditions. This is where your Custom Segments come in useful and allow you a lot of flexibility with marketing to specific customer groups.

      • When a customer signs up – When a customer has signed up via the POS, eCommerce, or an email collection features. 

    3. Choose your audience. Select which Customer Segment(s) you want to target with your automated campaign. Not only can you opt to use the pre-existing RFM segments found in Marsello, but you can also create your own segments. For example, if you wanted to create a campaign to say, “thank you for your first purchase” that’s specific to just your online customers, you could create a segment that specifically excludes customers who shop in-store. The beauty of custom segments is that you can really drill down into specific sets of customers and create targeted marketing that not only sees results but really engages those customers and helps to foster their loyalty to your brand.

    4. Choose your ‘exit conditions’. These are the conditions which specify when a customer will leave the flow. There are two options, which include: 

      • ‘When a customer makes an order or completes the automation flow’ – This is the default setting and ensures that the customer will leave the flow when they complete a purchase, or (if they do not complete a purchase) they will receive the entire automation flow. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to incentivize customers to make another purchase.

      • ‘When a customer completes the automation flow’ – Automations with this exit condition will deliver all messages within the flow to the customers, regardless of if they make a purchase or not. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to build a relationship with your customers, encourage loyalty or provide education.

    The options don’t end there when it comes to customizing your Custom Automation. Let’s take a look at the finer details of setting up your automation flow.

     

    How to customize your automated flow

    As we mentioned, with Custom Automations, you aren’t just restricted to email marketing. Why not follow up an email with an SMS to really make use of those powerful open rates? Perhaps a time delay could help improve your open rates by positioning your messaging at a better time for all customers? 

    For clear instructions on how to add-to and customize your automation flow, we’ve created an in-depth help article.

     

    In-app window showing that retailers must set their custom automation settings.

     

    This part of the customization process will allow you to add time delays, emails and/or SMS to your automation flow, as well as making it simple for you to award loyalty points. Details of each of these additions are as follows:

    • Time Delays – Adding time delays to your flow will enforce a delay between the end of the previous step (usually when the first message is delivered), and the next is due to send. It’s best to ensure a decent delay time to give your customers time to view your first message; we recommend around 48 hours.

    • Emails   Add an email as a step in your flow. It’s common to add a time delay before adding a new email to your flow. Once it’s added, customize your email to suit your messaging, branding and goal.   

    • SMS – Add an SMS as a step in your flow. As with email, it’s common to add a time delay before adding an SMS to your flow. Remember, SMS customization is more restricted than email and there are some content requirements that you’ll need to ensure you take note of. Check out the Custom Automation help centre article to help you craft an undeniable SMS addition to your campaign

    • Loyalty Points – Adding loyalty points as a step will automatically add a specified amount of points to your customers’ accounts. Simply input the number of points you’d like to award and select how you would like to let your customers know that they’ve accumulated points. 

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations.

     

    Final words:

    Looking forward to creating your first Custom Automation? Check out our Custom Automation help centre article to help you create powerful automation flows that your customers will love.

    We’d love to see what Custom Automations you come up with – if you have an automation flow that you’re proud of, feel free to let us know by contacting us in our website chat window. 

    This feature is now available for all MarselloPro users. Not a MarselloPro user? Upgrade or sign up today to access Custom Automations and many more exciting features.

     

    Create Custom Automation

    How Points Campaigns Can Help You Increase Customer Loyalty

    ClockIcon  READ
    Learn how to encourage your customers to shop by sending a points promotion campaign that offers extra points for purchases during a set timeframe.
     

    Points Campaigns are the perfect tool to have up your sleeve to help drive sales on those quieter days or celebrate a special event (like a holiday).

    With Points Campaigns, you will not only have the ability to run campaigns that offer extra-points-per-purchase (set over specific timeframes) – you’ll also easily be able to market these promotions to loyalty program members and track the success of your campaign with real-time reporting. Your customers will be compelled to not only shop at your store, but they will also be tempted to spend more, especially with extra bonuses like the ability to add minimum spend requirements. 

    Let’s take a closer look.

    How points campaigns work alongside promotional campaigns in Marsello


    The Points Campaigns feature will give you the ability to run Points Multiplier or ‘Fixed-points Amount’ campaigns during set timeframes. This new campaign type is found under the Campaigns dashboard in your Marsello admin.

    And the options are endless! 

    Double points promotions are a common go-to (as you’ll see in the following email examples), however they’re not the only option! Points Campaigns are a powerful tool for encouraging a positive change in shopping behavior. We’ve put together just a few examples:

      1. Why not encourage customers back to your brick-and-mortar store with in-store only points promotions (when you can re-open your store if you were forced to close as a result of COVID-19, or if you’re finding traffic slow). With the new Points Campaigns feature, advanced options will allow you to decide which of your sites a customer must shop at to earn bonus points.

      2. Do you find your store has a midweek quiet patch? Offer bonus points that delight your customers and incentivize them to shop on those quiet days e.g. offer shoppers an extra 50 points exclusively on Tuesdays. This is called a ‘Fixed Points Amount’ campaign.

      3. Do you celebrate your store’s birthday? Why not promote the event with a points promotion and campaign that encourages your customers to celebrate with you and receive bonus points for a limited time. Encourage your customers to spend more by setting a minimum spend amount per order.

      4. Are you just about to launch a loyalty program? Add even more excitement and incentive for your customers to join by offering bonus points for your loyalty program’s first month! Simply specify the start and end dates of your campaign.

    One powerful way to promote your points campaign is through Email and SMS. It’s important to note that these should be scheduled to coincide with the timing of your Points Campaign.

    Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

    Merchants using points campaigns to drive customer engagement


    Let’s take a look at how some merchants are using points promotion campaigns to attract customers and encourage purchases. 

    Urban Outfitters Offers Double Points

    Urban Outfitters recently made the effort to delight and excite their loyalty program members! The multi-national, powerhouse brand offered double points for all online purchases of homewares for a limited time, helping them to capture customers at a time when many can’t access brick-and-mortar stores (no thanks to Covid-19) and online sales have seen a remarkable increase. 

    In an eye-catching GIF email, Urban Outfitters offer double points on homewares for all loyalty members who shop online.

     

    Urban Outfitters cleverly teamed their promotion with an email campaign that features stand-out design decisions like GIFs and high-quality images. By not specifying exactly when the offer ends, UO also cleverly creates a sense of urgency that the deal won’t last long and that customers should shop soon. Notice that they keep the images simple with minimal text and the focus being on the essential details and then product examples that encourage the customer to shop. Campaigns like this really stand out and help to see high conversion rates and quick returns on investment.

    It’s all about timing too! And we don’t just mean when the emails are sent and received. Urban Outfitters are cleverly offering this deal on homewares at a time when customers are spending a lot of time at home and likely to be intrigued by a refresh of their home decor.

     

    One Love Organics Shares All The Details

    One Love Organics like to keep things simple when it comes to design. Their branding and visuals are always fresh and inviting with stylish design choices and color palettes that pop when paired together. ONO’s recent points promotion campaign was no different.

    One Love Organics uses email marketing to promote a double points campaign that they’re offering for a limited time. They’ve included beautifully brand-complimentary images (green leaves) and text (bold pink).


    They not only encourage their loyal customers to shop with them by offering an undeniable double points promotion to their Love Club loyalty program members, but they also provide the exact time that the deal will end. They then go the extra mile by adding (in a complimentary banner above the core content) that customers who spend more than $49 will receive free shipping!! It’s incentives like these that customers just can’t turn down, and One Love Organics are nailing it!

     

    Final words


    Looking forward to promoting your loyalty program by sending your first Points Campaign? Learn all you need to know from our help center article on creating a points campaign and make sure to check out the pre-built ‘Double Points’ email campaign template.

    We’d love to see what campaign designs you come up with – if you have a Points Campaign that you’re proud of, feel free to let us know in the comments below. 

    To learn how to make the most out of your loyalty marketing, check out The Loyalty Marketing Guide: 8 Strategies for Gaining Customers for Life.

     

    Create points campaignGET MARSELLO

    Boost Your Campaigns and Help Your Retail Marketing Stand Out

    ClockIcon  READ
    Re-engage customers who haven’t opened your email campaigns by resending your email with a refreshed subject line. Introducing, Boost Email Campaigns!
    Marsello’s feature, Boost Email Campaigns, allows retailers to resend an email campaign 48 hours after it was originally sent. With a new subject line and a time delay, customers who didn’t open the first email are sure to open the second.

     

    On average, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing technique, but with so many emails landing in customers’ inboxes, it can sometimes be tricky to get noticed. Why not give your campaigns a little boost by resending emails with a different subject line to everyone who didn’t open it the first time around?

    Our data shows that boosting a campaign can increase open rates by as much as 30%! With the new Boost Email Campaigns feature, you can easily resend One-off Email Campaigns with a new subject line to capture the attention of customers who may not have noticed your first email. Invite them to shop with your store by boosting your campaigns and take the hard work out of promoting your email campaigns. Let’s dig a little deeper into the feature itself.

     

    Boost Campaigns With Marsello

    The Boost Email Campaigns sub-feature is an addition to the popular Email Campaigns feature that is simple to use no matter whether you’re boosting an already existing campaign or starting from scratch. 

    To boost your campaigns, you have two options:

     

    Option One – Set-up from scratch:

     

    An email boost set-up with the secondary subject line of "Limited Restock: The Darcie Halter Dress"

     

    The first step is to create a new email campaign from the Campaigns Admin. Once you have created the subject line for your new campaign, you will then find the added option to boost your campaign. From here, the process is easy! Select ‘Boost Campaign’ and create a new subject line for your new, boosted campaign; then, save your settings. This second email will only send to those customers who did not open the original email and it will be scheduled to send automatically after 48 hours.

     

    Option Two – After the first campaign is sent: 

     

    Up to 46 hours after a One-off Email Campaign has been sent, you can choose to boost the campaign and re-send it to customer who did not open it within the first 48 hours.

     

    So, you’ve decided to boost a one-off email campaign after you’ve already sent it. Using the Campaigns Admin, you will be able to boost your campaign, although this option is only available for 46 hours after the campaign was first sent. To boost your campaign, simply find the recent campaign you would like to boost in your Campaigns Admin and you will see a ‘Boost Campaign’ button alongside it. Simply select this button, add a subject line for your second campaign, and save your boosted campaign. 

     

    There are some points to note at this stage: 

    • After 46 hours, the ‘Boost Campaign’ button will automatically be greyed out and will no longer be available for that campaign. 

    • As with setting up your boosted campaigns from scratch, your second campaign will automatically copy the content of the original campaign but use the new subject line. 

    • The 48-hour send delay applies to the original campaign’s send date and time – this means that if you scheduled your first campaign to send on Monday at 12 PM, then boosted that campaign 45 hours later, your boosted email would then send on Wednesday at 12 PM. 

    No matter which way you decide to do so, once you have saved your boosted campaign, your email content will then automatically be duplicated for the second email but the new campaign will instead use the second subject line. 

    This new subject line is essential! It’ll differentiate your new email from your original and is crucial to helping your campaign stand out to your customers. Don’t be afraid to get creative but remember there are a few golden rules with email subject lines! Let’s cover the basics, just to be sure:

    1. Keep it simple. No more than 10 words and 60 characters (remember, emoji’s use multiple character spaces so keep them to a minimum) is a pretty standard industry recommendation. 

    2. Avoid special characters and limit your punctuation. Adding too much punctuation can make your emails look like spam. Refer to tip one.

    3. Use emojis sparingly. We touched on this but it’s actually really important. Depending on the operating system your customers use, they could see your emojis differently and this could have a real effect on the success of your campaign. Emojis should support your message, but not replace words or feature too heavily. 

    4. Keep it relevant. Your subject line should indicate why you’re getting in contact and what the customer can expect from your email. 

    5. Be creative. Help your campaigns to stand out with subject lines that are too good to miss! ‘Exclusive Online Sale – Today Only’ is much more informative than, for example, ‘Sale Now On’ and really invites your recipients to open your email and make a purchase before they miss out.

    Let’s break down our previous example from the above images, taken from The Little Atelier.

     

    The same email set-up with the secondary subject line of "Limited Restock: The Darcie Halter Dress"

     

    In their first campaign, the fashion-focused retailer lets their customers know that they’ve re-stocked an item. While their loyal customers would be the most likely to open the email, other customers are likely to be excited that a popular item has been restocked. The subject line is informative if a little simple. In the future, the store could choose to add a little more detail or even promote re-stocked items with a deal like an exclusive loyalty program Points Campaign where customers earn extra points for purchases over a set timeframe.

    In the boosted campaign, The Little Atelier uses a subject line that creates a little more urgency. While the item has been restocked, supply is limited. This implies that customers should get in quick to avoid missing out. One option to add a little more power to this boosted campaign could have been to add a phrase like ‘Don’t miss out.’ 

    Note that in both subject lines, the emojis are used sparingly and support the content of both the email and the subject itself. 

     

    Final Words

    Boosted campaigns are shown to have remarkable results – as we’ve mentioned. With a 30% increase in open rates alone, it’s no wonder why so many retailers have asked us for this feature. Combine those results with the already astounding power of email marketing and you’re using proven, long-lasting, tried and true tools of the trade to engage your audiences, while also ensuring that no customer is left behind.

    Looking forward to using the Boost Campaign feature? Learn all you need to know from our help center article on how to boost your email campaigns.

    We can’t wait to see what results you see too and we’d love to hear about your success. Let us know how your boosted email campaigns do in the comments section below!

     

    Boost CampaignGET MARSELLO

    Discover Email Campaign Templates Designed for Customer Engagement

    ClockIcon  READ
    Create consistent, recognizable, and beautiful emails with previously designed email templates! Learn how to navigate Marsello's Email Templates Library.

    With a variety of options to choose from, Marsello’s Email Campaign Templates Library gives you numerous designs for creating stylish newsletters, announcements (such as sales and promotions), updates on stock, and more using the One-off Email Campaigns feature! Each template is designed so you easily create beautifully on-brand emails that see results, without hours of effort and edits.

    Let’s dig a little deeper and learn about each template type.

     

    Basic Templates

    With full customization available, the basic email templates allow you to edit the design of each email so that it best suits your store’s brand, helping your customers to instantly recognize who they’re receiving mail from. You’ll have the flexibility to create emails that truly embody your store without having to start those email designs from scratch.

     

    Marsello's in-app email template library with 6 templates

     

    Themed Templates

    Created by professional designers with years of experience in email marketing, these templates are ready for you to simply add in your store’s branding and relevant content, review, then send! With everything from color palettes to fonts, themed templates are designed to do the hard yards for you.

     

    Marsello's themed email templates within the app

     

    Custom Templates

    This is where things get really exciting! You can now create your own custom templates, allowing you to save the designs of emails you know your customers love so that you can use those designs again in the future. Either save a previous campaign as a template or start from scratch and create your own email marketing masterpiece. 

     

    Marsello's in-app email templates with custom themes.

     

    Final Words

    Email templates allow you to easily replicate the same style throughout your communications and create a recognizable experience for your customers. In turn, your customers look forward to your emails and the likelihood of them engaging with your communication efforts increases. Increase your email marketing ROI and start exploring and designing emails that excite new shoppers and loyal customers alike.

    Excited to start using email templates? Learn how to navigate Marsello’s Email Template Library and get ready to start using them for yourself.

     

    GET MARSELLO

     

    How to Encourage Ecommerce Sales Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

    ClockIcon  READ
    To help you navigate post-pandemic retail and knock it out the park, we’ve compiled some tips on using online channels to encourage sales and engagement.

    No matter what type of retail store you have, there’s a high chance that your business has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Cities all over the world are enacting ‘Safer at Home’ orders and quarantine measures, and these actions have left many retailers no choice but to temporarily shut down their physical operations. Some countries are even requiring businesses to close unless they’re deemed an essential service.

    With most consumers staying home, it’s quite evident that the only way to reach them is through digital channels.

    Here are some tips on how to use online channels to encourage sales and engagement during this period.

     

    1. Keep your channels tightly integrated


    If you have an existing brick-and-mortar store and want to bring your sales online, the first step you should take is to integrate your online and offline systems. 

    Doing so will help you set up your sales channels correctly, so your inventory and sales data will be synced between your physical and online stores. Plus, you’ll save time from having to re-enter your product information and you can eliminate human error due to doubling up on data entry. 

    It’s best to use systems that are already compatible with each other, so get in touch with your POS solution provider and ask them about the eCommerce platforms that they integrate with. Be sure to discuss the types of data that are synced between systems and talk to your provider about how to get set up quickly and efficiently. 

    For best results, choose solutions that can also connect to your marketing software, so you can seamlessly launch email, SMS, and customer engagement campaigns for driving sales. 

    Pro tip: Did you know that Marsello integrates with leading POS and eCommerce platforms? Connect Marsello to your existing solutions so you can easily automate your loyalty marketing efforts and deliver a seamless customer experience.

     

    2. Promote relevant products


    The needs of your customers during the current coronavirus health crisis have shifted, so your marketing has to evolve along with these changes. Part of doing that involves promoting products that are relevant to what your shoppers are experiencing. 

    Go through your current catalog and look for items that consumers need at this time. For example, if you’re a furniture retailer, then now would be a great time to promote your office products, since most people are working from home. Selling books or gift items? Look for products that people would help people navigate what could be a high-stress situation.

    Here’s an example from the crystal store Energy Muse. Since many people are experiencing coronavirus stress and anxiety, Energy Muse recently sent out informative content on how to use the crystal Black Tourmaline to alleviate negative emotions.

    What’s good about Energy Muse’s message is it led with informative content. Rather than a hard sell, the email’s first call to action took people to a video in which Energy Muse’s founder-led viewers through a guided visualization to relieve stress and anxiety. 

    And should people choose to purchase the crystal, there’s a second CTA towards the lower part of the email. 

     

    Energy Muse uses a one-off email campaign to communicate clearly with their customers.

     

    Note: While this tactic can be effective, your marketing efforts shouldn’t be exploitive. For example, if you’re an apparel retailer that’s suddenly selling hand sanitizer, you’ll only forge distrust with consumers – and potentially get your ads banned.  

    Sites like Facebook are prohibiting exploitive tactics in ads by banning promotions for things like face masks.

    If you’re planning to market relevant products, stick with items that are already in your catalog or ones that are truly in line with your brand. 

     

    3. Tap into influencer and community marketing


    Digital content consumption is likely to increase in the coming days and weeks as more people turn to the web. Consumers are spending more time on websites and social media – with most doing it to pass the time, keep up with the latest news, and seek inspiration and entertainment.

    Consider tapping into that online attention by teaming up with influencers or even your existing customers. Send them product samples or create joint content pieces together. 

    Encourage your community to tag you in their posts. Emphasize the fact that with many businesses being forced to close, customer engagement (even if it comes from no-cost actions like liking or sharing posts) goes a long way. 

    Check out this post from home decor store Pretty Little Home, which thanks customers for the support that the community has shown the business. 

     

    Pretty Little Home uses influencer marketing to reach out to more customers.

     

    “Whether it’s a like, tag, share, or order on the website... It really means the world especially at a time like this,” read the post. 

     

    4. Spread the goodwill


    We’ve known for a while that good deeds and corporate social responsibility can drive customer engagement and loyalty. That’s why if your business can afford it, consider launching an initiative designed to help those in need during this crisis. 

    It can be a charitable campaign, a special offer for the less fortunate, or even a job opportunity. One brand that’s doing this well is the fitness store Gymshark. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many gyms have been forced to close their doors, resulting in trainers and fitness instructors losing their source of income. 

    To help out, Gymshark announced that it’s offering an hourly rate to personal trainers struggling to find work. Trainers would be doing online workouts in partnership with the brand and earn money while they’re at it. 

    The post was widely shared on Instagram and thousands of people liked and commented on the post. 

     

    Gymshark offers personal trainers a covid-19 deal.

     

    5. Constantly reassure your customers


    Building trust is more important than ever. You won’t be able to drive sales if shoppers don’t feel safe and secure buying from you. That’s why you need to constantly reassure your customers about the health and safety precautions that you’re taking to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

    How often are you cleaning and sanitizing your store? What are you doing to protect your staff? What measures are you taking to protect your customers? Be specific and outline everything in your customer communications assets (e.g., email, social media, in-store signage). 

    A good example of this practice in action comes from LA Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles. While the restaurant is closed to diners, LA Cafe still accepts online orders that can be picked up or delivered. 

    To make people feel safe about ordering, LA Cafe published a detailed post outlining everything that it’s doing to address COVID-19 concerns. 

     

    The LA Cafe uses Instagram and social media to communicate COVID-19 changes.

     

    6. Run promotions


    If sales are slow (and they likely are during this period), it may be a good idea to run a promotion to entice people to buy. 

    Do note that you’ll be competing with plenty of other brands for shoppers’ attention, so you want your promotions to be as relevant as possible. The best way to do this is to send offers based on each customer’s shopping history and brand interactions. 

    Consider the case of the designer footwear retailer Bulo Shoes, which couples Marsello's loyalty program with email marketing automation to send marketing messages that are always on-point. With Marsello’s help, Bulo Shoes’ automated emails are set up in segments based on customers’ previous behaviors. The store runs separate automated campaigns for first-time customers, abandoned cart recovery, lapsed customers, and to wish customers ‘Happy Birthday’. 

    By sending automated emails that are triggered by customers’ actions, Bulo Shoes are able to reach out to customers in the most relevant and timely way, and thus maximize both revenue and customer engagement.

     

    Bulo Shoes use automated emails to run promotions that target their customers following actions like making a purchase.

     

    What if you can’t sell or fulfill orders?


    The new measures and policies around COVID-19 have been particularly tough on SMBs that are deemed “non-essential”. In addition to store closures, some businesses have been forced to shut down their offices, facilities, and fulfillment centers to slow the spread of the virus. In such cases selling and fulfilling orders – even those made online – isn’t achievable at this time. 

    If you’re in this predicament, try the following tactics:

    Delay shipments and offer generous rewards

    If you can still technically sell online but are unable to fulfill orders, you could run special promotions to get people to buy. That’s what Madame Fancy Pants, a Wellington-based retailer is doing. Due to the coronavirus, the team at Madame Fancy Pants are unable to ship out products in the time being. But they’re still taking orders online, with the commitment to fulfill those orders once isolation measures have been lifted. 

    To encourage people to buy, Madame Fancy Pants sent out a one-off email campaign using Marsello. The email lets their customers know that Madame Fancy Pants will be rewarding shoppers with double loyalty points for their full-priced purchases.

     

    Madame Fancy Pants keeps customers up to day using Marsello’s One-off Email Campaigns

     

    Enable Wishlists

    Another tactic for keeping your customers interested and excited while you’re unable to fill their orders is to allow them to create wishlists of the items you usually stock. Check out our recent blog on top apps for Shopify for ideas on which apps you could use to integrate this feature into your store. 

    Wellington-based pet products retailer, Smack Bang, have done a wonderful job of communicating this recent update with their customers through their social media channels. Check out this Facebook post (note that they’ve even pinned it to ensure customers see the update) that lets their customers know that although they’ve had to shut up shop with the COVID-19 lockdown enforced in New Zealand, their customers can now create wishlists on the Smack Bang online store. 

     

    Smack Bang uses Facebook to let their customers know that they can now create wishlists.

     

    Consider digital products 

    If possible, sell digital products like ebooks, digital art, online consultations, or even courses. 

    One retailer that’s currently promoting digital products is Vroman’s, Southern California’s oldest independent bookstore. Like many other retailers, Vroman’s had to temporarily shut down its operations because of the coronavirus. 

    To continue driving sales, Vroman’s is encouraging shoppers to purchase its ebooks and audiobooks instead, and the bookshop provides instructions on how to do this on social media and on its website. 

     

    Vromans goes Omnichannel

     

    Sell gift cards

    If you’re not offering gift cards online yet, now is the time to sell and promote them. Digital gift cards give your customers the chance to support your business so you can secure much-needed income. In turn, your shoppers can enjoy your products and services once this crisis is over. 

    Consider the example of Pink Marble Studio, which offers lashes, nails, and waxing services. The company recently started offering gift cards online that customers can redeem at a later time.

     

    Pink Marble Studio offers gift cards

     

    Retail tip: For more results, sell these gift certificates at a discount rate to further entice your customers to make a purchase. 

     

    Keep up with social media and content marketing 

    Just because you can’t sell online, doesn’t mean you can’t connect with your customers. Maintain an active presence online by regularly updating your social media accounts and sharing valuable, ‘non-salesy’ content with your audience. 

    Doing so will help you grow your platform, traffic, and follower counts so that when business picks up again, you can hit the ground running. 

    We love this example from Australian wholefood retailer, Bare Wholefoods:

     

    Rough &amp; Bare uses Instagram to update customers and encourage them to keep shopping.

     

    Bare Wholefoods cleverly show that they’re still actively and safely delivering customers’ orders with a photo of outgoing orders ready for shipping. They add a message of genuine gratitude to their customers for their continued loyalty and support. Updates like this help customers to feel confident that they will get the products they’ve ordered, and also gives them the morale boost of knowing they’re helping support the local economy. 

     

    Notify customers with stock updates

    Chances are you’ll find that changes to shipping or production translate to slower restocking times – you may even find yourself out of stock or running low before you can restock, but there’s plenty you can do to keep your customers shopping with you.

    We’ve mentioned using wishlist tools that enable customers to create lists of items they’d like to buy that aren’t currently available, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Why not let your customers know when their desired items are back in stock and actively prompt them to shop with you.

    Online multi-brand retailer, The Iconic does a great job of this. When an item or size is out of stock, customers with a registered account are prompted to automatically at the item to their wishlist and sign-up for a ‘back in stock’ email, all through a beautifully designed pop-up. Notice the clever addition of product recommendations that may get customers to shop in that session anyway.

     

    The Iconic ties their Wishlist and Back in Stock tools to create a seamless experience for customers.
     

    It’s tough, but hang in there

    We know that the current retail environment can feel far from ideal. The best thing to do right now is to focus on things we can control. If you’re a retailer, these include your customer communications and marketing messages; do your best to stop on top of them, so you can keep driving sales. 

     

    Communicating about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    ClockIcon  READ
    Explore examples of retailers communicating with their customers, then discover the tools you need to communicate pandemic-related changes with customers.

    Communicating about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic, and with the effect this is having on retail, communication with your customers is essential! Lightspeed notes that you, as the retailer, is to adjust how you’re trading (we’ll get into this a little more down the line). But how do you let your customers know you’re making these adjustments? How do you keep your customers up-to-date while still helping them to feel comfortable and confident to shop with you safely?

     

    In this blog, we draw on examples from three retailers to help you craft your own COVID-19 communication strategy. 

     

    Be specific:

    AllBirds communicate about Covid-19 on Instagram

    Now is the time to give your customers as much information as you possibly can. AllBirds do a great job of this through their social media channels. In the following example, pulled from their Instagram account, AllBirds share their empathy, understanding, and, most importantly, critical details about their operations. 

     

    Take note of the second paragraph in which they state, “Our corporate staff are now working from home, and our stores in the US and Europe will be closed from March 15th through the 27th”. They then go the extra mile to support their staff and reassure their customers that by continuing to shop with AllBirds, they support an ethical and socially conscious brand: “All employees will get full pay and benefits during this time.

     

    Following their operation updates, AllBirds also add that as the details surrounding Coronavirus develop, so may their plans. They acknowledge the importance of communication and promise to stay connected through their ‘digital channels’.

     

    AllBirds are careful to keep their customers informed by sharing essential updates while also strengthening their customers’ confidence in AllBird’s company ethics and genuine care for the situation surrounding COVID-19. They do this by updating all of their digital channels, which includes using email marketing. Although tools like social media are a powerful way to reach your customers, it’s also easy for your update to be lost amongst the rest. Make sure you’re sharing your information across all channels, starting with email marketing campaigns

     

    Showcase your brand:

    Iko Iko emails customers about in-store changes during Corona Virus

    Lightspeed retailer, Iko Iko, is known for their eclectic and colorful branding, and they don’t let the chaos of a worldwide pandemic get in the way of their charismatic communications. Take note of the way that they reiterate that they will be taking extra measures to sanitize their brick-and-mortar store’s high-touch zones: “We are taking a few extra hygiene precautions as recommended by the Ministry of Health. The staff are regularly cleaning high contact surfaces including our eftpos machines [point-of-sale card machines] and countertops …”. By assuring their customers that hygiene is at the forefront of their business practice, Iko Iko helps their customers to feel secure in their decision to continue to shop with the store, particularly because the majority of Iko Iko’s sales are generated in-store.

     

    Iko Iko also let their customers know that the coming weeks may be difficult for them as a business, and they reiterate that customer loyalty is the key to their ongoing success. Finally, they end the email with customized links to their social media accounts, clearly giving customers access to more information from Iko Iko as it’s released.

     

    Iko Iko have done a beautiful job of informing their customers while also showcasing their store’s branding. This not only helps their customers to recognize who the email has come from, but also further entices their customers to shop. The additional graphic design is on-brand with colorful patterns and block colors, but still tasteful and respectful. 

     

    Get on top of your COVID-19 communications with campaigns that are easy to create and schedule.

     

    Think outside the box:

    Warby Parker created a landing page and floating banner to communicate about Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Warby Parker is a household name; known for their standing as a socially conscious eCommerce and physical retailer for prescription glasses, and they’re acutely aware that the products they offer help people each and every day. They want all of their customers, new and loyal, to feel connected and considered. For this reason (among many others), they created an additional landing page on their website dedicated to COVID-19 updates.

     

    They cut right to the chase and let their customers know that they “have decided to temporarily close all of [their] stores through March 27 for the safety of [their] customers, [their] employees, and the general public.

     

    Special mention: notice that they’ve included a floating banner at the top of their website that lets all online customers know that Warby Parker’s brick-and-mortar stores will be closed from March 15 - March 27. Now that’s one way to keep your customers informed! 

     

    Nevertheless, Warby Parker are careful to highlight that they are still open for business with their online stores, accentuating this with bolded text. They offer several stand-out services, including a ‘Home Try-On Program’, which is still in operation. They also list the ways that customers can get in contact with them, should shoppers have any questions, helping customers to feel cared for and catered to. 

     

    Replicating these examples:

    So how can you take the above examples and use the key information for your own COVID-19 communications? 

     

    We’ve whipped up and broken down a quick example that you can build on. Make sure when communicating with customers that you’re careful to include all relevant details affecting your own business and be specific. For example, if your store is solely online, then you don’t need to add a paragraph about increasing the hygiene standards of your store.


    Example introduction:

    Here at [Store Name], We’re committed to the safety of our team and our community – you. 

     

    With the rapidly changing developments of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we believe it’s important that you’re kept up to date, and you feel confident that your health and safety is a priority. As we learn how to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, we are doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of our customers, employees and extended community. 

     

    You should only include key information that is relevant to your customers. Have you increased your hygiene practices for your brick-and-mortar stores? Are your online stores up and running, but seeing delays in shipping? Whatever you have decided is best for your business, make sure you describe this clearly without going into too much detail. And make sure that any information you add to your communications is accurate. Some examples could include the following.

     

    If your eCommerce store is seeing delays in shipping, you could include something like the following paragraph :

     

    Our online store is operating as usual, although we are expecting delays in shipping. We are working to guarantee the safety of our employees while also fulling your orders as quickly as we can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here: 

     

    Hygiene practice adjustments for brick-and-mortar stores (ensure these practices are in place before you notify customers):

     

    We understand the need for extra precautions and have additional sanitization practices in place, with a particular focus on high-touch zones like door handles and card machines. We will ensure that can maintain the highest possible standard of hygiene by keeping hand hygiene stations stocked throughout our store(s).

     

    Finally, let your customers know that any of this information could change at any time as the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic develop. This could include a paragraph similar to the following:

     

    As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to develop and change, our strategies and practices may too. 

     

    This is an opportunity to add your social media icons and direct customers to follow you if you plan on also updating customers there. And make sure to let your customers know how they can stay up-to-date with your store practices. 

     

    Finally, sign off in a way that includes your store name and add some reassurance – a little positivity can go a long way too! Don’t be afraid to follow Iko iko’s suit and fit your brand into the messaging.

    We appreciate your ongoing support and understanding in these uncertain times. 

     

    Stay safe and healthy,

    [Store Name]. Or [Your name], from [Store Name].

    Adjust how you’re trading

    We touched on this a little in the intro so let's break it down. With many people practicing social-distancing or even self-quarantining, some brick-and-mortar stores may find a reduction in foot-traffic – some countries are even requiring stores to close. Look at this as an opportunity to develop your business and cater to more online customers. If you’re in-store only and you have to shut up shop for a while, now is the perfect time to work on getting an omnichannel operation set up and starting an online store, or giving a little more love to your online store if it already exists. Set up automated email campaigns while you’re at it, and actively retain online customers without any additional manual work.

     

    It’s reported that eCommerce could account for 40% of all retail purchases in the UK as a direct result of COVID-19. Just think about how huge that is on a world-wide scale and get excited to embark on a new frontier of online shopping. Omnichannel stores are not only a strong retention marketing channel, they’re a fantastic way to keep the local economy going without having to be physically present in-store – even some supermarkets offer online shopping! If it’s within your margins, why not offer customers free shipping, even if it’s just locally? This will encourage customers to shop with you. Adding incentives for customers to share your store with their friends (think: discount codes for proven referrals) will help you to acquire new customers. 

     

    Adaptability and resilience is the key; many retailers are revamping their in-store hygiene practices, implementing social-distancing strategies to protect their employees and customers, and putting countless other changes in place to protect their customers and their businesses. Just don’t forget, transparency is your friend. If you’re expecting delays in shipping, add this to your email campaigns and digital channels. If it’s taking a little longer than usual for your new stock to arrive, using tools that allow customers to ‘wishlist’ or save items could be a nice touch too.  

     

    Final words:

    Now is the time to take note of Warby Parker’s example again – do you want to compile this information on a landing page? Perhaps you could instead direct customers to follow you on social media if an additional landing page isn’t quite your speed; or, perhaps now is a great time to try adding SMS campaigns to your toolkit

     

    However you chose to do it, the bottom line is that communicating clearly with your customers is essential. Whether it’s affecting your shipping times, forcing the temporary closure of your brick-and-mortar stores, or just creating added stress, it doesn’t hurt to let your customers know how you’ve been affected and remind them that they are what keeps you trading.

     

    If you’re looking to email your customers to communicate about COVID-19, you can get started with Marsello’s campaigns feature for free. Email marketing is the perfect way to communicate with your customers and set expectations, so when you’re back to trading at full-capacity again, don’t forget to shout it from the rooftops throughout all your communication channels, starting with a one-off email campaign. 

    How to Improve Email Deliverability: 9 Proven Steps

    ClockIcon  READ
    Ensure your emails are delivering exactly how you expect and learn how to stay out of your customers’ spam folders with our 9 tips for deliverability.

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-banner.jpg

    We talk about email marketing quite a bit here on the Marsello blog, and for good reason – it continues to be one of the most effective ways to drive sales and engagement for retail brands. That’s why it’s so important to continuously build your list, optimize your copy, and run winning campaigns.

     

    However, all the optimization in the world won’t help you if your messages aren’t being delivered. And the truth is that a significant chunk (20% according to Return Path) of emails don’t even reach the inbox. 

     

    But you don’t have to be part of that statistic. By implementing the right steps and best practices, you can maximize your email deliverability and ensure that your messages actually hit the inbox of your audience. 

     

    Read on to learn exactly what you need to do. 

     

    1. Improve your email sender reputation

    Think of your customers’ inbox as an exclusive club that bans shady characters. When the gatekeepers deem a sender as having a poor reputation, their messages are sent to the spam folder. 

    When it comes to sender reputation, email service providers typically look at two things: your IP reputation and your domain reputation. 

     

    Here’s a breakdown of these two components and how you can improve them.

     

    IP reputation

    Emails are sent from an IP address – a unique identifier that ties a device to a specific network. Think of it a bit like a fingerprint for your emails. It tracks where emails come from, the reputation of that ESP (email service provider) and the email account itself. If you have a reputation of sending spammy emails, there’s a good chance that messages sent from that IP will be automatically flagged as spam and your emails won’t land front and center in your customers’ inboxes.

    In the world of eCommerce and physical store email marketing, brands can send emails using a customized domain name if their marketing provider has this function (Marsello makes this easy for retailers. Learn more here).

     

    How can you improve your IP reputation?

    Marsello-created graphic of a computer monitor with tick embedded over it

    Choose a good email marketing platform – If you’re opting for a custom domain (also sometimes referred to as a shared IP address), make sure you’re using a reputable email marketing platform. The best-in-class email marketing companies work hard to keep the reputation of their IP addresses in top shape by giving their users the tools and education they need to comply with anti-spam laws. 

     

    Most email marketing platforms also have systems that prevent abuse and spam. Marsello, for example, has an abuse-prevention system called SpamAssassin, which checks for spam traps, abuse complaints, and hard bounces.

    Marsello-created graph of inclining graph

    Gradually build up your IP’s reputation over time – If you’re using a dedicated IP address for your email marketing efforts, you’ll need to build and maintain its reputation yourself. 

     

    Much like with building financial credit, developing a solid IP reputation entails having a solid track record of sending high-quality emails. This means having high open rates and minimal spam flags from recipients. 

     

    If you’re using a new IP address for your emails, you can build up its reputation by only sending messages to a small but active list of people who love your brand. This will help boost your engagement metrics, which sends the message that you’re a high-quality sender.

     

    In turn, this boosts your reputation, which ultimately increases your email deliverability. 

    Marsello-created graphic. An outline of a person with a smiley-face in a conversation bubble.

    Monitor your reputation – If you’re suffering from poor email deliverability and you think your IP address is the culprit, then use a tool like Sender Score to check the IP’s rep. 

    Sender Score lets you enter an IP address, and its system will score it based on how reputable it is. The higher the score the better the reputation. 

    Sender Score's homepage allows you to check the sender reputation for your web domain

    Domain reputation

    When it comes to domain reputation, your messages are evaluated based on your sending domain, instead of, or in addition to your IP address.

     

    Email service providers have different metrics for evaluating messages, but Gmail (arguably the #1 email provider in the world) seems to favor domain reputation over IP. 

    How can you improve your domain reputation?

    Build up a good rep – A good domain reputation must be earned. Just like with building your IP rep, your domain needs to come across as reputable and high-quality for email service providers to not flag it as spam.

     

    You can do this by sending high-quality messages to an engaged user base and increasing your metrics over time. 

     

    Monitor your domain reputation – Check your domain reputation using a tool like MX Lookup Tool, which checks a domain against common blacklists. 

    MX Lookup also allows you to check your domain reputation.

    2. Steer clear of spam traps

    Spam traps are email addresses used by email service providers to catch malicious senders. They look just like a typical email address, but they’re not used by a real person. Their only purpose is to catch spam, so when a person or company sends a message to a spam trap email, the provider can flag or blacklist the sender. 

     

    There are a number of ways that providers can set up spam traps. They include:

     

    Pristine traps – A common one is called a pristine spam trap, which is an email address that is publicly displayed on a website BUT isn't visible to normal users. Pristine traps are meant to capture bots that are scraping the web for email addresses. 

     

    Expired or inactive email addresses – These are email addresses that have been deactivated by the company that issued them or by email service providers. In some cases, companies and providers may decide to reactivate these email addresses for the purposes of catching spam. 

    How to avoid spam traps

    Spam trap email addresses can sometimes end up on the list of senders with good intentions. Here’s how you can ensure that your list stays spam-trap free:

     

    Don’t purchase email lists – The email addresses that end up on lists for sale are often obtained through unethical means (like scraping the web). When you buy a list, you may end up with a handful of spam trap emails on your hands.

     

    Clean up your lists regularly – A great way to make sure that you don’t have spam trap emails on your list is to prune it. Identify emails that have no engagement over the last six months or so, then remove them from your list. 

     

    You should also clean up email addresses that have returned a hard bounce (i.e., when emails are undeliverable). Hard bounces indicate that an email address is no longer valid, and should thus be removed from your list. Some email marketing platforms do this for you automatically, so check with your provider to see if this is a feature they offer. 

     

    3. Make it easy for people to opt-out

    Giving people an easy way to opt-out seems counter-intuitive, because most email marketers want to keep people on their list. 

     

    However, making users jump through too many hoops just to unsubscribe is doing you more harm than good.

     

    Here’s why:

     

    When people can’t easily unsubscribe from your emails, they may end up marking it as spam – which, as you already know, will hurt your email deliverability. 

     

    So, resist the urge to hide the unsubscribe button. Instead, have a clear, clickable link on all your messages, and allow your subscribers to opt-out in just a click or two. 

     

    Check out this footer from the email of PetConnect. A standard location for the unsubscribe button is at the bottom of the footer, and PetConnect keep it simple. The last piece of their email gives readers the option to unsubscribe. While it’s not advertised and encouraging for customers, it is easy to find, underlined and simple to understand. Although with emails that cute, who’d really want to unsubscribe?

    PetConnect adds an 'unsubscribe' button to the bottom of their emails.

    4. Customize your ‘from’ name / sender field

    One of the reasons you may have poor email engagement rates is that people don’t recognize you when your messages hit their inbox. When users don’t know the sender, they’re more likely to delete the message without reading it, or worse, mark it as spam. 

     

    That’s why you should ensure that your sender name is consistent with your brand and is easily recognizable by users. 

     

    If you’re marketing yourself as “Bloom Skincare” then you shouldn’t send messages from “Jane Smith”. Instead, have your brand name in the “from” field of your emails – i.e., “Jane from Bloom Skincare” or “The Bloom Skincare Team”.

     

    This email from CAUSEBOX serves as an excellent example of a retailer that uses a real person behind each email, while still including their brand name.

     

    A CAUSEBOX email sent from Hannah at CAUSEBOX

    5. Avoid misleading subject lines

    Another temptation you may have is to write intriguing or exciting subject lines without having content or offers that actually live up to the hype. 

     

    Avoid this tactic at all costs. 

     

    While ‘creative’ subject lines may get people to open your message, they will likely mark your email as spam if the content doesn’t deliver on the subject line’s promises. 

     

    Instead, find ways to write exciting subject lines while still being upfront with the email’s content. 

    Take a look at the following email from GILT, an ecommerce site that sells luxury goods. The subject line – $99.99 Sunglasses SALE. Believe your eyes – is straightforward and tells customers exactly what they’re getting. But it’s also cleverly written and compelling because, well… who doesn’t like $99 designer sunglasses?

    GILT's sunglasses

    6. Don’t use spammy words

    Another subject line tip? Avoid spam-trigger words, phrases, and characters. 

     

    Hubspot and Simply Cast shared a long list of words and phrases to avoid, but here are the top ones that apply to retail and ecommerce:

    • Words like “FREE!,” “Guarantee,” and “Clearance”

    • Using ALL CAPS

    • Having “RE:” when it’s not a reply

    • One-word subject lines

    • Excessive use of exclamation points (!!!)

    • Excessive use of characters like “$$$”

    • Excessive use of emojis

    7. Stick to a consistent email schedule

    Irregular sending patterns can raise flags, so strive to find the best sending schedule that works for you, and avoid changing things up too often. 

     

    There are no one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to when to send emails and how often to do it. Since every company is different, you need to find a time and frequency that resonates with your audience. 

     

    One way to do is to gradually test out different sending patterns and frequencies, then measuring the performance of your messages. 

     

    When you find a good email sending pattern, stick with it. 

    8. Send emails that people love

    We’ve covered the tech-related side of increasing email deliverability, and while the tips above are solid best practices, they won’t guarantee that your messages will be seen and opened. 

     

    At the end of the day, the best way to boost the deliverability of your messages is to send emails that people open and click regularly. 

     

    How can you do that?

     

    Simple; send messages that your subscribers love.

     

    Create content that’s so compelling, people actually look forward to hearing from you. It’s a simple tip, but it’s not always easy to do, particularly when you’re competing with hundreds (if not thousands) of other brands for people’s attention. 

     

    Follow these pointers and examples on how to send messages that subscribers can’t help but click:

     

    Keep it super relevant

    Segment your customers based on their demographic details and shopping behavior, and use that data to inform your email marketing. 

     

    For instance, if you know that a shopper has kids, then you can send them mom-centric emails. Or, if you keep track of the purchase histories of your customers, you can leverage their data to craft email content and offers based on their profile. 

     

    Stitch Fix did this really well when it launched its kids line, Stitch Fix Kids. The subscription service reached out to members who ordered maternity clothes and sent them an exclusive invite to the service.

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-keep-it-relevant.jpg

    Ask for their input

    Requesting for customer feedback doesn’t just help you gather more intel, it also shows that you value your customers’ opinions. Most shoppers – 71% according to this study – are happy to offer their feedback when asked. So, these types of messages will likely generate higher engagement (which is great for email deliverability – yay)!

     

    Buda Juice, a speciality pressed juices distributor, puts this tip to good use. The company sends feedback requests to customers to measure their satisfaction. Buda Juice crafts messages that are easy to read and act on, so the whole customer experience is smooth and convenient.

    A BudaJuice email which contacts customer feedback prompts

    Send a timely message

     

    Use different events and holidays as opportunities to engage with your audience. If you haven’t done so yet, create a marketing calendar with events throughout the year, and then craft seasonal content for each occasion. 

     

    Need help doing this? We've put together a calendar schedule highlighting best days and times to send your holiday email campaigns to make sure you never miss an opportunity. Download it for free here.

    Marsello's holiday email marketing schedule

    Here’s another tip: keep track of each customer’s birthday and send them a timely perk that they can use on their special day.

     

    Australian clothing retailer, Búl, for example, sends members of its rewards program a $20 voucher 7 days before their birthday. To make sure customers don’t miss out on the deal, Búl also sends them an email on the day of the customer’s birthday and then a final email to remind them to use the $20 voucher. The final two emails of this flow also include product recommendations designed to pique customers’ interest and get the shopping. Read more on the success of Búl’s Happy Birthday Email Flow in their recent case study.

     

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-bui.jpg

    Pro tip: did you know that you can use Marsello to reward your customers on their birthday? When you set up "Happy Birthday Rewards" on your loyalty program, you’ll be able to automatically award birthday celebrants with extra perks on their birthday!

     

    9. Analyze your email marketing reports

    You know what they say: you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

     

    The same thing applies to email deliverability. If you want to increase your deliverability rate, then you need to track the performance of your campaigns. 

     

    In particular, you should keep an eye on:

    Open rates – This will shed light on the performance of your subject lines, so you can determine if your copy is getting people interested in reading the rest of your emails. 

     

    Click-to-open-rate (CTOR) – CTOR measure the number of unique clicks relative to the number of unique opens. It's a good measure of how an email's content has performed. A high CTOR could indicate that your subject line and email copy are working well together and reaching the right people. Conversely, a low CTOR could mean that your email copy isn't resonating with readers and there might be a disconnect between the subject line and content of the email. 

     

    Bounce rates – Pay attention to email bounces – particularly hard bounces, because these indicate that an email address is invalid. You want to remove those emails from your list ASAP to avoid falling into spam traps. 

     

    Final words

    You need to take a number of steps to improve email deliverability, and while some of them aren’t sexy, they are absolutely necessary if you want to land on your customers’ inbox.

     

    If you haven’t done so yet, take the time to evaluate your email marketing efforts. Check your reputation, clean up your email list, and review your content calendar to ensure that you’re sending top-notch messages. 

     

    If you do the above consistently, you’ll not only boost your email deliverability, but you’ll increase your reputation and engagement in the process!

     

    7 Ways to Create Holiday Campaigns That Convert

    ClockIcon  READ
    Create compelling holiday campaigns with our 7 actionable steps. Learn from leading retailer examples and key takeaways.

    Email may not be the newest craze in the world of digital marketing, but it continues to prove itself as the most effective channel for omnichannel businesses, particularly during the holiday season. 

    As marketing powerhouse Neil Patel has mentioned, email has nearly three times the number of accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined – 2.9 billion! Campaign email marketing continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, however, it’s essential that any business owner or marketer understands the anatomy of a good email and takes note of evolving trends.

     

    Infographic showing conversion rates of email and social media marketing  – 6.06% for email, 1.9% for social.

     

    The popularity and effectiveness of email marketing are undeniable, and while that’s generally a good thing, it also presents one obvious challenge: because email is so popular, it can be difficult to stand out in the competition while staying true to brand messaging.  

    So how can you ensure that your emails make the cut? 

    To help answer that, we’re putting the spotlight on a handful of email promotions that you can use as inspiration for your own holiday marketing campaigns.

     

    Retention first


    Before you can start your holiday email marketing campaigns, it’s vital that you get your customer retention strategies sorted. Why? Because these are the long-term marketing tools that will keep your holiday season customers coming back throughout the remainder of the year. 

    Consider some of the following retention strategies:

    • Create an undeniable loyalty programloyalty programs reward your customers for completing purchases with you and considering the high-spend rates of the holiday season, they’re a powerful way to keep your customers coming back as they see the rewards quickly. Go one step further and add VIP tiers to keep customers excited about shopping with your store again and again. Offering customers seasonal rewards can also help them to feel appreciated during a busy and expensive season. If they feel rewarded for shopping with you, the chances of them shopping with you again increases hugely.

    • Automate your email flows – creating automated campaigns that trigger as a result of specific actions (or lack thereof) is a proven retention strategy. Examples of these include emails that welcome first-time customers (and include a discount); win-back emails targeting a customer who hasn’t shopped with you for a certain time period (usually around 60 days); abandoned cart recovery emails designed to draw customers back who added items to their cart but didn’t complete a purchase; birthday emails that trigger on a customers birthday and offers them a small reward and discount to thank them for their loyalty.

    • Forms – either embedding forms or creating them as pop-ups can help to capture customer details (namely emails) and funnel those customers into your direct retention marketing channels such as email campaigns and social media targeting

    • One-off email campaigns – whether you’re creating newsletters, stock updates, business updates, one-off sales, or even competitions, cleverly curated one-off emails should be a huge part of your retention strategy and are a powerful place to incorporate other tools like customer segmentation (we’ll get into this more, later). 

    • Customer feedback – show customers that you want their opinions, can take their feedback, and that you’re open to learning and growing with them. It’s important that your customers feel listened to and appreciated, and gathering customer feedback is a proven way to do this.

    • Boost your best email campaigns – So you’ve diligently created a beautiful holiday marketing strategy and you’ve crafted the email and SMS campaigns to match. One way that you can ensure they get in front of more and more of your customers is to give your campaigns a boost. This is where you essentially send the same campaign to those who have no opened the email after a set amount of time, but with a new subject line.

    Learn more about Marsello's features

     

    Incorporate themes into your emails

    This may sound obvious, but many merchants continue to send uninspired and generic emails during the holidays. Don’t be one of them! Write and design your emails in such a way that they embody the holiday that you’re celebrating while staying true to your brand and excite your customers along the way. 

    So if it’s Christmas, your campaigns should reflect the joy and cheer that people experience around the season. If you’re sending emails for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then your design and messaging should bring about excitement and a sense of urgency. 

    Go through your marketing emails and ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do they contain key holiday terms? (e.g., ‘gifts’, ‘happy holidays’ or ‘it’s Christmas’)

    • If not, have you considered adding a seasonal emoji to make your message more in line with each holiday?

    • Is your color palette in line with the holiday you’re celebrating but also complementary to your branding? (e.g., black and white for BFCM, red and green for Christmas)

    • Is the design of your email relevant to the season?

    • Is the written and visual content of your email relevant to the season?

    • Are you positioning your products as holiday purchases? (e.g., ‘Dresses for your next holiday party’ vs just ‘dresses’)

    Here are a few holiday email examples you can use as inspiration.

     

    OSMOSE creates an immersive theme for Chinese New Year

    OSMOSE, a Singapore-based specialist in women’s fashion, knew that Chinese New Year was the perfect holiday to market to their current customers. The overarching theme of their email was the color red, which is considered a symbol of luck and prosperity during the hugely popular holiday. In fact, red is the official color of Chinese New Year. They encourage email recipients to “paint your wardrobe red” to “welcome a prosperous new year”. Check out their gorgeous customized email flow below.

     

    Osmose's chinese new year themed featuring red-themed outfit ideas.

     


    Area 51 keeps customers informed with holiday season in-store hours

    When the holiday season came nearer last year, Area 51 took the opportunity to remind their customers of their hours over that season, but they also sweetened the deal by offering 20% to their online customers, making sure their customers knew that online shopping at Area 51 was still an option.

     

    Area 51's holiday opening hours
     
    Brandini Toffee creates a holiday-themed product
     

    Brandini Toffee knows the importance of personalized marketing and carefully curated customer service – and they know that these two things go hand-in-hand. To encourage customer engagement and create a personalized, holiday-themed shopping experience, Brandini created a Christmas product called ‘Red Box’ which included 1lb and 2lbs of their famous toffee. They then made the deal all the sweeter by adding free shipping on orders over $70.

     

    Brandini Toffees Red Box email campaign offering free shipping

     

    Alex and Ani positions their existing merchandise as gifts

    Alex and Ani took one of their mainstay products and positioned it as a holiday gift. With the adorable content, beautiful design that fits their branding, and their three top products, Alex and Ani curated a stand-out email sure to be successful with their new and returning customers.

     

    Alex and Ani created a holiday gift guide on their website

     

    Allbirds offers a holiday-themed giveaway to incentivize purchases

    Last Christmas, sustainable sneaker company, Allbirds, went above and beyond in offering customers a festive deal – they created a festive-themed version of one of their products: Christmas shoelaces. These were added as a special offer for customers who shopped during the holiday season, but not before customers were reminded to make sustainable choices with their gift-giving and purchases. We love the way they’ve included their branding, marketing, calls to action, and ethos into one snappy and beautiful email.

     

    AllBirds email saying 'give cosy, get creative' on a grey background with a 'shop now' CTA.

     

    UGMONK created a holiday gift guide with clever segmentation

    When UGMONK released an email gift guide last year, they didn’t just stick to the mainstays of ‘gifts for mom’ or ‘his & hers’ organization. With guide sections such as ‘cozy comforts’ and ‘mountains’, they were able to curate a guide that would appeal to anyone.

     

    UGMONK's holiday gift guide

     

    PRO TIP:Did you know that Marsello's holiday email flows come with seasonal templates? No need to design an email from scratch; just take on of our best-practice templates, designed to keep your customers coming back, and then tailor to your business.

     

    Personalize your campaigns

    A well-written and beautifully designed email won’t be effective if the content is irrelevant to the recipient. That’s why you should always incorporate personalization into your campaigns

    Studies show that eCommerce emails with personalized subject lines have 29% higher open rates so really it’s a no-brainer – personalization and loyalty go hand-in-hand. And with the growth of email marketing (expected to reach an astounding 4.3 billion users by 2022!!), you should be utilizing every tool at your disposal to help you increase open rates and stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

    So consider incorporating tricks and tools like customer segmentation, purchase history included in email content, and wish lists. Being able to easily tailor the content of your messages to each user will help you to reach them on a personal level and improve customer engagement drastically.

    Take a leaf out the playbooks of these companies:

     

    Yuccs uses clever customer segmentation to target different groups

    Spanish shoe designer, Yuccs, are leaders in creating stylish, comfortable sneakers that bridge the gap between function and fashion. Because of this, they have a clear vision for their brand and how they present it to their customers. During the holiday season, Yuccs created a similar email campaign but with notable differences that catered to two separate audience segments: loyal customers and Facebook leads!

    Both emails were Black Friday-themed and both were marketing the same products, however, the images and messaging were designed to cater more to the specific customer groups. Loyal customers were given the benefit of the doubt with ‘you already know’ messaging. They were encouraged to make the most of undeniable holiday prices and get organized for Christmas. Meanwhile, the segment created from Facebook Leads received an email that encouraged them to make a purchase and convert to loyal customers with the message “take advantage of our most exclusive discounts of the year”.

     

    Yuccs' holiday campaigns with 'loyal' and 'facebook leads' customer segments highlighted.

     

    Federation + recommends products that shoppers might like based on their browsing activity

    Federation + is an infamous streetwear brand in New Zealand, and a large part of this is their dedication to forming a distinguished, stand-out brand that excites customers both in-store and online, creating a seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

    Good email marketing stands out while also encouraging customers to convert. It’s that simple. There are plenty of tactics to mastering this, and one of the simplest is using smart product recommendations. Federation + does this by adding a product recommendations block to their welcome email, encouraging customers to make a purchase with a 10% discount, followed by showcasing products that are similar to the others that customer has viewed and that customers like them have previously purchased.

     

    Federations automated Welcome email overlaid on a black background

     

    Barebones recommend products based on previous purchases

    If you’re marketing to existing customers, then use their purchase data in your product recommendations. This is a good way to show customers that you’re paying attention to their shopping habits. And if you implement this strategy in a friendly way (like what Barebones is doing in the example below), you’ll encourage people to continue shopping at your store.

     

    An email from Barebones that offers customers 60% off with an end of season sale.

     

    PRO TIP: Marsello's holiday email flows make it easy to send personalized product recommendations. Simply drag and drop the product widget onto your email, and it will automatically populate with the top 3 items that your customer is likely to purchase, based on their shopping history, and the shopping histories of customers like them.

     

    Create campaign

     

    Run compelling and creative offers

    In an age when numerous brands are vying for shopper attention, it’s imperative that you craft offers that are both compelling and creative. 

    There aren’t any one-size-fits-all promos that would work for every campaign, as your offers would depend on your customers, merchandise, and objectives. For example, if you’re trying to move slow-moving inventory, then multi-buy promotions (e.g., “BOGO,” Buy 2 get 1 free, etc.) would be the best offer type. On the other hand, if the goal is to increase order values, then conditional offers (e.g., “Free shipping on orders over $75”) would be a better way to go.

    Have a think about the right type of offer for your campaign, and once you’ve decided on the type of promotions to run, inject holiday some themes to make them relevant.

    Consider the following:

     

    Flynn Skye shows shoppers how much they’re saving

    You know what they say, showing is better than telling. Apparel retailer Flynn Skye puts this nugget of wisdom to good use by creatively “slashing” their product prices. Check out the image of their email below and you can clearly see the original price crossed off and replaced with their promotional pricing.

     

    Flynn Skye advertise for cyber monday on their store with a colourful photo showcasing one of their dresses
     

    Fossil uses some holiday puns

    Last year, accessories store, Fossil, created vibrant and on-brand emails with a cute differentiator – a stand-out, festively decorated pun. They wished that their customers “have a tree-mendous holiday” and then drew attention to their early access sale and perks such as gift wrapping. 

    Witty content, cute imagery, on-theme colors, and simple design make this email stand out to customers and invites them to shop.

     

    Fossil sends customers the message 'Have a Tree-mendous Holiday'

     

    Girlfriend Collective runs a giveaway

    Meanwhile, the team at Girlfriend Collective ran a giveaway and used email marketing to promote it. The subject line was direct to the point and powerful: “Free stuff! (It’s giveaway time.)” and the body of the email touched on the holiday season, with the lines like: “The holidays are stressful. Giveaways aren’t.”

     

    Girlfriend's Giveaway Alert email campaign offering customers a holiday season freebie

     

    Animate your emails

    A cool way to stand out is by incorporating a bit of animation in your messages. Why not insert a moving GIF image in your holiday messages, to really get them to pop? Have a look at the following example:

    Búl’s Colorful Flash Sale

    We love the way Australian retailer, Búl, uses GIFs and block coloring to stand out while staying on-brand. Check out their gorgeous spring sale email (leading into the Australian holiday season)! It not only showcases their beautiful clothing but also their stylish email design is simple, easy to understand, and clear in intent. And it’s so simple! P.s. notice their addition of Afterpay, allowing customers to ‘wear now, pay later’. A fantastic way to entice customers into making a purchase now.

     

    Bul uses colorful GIFs to advertise an upcoming flash sale

     

    The Vans Holiday Gift Guide GIF

    Vans really know how to stand out with their customers when it comes to creating the best holiday emails. They took the opportunity to stand out and show their creative “off the wall” brand with a GIF featuring a skater and some subtle holiday imagery. While this may not be great for mobile optimization (which is incredibly important for avoiding spam filters), Vans is a hugely popular retailer which means they have a little bit of freedom to play with less-optimized email content because their customers are likely to recognize their emails.

     

    Van's Off The Wall uses a GIF to advertise their holiday gift guide

     

    Instill a sense of urgency

    Urgency can give your promotions an extra boost, so find ways to use it in your campaigns. Things like a looming deadline or fear of missing out (FOMO) can really drive people to act.

    Use these emails for inspiration:

    BioLite reinforces that sense of urgency with sale dates

    Being clear about your sale terms and timing can give your customers the sense that they should buy sooner rather than later for fear of missing out.

    BioLite has created this sense of urgency by reminding their customers exactly when their sale ends and leaving that reminder in bold. They’ve then gone the extra mile and suggested some of their categorized top picks.

     

    BioLite's Labour Day Sale announcement banner on their website marketing 15% off.

    Udemy uses a countdown

    Want to get more visual with your FOMO messaging? Countdowns can do wonders. If you’re running a promotion that’s approaching a deadline (ideally 24 hours or fewer), throw in a working countdown in your emails so recipients know exactly how much time they have left before the deal is gone. 

    Here’s a great example from the online course provider, Udemy:

     

    Udemy's Cyber Monday countdown timer
     

    Optimize the timing of your campaigns


    Timing may not be everything, but in email marketing, it’s pretty darn important. Showing up in someone’s inbox at just the right time can mean the difference between a conversion or a missed opportunity, so optimize the scheduling of your emails as much as possible. 

    The best way to do this is to rely on your subscribers’ data. Pay attention to when people are opening your messages and visiting your website, so can determine when to schedule your emails. 

    Read our email marketing best practices guide to learn more about suggested timing.

     

    Take me to guide

     

    Evaluating previous campaign performance can also help. Do morning emails work better than messages sent in the afternoon? What about weekdays vs. weekends? Go through your past campaigns and see if you can spot patterns around timing. 

    Industry data can also offer insights that you can use in your campaigns. Does your email marketing provider have any data on which email time-frames work best?

    Below is an excellent case study of email timing optimization done right:

     

    eBags increases conversions by 65% thanks to timing optimization

    Online luggage supplier, eBags, decided to switch up their email schedules by optimizing their timing based on when each subscriber signed up to their list. 

    According to Econsultancy, eBags "carried out research based on the hypothesis that if users were available to sign up to an email list at a certain time, then they would be far more receptive to receiving an email at the same time as when they signed up.”

    The experiment proved to be a success. As Econsultancy reports, eBags saw the following results after the experiment:

    • Increased click-through rates by 20% 

    • Increased conversion rates by 65% 

    • Increased average order value by 45% 

    • Increased overall revenue per recipient by 187%

    The moral of the story? Well, there’s a couple! Don’t be afraid to experiment based on your customer data, and optimize your emails to suit that data. If you know that you see the best results from emails that are scheduled for 10 am on a Tuesday, then schedule away! If you’re not sure when to schedule your emails, fret not …

    Marsello analyzes the shopping habits of customers at your store (and at businesses similar to yours) and then recommends the best time to send your emails.

     

    Final words

    Email marketing can elevate your campaign performance, but only if you do it right. To boost your marketing success this holiday season, keep your messages relevant and personalized and throw in some compelling offers for good measure. To top everything off, optimize the scheduling of your messages you can get in front of your subscribers at the perfect time. 

    Subscribe to the Marsello Blog

    Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.