One of the hottest topics in e-commerce is how to successfully deploy an integrated cross-channel marketing strategy. It’s a focal point because we live in a world where you can buy online and have the order delivered before brushing your teeth that night (well almost that quickly). You have to start somewhere, and fast because holiday is right around the corner. Why not test some tactics to drive in-store traffic through email to boost store visits this holiday?
Whether you’re selling limited inventory items, providing an in-person service, selling consumable goods, or simply being the digital marketer tasked with driving traffic to your store, we can all leverage email to achieve our goals. It’s no easy task getting a shopper to move from their chair to your store, but we’re here to help you tackle the mountainous challenge. Here are a few things you can do (all made easy to execute through agileEMAIL) to start integrating your stores with your email in time for holiday 2014.
1. Local Store Information In Email
A quick win you can implement to drive foot traffic through email is to include local store information right in the message the recipient is reading. Make it as easy as possible by displaying information consumers need to know such as your store name, address of nearest location, hours of operation, a local map, phone number, and/or store events. Take it a step further and use a web crop to show real-time inventory or available appointment times right in the message. This can all be done through geo-targeting based on the current location or a zip code on file.
Finish Line used local maps to share the nearest store location and hours with their subscribers. They also included coupons to use in the store. Steve Madden included deep linked social icons to promote social sharing alongside of store visits in their email to accomplish the same goal.
2. Classic Couponing, With A Twist
Couponing, discounts, and deals aren’t new news (especially at holiday). But they are easy to make, easy to display, and easy to redeem. Including them in email is a no brainer but the call to action and how they render can drive more traffic to the store. According Movable Ink’s Q2 2014 U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report, almost 2 out of every 3 emails are opened on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile optimize your email creative (like Express did to the right) and enable customers to bring the email to the store via their mobile phone for the clerk to scan for use, or to reveal its true value. Using mobile optimization email marketers can create device specific HTML that could render a barcode at the top of the screen for ease of redemption and search in the inbox too.
3. Promote Holiday Events Through Social Integrations
Holiday marketing initiatives take on a life of their own, and for many take over the entire store. For example, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade generates a lot of social buzz and Bass Pro Shops converts their floor space into a holiday winter wonderland. Consumers like to share their experiences and turn to Facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to do it. Pull in social feeds around your handle or promoted hashtags this holiday to add consumer sentiment and authenticity to your email. This not only shows what your company is up to, but also highlights and utilizes user-generated content. Further, you can set up your email to deep link with pre-populated tweets that the recipient can share. Measuring engagement is easy by tracking participation, such as the number of hashtag uses, @ mentions, and new followers compared to a regular day. I’m sure your social team can tell you the value they bring!
7 for all mankind ran a friends and family promotional series that included twitter feeds and ran contests driven by pre-populated tweets (click-to-tweet via deep linking in agileEMAIL). The social integrations worked making their friends and family promotions successful.
4. Measure Success
For short-term engagement measurement, look to the click through rate and email read length. Test how creative performs and see how localizing store information improves performance. In the control version, specifically look at the click-through rate of a generic “Find your nearest store” call to action vs. click-through rate of the dynamic localized version. What percentage of people clicked through to the store locator page versus the percentage of people who likely saw the map in the email? To measure foot traffic and dollars, collect email addresses at the point of sale and tie these back to those who received the email with the store information versus those who did not. These quick tips will help impact the performance of email to drive traffic to the store.
Driving consumers to the store through email can seem like a big challenge. You can start tackling it by providing your customers with the relevant information they need to know about nearby locations, promotions, and more. We’re here to help too and are available around the clock this holiday season. Email us at email@example.com if you have questions about how you can use email to drive more traffic to your stores.