A Retailer’s Guide to Email Marketing Strategy

The retail industry has never been more competitive. From big box brands dominating local markets to upstarts that hit the ground bustling with new customers, you have to find a way to get ahead of the operations curve. A powerful retail email marketing strategy can push your company into the forefront of your community.

For most retail business owners, online marketing is nothing more than a bunch of acronyms that take too much time to master. We want you to know that you do not have to be intimidated when it comes to digital marketing. With a little time and the right guidance, you really can understand email marketing for retail businesses.

Before we dive in, I want to tell you about a free resource you can take advantage of right now. It’s called The Download and it’s our ultimate guide to all things retail marketing, including your website, social media, listings sites, and of course — email. Within our free retail marketing guide, we devote a section to explain how you can leverage emails to attract, convert, and retain more customers.

Free online marketing guide for retail
Check out our retail marketing guide for tips and guidance on growing your retail business using modern digital tools.

How retail email marketing helps your business to grow

According to a survey conducted by eMarketer, a little more than 80% of the small and medium-sized businesses polled said email marketing attracts and retains new customers. Email ranks as a more popular digital marketing strategy than organic searches and social media promotions.

The bottom line is email marketing represents the most dependable way for you to attract new customers, and then stay in touch with them. Virtually every customer that walks in your door has an email account. The same cannot be said for Twitter and Facebook accounts.

By implementing a successful retail email marketing strategy, you should be able to accomplish the following:

  • Increase sales
  • Improve the conversion of potential customers
  • Attract new customers
  • Better engage loyal customers
  • Build long-lasting customer loyalty

Let’s take a look at how we can work together to help your business optimize email marketing for retail strategies.

It starts with a mailing list

What good is a fishing net, if it has dozens of holes cut into it? Look at your customer emails the same way. Your customers all have email addresses; you just have to effectively cast a fishing net to capture the addresses. 

Create a section of your business website to give visitors the opportunity to leave their contact information, including their email addresses. You can also encourage customers to sign up for your email newsletter at your retail business.

Email signup form for retail
Capture visitors to your website by collecting their email addresses.

Incentivize people to sign up with a special offer. You can hand out a free sample of one of your favorite products, give your customers the option to enjoy free delivery for a limited time, or share a discount code.

Once you gain permission from customers to send them emails about your retail business, you are off to the proverbial races!

Create emails that get read

You know how annoying it is to receive junk mail at home? You toss the junk mail into the recycling, often before taking a second to see what is inside. Poorly crafted emails that do not include a compelling message will automatically be deleted, or worse — sent to the spam folder. The key to running a successful retail email marketing strategy is to send emails your customers want to open.

Emails aren’t just a way of marketing your online store or hawking the latest wonder product found on one of your shelves. Email marketing is also about providing your customers with useful information that helps them make buying decisions. 

For example, An appliance store can talk about how to store food properly, while a sporting goods business can discuss the benefits of wearing a certain style of backpack.

Your emails should aim to provide valuable content to your subscribers, and not only focus on selling them more items.

You want to include a call-to-action, but the call-to-action should not be to motivate your customers to send your emails to the spam folder.

What type of email should you send?

As we discuss in our retail marketing guide, it is important to target your message to the right customers. With email marketing for retail businesses, this involves choosing the right type of email to send to the right customers.

Here a few types of emails for retail businesses to consider:

  • Present new products and/or services
  • Highlight promotional campaigns and discounts
  • Share something interesting happening on your business’s social media
  • Describe how to do something
  • Celebrate a customer birthday or anniversary

Tips to build trust with your email subscribers

We have already talked about allowing your customers to opt-in for receiving your retail business emails. With dozens of emails flowing into our inboxes each day, the last thing we want is another email distracting us from our daily routine.

Here are a few suggestions for using emails to build trust among both customer prospects and lifelong patrons of your retail business.

  • Unsubscribing should be easy
  • Explain the benefits of receiving your emails – both in your sign-up form and your welcome email
  • Share your positive online reviews right in your email campaign
  • Ask for input about what types of information you should present
  • Never spam by sending too many emails

Final thoughts on email marketing for retail

Finally, timing is everything when it comes to developing a retail email marketing strategy that generates clicks and ultimately, sales. After referencing our retail marketing guide, you should be ready to take the next step in your email strategy, including how to use email to learn more about your customers’ preferences and using that information to send even better, more relevant emails.

So check out the guide today and get started building an email marketing strategy that works for your retail business. You’ve got this!

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