Email Marketing Lessons from the Biggest Names in the Business

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Email marketing is a big deal; any industry blog on the web will tell you this until your ears fall off. Additionally, there’s countless “tips and tricks” articles that do little more than write up instructions for email content that barely go beyond the basics – something that’s hardly must read material for brands like your own.

To help you look at this process from a different, more intriguing angle, let’s dig into some lessons garnered straight from the biggest names in the online retail world. With marketing budgets that seem to never end and bottom lines in the billions, it won’t take long to see why the tactics and methods employed by these businesses carry a lot more weight than the vague or abstract offerings which overrun other blog posts and industry articles.

Understanding Your Lead “Niche”

If you’re looking for an eCommerce giant to follow in the footsteps of when it comes to email marketing, the Young Entrepreneur Council – by way of Forbes magazine – points out that it’s hard to start the discussion anywhere but with Amazon. As one of the biggest names on the web, Amazon captures an outstanding amount of leads via an often overlooked inbox tactic – the purchase follow up.

Basically, instead of firing off generic email blasts that offer up bland content, Amazon looks at what the user on the other side of the screen purchased and offers up a few quick and simple suggestions. It might not seem like much, but checking in periodically and showing your customers that you understand what they’re interested in, as well as saying, “Hey, you might also like this!” goes a long way to keeping your brand relevant and connected with you repeat consumer audience. If it’s good enough for Amazon, a company that generates around $68 billion in sales a year according to Insider Monkey, this straightforward tactic should probably have a place in your approach as well.

Spring for the Extras

In addition to keeping in constant contact with your audience and suggesting related offerings, the team over at Forbes notes that Wayfair, a major online home retailer, approaches inbox outreach from a different, but equally effective angle. Instead of waiting for the consumer to make a purchase, Wayfair – a company that raked in over a billion dollars of digital revenue in 2014 – enlists a variety of deals and discounts as part of its email marketing operations.

From discount codes to coupons and buy-two-get-one-free style offerings, Wayfair constantly optimizes and evaluates the incentives offered to prospective customers. As long as you’re willing to engage in split testing and listen to other audience feedback as you try out different types of email marketing “extras,” there’s nothing stopping your brand from taking a page out of Wayfair’s book and building a strong relationship with these customers at the beginning of the outreach process.

Place a Priority on Consumer Knowledge

Perhaps the most important shared factor found in the approach of these multi-billion dollar brands comes in the form of list segmentation and awareness of consumer data. On this front, few organizations come close to the insight and level of detail implemented by outdoor clothing provider L.L. Bean.

As the Young Entrepreneur Council goes on to explain, L.L. Bean utilizes an outstanding amount of harvested consumer data to ensure that relevant ad content always ends up in the right inbox. For example, this brand understands that if you’re a woman in Alberta who just bought a pair of hiking boots, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll desire the same type of content and promotional offers as a guy who just purchased cargo shorts in Florida. Delving into the details might seem marginal at first glance, but from this perspective, it’s hard to argue against the notion that data and relevancy go hand-in-hand.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go All-in

So now that you’ve taken a peek into the workings of a few billion dollar digital brands, it’s time to revitalize and renew your investment in the email marketing process before it’s too late. From engaging offerings and relevant content to a deep understanding of the people that make up your audience, the blueprint is there if you’re willing to take a lesson from some of the best in the business. If you’re not willing to go all-in with your digital outreach and inbox operations, Ajay Agarwal of Tech Crunch points out that the rest of the Internet’s numerous retailers are ready and willing to literally dump billions of dollars into similar projects in order to leave you and the other brands who are still on the fence long behind.

About Victor Green

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