If you don’t have an answer to that question, you’re in luck: Dramshop Media can help.
Running day-to-day operations of your retail business is not easy. As former retailers, we understand the multitude of daily tasks that go into running a successful store. We also understand that a key component includes how to build—and maintain—a customer base. Email marketing can play a key role in both the promotion and growth of your business, but it’s not as easy as choosing an email service like Constant Contact. Just like with your business itself, it takes a lot of preparation to ensure your marketing runs smoothly.
At Dramshop Media, we have proven techniques that allow eCommerce businesses to build upon their past successes increase revenue through email.
Identifying your audience
No matter the industry, a retailer needs to know who their audience is—or who they want their audience to be—before effectively communicating with them. On the surface, this may seem like a simple task. After all, if you’re a beverage retailer, your obvious target audience should start with 21 to 60 year olds. But nothing is ever that easy, right? The key to successful marketing is how you segment that group. Digging a little deeper, you can identify smaller pockets of people within your audience who respond much better to a little extra consideration.
Let’s use the bourbon and craft beer craze as examples. Customers in this demographic are passionate about these products – they want to know when new brands/varietals arrive in your store, they want to know detailed descriptions about how they’re made and they want to know the national accolades the brand is receiving. Your everyday customers might not be so passionate, so why send the same email piece to both segments? All of your email subscribers share an interest in your business (they’ve all opted in to receive correspondence), but they’re not necessarily interested in the same content.
At Dramshop Media, we believe it is imperative not only to identify your overall audience, but also take the time to discover each unique pocket of subscribers and think about how we can reach all of them with content they are interested in. Segmented email marketing sounds time consuming (especially if you’re running day to day operations in your store) but when executed properly it is an affordable resource to increase sales and expand your customer base.
Developing a communication strategy
Once you’ve got a clear idea of who your audience is you can start thinking about how you’ll be communicating with them. Here are a couple of things to consider:
- Communication channels: There’s no shortage of options available for connecting and communicating with your customers, but that doesn’t mean they’re all a good fit for your particular business. When creating an email strategy, DramShop Media can help choose the mediums and/or format that will reach the right customers and grow your business. For example, opt to send regular, longform email updates to let customers know about your new products, blog updates, upcoming events, or special promotions. Or, depending on the demographic, interact with them on social media by setting up a content calendar to manage all of your posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and beyond.
- Sending frequency: Sending too often creates the risk of your subscribers tuning out—or unsubscribing altogether. Sending too infrequently makes them forget why they joined your list in the first place—or having them unsubscribe altogether. Every audience is different, and a little experimentation coupled with monitoring the feedback goes a long ways in determining frequency.
Determining your message
Once we determine who your audience is and when they’ll be receiving your messages, the final step is determining what to say. Options to consider:
- What does the audience expect? Every person on your mailing list joined for a reason and probably has certain expectations about what type of email they’ll be receiving. At Dramshop Media, we strive to exceed those expectations by creating a personalized, enjoyable experience for your customers. Experience tells us the messages should include hi-res product images and thorough product descriptions and recommendations. We also find it extremely effective to offer unique insights into your brand or products – staff or owner recommendations always get a better response. When using a blog (and you should be using a blog), we can set up an RSS Campaign to make it easy for folks to follow along. Finally, we believe in going the extra mile by sending thank you emails for attending a tasting or signing up for a distribution list.
- What are your goals? Every retailer’s goal should be to expand your audience and generate more sales. At Dramshop Media, we design and create engaging email campaigns that customers want to share with their friends. More importantly, we make it by adding our social sharing options and creating easy click-thru options for new consumers to join. We help generate sales by creating emails to announce new products and include SHOP NOW buttons to make it easy to complete the sale.
What works well for one business might not be effective for another, so it’s important to take the time to develop a plan—and if the task seems to daunting, reach out to one of our marketing specialists at Dramshop Media. We’ll help improve engagement, keep your customers happy, and drive revenue.