5 Email Marketing Lessons from Major Retailers

Written by Philip Storey
4 Minute Read

Due to fast-moving ecommerce trends and technology, retailers are constantly having to up their game to meet changing consumer expectations. Email stays relevant by evolving and becoming more customer-led. We explore some great lessons you can learn from major retail brands who are winning at email marketing!

Take a look at these effective email strategies and brand examples below. Plus, if you're looking for more tips on delivering great email campaigns, grab our free guide: How to Create Killer Email Marketing Campaigns.

1. Get your automation on

As a customer lifecycle marketing agency, we've enabled some of our clients to drive over 50% of their email revenue from automated campaigns each month! So, if you're not using marketing automation, there's a whole new level to reach with automated email campaigns which are truly targeted to subscriber needs and behaviours. Check out this simple-but-effective email example from asos:

2. Be dynamic - send emails with live content 

Successful retail brands are innovative with their email marketing, using the latest technology and techniques to drive more personalised messages and emails tailored to subscriber preferences and behaviours. Major retailers use dynamic content with moving images, interactivity and live content, which delivers hyper-personalisation and relevance.

What do we mean? Tactics like sending emails whilst customers are browsing, automatically showing their nearest store and open times within emails and inserting current product availability statuses. Check out this great example below from ebay:

As you can see, this portion of ebay's email shows some of the latest deals and displays a status update on the products which are near to selling out – leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out). The next section of the email shows products specifically chosen for individuals, based on their browsing behaviours and previous purchases:

The email finishes with the opportunity for readers to click through to the latest content and trends, before requesting customer feedback at the bottom to build insights about targeting success and relevance. The email template utilises content stacking, making the email more visually appealing and easy to consume, whilst clearly expressing the value and purpose of the email to the subscriber.

3. Send emails at the last time of open

Another key way major retailers keep their subscribers engaged is by sending emails automatically at the last time and day of the week of their last open. It sounds simple, but it's a quick-win strategy to encourage future engagements by delivering emails to subscribers at the times and days they've opened emails previously. 

4. Unify customer behaviour and intelligence across channels

Successful ecommerce businesses embrace omnichannel marketing. To ensure you're delivering the most relevant and personalised customer experience to shoppers, you need to unify customer behaviour and intelligence across all channels. Customer insights gained from social media activity, online browsing patterns and other key channels should inform the email marketing content retailers send to subscribers. Amazon are kings of the behaviour-based email – see an example below: 

This applies to offline activities too. If someone buys your product in a high street shop, you should have the ability to send recommended and relevant products to these customers via email, to nurture them and encourage repeat purchases across channels.

5. Put people's needs and desires first

Retailers that are really winning at email marketing are putting customer needs before business goals. Why is this so important? A customer-centric strategy will help you to keep improving, optimising and refining your emails, to make them as relevant to your subscribers as possible. Keep giving subscribers reasons to engage and take actions and customers will stay loyal. Focusing too heavily on your business goals will come across in the tone of your emails. Readers will switch off and think twice next time your brand emails reach their inbox!

Wrap up

Learn lessons from the most successful retail brands, as they understand the power shift in ecommerce from the brand to the consumer. Smartphones and digital innovations have changed the way consumers browse and buy products, and retailers are working harder to meet more demanding customer expectations. So, email marketers must be more innovative, data-driven and relevant to ensure subscribers continue to engage and convert.

Ready to Improve Your Email Marketing?

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Ready to Improve Your Email Marketing?

Our team of email marketing consultants are here to help you today

Let's Talk Email