Raymond O'Hare, Director at Xedo Software, reveals how email marketing campaigns can help to boost business.
Amidst the clamour to use more and more social media across the wedding industry, there remains a significant need and relevance for email marketing in bridal businesses. Of course, this may now be considered by some as a more old fashioned way of connecting with your customers. However, its importance, and indeed its effectiveness, has never been more potent.
As always, how you use email marketing as a successful tool depends on two major factors:
1) Do you have the right retail management software running in your business?
2) Are you willing to spend time turning this into a powerful tool for your bridal store?
One of the most exciting recent developments from our retail software suite will soon give bridal retailers a fully integrated approach to their email marketing campaigns. Picture the scenario - you run a busy bridal store and you want to send out a tailored, targeted email to brides who have purchased a bridal gown, but have not yet purchased any bridesmaid dresses. Simply use the marketing campaigns tool to extract that customer data and then email the customers directly from within the same system. It couldn't be simpler, and you don't have to transfer data or information into another program or email provider and build your email separately - it all gets done in the one place. We've integrated with Campaign Monitor, making it simple for you to create, send and measure the impact of your email marketing campaigns.
Your flexible friend
Email marketing can be employed for many different purposes: to communicate with your customers; to acquire new customers; to nurture warm leads; to grow brand awareness; to obtain prospects; to build customer loyalty and to generate sales. The list goes on. Whatever you are using it for, and when done properly, it can be hugely effective. Yet, like any other medium, it has its challenges. Some people get tens, even hundreds, of emails per day, so you'll have to get your message past spam filters and give customers a compelling reason to read it.
To cut through all of this noise, you need a strong, clear offer or promotion. Your content must be helpful and interesting, and you must have an attractive email design. Be creative and test different creative approaches to see what your customers respond to best - maybe a text-heavy email doesn't work as well as an image-heavy email? Or vice versa? Play around with layouts and formats and see how your customers react. Think about having a strong call to action - it's hugely important that you give your customers a reason to contact you; and that you make it easy for them to do so.
In this digital age, it's becoming increasingly popular for consumers to open their emails on their smartphones. As many as 91 per cent of consumers check their emails on their smartphone and as many as 79 per cent use their smartphone for actually reading emails. With one of our inbuilt retail tools, your email design is guaranteed to look good in every inbox, on every device. The retail industry average email open rate is around 16.3 per cent. If you follow the aforementioned suggestions, yours could (and should) be higher.
One of the benefits of having a modern bridal retail management system is that it provides you with access to a rich source of data. Never underestimate the importance of data. Knowledge is power and information is king. You can use this data and contact your customers directly from within the system, ensuring that everything is consolidated in one place and that you reach the right connections, with the right message, at the right time. Hopefully, a direct result of this combination of factors will be improved conversion. Happy emailing.