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The Email Opportunity

Komal Helyer, marketing director at Pure360, considers the importance of email and web personalisation in marketing campaigns

It may come as a surprise that not all leading UK retailers use email to engage with their customers. According to the findings of the InternetRetailing Brand Engagement Performance Dimension, 95% count email among their engagement channels. Contrast that with the 98% that use Facebook and Twitter and the 96% that use the phone.

These figures suggest retailers are missing a trick since the potential is huge. Industry results are telling us smart marketers should put more effort into email, the channel where they will reap the biggest rewards. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, according to McKinsey.

The DMA tells us that when it comes to purchases driven by marketing, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), compared to social and other channels. When they crunch the numbers, many find the ROI from email outshines other channels and by using email and web automation solutions, our own customers have seen increased online revenues by an average of 22%. So as a marketer, why wouldn’t you invest more time and resource?

Delivered well, email can be an advanced, integrated channel. By using various cross-channel data points to inform messaging, retailers are able to deliver true one-to-one conversations. This intelligent personalisation makes campaigns highly relevant to their recipients, while automation saves time and resources. Campaigns can run in the background, boosting revenue automatically.

Behavioural triggered emails are a form of automated intelligent personalisation and eConsultancy tells us that 74% of marketers say this increases customer engagement. The creative, nuanced and personalised journeys we can create with email and web automations take customer experience to the next level. With smart, real-time recommendations, abandoned basket/browse triggers and repeat purchase campaigns, to name a few, brands are able to strengthen their relationship with customers across email and web, increasing customer lifetime value.

Used well, email is the lifeblood of customer experience, customer lifecycle management and omnichannel personalisation. But lack of time, resources or investment in the right technology mean that email still remains an untapped resource for many businesses. Today, the way that consumers want to talk to retailers and brands is changing. They want two-way conversations that are tailored, personalised and cross all channels. Social is doing well because it’s a great way for consumers to talk to the brand but email can do this too, to a potentially greater effect. As algorithm updates reduce organic reach, social media is increasingly pay-to-play. It is effectively a rented space. Email and the data you hold on your consumer is not only steadfast, it’s also your territory. You own the conversation with your subscribers.

It is important to note that the upcoming GDPR legislation means retailers must now be mindful of consent when sending messages to their customers but the opportunity, by gaining permission, is that they can be even more certain of an engaged audience. The vast majority of brands and retailers already use email but are they getting as much out of it as they could? Today’s marketers have such a sophisticated array of tools and channels at their fingertips, let’s not to take any of them for granted.

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