For retail brands, email and SMS marketing are one of the most effective marketing channels that brands can leverage to see an amazing return on investment (ROI). For example, retail brands can expect to see $45 in revenue for every $1 spent on email marketing.
How does your ROI perform, comparatively? If your brand’s email and SMS ROI is lagging behind, your campaigns may need to be optimized to boost that metric. After all, retail email marketing is a crowded field and if your team isn’t maximizing ROI, you may be losing more than just additional sales, but customers as well.
Today, retail customers want more clienteling in their shopping experience, and that includes in the communications they receive from brands. The more your email and SMS messaging can cater to what they want to see, the more effective those campaigns can be, especially for the modern audience.
So if your campaigns need an ROI boost, here are four ways your email and SMS marketing can see a better return.
1. Birthday-level Personalization
There’s a reason why birthday promotional emails see a 481% higher transaction rate and generate 342% higher revenue compared to typical promotional emails: they are considered hyper-personalized.
Sure, birthday emails have all the most basic personalization, like the recipient’s name, but the whole idea of it goes beyond that. The customer is already expecting brand discounts in their inbox on or around their birthday, so there is pre-built anticipation. Additionally, there’s a sense of excitement knowing that the promotion is specifically for them, and not a general discount for all the brand’s customers. It feels more intimate. And finally, the best companies use data from their CRM to tailor a promotion closely related to their personal shopping history.
But here’s the dirty secret: birthdays only have the illusion of exclusivity. With thousands of customers and just 365 days of the year, every day is filled with hundreds of people feeling the same thing. But there’s a lesson to be learned here.
If your brand’s email and SMS marketing can have even a fraction of the “personalization” in a birthday message, your ROI will skyrocket. Take note of all the bolded terms above, and how you can bake those ideas into your campaigns. For example, pre-built anticipation can be created. Ever heard of Amazon Prime day? That’s a perfect example of a made-up holiday where Amazon adeptly manufactures anticipation.
So one idea is to create a “second birthday” for each customer on their anniversary of shopping with your brand for the first time. This also implies that the promotion they receive is unique to them, and of course you can tailor the promotion to their shopping history.
See if you can include some aspect of “birthday-level personalization” in all your campaigns to see higher ROI across the board.
2. Tightly Segment Your Customers
Sending out general promotions over email is bad practice, but sending general promotions over SMS is nearly unforgivable. The reason is that text messages already have a more intimate, personal feel. Still today, text messages have a near 100% open rate due to the sentiment of “oh this message is specifically for me.” And that sentiment is wasted with a very general promotion.
Instead, highly segment your customer base and send out targeted promotions. Studies show that segmented email campaigns see a 760% increase in revenue compared to a one-size-fits-all promotion. Additionally, Endear’s own internal data shows that segmentation increases order frequency by 111%.
So while tighter segments may take more effort from your brand’s sales & marketing team, it’s absolutely worth it. What can help mitigate the time it takes is to leverage email and SMS automation to push out targeted campaigns.
One segmented campaign we love is to segment your customers into those that live within a radius of each of your brand’s store locations. This way, your team can send out in-store promotions to these locals, leveraging the addresses associated with their profiles in your CRM. By encouraging more foot traffic, you can increase loyalty among these segments and increase not just ROI, but Lifetime Value (LTV).
3. Curate the Right Recommendations
One of the most effective ways to improve your ROI is to put the “right” products in front of your customers’ eyes. The better the match, the higher the conversion rate on your email and SMS messages.
This is where your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform comes in. By collecting first-party data across all your brand’s channels (website, ecommerce site, social, etc) in your CRM, product recommendations become more relevant and more effective.
Of course, there’s more to curation than just linking to products they might like. If it were that simple, retail storefronts would just be text descriptions. There’s a reason store windows still showcase their products, because visuals are important to motivate sales.
Thus, a feature like Endear’s Shoppable Stories can show off a curated selection of products in a visually appealing way.
Shoppable Stories have helped brands increase the ROI from their SMS and email promotions since they can be embedded right in the message or conversation. Also, every Story is actionable, taking customers to the checkout page with a simple tap. This lowers the barrier to transactions – another great way to increase ROI.
See a Shoppable Story in action.
Shoppable Stories from Endear are proven to increase average order value by 11% or more. Send yourself a sample Story to see what the hype is all about.
4. Get the Timing of Messaging Right
Much like sending out birthday promotional messaging at the right time, the rest of your email and SMS marketing should be sent out at the right time to maximize ROI. For example, an SMS promotion at 10pm isn’t going to do much good, and can hurt your brand if annoyed customers start marking your texts as spam. Obviously, you want to send texts during business hours, and ideally between 9am and 2pm on weekdays.
For emails, some research shows that Fridays usually yield the highest open rates in general. Other research shows that Tuesday and Thursday may be the best. All that is to say, your brand should always A/B test your sends to optimize for your specific audience. Because it’s easy to find your own sweet spot with A/B testing, you should never rely on “industry best practices” when it comes to send times (besides as a starting point).
And like birthday messaging, send out the right promotions for the right events. There are the big shopping dates like Memorial Day and the start of school, but many Endear clients know their customers so well they can send out promotions around wedding anniversaries, engagements, graduations, baby showers, and other personal life events. Sending out related messaging 7 to 10 days before each of these events can see a big boost in ROI.
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