Must email offers rely on big discounts?
While many stores struggle to wean consumers off coupons and discount offers, at least some are trying to emphasize more personalized offers in their emailing pushes.
Analyzing the email campaigns of the top online retailers in the U.S., Listrak, the digital marketing firm, found that 22.2 percent of the top 500 online retailers sent more personalized emails in 2014 than 2013. More retailers were also including product recommendations in email, "increasing the level of personalization and engagement," according to Internet Retailer.
Overall, the study found a 45 percent decrease in discount offers in retailers’ first remarketing message.
A separate survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers found that those who read promotional emails found it helpful when retailers send emails featuring products based on past purchases (80 percent) and online browsing behavior (71 percent). Consumers were also seen to value online retargeting ads featuring products previously viewed on a retailer’s website (69 percent) and product recommendations on a retailer’s website while they’re shopping (67 percent).
Still, the consumer survey found price discount offers were most coveted.
When asked which types of website or email product recommendations are of interest, 81 percent of those who read promotional emails chose "on sale items" — more than twice that of other types of recommendations. Among the other recommendations were organized by price (40 percent); new (39 percent); highest rated (38 percent); top sellers (31 percent); and most "pinned" (8 percent).
Regardless, Listrak said the survey underscored the value of using purchase and browse behavior data to identify personal preferences, current interests and purchase history.
"Clearly, sales and promotions are powerful sales tactics; however, it is not always in the best interest of retailers to lead with discounts — or feature them at all — for reasons ranging from margins to brand integrity," said Listrak CEO Ross Kramer in a statement.
Particular attention should be paid to where shoppers are in their purchase journey to play on levers other than price.
"The survey results show that shoppers also highly value being presented with products within particular price points, new items and those that are most highly reviewed and purchased most by other shoppers," said Mr. Kramer. "Contextual relevance is key when featuring personalized product recommendations."
- Personalized email gaining traction with retailers: Listrak – Listrak
- Retailers get less promotional and more personal in their e-mail marketing – Internet Retailer
- Survey Reveals 80 percent of Email Readers Find It Useful When Emails Feature Recommended Products Based on Past Purchases 71 percent Based on What They Have Looked at Online – Listrak
Can personalization offers reduce the discount-driven nature of retail emails? What type of messages outside of price will likely encourage open rates and click-throughs?