Have you noticed the volume of emails from retailers lately? Check you inbox. Count the number of emails from retailers that contain offers, sales, promotions, and reminders. Customers are getting more emails than ever before and it is easy to understand what is behind the increased volume; according to the Direct Marketing Association, email offers and reminders generate an average of $39.40 in sales per dollar of advertising.
Although most consumers like to be notified about a new deal or sale, they also don’t want to be annoyed or have mailboxes fill up with solicitations. When retailers over-do it with emails, consumers retaliate by opting-out of all communications with a retailer and its partners. The result is that retailers are now employing more sophisticated techniques and strategies, and are targeting customers with information that is of interest to them instead of sending out bulk emails.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, tailored emails can outperform social media for driving consumer action. One key to success is having the email and message be relevant to the individual consumer, but without overkill on frequency lest the consumer hits the “opt-out” button for future communications. To keep their email distribution high, many companies are adding addresses by asking customers for their email address when checking out at the brick-and-mortar stores, offering to send receipts via email as well as upcoming offers and deals.
Check your email – what is in your in-box today?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Have students save all the email offers that they receive. (Can do this for a week, month, or make it a semester-long project.)
- What are the emails? Offers?
- Were there items that were in shopping cart but not purchased?
- Were there new offers from retailers that you have never shopped at before?
- What are the main messages? Are these effective?
- How can companies increase their email distribution lists?
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/18/2012