Luxury brands are so last season when it comes to email marketing strategy

Hannah Johnston | Senior Marketing Executive

Most luxury brands aren’t recognising the potential for effective email marketing as newer, trendier platforms enter the market, according to a new study by ContactLab. So how can luxury brands and retailers make the most of their communications? Follow these email marketing tips to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Integrate your email marketing strategy with wider ecommerce goals

Luxury brands are failing to capitalise on ecommerce in their email efforts with the exception of a ‘link to store locator’, according to ‘The Dawn of Luxury CRM: Email Do’s and Don’ts’ (http://cxm.co.uk/luxury-brands-email-marketing-not-luxurious-enough/). Only Cartier included a ‘book an appointment’ call to action and only Burberry included a ‘collect in store’ option.

More sophisticated strategies such as facial recognition, iBeacons and elaborate social media campaigns mean some brands have let email become stagnant and digital engagement from this channel has dwindled. However the potential results are clear! Digital engagement can mean a 40% increase in revenue for fashion and luxury brands, so there’s a lot to gain from email marketing.

“Seventy-five percent of ecommerce clients, and 25 percent of in-store clients subscribe to newsletters,” said Marco Pozzi, author of the research. “Email subscribers spend in general 20-25 percent more on a yearly basis.”

2. Personalise, even if you do nothing else

With modern consumers being overloaded with content, brands need to ensure their emails are relevant and capture attention. Dolce & Gabbana and Armani are two of very few fashion brands addressing customers according to gender and title, a startling fact that the study reveals.

The effectiveness of email personalisation has also been discussed in other reports. According to Yesmail, personalisation may seem logical, yet two-thirds of retailers don’t use consumer data to personalise email offers.

More than a third of retailers don’t personalise subject lines, the majority do not use the recipient’s name, and 64% do not personalise any email copy. Retailers are missing out on engagement that could be harvested through the integration of consumer data mined for existing digital channels.

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3. Put customisation at the centre of your email marketing strategy

Customisation of content (by gender, purchasing history, geographical residence) is most effective according to the ContactLab report. While a small percentage of consumers can’t get enough emails, more complain about the high frequency of messages landing in their inboxes. With fewer yet personalised emails, consumers are more likely to open and convert on messages aimed at their interests.

“From the analysis it stands out that the contact frequency is too high. From our experience, if the content is well received and varied, the correct contact frequency in the U.S. is from 1 to 2 email per week. Burberry is 1.6; Ferragamo 1.2; Valentino 1; Gucci 2,” says Pozzi.

Brands need to strike a balance between brand building and selling, without overdoing the commercial content. Sending generic content to a batch of customers does not build relationships and customer shopping habits have changed so much that they expect integration as part of the omni-channel experience.

Email is a cost-effective way to communicate with customers, but you may need to rethink your email marketing strategy to get the most out of your campaigns. Discover our email tool designed to make email your most powerful ROI channel.

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