What email marketers can learn from some of the tactics these gift brands used to drive engagement with their campaigns.
This year, consumers were expected to spend $20.7 billion dollars for Mother's Day with an average spend of $168.94 per person, at a projected increase of 11 percent over 2012, as reported by the National Retail Federation. While the final numbers for 2013 are still being tallied, no one can deny that retailers rely heavily on Mother's Day to hit their annual numbers and drive earnings. According to Forbes, it's the second biggest consumer-spending holiday in the U.S.
Online gift sites are particularly well positioned to reap the rewards of the nation's collective generosity toward its mothers, and email marketing can and should play a central role in any gift brand's strategy. So while Mother's Day has come and gone, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what tactics worked well for three popular online gift sites: UncommonGoods, RedEnvelope, and its sister brand, Personal Creations.
I reviewed 30 days' worth of email marketing campaign data for each brand from April 14 to May 11 and focused on engagement metrics, specifically the read rate (messages that were flagged as "marked as read" by the subscriber's email client).
UncommonGoods' email campaigns had the best overall average read rate, topping the shopping category average by 14 percent and edging RedEnvelope and Personal Creations by a few percentage points. UncommonGoods also sent the fewest campaigns (11) over the 30-day period, while RedEnvelope sent the most (26). Interestingly, UncommonGoods was also the only brand of the three not to include any percentage discounts or references to shipping/delivery times in its subject lines.
While UncommonGoods performed best overall, both RedEnvelope and Personal Creations drove higher-than-average read rates. With Father's Day fast approaching and numerous holidays coming up in the second half of the year, what can email marketers learn from some of the tactics these gift brands used to drive engagement with their campaigns? Here are a few ideas:
Be sure to test when implementing new tactics to see what resonates with your active and inactive segments, especially during important holidays where your campaigns are expected to drive even higher revenue and ROI. These three brands got creative to make the most of this once-a-year opportunity.
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As vice president of professional services at email intelligence company Return Path, Margaret Farmakis oversees teams of specialists helping global brands improve the deliverability, response, revenue, and ROI of their email marketing programs. Prior to her six years at Return Path, Margaret spent 10 years producing and managing multi-channel integrated direct marketing programs for Fortune 100 companies, focusing on the financial services and technology sectors.
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