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E-mail Marketing in China for Global Retail Brands

  |  January 18, 2011   |  Comments   |  

Global retailers should not overlook email marketing as an effective way to connect with loyal customers in China.

In 2010, China has emerged as one of the strongest markets for luxury industry in the world. American luxury brand Coach stated in its fiscal year earnings report that China is its biggest opportunity and has started developing a multi-channel distribution model in the country, according to a media report.

Even Forbes' latest list of rich people indicates there are currently more billionaires in China than any other country besides the U.S. The market is reaching its peak.

While everybody is still talking about how permission-based, personalised messages and real-time reports tracking works for your brands, let's consider how you can better manage your customer database and more effectively communicate with subscribers. Let's call it e-database marketing.

E-mail marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers, but it is not enough if you wish to establish a long-term relationship with them. To retain your customers and encourage repeated purchase, you have to understand their behaviour and preference.

Step 1: Acquire a quality database from the beginning

Marketers should emphasise the use of statistical techniques to develop a quality database with various customers' behaviour data from the beginning as those useful data that allow marketers to dig deeper into each customer group is extremely beneficial to your brands for deploying more targeted campaigns in the future.

Step 2: Sell more when you know better

Many marketers kick off email marketing when they first get their database, but wait, do you know your customers well enough before starting your campaign? A well-known global luxury brand maintains more than 50 percent open rate by delivering personalised e-newsletters with over 40 segmentation groups. Their customer repurchase opportunity also increased because of their sophisticated targeting campaigns, which were delivered after they knew their VIPs better, following different A/B testing campaigns. It is very important to test the market before deploying your new products.

Step 3: Retention is key to winning customers' hearts

Customers only see their preferred items through emails; a triggered-based campaign commonly used by brand marketers. But sometimes, you have to surprise your VIP with some creative campaigns. A well-known Japanese e-commerce website gets 23 times ROI by surprising their VIP customers via delivering a creative birthday campaign that offered 500 extra points for online shopping. Retention always works, especially for the retail industry.

Step 4: Win back and reactivate your "sleeping customers"

By integrating with different purchase and click-stream history, you can easily dig out the 'sleeping customers' in your database. Through a win-back email campaign, a global luxury brand was able to convince 30 percent of inactive customers to be active again. If one inactive customer could return to your store and buy a bag from your shop, how much can you earn by wining back 30 percent of them?

Luxury brands have a wide range of customers around the world and they always take the lead in fashion. With good database marketing strategies, they will be more effective to contact global customers anytime. The Internet brings us closer and email is the fastest communication method. No doubt, as you can get "$57.25 ROI per $1 spend on email marketing," according to research by the Direct Marketing Association, and we can save our planet by using paperless promotion channels, what are you still waiting for? Take the lead and start your e-database marketing plan today.

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Francis Kwok

Francis Kwok is the founder and CEO of Radica Systems. Radica has become a leading e-marketing solution provider in six markets in Asia Pacific under his leadership. He has worked closely with Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, Global Sources, CTrip, BenQ China, Li Ning Company, and others, and works to enable enterprises to develop highly effective e-marketing campaigns with advanced personalisation technology.

With numerous experiences in the domain, Francis is also a regular author and guest speaker in Asia. Currently, Francis holds an executive position at the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing. He is also a council member of iProA (Internet Professional Association) and a business adviser of SUCCESS of Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department.

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