A guide to optimising and managing your email campaigns to grow a relevant database in China.
The world's eyes are set on the lucrative China market. Many marketers in the retail and travel industries as well as luxury brands in the country now pay more attention to effective online promotional channels to acquire a relevant database. There's been a significant paradigm shift from traditional promotional methods to targeted email marketing.
Below are successful case studies from my company on growing database and winning tactics in running eDM campaigns in China.
Rapid Database Expansion for a French Luxury Wine and Spirits Brand
We launched various eDM campaigns, one to introduce the latest wine product and another to drive customers to participate in a mini-game and entice them to join the upcoming music concerts around the region organised by the spirits brand. Those who played the mini-games and received an eDM to the events were able to forward them to their friends. But the most effective campaign was to get existing customers to refer their friends to receive offers for free drinks or free entries to parties. Response rate for such campaigns increased by more than 50 percent and continues to grow a database with relevant entries. From our experience, members get members campaigns are very effective in growing your brand's database. If a friend's name of the new lead is inserted in the subject line of the eDM campaign, the brand is likely to get 30 percent of recipients to complete the member subscription forms.
Next, it is essential to analyse the behaviour and preference of recipients after launching a series of eDM campaigns. The behaviour and practice of recipients based in the different cities of China can be vastly different. Marketers need to recognise the importance of using demographic, behavioural, lifestyle, and life-stage segmentation to identify clusters of customers and launch region-specific target campaigns with highly relevant information that customers want. Tactics to Improve Campaign Performance
To improve your eDM performance:
1. After creating big event invitation campaigns, some skillful techniques could effectively boost open and click-through rates by better understanding recipients' reading habits and learning from them.
For event invitation campaigns, we suggest the most appropriate delivery time is between Monday and Friday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Moreover, when new emails arrive in the personal mailbox of Window Live Messenger and QQ.com, a pop-up reminder will immediately show up to grasp the reader's attention. It highly increases the open rates to over 50 percent. Further, open rate and click-through rates are significantly boosted if the specific date, time, and city of free concerts are notified in the subject line of the event invitation eDM.
2. Set more buffer time and plan to roll out the first round of event invitation campaigns 10 days before the event because marketers could further examine the feedback and analyse the response of active and inactive recipients. Recurring campaigns are scheduled three days after the first eDM was sent to those recipients who only opened or clicked the links but didn't fill in the registration forms. This will further trigger approximately 20 percent of those who didn't open the eDM to pay attention to the second email.
China Tourist Site Grows High-Value Database From Zero
Obviously, marketers can hardly win in email marketing without a comprehensive customer database. We currently assist a well-known local tourist site in China to come up with strategic plans in acquiring more active customers and building its database.
1. An official websiteremains the key to draw visitors to leave personal contact details by providing an incentive or discount offers. Therefore, an eye-catching banner and subscription page are highly required.
2. We recommend the marketers of the tourist site to fully utilise an online booking system and third-party tourist portals. This allows marketers to get more useful information regarding location, date of birth, interests of guests, etc.
3. Inviting visitors to fill in on-site registration and evaluation formsin the tourist site, marketers could deeply understand visitors' preferences and demands for planning further targeted email campaigns.
In short, you will discover a lot of treasure in the database. It's never too late even if you start from zero.
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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.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
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