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Maximize KPI for E-Commerce and Group Purchase

Email has become one of the most popular and influential tools for digital marketers. It not only boosts brand awareness, but has also been regarded as an effective way to leverage word of mouth strategy for lead generation particularly in the e-commerce and group purchase industry in China.

Promotional Emails Boom in 2011

Email marketing has matured in the past decade. According to the latest China Consumer Email Marketing Trend Research Report 2011 for e-commerce and group purchase from my company, with an average number of 35 promotional emails received per week this year in China, 23 percent of the respondents made prompt purchase upon reading the promotional messages, and 89 percent of them reported an intent to purchase after reading the promotional message. However, there are still a great number of customers who end up forgetting about the deals they intend to purchase.

China Consumer Email Marketing Trend Research Report 2011 – E-Commerce and Group Purchase

(Purchasing Behavior Upon Receiving eDMs)

Incentives Stimulate Call-to-Action and Purchases

To transform prospects into leads, it is important for marketers to send out automated behavior-triggered/activity-triggered and time-triggered eDM reminders to recipients who opened the promotional emails. Marketers should also target special offers or discounts of favorite items to customers who made a click within a certain period of time to grasp more cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Various incentives are known to drive customers to buy. Based on the survey, receiving group purchase discounts (60 percent), retail discounts (47 percent), coupons (38 percent), and free gifts (36 percent) on eDMs are the major reasons for prospects to purchase on the Internet.

China Consumer Email Marketing Trend Research Report 2011 – E-Commerce and Group Purchase

(Incentives to Trigger Purchase) Segment – Gender

“Forward-to-Friends” – Optimize Word-of-Mouth Strategy

As e-commerce and group purchase mostly reply on owned and online promotional channels for marketing activities, customer database is known to be one of the most valuable assets. By prompting customers to “forward-to-friends” with the promotional messages, a valid customer database can be expanded rapidly and substantially. Alongside with the impact of social media, it enables marketers to incorporate an influential word of mouth strategy into the marketing campaigns in which new and potential customers can be reached.

Once you get a database of prospects, it is the best time to use welcome programs to engage and stay connected. Various activities such as post-purchase campaigns should be targeted. A database sliced and diced in relevant ways is the key to success. Marketers should classify the right clusters of customers and provide them with the right content in specific stages in customer lifecycle in order to gain customer satisfaction following eDM campaigns and sales transactions.

Transactional Emails Effectively Trigger Purchase

As email marketing develops, there are ways to provide product information to the target other than sending out traditional promotional emails. Eighty-five percent of respondents state that they feel acceptable that promotional messages are embedded in transactional emails including monthly e-statements, bills, and invoice. For most customers, these emails are considered as the must-read. With proper use of these platforms, marketers can create more opportunities to achieve greater sales simply by triggering automated eDMs detailed with relevant product information for recipients to click into when they open the emails.

Don’ts in Email Marketing and Key Takeaways for Marketers

Either receiving too many eDMs, or eDMs that are not relevant to the customers are things that marketers should take into account when deploying marketing campaigns.

According to the study, customers mostly complain about receiving promotional content that lacks relevance to their personal interest and preference. To promote better deliverability and communication using emails, marketers should review detailed post-campaign reports and analyze customers’ preferences and behavior resulting in a more specific offering that contains the most relevant content for customers. Mail merge settings and advanced segmentation of demography as well as customer preferences can be useful.

Marketers should also look into the frequency of the campaigns. Control policies should be set to better manage the delivery of excessive eDMs to customers by defining the period for delivering a certain quota of emails.