Guest Blogger Crystal Vilkaitis on How to Get Your Emails Opened

AmericasMart is excited to have Crystal Vilkaitis, director of social media for SnapRetail, as our guest blogger today. Crystal helps independent retailers market their stores using email, Facebook, Twitter, daily offers and other social media tools to bring traffic into their stores and strengthen the relationship with their customers. She’s conducted over 200 seminars and webinars speaking about how to effectively use social media and will be our guest speaker next Wednesday, September 5 at Market Wednesday.

*10-11 a.m. – A Perfect Match: Integrating Social Media & Email Marketing to Increase Foot Traffic
*Noon-1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn: What the bleep do I say on Facebook?
*2-3 p.m. – How Independent Retailers Can Make Money Using Daily Deals 

Please email Morgan at mdyches@americasmart.com to R.S.V.P.

Open sesame! Get Your Emails Opened and Acted On

By Crystal Vilkaitis

Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your customers and most likely, you’re already using it today to promote your store, products, events and sales. During the winter I surveyed 150 retailers asking how long it took them to create an email campaign. I was floored by the response. Of those surveyed, 31% said it took them half a day or more to create one email campaign for their store with another 33% taking about an hour. I know how incredibly busy retailers are since you’re basically running the entire store yourself. You don’t have time to spend hours on one email campaign!

Now if you are spending hours, or even just five minutes, it’s important that your customers are actually opening and reading your email. If you’re going to spend time collecting email addresses and creating a campaign, you want your email to be read. To measure this, you’ll need to track the open rates in order to know if your current campaigns are successful. Here are a few standard open rate metrics for a promotional email sent:

  • Average – Between 16-18%
  • Good- Between 20-28%
  • Great- Anything above 30%

Where does your open rate fit – average, good or great? Do you even know? If you don’t, I encourage you to start tracking and measuring what works and what doesn’t.

Below are a few tips to ensure a higher open and click through rate which will hopefully lead to more foot traffic and sales. If you are one of those dedicated retailers spending hours to create one email campaign, make sure you read through this entire article, as I have a time saving tip for you.

MarketingSherpa stated the top 3 things that got customers to open email campaigns were:

  • Discount Offers
  • Free Product Offers
  • Familiar Brand Name – if you carry consumer known brands, put them in the subject line to help increase open rates.

Try to make your customers feel like they are part of the lucky few to receive your offer by using words like “Exclusive,” “Limited,” “Private” or “Selected.” Example: “You’ve Been Selected to Attend Our Private Open house – One Day Savings!” You may also try to entice your customers to open the email by using a subject line like this: “Mystery offer: open now to see.…”

Urgent, urgent, urgent. Urgency can ensure your email gets opened, resulting in immediate action rather than leaving it to look at later and then never getting to it. One way businesses try to accomplish urgency is by using lots of exclamation points (!!!!!!) but we advise against doing this since it could put your email into your customer’s spam box. Instead, use phrases like “Hurry,” “Limited Time” or “X Days Only.”

It’s important to include the most important part of your email in the beginning of your sublect line. Depending on how your email is being seen and on what (laptop screen, big monitor or mobile phone) will depend on what your customer sees for the subject line. Example: If you’re having a Mud Pie sale, use something like “Exclusive Mud Pie Sale this Saturday!” versus “You Won’t Want to Miss Our Mud Pie Sale this Saturday.” If you save your hook for the end it might not be visible and customers may delete your email.

For more information about SnapRetail visit www.SnapRetail.com.

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