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Email Marketing Strategies For Retail Stores
Three easy steps to deploy a comprehensive email marketing strategy for a retail store. Learn how to build a mailing list, create email marketing campaigns and track results.

Email marketing can be a very effective tactic for today’s retail store. In an economy where competition is intense, email marketing can give you the extra boost you need to get people into your store and increase sales. Best of all, it is simple to add into your ‘marketing mix’. Email marketing is highly cost effective, and there is very little to learn. A little bit of brainstorming is required, but once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go!

This article will assist you in deploying an email marketing strategy for your retail store. As you acquire more experience with email marketing you will be able to adjust your strategy to make sure you always get the biggest possible benefit.

Step 1: Start Building Your Mailing List

The entire process starts with building your mailing list. This is a vital step because the results you achieve will heavily be based on the quality and size of your mailing list. Remember, you don’t want to be labeled a spammer, so make sure you get permission to email them before they are added to your mailing list.

There are several ways you can get people to share their email address to help build your contact list.

Many retail stores will ask customers for their email during the check-out process. Simply having your staff at the cash say: “Can I have your email address so we can occasionally email you special promotions?” can really go a long way! Consumers usually respond positively to special offers and most will be willing to give their email address to you if you are willing to give something back (coupons, invites to exclusive in-store events, other special promotions, etc).

Many retail stores also stage contests where people can win a prize. The prize can be anything you think will entice your customers, from store items, to a free give-a-way, to anything else you can imagine. On the ballot that people fill out enter the contest, you can ask for their email address. Make sure you have a check-box on the ballot asking customers if it is ok to send them emails. Then, you just type everyone’s email address from all the ballots and bingo! You’ve got a lot of new people to add to your contact list.

Building your mailing list for email marketing is not something that will be accomplished overnight, so don’t be worried if it takes a little bit of time to really build up a substantial list size. So, while you may be super excited to send your message out to thousands of people, remember that building your mailing list is an ongoing process, and it may take several days or weeks or months to get your mailing list to that size.

Step 2: Blast Out Your Email Marketing Campaign

One of the most important parts of setting up your email marketing campaign is to determine what your goals are and what specifically you want to promote. After all, if you do not have defined goals, then it will be very difficult to know whether anything has been accomplished.

Do you want to encourage people to visit your store in person? Do you want to get people calling into your store? Do you want people to be purchasing a specific item? Do you want people to talk to their friends about your store? Etc.

There are a variety of goals you can have, but once you have determined what you want to achieve, you can start taking steps towards setting up your email marketing campaign. One quick suggestion is that the top performing email marketing campaigns are the ones that have one specific objective. Don’t try to do everything at once, as that will hurt your email’s success.

Most retail stores have the objective of generating traffic in their store, which makes sense, since patrons in your store can lead to new sale. Assuming that is the case, then you can ask yourself, “What would make someone visit my store?”

The answer for a lot of retail stores is to include coupons or other discount offers in their email marketing campaign. By sending out an email coupon, you are encouraging your customers to print the coupon at home, and then bring the coupon into your store to redeem it. The important thing is that your email marketing campaign is giving your customer a reason to come back into your store.

Many retail stores also benefit from the viral nature of email marketing, which helps spread the word even more.

Step 3: Do An Analysis Of Your Email Marketing Results

After you’ve sent out your campaign, it is important that you analyze the results. This will allow you to be better at email marketing down the road because you will have a good understanding of what works better with your specific audience and what is not as effective.

With most email marketing software packages, you can see who specifically opened your email, who clicked on one or more links, who forwarded it to their friends, and more. These numbers will help you measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

By using your reporting numbers you can answer questions like “Are my campaigns more effective when I send them Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon?”, “Do more people open my campaign when I mention a specific discount in the subject?”, “Do more people come into the store if my email has an offer that only lasts a limited-time?”, Etc. There are a wide variety of questions you can ask. And, with the reports at your fingertips through your email marketing software, you can actually create highly scientific answers pretty easily.

A little bit of studying the reports can go a long way towards boosting your future email marketing efforts.Tons of retail stores across the planet have started using the power of email marketing to help achieve their goals. With it’s low price tag, ease of use, and high ROI, it is no surprise that many stores have stopped traditional paper mailings altogether in favor of email. So, prepare to take the plunge and boost your retail store’s marketing to the next level.

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