Shopping in Margaritaville
The amount of mainstream press email and related digital marketing topics garner is rather remarkable. Let's run through three recent examples and highlight insights to apply them to your email program.
First is an article from The New York Times titled Online Merchants Home In on Imbibing Consumers. The gist of the article is that people are more likely to spend money after a cocktail … or two or three. Since drinking tends to take place in the evening, certain retailers started emailing their subscriber base later in the day hoping that rather than searching for that "lost shaker of salt" they'll just buy another one.
The strategy was largely justified based on when shopping traffic spikes — after 7 p.m. and at noon during lunch hour. These two time periods have high shopping rates because that's when people have free time — after the kids have gone to bed and when they have a free minute at work during lunch.
If you haven't yet tested a time-of-day approach to email campaign launches, you should. My hunch is that if it works, it's not because they're drunk.
Second, some retailers recently determined that email frequency strategies were created while under the influence. The Wall Street Journal highlighted several retailers that decided enough was enough and they pulled back the reins on email frequency.
Citing Nicole Miller and J.C. Penney as examples of retailers who cut their email frequency (in Nicole Miller's case this resulted in increased revenue from its email program), the near-daily messaging had grown detrimental to the engagement and conversion rates of their programs.
While some companies are nervous about reducing email frequency, there are basic ways to do this that don't require heavy analytics or high risk. I work with a company that has a customer loyalty program where members click 33 percent more often and convert at twice the rate compared to nonloyalty members. No surprise that the audience is interested in, and easily supports, a higher frequency level of email.