E-commerce Link: Make It an Engagement
Your website and your e-mail marketing programs should strive to engage customers. Passive sites push content and information, whereas engaging sites and e-mails find ways to facilitate interactive information sharing and collaboration. They may also include video, social networking and online communities to further increase engagement.
There are a number of powerful reasons to embrace customer engagement strategies: strengthen your brand and credibility; drive revenue; enhance existing customer relationships; build customer loyalty; increase customer lifetime value; and improve ROI.
Here are some ideas on how to inject website engagement programs into your e-mails.
Video is hot! People are spending more time engaging with video content, which allows marketers to provide how-to information, showcase a new product line, share tips and more. The good news is that the cost of production and hosting of videos online has come down dramatically, opening the door for others to jump onto the video bandwagon.
If you have videos on your website, be sure to promote them in your e-mails. The video clip length should be short—30 to 45 seconds. Also, make sure you pick an interesting frame to show in the e-mail and superimpose the "play" icon on top of it. This will encourage recipients to clickthrough to your website to view the video in full.
Some marketers have a standard feature in their e-newsletters—always in the same position—that promotes the latest video. Another tactic is to feature a video occasionally. For example, Fine Cooking—a Taunton Press print magazine and website—took advantage of the current summer grilling season and featured a video on how to tell if a steak on a grill is done without poking the steak with a fork. The video was timely and relevant to the publication's e-mail recipients.
Launch a contest where users get to name a product or service, provide stories, submit photos to your website and more. A favorite of mine was a contest for "your worst Valentine's gift ever" stories that women's clothing and accessory merchant Talbots promoted in an e-mail. Talbot's encouraged e-mail recipients to read the stories and enter their own. I spent over a half hour on the website reading and laughing at the hilarious submissions. For me, and for other Talbot's customers, that was a great brand experience.