The answer: a resounding yes. In fact, when it comes to communicating with potential customers — and keeping the ones you already have coming back — few marketing tools are more powerful than the email campaign, largely because email is so widely used by consumers all over the world.
Statistics clearly exhibit email’s popularity. According to market and consumer data firm Statista, 4 billion people worldwide regularly use email for their communications, and that number is expected to grow to 4.6 billion by 2025 — representing more than half the anticipated global population.
Further, research shows that email marketing produces a massive ROI of $40 on every dollar spent, giving it the highest return of all marketing techniques. And largely for this reason, roughly 80% of small and midsize businesses employ email marketing as their main driver of customer acquisition and retention.
So how can your outdoor brand leverage email’s popularity and maximize the effectiveness of its e-commerce email marketing campaigns? Consider these five email marketing tips for getting the most out of e-commerce-focused efforts:
1. Understand your audience
Especially when targeting outdoor enthusiasts — who we all know can be particularly passionate about their outdoor avocations — it’s critical for brands to make genuine connections with their consumers. And the reason behind this makes perfect sense: When a message resonates with an audience, it’s more likely to spur the desired action in the consumer.
To maximize your email marketing’s effectiveness, take these steps to build your messaging on a solid foundation of knowledge about your audience:
– Dig deep into your customer data to better understand your audience. Look for trends in existing customers’ ages, locations and buying habits, and optimize your messaging to appeal to these same types of consumers.
– Using the data noted above as a foundation, spend some time developing a few audience personas to help you better visualize your consumers and what drives them. Often, it’s easier to successfully connect with and speak to your audience when you’ve got a specific character in mind, even if that character is a fictional one.
– Carefully survey your social pages to get a better handle on who your followers are and what characteristics, likes and preferences they might share. This data can be a gold mine when it comes to understanding the types of consumers your brand appeals to the most.
Pro tip: Most email marketing software offers specific segmentation tools that allow users to create groups of subscribers based on their email engagement, purchase history and sometimes even site activity. (For example, Klaviyo lets users see such subscriber site-engagement data as pages viewed, times visited, etc.) Often, email marketing software users can also collect custom data such as consumers’ specific interests or activities, product uses, or things they would like to hear about (blog posts, deals, events, etc.). All of this info can be instrumental in planning a brand’s content calendar.
2. Develop a strategy
Especially for those new to email marketing, it’s easy to dive right in without much forward thinking. But by developing a long-term strategy for your email marketing campaigns up front, you can establish goals that help you evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts as you move forward. A strategy can also help you in a number of other areas, including:
– Maintaining focus on your goals and prioritizing your efforts toward achieving them
– Determining whether your tactics are working/moving you toward achieving your goals
– Delegating campaign responsibilities to other team members
– Holding yourself and your team accountable for moving campaigns forward
– Making adjustments when new goals arise or when initial campaign goals are achieved
– Overall, having a strategy in place makes it easier to see the big picture for your business, along with how email marketing fits into it.
3. Map out your consumers’ path to purchase, and base your messaging tactics on the target audience’s stage in it
Your email campaigns shouldn’t be a one-size-fit-all endeavor — the messaging and tactics used should vary based on each target audience’s position in the marketing funnel. For example, while communications introducing your product or service is a perfect fit for consumers in the awareness/discovery phase of their customer journey, the same messaging would be wasted on consumers who are already farther along the path to purchase and are well aware of your offerings. In the same vein, while an aggressive push toward purchase might turn off “new to you” consumers who are in the discovery phase, it’s likely to prove much more effective when employed on consumers currently in the conversion/purchase phase of their journey. For more effective email marketing, create messaging and tactics geared toward each stage of the purchase journey — awareness, consideration, conversion (purchase), loyalty, advocacy — and make efforts to reach the right consumers with the right messaging at the right time.
Pro tip: Most email marketing software makes ideal message timing easy to accomplish with automated and triggered emails. Examples of common campaigns we run at TBA Outdoors include welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, abandoned browse emails, re-engagement campaigns and upsell campaigns.
4. Make genuine connections
The most effective email marketing finds a way to connect with consumers on a personal level with messaging that truly resonates with them. And especially among outdoors enthusiasts, being genuine is a must — as these consumers can sniff out phony/fake messaging from a mile away. As such, the best way to achieve these genuine connections (and the most critical takeaway on this topic) is to establish your brand’s tone up front, then stick to it in all of your communications, including your email marketing. In determining your tone, be sure to keep it true to your brand and your company’s personality. When you consistently communicate in a way that accurately conveys your brand’s true personality, over time, your target audience will naturally gravitate toward you.
Pro tip: Segmenting by interests and purchase history can prove highly effective in this area.
For example, for TBA Outdoors client frogg toggs, we regularly survey email marketing subscribers to discover their interests (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.), and then send tailored content to them based on this data.
In the past, for TBA Outdoors client FIREDISC, we have created two different versions of sales emails, one with content geared toward those who have cookers, and another geared toward those who have yet to purchase one.
5. Personalize as much as possible
Building on the “make personal connections” point made just above, personalizing emails is among the most effective ways to do just this. Further, personalized emails can help brands establish a rapport with consumers, build their trust and, finally, spur them to take desired actions.
Need proof? Email-marketing statistics exhibit the power of personalization:
– Personalized email subject lines generate 50% higher open rates.
– Personalized emails lead to 6x higher transaction rates.
– On average, personalized calls to action are over 200% more effective than basic CTAs.
The ways a brand can personalize its marketing emails include adding consumers’ first names in greetings and subject lines, offering product recommendations catered specifically to email recipients, sending abandoned-cart emails, sending emails based on a consumer’s viewing history … and these are just a few of the options.
Could your outdoor brand use the help of a group of experienced marketing professionals to ramp up your email-marketing efforts? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including email marketing, SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.