Case study: Increased Email Marketing Activity Drives Online Sales Up 58%

Did you know that more than 294 billion emails are sent daily?

How many unread emails did you wake up to this morning?

Email marketing is big business. In 2011, email marketing brought in an average of $40 for every $1 spent and this year, US retailers are expected to send more than 258 billion emails.

The ROI of Email Marketing

Well, a recent survey held by MarketingSherpa asked participants to estimate the return on investment (ROI) from their email marketing campaigns. The response was incredible, with marketers claiming an average ROI of 119%.

Email marketing ROI MarketingSherpa

Schoffa, one of Finland’s fastest growing retailers for men and women’s dress shirts have seen their online sales rapidly increase since implementing a more frequent email marketing strategy.

Email marketing is a channel all marketers use, yet as much as 97% of businesses get it wrong. It’s common for brands to send one email to their entire subscriber list with a link to their home page and then expect sales to flood in. This is not the best approach to take and ultimately leads to a failed sales channel.

Email marketing is the most preferred channel

In April 2012, I wrote a blog post titled “Is email marketing still relevant in a world full of social networks?”. Due to increased social media marketing spend and an increase in the number of Facebook success stories, I came to the conclusion that email marketing was on its way out of the online marketing matrix.

I was wrong. In fact, a few months later, research came out that email was the most preferred method of marketing communication with more than 77% of consumers choosing email marketing as the preferred method of contact from a brand. The second most preferred method was direct mail with only 9%.

Email martketing mopst preferred communication channel

Lessons learned from the top 10 converting websites

One of the most insightful white papers I have ever ready is the Top 10 Converting Websites report from SeeWhy. The report explains why the top converting websites in the world are able to reach conversion rates of more than 35-40%! This is compared to the average conversion rate for an e-commerce site being 1-2%.

The reasons why sites could convert more visitors into customers include:-

  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Offer a wide range of products
  • Focus on customer lifetime value
  • Email marketing & Remarketing

By implementing the same strategy as Amazon, Office Depot and Pro Flowers (capturing the email address!), Schoffa was able to use email in a more strategic approach, which helped sales increase by more than 50%!

In the last 6 months of 2012, Schoffa sent 8 emails to their subscribers. During the first three months of 2013, Schoffa has sent out 14 emails. Your first response will be, how well are these emails performing?

The results of a sample of newsletters sent in in Q1 can be seen in the following table:

Email marketing statistics Schoffa

The statistics remain pretty consistent even though the frequencies has increased the subscriber base has grown.

What have we done differently?

  • We now send out one email per week
  • We send out the email on the same day and time each week
  • The emails are more text based than image based
  • The emails include a greeting and sign-off from the CEO
  • The sender name is the CEO’s name
  • The emails include multiple links to relevant sections on the website

The impact of frequent and personalized email marketing

The first quarter of the year has been exciting. Although the increased email marketing efforts were expected to produce great results, the overall performance has been beyond expectations. The results are as follows (compared to Q1 2012):

  • Subscribers list has increased 31%
  • Web traffic has increased 32%
  • Online sales have increased 58%
  • Average order value has increased by 245%

Capturing the email address of a web visitor is one of the first things you should focus on for your website. Once you have an email address, you can target more personalized offers to your reader, which results in higher customer satisfaction levels and increased profits. The days of ‘one-size-fits-all’ are long behind us and when implemented successfully, email marketing is quick, easy and highly effective!

How often do you send emails to customers? Do you think one email per week is too much?
Feel free to comment below.

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