I love my soon-to-be previous skin care cosmetics company. I swear by them (even though I’m giving them up) and if you’ve ever seen my bathroom, you know that’s true. Unfortunately they’ve lost me as a regular customer this month (after close to 10 years) because of one simple thing, their email strategy.
When I wrote to them asking for help, I never heard back. It was both for purchasing product from their ecommerce store and also to only get the marketing emails that are relevant to me. That’s why I’m writing this post. I would love to shop with them again, but they make it too much work when I’m buying a luxury product where there are alternatives.
But first a bit of background.
I live in Washington DC and their closest spa to me is in NYC (as far as I know). Although that spa is only 4 hours away, they constantly email me that I would save $50 on a spa treatment. No offense to them, but $50 does not equal train tickets or gas all the way to NYC and definitely not a hotel room for the night. I wrote a few times asking for an email opt-out from this message so that I can get their coupon emails, but not the spa treatments and of course I never heard back.
They do have an opt-out in their email footer, but it is basically to opt-out of everything and doesn’t offer a selection for specific types of emails. When I need to restock (unless I find another brand that I love), I now have to check their site and jump through hoops just to see if a special is going on instead of just waiting for the weekly or bi-weekly coupon emails. I’m not willing to do that. They may now lose me after close to a decade of being a loyal customer.
If I was working with their marketing team (If they’re reading this I would love to work with you, hint hint and yes I am emailing this post to them), here is what I would do for them and how I could take their email marketing and turn it into a multi-channel sales funnel for both product sales and spa visits.
- Database segmentation
- Opt-in and opt-out options
- Reminder to re-order
- Facebook ads (this section is the good one)
The first thing I would do if I was this brand is to segment my database. I’d want to know who buys things with SPF 15 vs. 30 vs. 50, etc…, moisturizers vs. masks, demographics by shopping type (men’s, women’s, both), hand products, face products, acne products, dry skin vs. oily skin, etc… This lets me target different ways, with different messages and show different products that are directly relevant. It becomes incredibly important for the Facebook section below as well.
- Male – This doesn’t mean men. It means people who shop for male oriented products. That includes women shopping for boyfriends, sons and husbands or personal shoppers, stylists and assistants.
- Female – Knowing who buys products for women helps you to tweak your wording and the product lines listed.
- Both – You have people who shop for others, everyone in their household or who cross-over with their purchases.
- Type of product – By having the categories they shop for you may be able to determine skin types, issues, needs or what they like. This may help you with better phrasing, wording and imagery and to know who to target with new products based on needs or issues. (i.e. you have people who buy acne products or oily skin or other products regularly and you have something new within their specific issue range, you can now send that to the people who have those issues but not to the people who it is irrelevant for.).
- Frequency – If you can pull your database and match it to how often that email address is used at checkout when re-ordering, you can do a ton of targeted email marketing with this. You can send re-order emails, discounts on specific products, if you love XYZ then try this one (if there is a good cross-sell or upgraded version), etc…
- Spa vs. product shoppers – Separating who is a website shopper vs. a spa visitor can also help you to know which emails to send and to whom.
- Location – When you sort by zip code or even city name, you can target out the people who do not live within a reasonable range and who will actually be able to visit your locations.
Opt-in & Opt-out Options
When someone clicks on the opt-out option in the footer of the email, a simple solution is to ask which types of emails they’d like to opt-out of. Coupons, spa messages, sitewide or clearance sales, new product announcements or all. The same goes for people who are opting in.
By letting people select what they want you not only send more relevant emails, but as they’re opting out (like I did) you may be able to keep them on specific lists and keep them coming back to shop. I would happily stay on the list and shop through their emails if I could opt-in only for the emails that are relevant to me (coupons and discounts).
Reminder to Re-order
I have definite buying patterns, and I’m assuming others who shop for beauty products and health products do as well. It could be vitamins, skin care, pet food or anything else that you use and need to replace. By knowing who shops every 3 months or for 6 month, 1 month or whatever interval supplies, you can send a reminder that supplies are running low. I have never gotten one of these from this brand, but would love to opt-in for this as it saves me from running out. I normally wait until I realize I’m on my last containers and then have to hope there is a deal coming or pay full price.
If you are a retailer and have products that get resold, Amazon may offer a subscription styled ordering service for your products. I did not see this with the brand I use (they do have a dash button though), but that could be an option for them to keep me as a customer since I get free shipping when I shop for their products using Amazon Prime.
Email marketing isn’t sending emails anymore. You can use email address on numerous platforms including Facebook. This is where the real cool stuff for this post comes in. When you upload email lists you can target just those people with all of the options and demographics available through the Facebook ad platform.
If this company would hire me to help with their Facebook ads (if you’re reading this would be amazing!!!), here are some of the things I would do, starting with the boring one first.
General Marketing (Boring)
This is uploading email address lists to Facebook and:
- Creating a look-a-like audience
- Remarketing when it’s time to reorder
- Wishing a happy birthday (they do an amazing job with sending birthday emails)
- Running ads for products to people who have shopped for that product in the past
- Remarketing to people who visited but didn’t shop
Now lets get into some of the fun things when you upload your entire email list.
Tourists (People Traveling as a Target)
I love this idea and think it could be awesome. You can take the list of people who are not within range of a quick visit to the spa (i.e. me in DC or someone who loves the product lines but lives in LA) and keep an updated email audience based list in Facebook. Facebook offers a targeting option called “People Traveling In This Location”.
By uploading your email list and hitting people who are not from NYC but buy and use the products, you can run ads in the middle of the day to “You love our products, now try our Spa while you’re here”, “Need a break from the touristy stuff? Come try our spa and save $50”, or something similar.
Some of your customers may not know you have physical locations or spas and inviting them when they’re nearby (and offering a deal like the $50 off) can be a perfect way to get them to come in and try it. You could even try an upsell with “Forgot your XYZ brand Skincare? Stop by our Spa at XYZ Address and pick some up”. The landing page can have a map that shows your locations and how close they are. This could help make it even easier.
Past Spa Visitors
If you know your visitors or customers shop once a month, every two weeks or what the interval is, upload the email addresses from the interval and start running ads that its time to schedule their next appointment, come back for treatments or refill their supplies. This reminds them they’re overdue or about to be and you’re hopefully reaching them when they need to shop.
If you want to go a step further, add in a way to call you from the ad or create a quick click to schedule an appointment feature on the landing page. There are a ton of ways you can make it easy for someone who is on a phone and seeing the ad to come in. You could even do a “call us and schedule for today” if you have opened appointments.
Target People Who Work in a Specific Office Building or Near You (Lunch Break Mani-Pedi)
This is a fun one too. If you know the companies who are in your building, the buildings near you, or are within a reasonable distance, you can target by employer, job title, median income (if in the US) and by interests. By doing this you can run ads before lunch time and before COB to try and bring in the business crowd that can afford your services.
If there’s a big event like fashion week in NYC, you could run ads about scheduling so you don’t have to worry. The same goes for CES in Las Vegas. You could do something about looking fresh after work for a big date or a quick stop over lunch and offer finger foods or snacks in the ad to help further encourage them to schedule an appointment (that may cost less than the $50 discount and provide more value).
There are a ton of awesome ways to target the people who work in your building or nearby and you can target them by time of day with relevant messaging to bring foot traffic to your locations. It could even be recovering from a day at a tradeshow and feeling refreshed for the networking events and parties.
Advanced Targetting & Fun Ideas
Now lets get a bit more crazy using target combinations to use around your retail locations or in your cities, towns, etc… I’ll use holidays and festivals for the example.
- Mother’s Day (targeting working moms) – Facebook offers everything from single mothers to married moms. Combine that target with employer targets or job titles can give you the working moms and treat them to a break. You could even offer free chocolates with their appointments if they’re on Mother’s Day. You could run mid-day, relax before you get home, etc…
- Gay Pride – Every major city has gay pride festivals. Combining the LGBT interests (there is also an employer LGBT target under demographics), you can only target men or women and then select “interested in men, interested in women or interested in men and women” under relationship. Combining that with messaging about getting ready for Pride can bring in some foot traffic.
- Music Festivals – Whether its an EDM, Country, Rock, Hip Hop or whatever festival that is coming to your area, you can target people who like XYZ music, that are in the age range of the attendees, have the income levels you’re looking at and are also fans of or interested in XYZ headliner. Combine that with people who are interested in a couple of the other bigger acts and you may be able to target them with how to prep or recover from the show. If you can target people at the specific venue or traveling through, you may get even more targeted. If it’s a full weekend show and outdoors, a funny ad could be before the show with a theme about making an appointment so your boss doesn’t know you were last weekend.
The important thing to take away from this post is that if you want your email marketing to be effective, you have to be relevant to your audience. Do not email discounts for location visits if there are no locations. Its like running TV ads for a restaurant in Chicago but only showing it to people who live in New York. Instead email the relevant offers. With that said, if you’re a skin care line and you want me to try your products (I stayed loyal to my old one for almost a decade), leave a comment below with (do not publish) in the comments section so I know not to publish it. If I can help you with your email marketing, facebook ads or if you need affiliate managers, contact me here for a quote or free evaluation.
2 thoughts on “A FREE Multi-channel Email Marketing Strategy”
Great post Adam. It really shows how important segmentation can be from both sides!