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Sheri Hebbeln
 
May 22, 2014 | Email Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

Improve Wine Marketing with Revamped Email Efforts

It's no secret that email marketing can be useful for ecommerce merchants?. This tactic can drive customer acquisition, win back lost sales and build a lasting relationship with shoppers. However, there have been a number of shifts in the use of this channel in the past few years. Here are some updates you should consider in your wine marketing efforts:

Prepare for higher mobile expectations
Reading emails is one of the most popular smartphone activities, and with the high number of people who now own these mobile devices, you can anticipate that a significant portion of your subscribers will be viewing your marketing messages through this channel. However, a recent study from Campaign Monitor indicated that this doesn't translate to high click-thru rates. Although mobile users are reading messages, only 11 percent are following the call to action to your website. In fact, the research found click-thrus from mobile devices had decreased over time. However, this is thought to be because recipients open and scan messages quickly and then return to the email and click from another device. 

While mobile may not have the same conversion rates as other devices, it's important to provide mobile-optimized messages. If subscribers can't read the message on the initial view, they may delete the email altogether. 

Account for new Gmail tabs
Gmail has been a source of frustration for marketers for some time. It's the most popular email client, but it's the hardest for marketers to win open rates, according to MarketingProfs. Last year, Google rolled out separate inbox tabs, which direct all messages from marketers to a dedicated folder. If recipients don't want to go through these messages, the tabs are easy to avoid. There's no guarantee subscribers will see an email in time to act on a special promotion. 

However, the news isn't all bad. MarketingProfs suggested including your call to action in the subject line. Gmail offers a feature that allows marketers to include certain CTAs as a subject, which enables customers to take the desired action without even opening the message. This can drive traffic to your website, depending on the CTA. Google is also testing a feature that would allows users to change the view of the promotions tab to a grid. If this feature becomes available, marketers who include compelling images could win the race for open rates.

Personalized emails get more attention
When email first emerged as a promotional strategy, marketers didn't have the tools to segment customers into different groups or personalize messages. That has all changed, and subscribers expect more relevant emails as a result, according to Practical Ecommerce. Customers can tell when they are receiving a generic message, and this won't convince them to order wine online. Capturing customer data is essential to successfully personalizing email campaigns.

Demographic information is usually a good place to start. Where are customers located? What are their personal product preferences? Birthdays allow you to send specialized messages as well. Based on the data in your customer relationship management platform, you can take it a step further and send emails based on the items they last purchased, the last date they ordered something from your website and other considerations. This increases the relevancy of your campaigns. When customers can make a more personal connection, they're more likely to respond. 

However, personalization requires caution because it opens the door for mistakes. If a certain customer group receives the wrong email, it can lead to confusion. Email can help you sell wine online, but you need to take new developments into consideration.

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