How Email Marketing Can Increase Engagement and Revenue

Austin Caldwell, Product Marketing Director

July 28, 2020

A big take away from the past several months for businesses is how important it is to have direct relationships with customers and fans of your brand. With the highest return on investment for any marketing channel, email marketing enables companies to efficiently communicate to their leads and customers without breaking the bank. Email marketing has advantages over other marketing channels when it comes to reach, relevance and ownership. It is not only useful for direct-to-consumer brands; B2B organizations also need email marketing to engage their business accounts.

Typically, marketers use several tools to manage communications and promotions across email, web, mobile and social. They grow subscriber lists, design engaging content, analyze campaign performance to drive sales and promote loyalty programs that encourage additional purchases. At times, it can seem difficult to provide consistent brand engagements and drive revenue when so much time is spent trying to bridge these technology gaps.

Although email marketing is the most effective and cost-efficient marketing channel to engage shoppers, many businesses struggle to create relevant campaigns while still driving enough volume to generate sales. When email is disconnected from ecommerce and back-office systems, it is more difficult to take advantage of website activity, customer and order data to personalize email messages or trigger marketing automation. This leads to marketers operating in silos where they use the same messaging across the widest possible audience to save time and resources.

Here are some common email marketing challenges:

Acquiring New Subscribers

In order to build a funnel of active subscribers, businesses must capture and qualify leads. When organizations only capture email addresses during checkout (at the bottom of the funnel), they lose out on signing up shoppers when they are browsing (at the top of the funnel). Not only do businesses need to optimize their email sign-up across their website, they also need to promote it across other channels. If businesses forsake effective email acquisition strategies like pop-up sign-ups, they will likely churn more subscribers than they add, leading to diminished email revenue.

Creating Engaging Content

If businesses don’t provide subscribers with relevant content, then they will quickly lose interest and become inactive. Instead of investing in marketing automation strategies like welcome or re-engagement campaigns, many marketers spend the bulk of their efforts creating one-size-fits-all promotional messages. Although flash sale promotions may drive short-term sales, sending the same offer over and over again isn’t sustainable. Building messages that aren’t optimized for mobile devices leads to lower click-throughs.

Converting Shoppers and Driving Revenue

Marketers must provide shoppers with timely information and the right content in order to convince them to make their first purchase. If businesses do not serve shoppers with the best option in terms of size or purpose, then they will likely abandon their purchase. Sometimes it’s necessary to retarget these customers across other channels to redirect them back to their shopping cart. Companies that aren’t able to provide personalized product recommendations are simply providing their best guess when merchandising their email messages. They often need to provide discounts which cut into their profit margins to secure sales.

Retaining Customers and Growing Brand Loyalty

It’s not enough to convert first time buyers and sustain a business over the long term. Organizations must offset acquisition costs with additional orders from existing customers to maintain profitability. At the retention stage, companies either keep or lose the customer. This is the ideal time to nurture them by engaging immediately after their purchase, soliciting feedback and responding decisively to any customer service issues. Without brand ambassadors championing the product or service, it is difficult to refer new business.

Send Personalized Communications

Marketing automation enables teams to do more without a lot more effort. By setting up automated campaigns that nudge shoppers along their buying journey, marketers can remind them about what’s waiting in their shopping cart, notify them about their order status and reengage them to make their next purchase. With behavioral and event data, marketers can deliver personalized experiences at scale.

When email marketing can use data from ecommerce, ERP, CRM, inventory and order management systems, organizations have direct access to browsing behavior, subscriber profile, product attributes and purchase history to create highly relevant and personalized campaigns. No additional integration is needed to trigger pop-up sign-ups, manage coupons and display personalized product recommendations. Businesses no longer need to manage separate systems and stumble through manually importing data to get everything to work together.

NetSuite Bronto Marketing Platform

NetSuite’s email marketing platform, Bronto, provides a suite of easy-to-use tools for marketers to create, send and analyze email, SMS and social campaigns within a single solution. Bronto’s seamless integration with NetSuite and leading ecommerce platforms provide the data needed to create relevant and personalized messages. 

Marketers can save time and resources with drag-and-drop message creation, segmentation and automation enabling them to execute sophisticated strategies without the need for a developer. Businesses can measure how much revenue each campaign generates and maximize them with A/B testing and send time optimization to improve engagement and conversion rates.

RST Brands(opens in new tab), an outdoor furniture company, recognized that the key to ecommerce growth was personalization and automation at scale — and an email marketing solution that would grow with and meet their needs. Automating time-consuming tasks allowed it to pursue new sources of revenue, such as a cart abandonment series and personalizing product recommendations. And managing those campaigns with just a few additional minutes freed RST Brands to focus on optimizing the content, providing a great customer experience, and searching for new ways to grow.

The Duck Store(opens in new tab), the University of Oregon’s bookstore, uses Bronto together with NetSuite SuiteCommerce to streamline its online commerce process. It had used a pop-up sign-up, but couldn’t configure it to automatically upload new subscribers and assign them to a series of triggered welcome messages that help tell the store’s story. Now, new subscribers automatically receive the welcome series with an offer for their first purchase. The Duck Store also added an email sign-up during the checkout process. Together, the two tactics helped the subscriber list grow 71% in one year. The welcome series, meanwhile, performs exceptionally well—with an open rate of 55%, click rate of 30% and conversion rate of 13%.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.