With the Use of Direct Mail

In a world dominated by digital interactions, a variety of businesses (especially grocers and retailers) are rediscovering the enduring impact of direct mail on customer engagement. As a result, businesses are catching wind that direct mail is where tradition meets innovation for loyalty campaigns. In this blog, we’ll go over the strategic use of direct mail as a powerful tool for crafting and enhancing loyalty program marketing campaigns, while also be examining how its unique attributes can cater specifically to the needs of those in the grocery and retail sector. From creating tangible and personalized connections to celebrating customer milestones, we detail the diverse ways in which direct mail can shape a memorable and targeted loyalty campaign experience.

Tangible and Personalized

Generally, direct mail can establish a tangible and personalized connection with each customer due to its physicality, elevating the overall customer experience and enhancing memorability. Unlike digital interactions, receiving and opening mail adds a sensory dimension to the engagement, making it more immersive. This tactile experience, coupled with personalized content tailored to individual preferences and purchase history, can foster a deeper connection and strengthen the emotional bond between customers and loyalty programs.

Highly Targeted

Direct mail enables precise targeting by leveraging customer purchase history, preferences, and demographics. This capability enhances the relevance of loyalty program messaging, ensuring that the content resonates with each individual recipient. By tailoring campaigns to specific characteristics and behaviors, companies can deliver personalized and meaningful communications, increasing the likelihood of customer engagement. The precision of direct mail targeting not only introduces the loyalty program effectively but also ensures that the message reaches the right audience with maximum impact.

Engaging

As touched on above, the targeted and tangible nature of direct mail prompts customers to actively engage with campaign messaging, and – even better, redeem their loyalty points. The physical presence of loyalty program materials can enhance the customer’s inclination to participate, and this active engagement, stimulated by the personalized and tactile aspects of direct mail, can contribute significantly to the success of your loyalty initiative.

For more retail marketing ideas, click here.

Updates, Reminders, & Thank-Yous

Direct mail keeps customers engaged in loyalty programs through timely updates, personalized thank-you notes, and strategic reminders. It also provides customers with information about their loyalty points, program changes, and new features, ensuring they’re consistently informed and engaged.

Personalized thank-you notes sent via direct mail can create a memorable and emotionally resonant experience that strengthens the customer’s connection with the company and its loyalty program. Additionally, businesses can send timely reminders about upcoming expiration dates of loyalty points, encouraging customers to seize the opportunity to redeem their rewards before they expire.

Milestone & Exclusivity Incentives

Direct mail can reinforce customer loyalty through thoughtful celebrations and exclusive privileges. By celebrating customer milestones, such as reaching specific point thresholds, celebrating birthdays, or even acknowledging anniversaries of first purchases, businesses can add a personal touch. These are often accompanied by extra incentives to further encourage ongoing loyalty, such as a gift or discount.

Direct mail’s also an ideal platform for announcing exclusive sales and events, offering customers early access and special privileges linked to their loyalty status. This not only fosters a sense of VIP treatment but also actively encourages customer participation.

Executing a successful loyalty campaign that includes direct mail involves implementing key strategies to enhance customer engagement and overall effectiveness. So, what’s the process here at Strata? Below you’ll find what we consider most important:

Personalized Content

Incorporating personalized content and utilizing customer data – such as addressing customers by name and tailoring messages based on their purchase history, preferences, and loyalty status.

Marketing Mix Integration

Integrating direct mail into the overall marketing mix for your loyalty campaign is often crucial for success. Most of the time, coordinating direct mail with digital and other marketing channels amplifies the impact.

Testing and Optimization

Implementing a testing and optimization strategy for any direct mail campaign helps companies refine their approach over time. A/B testing different elements, such as messaging, design, and incentives, can allow for identification of the most effective strategies for engaging customers and driving loyalty.

Before following the strategies and practices above, companies should understand the audience they’re targeting, what their goals are for their rewards and loyalty program(s), and what they want out of their customer loyalty marketing campaigns. With that said, it’s very likely the campaigns will benefit from personalized content, streamlined workflows, and integrated direct mail. With the use of direct mail, grocers and retailers alike can create a targeted and memorable experience for their loyal customers. Contact Strata today to explore how our expertise can help take your loyalty or rewards program(s) to the next level.


Unlocking Proven Strategies for Maximizing Your Coupon Impact and Converting Shoppers into Buyers

In the ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, staying ahead of the competition often means harnessing the latest techniques to boost sales. One powerful tool at your disposal? The classic coupon. It might seem like a small piece of the puzzle, but when used correctly, coupons can turn hesitant browsers into enthusiastic buyers. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the coupon’s profound impact on eCommerce sales. Whether you’re an established online retailer or just launching your digital storefront, understanding how to strategically use coupons can make all the difference in your bottom line. We’ll discuss proven tactics, share insights, and offer practical tips to help you use discount strategies to increase your sales conversion rates. 

The most widely known reason for distributing coupons is the positive response they always get from current and potential customers (no one dislikes spending less money!). Moreover, coupons can also result in the following:  

1. Enhance CLV & Encourage Repeat Purchases: 

When customers are offered coupons, they’re often enticed to return to your business again. This potentially increases their loyalty and their overall lifetime value. 

2. Gather Customer Data & Generate High-Quality Leads: 

When customers sign up to receive coupons, you gain access to their contact information, allowing you to build a database of potential customers for future marketing efforts. 

3.Decrease Abandoned Cart Rate

Offering a coupon during the checkout process can motivate hesitant customers to complete their purchases, ultimately leading to less likelihood of abandoned shopping carts. 

These combined benefits make coupons a vital tool in your eCommerce sales conversion strategy, as they not only drive immediate sales but also foster long-term customer relationships and data-driven marketing opportunities. 

Distinguishing between coupons and discounts is crucial in understanding their distinct roles in your eCommerce strategy. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they represent separate concepts. Both coupons and discounts allow customers to acquire products or services at a reduced cost, but it’s essential to approach them differently to avoid any confusion. 

Coupons are tailored for individual buyers and typically involve shareable codes. They are a targeted marketing tool, frequently used by businesses to reach specific audiences. When a potential customer comes across a coupon code, they can apply it during the checkout process to receive a designated discount. This approach provides businesses with valuable insights into their customer’s journey, helping them identify where the particular customer discovered the discount. 

On the other hand, discounts, while potentially also directed at specific audience segments, are generally accessible to all customers making a purchase. These eCommerce promotions typically involve certain products offered at a reduced price. For example, a company might provide a 10% discount on a particular product for a specified day

Again, understanding the disparity between coupons and discounts is crucial, as it allows you to leverage them effectively in your eCommerce endeavors. Now that we’ve clarified their differences, we’ll discuss why you should incorporate them into your strategy and how to use them optimally. 

When it comes to implementing coupons effectively, there are several key strategies to consider. First, personalized offers for specific customer segments prove highly effective. Tailoring your coupon offers to match the preferences and purchase history of individual customer segments can significantly boost their impact. By creating coupons that resonate with each segment, you can expect higher redemption rates and increased customer satisfaction, ultimately driving eCommerce sales. 

Another powerful strategy is to create a sense of urgency and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) through the use of flash sales with limited-time coupons. Offering time-limited discounts prompts quick decision-making among your customers. To maximize the impact of these flash sales promote them across various marketing channels. 

Coupons can also be strategically used to promote non-selling or slow-moving inventory. Offering discounts on these item can help you clear out excess stock while increasing visibility of lesser-known products or items that draw less interest and attention. This facilitates inventory management and introduces customers to items they may not have considered otherwise. 

The exchange of value is a fundamental aspect of an effective coupon strategy, where customers receive tangible benefits in return for their engagement and loyalty. Here are four key methods for directly exchanging customer value for coupons: 

1. Referral Programs: 

Referral programs offer customers the chance to earn coupons or discounts by referring new customers to their business. This exchange of value benefits both existing and new customers. For instance, a customer can refer a friend to your eCommerce store, and upon their friend’s first purchase, both the referrer and the referee receive a coupon code for a discount on their next order. This not only drives new customer acquisition but also rewards and retains existing customers. 

2. Newsletter/Landing Page Sign-ups: 

Encouraging customers to sign up for newsletters or engage with your landing pages in exchange for exclusive coupons is a valuable tactic. For instance, a customer visiting your landing page might be prompted to enter their email address in exchange for a 10% discount on their first purchase. This not only builds your email subscriber list but also provides customers with an immediate incentive to make a purchase. 

3. Loyalty Programs: 

Loyalty programs are an effective means of exchanging value with customers over the long term. As customers make repeat purchases, they accumulate points or rewards that can be converted into coupons or discounts. For example, a coffee shop could have a loyalty program where every 10th coffee is free, providing a tangible value exchange that incentivizes repeat business and customer loyalty. 

4. Feedback Rewards: 

Encouraging customers to provide feedback on their experiences, whether through reviews, surveys, or product ratings, can be rewarded with coupons or discounts. For example, a clothing retailer may offer a 15% off coupon in exchange for a customer leaving a product review on their website. This not only collects valuable feedback but also drives engagement and future purchases. 

These methods of direct value exchange create a win-win situation, where customers receive immediate benefits while businesses gain valuable customer data, referrals, engagement, and loyalty. 

Effectively promoting your coupons is key to maximizing their impact. Several strategies can help you get the word out and engage customers: 

1. Pop-Ups: 

Employ pop-up windows on your website to instantly capture visitors’ attention and entice them to take advantage of your coupons. Ensure that these pop-ups showcase compelling offers in a visually appealing and user-friendly manner, prompting immediate action. 

2. Make Your Offers Apparent:

Make sure your coupons are highly visible on your website. Place them in prominent locations, including your homepage, product pages, and cart checkout to ensure that customers easily spot these potential savings. It’s also important to pay attention to the visual appeal of your coupons to ensure they stand out on your website. Utilize eye-catching design elements, vibrant colors, and clear, concise copy to make them visually attractive and easily noticeable. 

3. Email:

Utilize targeted email campaigns to reach your subscribers, emphasizing the availability of your coupons. Customize these emails to cater to different customer segments, clearly conveying the value of the coupon and creating a sense of exclusivity. 

4. SMS:

Harness SMS marketing to reach customers directly on their mobile devices. Craft concise, engaging messages that include coupon codes and a compelling call to action, simplifying the redemption process for recipients. 

5. Social Media:

Leverage your social media platforms to promote your coupons effectively. Create attention-grabbing posts and stories that highlight the benefits of using the coupon. Encourage sharing to expand the reach of your promotions and consider using paid advertising to target specific demographics.

By implementing these diverse promotional methods, you can ensure that your coupons are widely seen (and hopefully, widely used). 

To ensure the success of your coupon strategy, monitoring and analyzing is crucial. The promotional code serves as an effective tool to track and measure marketing efforts. One way to optimize coupons is through A/B testing, where you can compare the performance of different coupon offers, delivery methods, or presentation. By employing various coupon codes through A/B testing, you can measure the effectiveness of each coupon variation, gaining valuable insights into what resonates with your audience. 

Also, utilizing the coupon conversion formula, calculated as… 

Coupon Conversion = (Coupon Used / Coupons Given) x 100  

…allows you to assess the impact of your coupons accurately. This formula provides a clear picture of how many coupons are redeemed relative to the number distributed, helping you fine-tune your coupon strategy. 

Lastly, optimizing the coupon user experience (UX) is essential to enhance customer satisfaction and maximize coupon usage. To achieve this, consider the following strategies: 

1. Visible and Well-Designed Coupon Field: 

Ensure that the coupon field is prominently displayed and visually appealing. A well-designed coupon entry field not only enhances the UX but also makes it easy for customers to apply discounts. Additionally, you may want to consider hiding the coupon code field if your website typically doesn’t offer coupon codes. This prevents unnecessary confusion and frustration for customers who might search for codes that aren’t applicable. 

2. Pre-Discounted Links:

Rather than relying solely on coupon codes, offer pre-discounted links or URLs that automatically apply the discount when users click on them. This streamlined approach simplifies the process for customers and eliminates the need for them to manually enter coupon codes, creating a smoother shopping experience. 

3. Effective Language Use: 

Ensure that your coupon-related messaging is both clear and compelling. Use persuasive language to convey the value of the coupon and the benefits it offers to customers. Highlight any unique selling points and emphasize limited-time offers to entice customers to take full advantage of the discount. 

Looking to achieve higher conversions? Strata’s custom marketing services are designed to drive results, increase engagement, and boost your ROI. Let’s work together to increase your eCommerce conversions. Contact us today. 


A Look Into How Physical Assets Can Support this Digital Space

In an era dominated by the digital age, it’s tempting to cast aside marketing strategies that predate this revolution. However, as we notice a constant influx of digital marketing tactics bombarding consumers, it raises the question: do tangible assets still capture the most attention? Our belief is a resounding yes, especially when considering the distinct advantages, they now offer in this digital age.

Personalization in Direct Mail:

In today’s digital landscape, personalization is key for email and SMS strategies, but it’s often overlooked in direct mail. However, we have the technology to mass-produce personalized direct mail, including names, addresses, and tailored content. Why does this matter? In a digital age, personalized direct mail stands out, especially since there’s been a decline in traditional mail volume, resulting in less mailbox clutter. This presents a unique opportunity to make a significant impact in an uncrowded market. Personalized direct mail enhances customer satisfaction, encouraging recipients to engage with the content and respond to the call to action.

Personalization for Abandoned Carts:

Personalization is a powerful tool when it comes to re-engaging consumers with their abandoned shopping carts. It demonstrates your thoughtful consideration of their needs and fosters a stronger connection between your company and the customer, motivating them to take action.

Moreover, pinpointing the specific reasons behind cart abandonment empowers you to address these concerns directly and strategize for the future. Common issues include pricing, lack of information, and confusing UX/UI. Once you’ve identified these concerns, you can tailor your approach accordingly.

In our experience, the majority of abandoned carts are due to price concerns. One effective method for cart recovery is strategic incentivization, such as offering discounts or free shipping to ease the purchase burden. To reignite overall customer interest, emphasizing the benefits of your products is key. Remind customers why they were initially drawn to your offerings and how they can enhance their lives, providing the motivation to complete their purchase.

However, it’s important to tread carefully with personalization. Some recipients may find overly detailed personalization intrusive. Avoid including information that may seem too personal, especially in the context of showing up at their doorstep, as not everyone is well-versed in data and tracking practices. 

Effective Direct Mail Strategies for Abandoned Carts:

When it comes to effective direct mail strategies for addressing abandoned carts, retargeting technology stands out as a top contender. Research suggests that it often takes approximately eight touchpoints with a consumer before securing a sale. Custom retargeting technology, such as dynamic QR codes, plays a pivotal role in streamlining this process. These codes bring customers back into the digital realm, allowing you to track their interactions through direct mail and make informed decisions on your next steps.

Timeliness is a crucial factor in implementing direct mail strategies for abandoned carts. It’s essential not to let too much time elapse; the most opportune moment to re-engage is in close proximity to when the cart was initially abandoned.

In crafting your direct mail content, focus on creating engaging copy and compelling calls to action (CTAs). Using concise yet enticing language helps convey your message effectively and seamlessly tie it into your ask. After all, the primary goal of sending this mail is to reconnect the individual with the product at hand.

Lastly, remember the importance of adaptability and customization in these strategies, as their effectiveness may vary depending on the industry and product characteristics.

Combining personalized direct mail with digital marketing can be tricky, but surely it is a winning strategy. If you’re ready to enhance your marketing strategy, contact us today for expert consulting in direct mail marketing and optimization. Let’s drive results together!


Use the Power of Perfect Timing to Boost Online Sales

When it comes to sales, the ticking clock often holds the key to success, and in the fast-paced realm of online, eCommerce retail, timing can be everything. Knowing when and how to conduct sales can make all the difference in business performance. In this blog, we’ll discuss optimal timing tricks and strategies and provide you with tips that will empower your eCommerce business. Whether you’re a seasoned online retailer or just starting out in the digital marketplace, understanding the intricacies of when to offer discounts, promotions, and product launches is vital.


ECommerce Timing Tactics

1. Understand Customer Behavior

Understanding your target audience’s behavior isn’t just about collecting data; it’s about leveraging that information to optimize the timing of your e-commerce strategies. By knowing the demographics, psychographics, and past purchase history of your customers, you can strategically schedule promotions, email campaigns, and product releases to align with the times your audience is most active and receptive. This fine-tuning ensures your marketing efforts are not only data-driven but also well- timed, increasing your chances of capturing your audience’s attention and driving more conversions.

2. Leverage Seasonal & Holiday Sales

Holidays and seasons offer prime opportunities for e-commerce businesses to optimize sales. These include Christmas, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, back-to-school season, and even niche holidays like National Pet Day. The key is crafting seasonal campaigns that resonate.

To optimize timing, tailor your products and messaging to align with the current holiday or season. For example, during Christmas, emphasize your products as “perfect gifts” or market your services as “quick and easy, giving you more time with family”. During Valentine’s Day, portray your services as something clients will “fall in love” with, or market your products as ways to “show you care” – whether that’s for themself or a significant other. By tapping into the seasonal sentiment, you can create a stronger connection with your audience, boosting the impact of your e-commerce efforts. Remember, it’s not just about the dates; it’s about capturing the essence and feeling of the season to connect with customers and drive sales and engagement.

3. Run Flash Sales and Limited-Time Offers to Create FOMO

Flash sales capitalize on the psychology of urgency and FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out). When customers fear missing out on a limited-time offer, they’re more inclined to make a purchase. By creating a sense of scarcity and time sensitivity in your sales strategy, you can stimulate immediate action from your customers, and less abandoned carts.

To optimize the timing of flash sales, you can employ several key tactics, such as countdown timers to visually convey the limited-time nature of the offer, clear and compelling CTAs (Calls to Action) that direct customers to act quickly, or highlighting the benefits of acting swiftly and engaging with your limited-time offer.

4.Optimize the Timing of Email and Social Media Marketing

Sending promotional emails at optimal times, typically mornings between Tuesday to Thursday, can greatly enhance open and engagement rates. However, don’t forget to adapt these timings to your audience’s behaviors and time zones for maximum impact.

For social media marketing, figuring out when your audience is most active is essential. Utilize analytics to pinpoint peak engagement times on different platforms, such as evenings for Instagram and Pinterest. With this knowledge, you can schedule your posts and content to align with these windows of heightened activity, ensuring your message reaches your audience when they’re most receptive.

5. A/B Test and Conduct Data Analysis

Running A/B tests allows you to compare the performance of different eCommerce timing strategies. Experiment with variations such as launching sales in the morning versus the evening, and closely analyze the results. This approach provides the insights needed to fine-tune your timing approach and optimize sales.

As testing alone isn’t always enough, it’s important to also utilize data analysis tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics to delve deeper into user behavior and preferences. Metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates offer valuable guidance for making informed timing decisions.

6. Keep Shipping and Logistics Considerations in Mind

When it comes to the optimization of your eCommerce timing, it’s not only important to focus on digital aspects, but physical ones as well. Timely delivery is a pivotal component of customer satisfaction in the e-commerce world. While digital marketing and well-timed promotions can pique interest and generate sales, the actual delivery of the product or services can enhance, hinder, or even ruin the overall customer experience.

To ensure you’re optimizing timing in both the digital and physical, consider offering expedited shipping options during promotions. This tactic can attract customers looking for quick deliveries, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive higher conversion rates during peak sales periods (such as flash sales or holiday promotions – when timing is of upmost importance).

7. Conduct Post-Sale Follow-Ups

It’s important to remember that the sale is just the beginning. Post-sale follow-up is paramount in eCommerce. Express swift gratitude and promptly ask for feedback. This approach forms the foundation of long-term customer loyalty, where a timely follow-up can turn a one-time buyer into a loyal, repeat customer.

For more helpful information, as well as customized marketing and eCommerce solutions, reach out the experts at Strata.


Key Tactics to Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates

As mentioned in part one of this blog series, achieving high eCommerce conversion rates requires continuous measurement, testing, and optimizing of your eCommerce platform – and if you’re not constantly focusing on enhancing customer experiences and streamlining the purchasing process, you’re missing out on potential gains. In this blog, we’re sharing ten additional key practices to boost eCommerce conversation rates.

More Ways to Increase Your eCommerce Conversions

Reduce the number of steps at checkout

When it comes to eCommerce conversions, checkout is arguably the most important area to focus on and optimize. It’s at the bottom of the conversion funnel – so when optimized properly, all other parts of the flow are likely to improve, as well. “If you improve the conversion rate of your final purchase page by 5%, your overall sales will go up by 5%.” One way to improve checkout? Try out some A/B testing of the content, imagery, and layout. Another? Make sure the cart can be easily edited. There’s nothing worse than not being able to figure out how to reduce the quantity of a product from 2 to 1, or remove one of the products from your cart. Lastly, try setting up auto-fill areas – such as the city, state, and zip code fields. “Research shows the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is around 69.57%.” Don’t let it happen because of a difficult checkout process. Most often – the simpler and easier the checkout, the better.

It’s also important to provide multiple payment options. Make sure all the most common ones are covered. You wouldn’t want a potential customer getting to the last step of the checkout process with the means to pay your company, but not the ability.

Think through the customer journey – then go through it backwards

Always have user experience in mind when reviewing and testing your eCommerce site’s effectiveness, while making sure it portrays and exemplifies your unique brand. If an eCommerce site is too complicated and confusing, customers will leave and find your product elsewhere. Additionally, make sure this simple design and experience is optimized for mobile. While it depends on your product and customers, it’s usually best to design with a mobile-first perspective. 91% of online purchases are made via a mobile device.

Differentiate your eCommerce site and your product

As noted above, it’s important to show off your unique brand and offerings. Make sure your product or service’s different qualities are clearly exemplified on your eCommerce site – and ensure your site and offerings compete with those within your vertical. If you don’t differentiate yourself, customers will likely navigate over to a company that does.

Use high-quality images & video

High quality, clear imagery not only looks professional, but can help the potential purchaser envision the products they’re interested in, in real life. In fact, “75% of shoppers rely on product photography to make purchase decisions.” Low quality, poorly lit, or badly photographed images look bad and can cause distrust and disinterest for the potential customer. 65% of people are visual learners…so make sure they’re learning what you want them to.

Here are two more photography tips that increase conversions:

  • Product images work best with neutral-colored backgrounds (such as white, black, and beige), although this can differ depending on the nature of your product. Sometimes images need to show mood, style, lifestyle, and so on, so a background that tells the story but isn’t the focus is, at times, necessary. Use your best judgement with knowledge of your customer base and product.
  • To create focus on your product, make the subject of the image either much bigger or much smaller than the background.

Video is also a great converter, enabling the viewer to not just envision the product in real life, but see how it works, where it works, and who it works for. Additionally, if your video is intriguing and well-shot, it will keep customers on your eCommerce site for a longer span of time (which is never a bad thing).

Think through and develop consistent understanding of data passing back to your site

This data includes that from digital ads, social media, print ads, and so on. Reliable and consistent data passed back from all traffic sources to your eCommerce site is crucial to knowing where to focus your efforts. But keep in mind, digital ad programs often mark all conversions as incremental, when that’s not always the case. Think through where and why this traffic is coming to your site and what it leads to. Yes, this takes time and effort – but the effort pays off. Understanding these pass backs can lead to higher profitability and better outcomes.

Along those lines, it’s often better to direct traffic to landing pages rather than to product pages or your site’s home page. This makes for easier tracking, increasingly focused targeting and CTAs, and often, better conversions.

Minimize (and test) the number of recommendations per page

“Choice Paralysis” is when a person is overwhelmed with the number of choices they have in front of them, making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to make a decision. When this happens to a shopper, they’ll often become so overwhelmed that they’ll leave your site altogether. Limit this paralysis by offering fewer, more relevant options per page. To increase conversions, A/B test the number of items customers see at each section of your website. It’s often even effective to give the customer the option to make that decision themselves, by adding a products per page dropdown at the bottom of each page. Additionally, make it easy and accessible for customers to search and narrow down what they’re looking for with a search bar.

We hope both part one and two of this blog series help you increase your conversions – but if you have questions, we’re always here to assist you. And, if you’re ready to explore our services or chat further about eCommerce conversion strategies, don’t wait! Contact us today.

To Boost Customer Acquisition (& Retention)

Before we get into the seven retail marketing ideas we’ll share with you in this blog, let’s first look at some key aspects of retail marketing. Unlike several other industries, buying from the retail industry is not always driven by a need, but quite often by a want – or by a perceived need brought on by persuasive marketing. This notion can make retail marketing a bit more complicated than that of other industries, but with the right tools and knowledge, not necessarily more difficult. Marketing to a retail audience is all about creating engaged, loyal customers using effective, detail-oriented marketing campaigns that not only focus on acquisition, but long-term allegiance. It’s about finding your audience and targeting them with information based on their wants, interests, and pain points – causing them to realize or believe that they not only have interest in your product, but that they “need” it.

Customer Engagement

There are several ways to engage with and create an actively engaged audience. Generally, customer engagement is your brand’s communication with your customer base, made via strong marketing outreach through various channels. Quality engagement with current and potential customers can create brand awareness and understanding, as well as cultivate brand loyalty. In retail marketing, it’s imperative to create customer relationships – especially those that last. Retail marketing is made more successful when it’s well thought through, and retail campaigns work best when they can be easily spread and successfully flourish through word-of-mouth marketing (WOM marketing). WOM marketing is a must…after all, up to 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family. Also important is efforts to not only keep customers coming in, but to keep customers coming. Make sure your campaigns are not only built to excite and attract new customers, but to appreciate and nurture existing customers. Experiential marketing, quality customer service, and loyalty discounts and offers are all key to marketing to and keeping current customers. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a good experience, and 80% of customers say that their reason for switching to another company is poor customer service. Additionally, research shows that 71% of online shoppers are influenced by discounts, and the stronger your relationship is with a customer, the more likely they are to buy into an offer (and keep coming back for more).

Planning a Retail Marketing Campaign

The following are some key things to keep in mind when planning an effective retail marketing campaign.

  • Duration: How long will you run your campaign?
  • Engagement: Will the customer interact with your brand without prompting?
  • Frequency and Volume: How often and how much interaction will occur over the customer’s lifecycle?
  • Context: Where exactly are these interactions taking place?

7 Retail Marketing Ideas

Now that we’ve scratched the surface and gone over some retail marketing basics, we’d like to share several retail marketing ideas we’ve compiled – and believe work well. Take a look:

1. Blending Digital and In-Person Marketing:
74% of shoppers expect the same level of service in-store and online. So, make sure whether something’s out of stock, a customer’s unable to find their size, or they aren’t sure where to find a product in-store, that they can quickly resolve the issue with a digital touchpoint. The resolution should be as simple as pulling out their phone, scanning a QR code, finding a digital store map, signing up for wait-list alerts, and/or ordering online. Additionally, when sending or providing marketing materials, make sure to lead the customer to a digital touchpoint via QR code or URL. It’s great to include a detachable, physical coupon – but also important to provide a digital option. This way, no matter who your audience or their level of tech knowledge, they’ll be able to easily access your offer.

2. Augmented Reality Marketing:
Augmented reality has been and continues to be on the rise, especially when it comes to retail marketing practices. It’s become much more important for customers to not just see a product but to imagine the product on them or in their space. If it aligns with your target audience(s) and budget, think through how you can incorporate some sort of augmented reality into your marketing – whether that’s with a virtual app, a geofilter, or an in-store screen. Need ideas? Take a look at some of these augmented reality marketing examples.

3. Loyalty Programs:
Not only are these types of programs beneficial to customers – they’re also very useful for retailers. Loyalty programs build long-term relationships with faithful customers that will come back time and time again – and not just for the benefits, but because they believe your company cares for their individual allegiance. And, getting new customers to sign up for a rewards program right away is extremely helpful, as you acquire a ton of customer information up front that can be used for future outreach. It’s important to always have several ways for customers to join your program. Include a link, QR code, and/or a form to sign up on your direct mail, on your website, in-store, on receipts…the list goes on. The best part? Customers very rarely get annoyed by loyalty program communications, even if it’s the third or fourth time you’ve offered. Why? Because it’s a benefit to them!

4. Omnichannel Engagement:
It’s important to target retail customers with not only the right message, but at the right time, and in the right place. Depending on the variety of your audience, it’s possible you have some audience members that are more likely to communicate with your company through more “traditional” mediums, and others through more “modern” mediums. Think through the demographics, geographics, and even psychographics of your audience to understand where and when you should be connecting with them. Either way, multiple connection points with your current and potential customers will keep them engaged and make your brand more memorable.

5. Exclusive Experiences:
This kind of marketing can be a bit riskier than most, as whatever buzz your business creates (whether good or bad) will likely have an impact. However, marketing tactics such as exclusive drops, invite-only events, special release items, or “first-come-first-serve” items can be very effective and create a lot of conversation (again, we’re referring to WOM marketing) around your products or services. Just make sure you think through all the positives and negatives as well as possible outcomes and create the best plan of action so that all goes as smoothly as possible. To get the best possible showing at your event, release, or drop, be sure to promote it on both digital and physical marketing pieces – such as mailers, flyers, digital ads, and so on. Again, think through where your target audience is, and start there.

6. Campaigns, Challenges, and Contests with Similar Brands:
Another unique marketing tactic we’d suggest you try, if you have the right connection(s), is a crossover marketing campaign with another company with similar audience geographics, demographics, and psychographics, yet different offerings. For example, if you’re a budget gym, try partnering with a low-cost clothing (even better, gym clothing) retailer. Creating a campaign with this brand is beneficial in several ways, as you share a similar customer base, but on different verticals, helping both parties increase customer engagement and possibly gain new customers.

7. Take a Stand for a Social Cause:
What better way to meet new customers than because of a cause your company’s passionate about? Today’s consumers expect (and even appreciate and respect) when companies have opinions and will feel a much stronger connection and allegiance to your company if its opinions and beliefs align with theirs – whether those beliefs are centered around environmental protection, sustainability, food safety and distribution, equality, education, healthcare, etc. If your company shows active support for specific causes, new customers with aligned beliefs will follow. Of course, this tactic also comes with a bit of risk, but that risk is often simply a tradeoff. A lot of customers that don’t necessarily feel a long-term connection to your company, or fewer customers with aligned beliefs, are there for the long run. As we mentioned above, nurturing your customers is just as important in the retail industry as acquiring new ones. And, while the cost of acquiring new customers and nurturing existing ones can feel hefty, a strategic marketing partner can help you keep to your budget while creating and cultivating these important retail relationships. If you’re ready to increase the effectiveness of your retail marketing campaigns, click here, or contact our experts today.

Multichannel Recruitment in Just Three Steps

96% of people are looking for new jobs this year. If you have open positions to fill, now, more than ever, is the time to connect with a robust job market to find top talent to fill your open positions.

Connect with this segment of the workforce at the right place, at the right time, with the right messaging, through multichannel marketing.

Multichannel Marketing – A Quick Refresh

Multichannel Marketing is one of Strata’s areas of expertise – it combines direct and indirect communication channels to allow you to reach all your clients, prospects, and customers with a multifaceted campaign. Whether your potential or current customer prefers direct mail, social media, brick and mortar stores, or digital ads, multichannel marketing meets the end user where they are and allows them to act on their choice channel.

Before You Begin

We’ve talked about it before, but strong, cohesive design – from your direct mail to your digital ads – can give your campaign credibility and memorability. And with talent acquisition campaigns, specifically, you’re not only attracting new talent, but also building brand awareness and optimizing your budget.

Keep these stats in mind:

Clearly identify your audience prior to creating your campaign. And, when creating, make sure your campaign has eye-catching, clean graphics. If you utilize direct mail or another print medium, your message should be concise and include a clear next step – whether that’s to apply through a link or scan a QR code to find open positions.

Keep in mind that about 67% of job-applicants view openings and submit their applications through mobile platforms, so your campaigns, even if they include a physical channel, should also appear across and be optimized for digital. Keep messages that appear on digital channels short and sweet, as well.

Regardless of medium, make sure your recruitment messaging and creative is designed to fit well within whatever channel it’s on for maximize impact.

Multichannel Recruitment in Three Steps

1. Collect your data

Identify where individuals in your field are searching for jobs. Determine which channels to invest in – whether they’re LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed, or somewhere else, you’ll want to have data and knowledge behind where you put most of your efforts. For example, 80% of job searches happen online and 79% of job seekers use social media to find openings.

2. Craft Your Campaign to Each Specific Channel

While your goal remains the same across the board, tailoring your message to each specific channel is key.

  • Digital platforms can support a plethora of different messaging. For example, social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter should focus on content that’s short and digestible. Include a link to the open position with a message along the lines of, “Join our team!”.
  • On job boards like LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter, and Indeed, it’s more fitting to provide a little more detail. There, you can include the contact for the position and give more information about your company.
  • If you’re looking for referrals from existing employees, providing a toolkit with verbiage and imagery for them to share openings with their network(s) is a simple way to engage and include them in the process.
  • Your company website’s also a great way to connect with individuals. Utilizing a pop-up on your home screen or a specific landing page linked to other media, you’re not only able to accept applications, but can get a sense of which platforms are performing best.
  • For any email components, ensure your HR, recruitment, and/or marketing team has been provided with the proper verbiage, voice, and templates to ensure they’re connecting with candidates while also maintaining brand and campaign consistency. You’ll want to make sure what your candidates receive through email matches what they’re able to view through a quick online search, and fits in with the other campaign materials they may be viewing or receiving elsewhere.
  • It’s also important to factor in your print marketing efforts. Regardless of where a candidate may interact with your messaging, it helps to have cohesive branding across the board. Your print marketing touchpoints could be a billboard, wrapped benches and buses with interactive media, and flyers put up around town near your office location(s). All should be connected with your other touchpoints and should likely include a shortened URL or QR code to apply. Whether long-form or short-form, be sure to include an overview of the location of the job (with the city and state, and whether it’s remote, hybrid, or fully on-site), the benefits that come with the position, and a small portion discussing professional development.

3. Launch Your Campaign!

By running a multichannel recruitment campaign, you’re able to monitor the metrics and ROI through reporting tools, such as Google Analytics, your own proprietary technology, or software available on the platforms you’re using, such as LinkedIn Insights. With a combination of several job boards, your company’s website, emails, desktop and mobile advertising, social media, and more, you’re able to connect with a wide pool of job seekers. If you choose a marketing partner, like Strata, you’re able to better target your audience of job seekers with a highly targeted multichannel campaign – based on their goals, backgrounds, skillsets, and more. It’s also helpful to have a team of experts behind your campaign to support your efforts and land your company with the best possible talent out there.

Looking Ahead

With so many job openings and job seekers, it’s important to meet potential, qualified, and talented employees where they are, at the right time, with the right message, and to give them the opportunity to respond or apply when and where works best for them. Not sure where to start?  Connect with our experts today to get started with your multichannel recruitment campaign.

A Strata YouTube Channel Original

Throughout our last few blog posts (and their corresponding YouTube videos), we’ve gone over the basics of new mover marketing, along with how to approach a new mover campaign and the best channels and workflows to reach new movers in different industries. When it comes to new mover marketing, it’s important to remember that tactics and incentives differ not only for each industry – but are unique to your specific business, as well. In this blog, we’ll go over how those in the grocery industry can create incentives that resonate with new movers.

A Quick Review of New Mover Marketing

To give you a brief refresher, new mover marketing is a specific, niche marketing tactic that’s designed to reach new residents in your area. It’s one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers that have just recently entered your specific target market. When it comes to new movers, they’re nobody’s customer, yet – so it’s an effective tactic to make a good first impression at the same time they’re looking for your product or service.

The Benefits of Incentives

Incentives can sometimes be perceived as a waste of time and/or money, but in our opinion, that’s often not the case. Why? They allow you to build a connection with your potential customer and invite them to consider your establishment – and maybe even become a regular, loyal customer. You’re showing them that you care about them and their possible loyalty, while presenting all that your business has to offer. Incentives help build a positive company image in the minds of new movers. By giving them a free gift (or other incentive) at the start of your business-customer relationship, you’re very quickly helping the potential customer to see your establishment in a positive light, and creating a favorable association in their mind between the gift and your company. Additionally, using incentives helps with your ROI, since spending a little is likely to get you a lot back in return.

The First Rule of Incentives

The big question is – how do I use incentives to get people to buy from my business? The answer is simple…by being generous! While you may be swayed to take the more inexpensive route to save a few dollars, that mindset’s not what generates ROI. It’s always better to give a little more up front in order to show customers you care about them – not just their money. Customers want to feel seen, heard, and special, and if you can’t/don’t make them feel that way, they’ll take their business elsewhere. By being generous right off the bat, you’ll stand apart from – and very likely ahead of, other similar establishments (your competitors).

New movers are a great segment to target because they’re willing to spend a lot (on average, $9,700) in their first 6 months of new homeownership. This spending is a lot more than already established homeowners. New movers are putting out a lot of money in order to get their new home up and running, so if they receive a free gift, they’ll likely be truly appreciative. Plus, they’re more likely to remember you and your generosity and be more inclined to spend their time and money at your establishment down the road. We know that 80% of new residents redeem offers or “freebies”, so it’s definitely worth the time and money to reach out and offer a gift, discount code, percentage off, or rewards program sign-up. Remember, the end goal is to gain life-long, loyal customers who will keep coming back time and time again.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the benefits of incentives, and the first rule of thumb for grocery industry giveaways, learn a bit more by heading over to our YouTube channel. You’ll listen to Connor, a member of Strata’s Strategic Sales Team, as he gives more detail on effective grocery industry incentives. If you’re ready to take the first new mover marketing steps with Strata, contact us today.

A Strata YouTube Channel Original

In our last few blogs (and their corresponding YouTube videos) we’ve gone over the basics of new mover marketing, how to choose the right partner, and some steps to get started. Now, it’s time to take a deeper dive into how you can specifically utilize new mover marketing in the grocery industry and what channels and workflows work best.

A Quick Review of New Mover Marketing

To give you a brief refresher, new mover marketing is a specific, niche marketing tactic that’s designed to reach new residents in your area. It’s one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers that have just recently entered your specific target market. When it comes to new movers, they’re nobody’s customer, yet – so it’s an effective tactic to make a good first impression at the same time they’re looking for your product or service.

What do New Residents Really Want?

To answer the question, new residents are looking for “reliables”. These are goods and/or services that new movers can depend on daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Since they’re new to the area, they’re usually unsure where to start. When it comes to grocery stores, sometimes there can be almost too many options for consumers to choose from. Because of this, you, as a grocery store, are in constant competition with other stores near you. That’s why it’s so important for your grocery store to be the first to reach out and make the consumer aware of your store – before competitors – and show them you’re close by. With immediate outreach, they’ll see you care, are convenient, and have quality goods.

The Best New Mover Channels for Grocers

We’ve deemed ourselves experts in new mover marketing all around – and we’re very practiced in some of the best channels and workflows for grocers (specifically) to reach new movers. One of the best channels you can take advantage of is direct mail. We know direct mail to be vital to the success of new mover campaigns, especially those of grocery stores. When mail is executed correctly, with personalization and attribution tactics, it can cut through all the digital noise and stand out in the mailbox. As we’ve mentioned in past blogs and videos, the average response rate for direct mail can be up to 50% more effective than those of email blasts, so it’s definitely worth your time and money!

Like we hinted at above, not all direct mail is created equal, so we suggest that those in the grocer industry send a “welcome handshake”. This is either a 6×9 or 6×10 postcard or bifold that allows your store to be introduced and represented in the best way possible. Again, the key to a good direct mail campaign is making sure it’s personable and actionable. With personalization and calls-to-action, you can welcome new movers to the neighborhood by first name and provide a personalized offer, which they can access by QR code or PURL. Another option? Provide a personalized coupon that they can redeem in-store, upon their first visit. If you want to go a step further in terms of personalization, include a map that shows the location of your store relative to their new residence. Generally, you want to make it as easy and enticing as possible for new movers to choose and visit your store.

What’s Next?

With this quick read, you now have a look into one of the top grocery industry channels to utilize for your next new mover campaign. But – it doesn’t stop there! We still have more suggestions when it comes to the best channels and workflows for grocery establishments like yours. Head over to our YouTube channel, where you’ll hear these suggestions from Connor, a member of Strata’s Strategic Sales Team. Or, if you’re ready to take these new mover marketing steps with Strata, contact us today.