Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next newsletter, or you’re wondering whether starting an email marketing program is right for you, you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered 7 of the most proven email marketing campaign ideas guaranteed to increase your customer engagement, boost brand loyalty, and bring visitors back time and time again.
Why use promotional email marketing?
Email marketing is one of the strongest tools in your digital toolbox. 58% of people open their inbox first thing in the morning, doing so before scrolling through social media or checking the weather! 9 out of 10 people check their email at least once a day. Therefore, that gives you multiple opportunities to reach your customers.
Plus, you can rest assured that customers who are opted in to receive your promotional emails truly want to hear from you. Ever worry that you’re sending emails out into the void? Fear not! 60% of customers subscribe to their favourite brand’s email list, compared to only 20% who follow them on social media. In part, that’s because with email, they expect a personalized experience with deals and special notifications about more ways to spend, earn loyalty points, and revisit. Email marketing arrives straight into their personal inbox, and can be tailored even further than social media to help your loyal customers feel special.
Without further ado, let’s get into some email marketing campaign ideas.
1. Send limited-time deals (in-store or online)
Image Source: Really Good Emails
It’s no secret that customers who sign up for an email newsletter are excited to receive promotions on the regular. Give your customers what they want, and watch your open rates soar!
Advertise your in-store or online deals via an email blast, or send out a coupon that only your subscribers receive. If you have a loyalty program, you could send VIP offers just for your rewards members.
Remember the power of urgency! Consider how long you want these specials to last. For example, maybe you want to send a flash deal, or make it a weekend-long sales event. Pay attention to your email open rates and the corresponding sales traffic. Test out different lengths of promos to see which tend to bring in more revenue. Maybe your audience loves flash online-exclusive sales!
2. Encourage customers to consider online ordering
If your business offers takeout or delivery, email marketing is a great way to encourage orders. Set up a short-and-sweet teaser email and send it a few hours before mealtime to optimize a response. Maybe it’s Taco Tuesday — remind your loyal customers and watch the orders pour in!
Email marketing is a fantastic way to leverage time-sensitive offers and subjects. Think about what’s happening in your area and personalize your communication. Perhaps it’s raining and your customers are likely to stay in. Send them an email to suggest takeout tonight!
3. Send a regular rewards card balance update
If you have a loyalty program, it is essential that you communicate current balances with your members. Otherwise, how can you expect them to get excited to come in and redeem? Or to hit a certain earning threshold and get rewarded even further?
We recommend a monthly recurring email campaign that contains a cardholder’s balance. This regular touchpoint is not ‘bugging’ them; rather, it’s reminding them of the benefits of your program and letting them know you care that they are your loyal customer!
You can couple a simple balance update with a personalized visit encouragement — for example, “you’re only 100 points away from getting $5 off! Here’s what you can purchase now to help get you there.” Offer items from your online store, or simply invite them back to visit and redeem their $5 right away. This also boosts the gamification of your loyalty program, making it fun to be a part of.
Or, you could GIVE them the extra loyalty cash so that they reach their redemption threshold. Which brings us to…
4. Send bonus point emails, freebies, and other opportunities to earn/redeem
Everybody loves freebies! Sending bonus points to your rewards members is a step up from a discount sale. You may choose to place an expiry on these bonus dollars to up the urgency factor and get them back in to spend. Or, run a Double Loyalty Day or Weekend, whether regularly or every once and a while to boost engagement and sales!
Depending on your POS integration, you could also use SKU- or item-based loyalty bonuses. Give your rewards members (and regular customers) plenty of opportunities to earn, and they’ll keep coming back. Sometimes, a little bit of free turns into quite a lot of revenue!
Email marketing helps you do it all — because if your customers don’t know about your sale, did you ever really have it?
5. Send a “win-back” email campaign
How do you re-engage customers who haven’t come back to visit your store in a while? With the data provided by an Ackroo loyalty or gift card program, you can keep track of transaction dates and information and target special messages via email to those customers.
Run an email campaign where you remind customers who haven’t visited in over 6 months of their loyalty or gift card balance. Send them promotional dollars (with an expiry!) to encourage them to visit again. Tease them with a deal exclusively for them.
Lost customers aren’t truly lost if you have email marketing on your side!
6. Boost gift card sales — especially around holidays
Sending emails to remind your customers about the availability of gift cards is one of those email marketing campaign ideas that you can send at any point in the year. You can set up a regular email to be sent out at key points in time, such as around holidays where gift cards are the most popular gift given.
7. Create themed emails: Christmas, Mother’s Day, Black Friday, Thanksgiving & more!
Shoppers expect to hear from their favourite businesses more than usual around the holidays. They hope sales and discounts will arrive in their inbox!
Leverage your gift cards and loyalty program to boost the content of these emails. For example, remind customers about the convenience of gift cards around Mother’s Day. Thank them for their loyalty around Thanksgiving. Send out a “year in review” email in the space after Christmas and New Years.
Not only do your customers anticipate hearing from you, they are happy to, even if it’s just a nice note to let them know you’re thinking of them. Show them you appreciate their business!
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Don’t forget about automation: It’s the way of the future
Email marketing automation is driving the future of customer communications. While promotional emails, as we described above, are usually created manually, transactional emails are set up as templates and are triggered automatically when a customer takes an action. They are usually quite personalized, containing purchase information, a rewards card number and/or balance, and the like.
Transactional emails such as receipts, welcome emails, thank you emails, and rewards redemption congratulation emails are often expected as part of a business interaction these days. This is not a bad thing! In fact, automated emails drive 320% more revenue when compared to non-automated emails.
While not every business is set up to handle automated emails, a good email service provider (ESP) should pave the way to implement them.
To wrap up, we hope these 6 email marketing campaign ideas have sparked some inspiration for you, and have convinced you of the power of promotional emails.
Did you know that we released our Email Marketing Hub tool in early 2022, where you can create, send, and manage email campaigns from right inside the Ackroo program console? That means you have streamlined access to program data and customer details, making it super easy to send balance updates and create specialized promotions!
You can learn more about the Ackroo Marketing Hub here.