Onam is the start of the festival season in India. Online marketing for festive seasons or holiday season in India is growing into a tradition in its own right. It provides India Marketers with the perfect opportunity to establish a human connection with consumers and galvanise online traffic to the checkout section! This is evidenced by the 8 million visitors clocked by Google during the 3 day Google Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) in India last year.
Google estimates that India will have 100 million online shoppers by 2016. While Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter continue to dominate in terms of customer engagement, a platform that has repeatedly proved itself as more successful in driving online traffic to websites in India is Email! According to Octane Research’s report The Digital DNA: State of e-Marketing India 2015 Email Marketing features in the Top 3 digital channels of choice for India Marketers. Also, each 1 rupee invested in email is estimated to be delivering Rs. 95 worth of revenue impact in India.
8 ways to make your Email Marketing the best gift wrap to your festival marketing plan:
- Away with the Spam Demon: Always email to an Opt-In database. If you have to reach out to newer audiences through partners (with their own subscribers list), please insist on checking whether this subscriber data is 100% opt-in or not. There’s nothing cheerful about a Batch-and-Blast spamming of uninvited offers.
- Humanise your emails: Personalise your messages by with recommendations based on the subscribers transactional history, behavioural history on your website. In fact, increase in personalisation & targeting has been voted by 67% India Marketers as the best Email Marketing practice that reduces spam. In case you have a large subscriber database, try using an Email Marketing Software that provides personalised automated emails and eliminates laborious manual labor.
- Integrate Google Analytics with your Emails: This will help track clicks from your campaigns all the way through purchases on your website. If you use an Email Service Platform then the email metric data will be shown in the service provider’s campaign report after Google passes analytics data from its reports. Tracking only Opens and Click Throughs is like tracking only 50% of the campaign of your email marketing program.
- Email a Chameleon: India’s holiday season is a cornucopia of festivals. Surprise your customers with Agile Content Marketing by providing them with Real-time offers which will change according to the festival. This is recommended for festivals that occur successively. For example, you can send an email with a Durga Puja Offer which can change to a Dussehra Offer
- Be device responsive: Emails viewed on Android and Windows devices have increased in 2014, and growing higher in 2015. Ensure that your emails are designed for mobile first and optimizes for desktop later.
- Grant a wish!: John Green rightly put it, “The word is not a wish granting factory.” But festivals are all about miracles and marketers do have the power to gift one such miracle: Early Offers. Optimise the festive season opportunity by providing discounts combined with attractive cash backs by varying actual benefits for different categories. Deliver differentiated offerings to loyal customers. This will help ensure customer stickiness in addition to increased website traffic. Email assists by being one of the best channels to reach out to your fan base of subscribers.
- Post Purchase Email: Follow up on your customer’s purchase experience by sending post-purchase emails, especially thank you notes. The benefit of this is twofold: one, you will receive a review of your site and second, you will be able to retain your buyers within the funnel. Fuel the festival shopping adrenaline by combining your transactional alerts with promo campaigns and recommendations, to drive up the repeat business from the first time buyers.
- Gift yourself a holiday miracle: Reconvert that Abandoned Cart!: Octane Research’s report Cart Abandonment 2015- State of E-Commerce in India analysed Marketers View on Cart Abandonment and found that the Cart Abandonment Rate can be as high as 81% to 90% with best-in-class reporting it to be at 70%. So, if you still haven’t yet adopted a responsive Cart Abandonment Program (key word: responsive) gift yourself an antidote this festive season and deploy a Cart Abandonment Program. Email has emerged as a pivotal platform with 45% India Marketers voting it as an effective tool for deploying a Cart Abandonment Program. Other channels such as SMSs and Phone calls have been rated at 22% and 20% respectively.
Festivals are an expressway to celebrate glorious heritage, culture and tradition. We as marketers play an important role in enabling this by helping fulfill wishes and being a part of the celebrations
Happy #FestivalEmailMarketing! Works Cited:
- Why Do India Consumers Abandon Online Carts? : Cart Abandonment 2015- State of E-Commerce in India, Octane Research (Upcoming Report)
- The Digital DNA: State of e-Marketing India 2015, Octane Research (Published in January 2015)
- Online Shopping Growth Trends Report, Google and Forrester Research (Published in 2014)