How to do Email Marketing: A Retailers Guide – Building a Customer Database

October 14th, 2020 | Gift & Loyalty, Retail News

Building customer loyalty with online email marketing

Building customer loyalty should be a core marketing objective. Retailers invest heavily in retail marketing ideas to attract customers and sometimes neglect the fact that customer loyalty and retention email campaigns can provide the best return on investment.

This series of email marketing campaign guidance blogs on how to create the best retail emails to maximise customer loyalty covers a vast area. We’ve divided it into the sections listed further down this page, and will regularly add to them. If you are a retailer wondering how to do email marketing, bookmark this page to benefit from all our email marketing ideas and find out how to produce the best retail emails.

How to build a customer database

Part One:

Building a Customer Database

Building a customer email marketing database

Retail email marketing campaigns can be easy to do. Having a customer loyalty card system gives you a head start because it provides you with a ready-made customer database for all your retail newsletters and online email marketing campaigns.

We encourage all our retailers who use our customer loyalty card system to use email marketing campaigns to increase retention and protect their revenue from competitors. They sometimes don’t have the expertise in-house, so we provide branded email campaign templates and a simple retail email marketing broadcasting system and training.

email marketing to increase customer loyalty

“We provide branded email campaign templates and a simple retail email marketing broadcasting system and training.”

Can I build a customer email marketing list from my shop?

This section discusses the cost of manually building a customer loyalty email marketing list from your shop.

Incentivising customers to sign up to your email marketing list

If you don’t have a customer loyalty card system in place and you don’t have an online shop with plenty of traffic, you will need to rely on in-store activities to build your customer marketing list. However, your customers might be reluctant to sign up to an online retail newsletter or email marketing campaign list if there’s no reward for them.

One of the best ways to counteract this reluctance is to incentivise retail newsletter sign-ups with a monthly prize draw. Without the database and automated data collection system that normally come in our loyalty packages, you’re unlikely to have sufficient concrete information to select a reward that appeals to everyone. This is why you’ll notice that most retailers incentivise with a gift card. This has the bonus of reducing the cash value of the reward for you – without undermining the value of the gift to your winning customer.

“Using a gift card to incentivise email sign-ups creates a valuable reason for customers to sign up without a large cash spend for you.”

Incentivise email sign-ups with a gift card prize

Using hard-copy sign-up cards or forms to build your retail email marketing list

The cost of designing and printing professional-looking cards or forms for people to complete and include their email to enter a prize draw varies depending on the following:

  • The weight of your stock – too flimsy and they’ll tear or crease.
  • Your design – the cost of a professional designer or an online template.
  • The printing service itself – low volumes cost more, so it’s worth printing a batch of thousands.
  • Delivery charges – many people outsource to overseas printing companies and short lead times come at an extra cost.

Manual data entry to your retail email marketing list

This is often a hidden cost. If you or your staff can touch-type, adding new customer names and email addresses to your online loyalty marketing database each day or week might not be too costly. Do you have enough regular slack time to update a retail marketing database? If you don’t do this, the investment in all the above plus your email marketing template design, the email marketing broadcasting system and writing your emails will be wasted.

Manual data entry with keyboard

“If you don’t regularly update your database, the time spent writing and designing your emails will be wasted.”

The cost of email marketing broadcasting systems

Email marketing broadcasting systems often offer free packages. It’s worth calculating the average number of transactions you need each month to profit and see how this compares to the maximum number of contacts the broadcasting system allows you to upload for free. Also, consider whether the free package enables you to divide your customer contacts into different audiences. There are many other factors you will need to weigh up. Reward-It’s email broadcasting system for its customer loyalty card clients includes all this, along with professionally designed templates and text if you need it.

Weighing up the costs of manually building a retail email marketing list: If you don’t have a website, it’s highly likely that it’s far more cost-effective for you to adopt our customer loyalty system, which does most of this work for you. The price plans are available here.

Can I build a customer email marketing list from my website?

If your website already collects customer contact information, uploading it to an email marketing campaign broadcasting system is straightforward. However, if your website hasn’t collected enough contacts, we recommend considering adopting a customer loyalty card system to improve your existing revenue channels and facilitate your customer retention email marketing campaigns.

If you’d like to speak to us about your marketing, please give us a call on 020 8266 1600 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page.

Written by Lucy Wenham

Lucy is a customer loyalty expert, with experience in loyalty schemes for small independent stores, right through to our town and city-wide loyalty schemes.

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