Most online clothing stores have a common problem. Regardless of how good their products are or how helpful their customer service is, they need a reliable way to generate more customers (and sales). Otherwise, your inventory will never move, and you’ll lose out to competitors investing more heavily in marketing and advertising — even if their products are inferior. That’s where direct response emails come in.
Essentially, it means using email marketing to encourage an immediate response. You do this by including sales and calls-to-action (CTAs) in the body of the email that allow customers to make a purchase right then and there.
Once you learn the strengths of such a campaign and how to use it properly, you can quickly boost sales and help your online clothing store thrive.
The advantages of direct response emails for clothing stores
Why are direct response emails so beneficial for online clothing stores? Here are some of the most powerful advantages.
One of the most obvious advantages is your ability to get immediate sales. You don’t have to spend as much time building your brand reputation or guiding customers through the phases of the buying cycle. Instead, you can confront potential customers immediately with a buying opportunity, and if the opportunity is valuable enough, they’ll bite.
Specific offers for specific populations
Direct response emails are easily segmented. In other words, you can send variations of your email to each of your different audiences. For example, you could send an email full of CTAs for baby clothes to new and expectant mothers, and another email full of suits and ties to young male professionals. This allows you to serve up targeted products to each of your key demographics.
Email is easily measured. You can track when they’re opened and what actions users are taking once they open them. This data can help you make important improvements to your campaigns over time and measure the overall effectiveness of your strategies.
Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing makes it easy to see how your emails are performing — including how many emails were opened, which ones got the most clicks and more — so you can learn what works and make each email more successful than the last.
Direct response emails don’t require a long-term investment the way other online marketing strategies (like content marketing and SEO) do. Instead, you can use it as a short-term measure to boost sales, which can be useful for new companies looking to gain early momentum. If your sales are sluggish or if your growth in other areas has come to a halt, this is also a fast way to inject new life into your brand.
If users don’t convert via a direct response email, you can enroll them in an ongoing drip campaign. That means they’ll receive regular emails with new offers and prompts, increasing their brand exposure and their likelihood of making a purchase.
Tips to get started
Even with all of the upside of sending direct response emails, you might be hesitant to get started — but the strategy is easier to execute than you might think. Follow these tips to find success, no matter how much experience or familiarity you currently have.
1. Grow your list organically
It’s tempting to buy an email list for direct response email marketing, but this is usually a bad idea. Sure, it’s a quick way to get the information of thousands of people within your target market, but recipients are likely to report your emails as spam. Even worse, it could give them a negative impression of your brand.
Instead, work on building your list as organically as possible, and make sure all your subscribers actually want to receive your emails.
It’s better to have a smaller list full of engaged leads than a longer list made up of people who don’t care about your brand or your products.
2. Highlight your most compelling products (or offers)
Direct response emails are your chance to introduce promising customers to a conversion opportunity, but the exchange still needs to be valuable if your email subscribers are going to bite.
Massive price cuts, bulk discounts and brand-new products are all good ideas. It may even be worth it to take a temporary loss if it means earning new loyal customers for your brand.
3. Do A/B testing
Ideally, you’ll never send the exact same email to your entire list at once. In addition to segmenting your audience based on demographics and interests, you should split your list into various segments based on variations in email design. Only by testing two similar designs against each other will you be able to learn which features convert better — and which offers your customers prefer. This method of experimentation, known as A/B testing, is the best tool you have to learn from your campaign and refine your approach over time.
4. Cater to your target demographics
Use whatever research tools you have at your disposal to thoroughly understand your target audience. If you don’t know what your customers value or what they’re looking for in an online clothing provider, you won’t be able to persuade them to buy from you. Remember, direct response emails are a fast medium, so you might only have a few seconds to convince someone that your store is worth buying from. Make sure you can speak their language.
5. Review successful campaigns from the past
If you’ve done any previous marketing campaigns — whether it was through email, social media or print — take the time to review the data and key learnings. What features did your customers like best? What conversion optimization strategies did you find most successful? Use this as a starting point for your direct response emails, and keep reviewing your new data to make further improvements.
If you’re interested in learning more about the power of direct response emails or other forms of email marketing, GoDaddy has a variety of services for you to explore. In the meantime, start building that subscriber list, get to know your audience, and think up some exciting offers you can use to draw more people to your brand.