DO’s and DON’Ts for Home Furnishings Retailers
The 90s: A time of “shabby chic,” NASA-scaled entertainments centers, inflatable furniture…. And of course, the introduction of electronic mail. We’ve come a long way since then. Except, one of these things is still around and essential in the world of home furnishings retailers.
Manufacturers and retailers in the home furnishings industry may still think email isn’t “for them”. But here’s what you didn’t know: email marketing is the best way to reach customers AND prospects.
Email isn’t only a contributor to customer acquisition but it’s also used for customer retention as well. Forbes even claimed:
“Sending an email campaign may be the quickest and most inexpensive way to drive leads.”
What are you waiting for? Grab your checklist and let’s go through to see if your email campaigns are following the best practices.
DO: Make the Subject Line Appealing
Think about why you’ve deleted emails before even reading them in the past. Odds are the title alone led to that decision. When opening emails, 47% of people admitted they base it on the subject line alone.
Keep in mind that a typical desktop inbox displays about 60 characters in an email’s subject line. But mobile devices show 25 to 30 characters. Don’t fall into any “dead zones” and aim for 10 to 50 characters since 64% of subject lines with this length tend to get read.
- Test your subject lines for a second opinion. Visit sites like subjectline.
- Some people read the preview text following the subject line. If this is the case, try to make the preview text answer to it.
- Include numbers when you can. eMarketer reported a benchmark on open and reply rates by subject line type. As it turns out, 53.2% of emails opened included a number in the subject line, while 32% received responses.
DO: Get Creative with Call-to-Actions
We cannot stress enough how beneficial call-to-actions are here at MicroD. Creating them for an email campaign is important. You want those click-throughs!
CTAs need to stand out in emails to ensure they get noticed and make home furnishings customers want to respond now. Don’t go overboard though. Images and copy should get noticed too. Limit the number of CTAs you present so customers aren’t overwhelmed.
Buttons and links should all be fitted with the rest of your email. If subscribers are first presented with a CTA button, chances are it will get ignored. You want to educate and influence them with those exciting home furnishings retail deals.
- Learn about how different colors affect optimization.
DO: Track Campaign Activity
Monitoring campaign results provide insight on whether you’re hitting your goals.
If you’ve created an outstanding email, you’ll want to know how your email list is reacting to it. How would you know if anyone is opening it? Or if the email is being sent out too late or too early? Are the CTAs encouraging enough? A/B testing can help put these thoughts to rest.
Create 2 different templates and use them simultaneously. Make note of how slight changes can make a difference.
Some email analytics you should track include click-through rate, conversion rate, and list growth. Discover what your audience finds engaging (or unengaging). Then you can conclude any changes that need to be made based on those measured metrics.
DO: Make Your Email Mobile Friendly
Ugly emails get deleted on mobile.
Home furnishings retailers and manufacturers who want to drive more clicks, orders and revenue must be mobile-friendly. Why? If consumers come across emails that don’t look good on mobile, 71.6% will delete them.
Don’t put time and effort into a campaign just so it won’t get noticed. Design an email layout and graphics with devices in mind.
DON’T: Send Out Emails Without Testing Them
This is a critical step if you want a successful email campaign. It ties into the A/B testing and mobile design. You want to make sure all links, graphics, and pictures are visible, working, and in the right places. Also check to see if it looks good across all platforms (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.).
Test, test, test! Save the humiliation of sending a faulty email out to subscribers.
DON’T: Send Emails Too Frequently
It may seem like sending emails many times a week will generate more engagement. Let’s look at some facts eMarketer gathered about the subject:
- 1 in 4 internet users said they unsubscribe from email lists because they receive too many emails
- Users are likely to unsubscribe if a specific company sends too many emails
- 40% of internet users said receiving marketing emails once a week was preferable
Patience is key. It’s not about sending more messages, but smarter ones.
DON’T: Hide the Unsubscribe
This should be obvious. If you follow the MicroD Insights Blog, you’ll remember our conversation about Email Rules 101 and the Can Spam Act. Not only is it a courtesy. Subscription preferences are REQUIRED.
Allow the opportunity for people to stop their subscription. This is a chance to improve email content and strategies. Ask for the reasoning behind unsubscribing, and provide options that will help pinpoint the problem. Common choices like, “privacy concerns,” or “content was irrelevant” are good to start.
Establish yourself as the most reliable, go-to home furnishings provider. Build trust, relationships and educate your customers. This can all get done with emails. Construct a campaign that will help get your messages into the right inboxes!
We’ve done our fair share (and others’ fair share) of email marketing at MicroD. Want to get tips on how to personalize your email marketing strategy for home furnishings customers? Read about Personalization Tips for Furniture Retailer Email Marketing.
Still, think email campaigns are a lot of work? Learn about MicroD’s Digital Marketing and decide whether we can assist you in enhancing your business! Or email [email protected] for any questions!