American Marketer


6 tips to maximize the potential of luxury email campaigns

January 26, 2015

Christina Hagopian is president and creative director of Hagopian Ink Christina Hagopian is president and creative director of Hagopian Ink


By Christina Hagopian

Email, a too-often-forgotten luxury marketing tool, especially in the age of social media, still delivers the highest rate of ROI of all marketing channels, with search engine optimization a distant second.

When done correctly, email, unrestrained by Twitter’s 140-character limitation, is a potent medium to communicate to your most trusted customers and build relationships with budding fans. With open rates averaging 22 percent, and click rates of 3 percent, how do you increase engagement with this profitable core group? Here are six ways.

1. Create a sense of exclusivity
Luxury consumers want to feel special and attended to. Use language that promotes this feeling, such as, "Be the first to know about exciting new arrivals, exclusive special events, store openings and more."

2. Customize
Gather key information at the registration process. Use a ZIP code to send personalized information about local events. Use consumers’ buying patterns to recommend products just for them. Does this specific consumer always order shoes or the color blue?

Use algorithms to segment your subscriber list and feed similar products or "recommended just for you" products from their order history. Again, another opportunity to make them feel like you are their personal shopper.

3. Position your subscribe entry front and center
Do not make your subscribers hunt to be added to your list. Most luxury brands have a gateway on their homepage inviting you to join. Even popups for first-time visitors.

4. Offer a timely incentive
Even the uber lux brands and retailers entice consumers. Retailers Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman examples of 20 percent-off first purchase if made within 24 hours of subscribing, pushing the sense of urgency which is another email tactic.

5. Grow your subscriber list
Want to know the fastest way to grow your list? Create a compelling contest that your subscriber base is dying to win.

Are you an Italian or French company? Plan an exotic getaway or shopping spree at your flagship store. Offer free chances to win with every forward to a friend and watch your list triple.

Want your list to quadruple exponentially? Partner with a non-competing affiliate and send the contest to both lists. Ensure opt-in with every contest entry. Everyone will be waiting to win.

6. Mind your manners
Just like your mother taught you, always thank your customer after signing up or completing a purchase: "Thank you for joining our preferred client list" or "Thank you for your recent purchase."

Never take loyal customers for granted. Use each sale as an opportunity to continue a friendly dialogue and invite them to return again and again.

Christina Hagopian is president and creative director of Hagopian Ink, a New York City graphic design studio for print and interactive media. Reach her at