American Marketer


5 ways luxury brands can get email marketing right

March 2, 2017

Cynthia Price is vice president of marketing at Emma Cynthia Price is vice president of marketing at Emma


By Cynthia Price

When it comes to getting email marketing right, luxury brands are in a tough spot. Done correctly, email marketing can promote customer loyalty, generate more and bigger orders and ultimately increase your bottom line.

However, you also have a carefully curated brand to protect, and ensuring your digital marketing efforts always align with that image can be challenging.

Every email you send, tweet you post and update you make to your Web site needs to reflect those same high standards so you can maintain a cohesive brand identity. That does not mean you should shy away from email marketing, though.

The right campaigns can actually enhance your brand's image and help convert prospects into loyal buyers and brand advocates.

Here are five ways your luxury brand can use email marketing the right way to both enhance your reputation and increase sales.

1. Entice them to subscribe
When someone first lands on your Web site, an easy way to keep the conversation going – and your brand top-of-mind – is to get them to sign up for your mailing list.

A well-placed form on your homepage can do the trick, especially when paired with a special offer. A discount for joining your VIP list or the promise of exclusive access to sales events can be a powerful lead magnet.

Fast fact: “Enter to Win” contests generally provide the best incentive to join your email list with a 15 percent conversion rate.

Example: Offer a chance to win branded swag, a gift card or a getaway as an incentive to join your list.

2. Keep the quality of your emails consistent with your products
When customers see your products, they immediately know who produced them – and they know they are of the highest quality.

Your emails must follow suit, so make sure your email design aligns with your overall brand aesthetic. This can mean using high-quality photos and product imagery, incorporating your signature brand colors and matching the design to your printed materials.

Remember that email is a unique medium, though: You cannot just copy and paste what you put on your Web site and call it a day.

Hire a dedicated email designer, or invest in top-notch, branded templates that are optimized for mobile.

Fast fact: Eighty-five percent of people cited color as the main reason they bought a product.

Example: Assign specific templates to specific types of messages – promotions, product announcements, newsletters – so your recipient learns what to expect as soon as they open.

3. Create valuable content
Just as your email design must reflect your brand, so should your content.

Segment newsletters and other communications to keep them personalized, and always offer value to your customers and prospects.

Whether it is tips for traveling efficiently to your resorts or suggestions on how to wear your new fashion line, customers should be excited to open your emails.

Fast fact: Ninety-six percent of organizations believe personalization improves email marketing performance and conversions.

Example: Send new customers an email asking for their individual preferences and promising to only email them about those things.

4. Use eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) buttons
More than 50 percent of all email is opened on a mobile device (Litmus). For luxury goods consumers, the percentage is even higher.

It is critically important, then, that your emails include big, compelling CTA buttons so that these mobile readers can easily consume what you are selling without having to tap tiny hyperlinks on their phones.

Fast fact: Apple recommends a button size of at least 44x44px to keep it tappable on a smartphone.

Example: Use CTA buttons that contrast with the background of your mailing and that contain active copy, like “Buy now” or “See what’s new.”

5. Engage beyond the inbox
To offer a complete brand experience, offer multiple touch points to your email subscribers.

In every email you send, include links to your Web site, your social media profiles and any applications you might have.

Remember, though, the same rules apply here as before: Anywhere you send them must be consistent with your overall brand aesthetic.

Fast fact: Facebook and Twitter offer lead-generation campaign tools that allow you to gather the information you want about targets.

Example: Add email signup forms to your social profiles to capitalize on that audience and grow your subscriber list.

ESTABLISHING AND maintaining a luxury brand is not easy.

You spend a lot of time making products that wow customers and crafting an image to match. Do not throw that all away with ineffective email.

Cynthia Price is vice president of marketing at Emma, Nashville, TN. Reach her at