The Guide to Location-Based Email Marketing

With so many consumers on-the-go using mobile devices, location-based email marketing allows incentives to be delivered at the right time and right place.

It’s easy to look at the success stats surrounding email marketing and just start sending deals and offers.

Failing to properly target your campaigns for your local market can be a mistake.

The best email campaigns are not one-size-fits-all and even minor adjustments can help boost your effectiveness.

Personalization can help boost your open rates.

Most marketers now think that real-time personalization is a critical element of success.

Not just a contact’s name, but incorporating real-time tech that uses relevant data to boost personalization.

One of the easiest ways to personalize a campaign is with geography.

Segmenting recipients by their location can help you serve up customized campaigns and allows you to avoid sending the wrong information to a recipient.

Let’s say a financial institution sends an email promoting an offer that is only available in California and it’s sent to contacts located in Oregon and Arizona.

How do you think that will go over?

It may cause annoyance and frustration to note that Cali is getting a better deal.

Location campaign can also help you utilize real-time data–pinpointing a contact’s precise geolocation and serving up content that is just for them.

Using location-based emails to drive in-store traffic and to communicate with customers can help boost sales and average order value.

And you want to know the best part?

It is surprisingly easy to do.

What is Location-Based Marketing?

Location-based marketing uses a prospect's geographic location as a sorting or segmenting tool; they’ll get content they can use based on where they are or their last known location.

The contact will need to be opted-in to receive your messages, and you can even set up an automated process that takes note of social media check-ins, geofencing pings, and more.

Purchase history from a particular location or store is also a valuable tool for location-based marketing since it can give you a good idea of not only what your prospect buys, but where they shop and when they go to your store.

Location-based marketing can help any business but is particularly effective for those with multiple locations scattered across a region or even across the country.

When you know where your customer's shop, it’s easy to serve up marketing messages that are tailor-made for them.

3 Steps to Location-Based Email Marketing

To make the most of location-based marketing, you need to have accurate data to work with and commit to capturing new information about your customers and their unique preferences.

When you know where they shop, how frequently they visit, and even what they buy, it’s easy to create a custom campaign just for them.

Gather Customer Data

Your email list is the place to start.

Any loyalty or rewards programs you have can also provide data that you can use to your advantage when it comes to targeting your campaign.

Opt-in forms, specific incentives, and even feedback surveys can be used to add to your data bank and allow you to generate specific segments for your promotions.

Let customers know the reason you need their information–so you can serve up relevant and valuable content to them–and they’ll be more likely to opt-in and share.

Generate Real-time Insights

Use the data you’ve acquired to swiftly segment your audience based on geography and location.

You’ll need to make sure your email marketing software can integrate with your other applications to ensure it has the right data to work with.

The more data you have and the more preferences and behaviors you can capture, the better off you’ll be.

You can use this information to properly target your prospects and ensure that the information they are receiving is truly relevant and useful to them.

Commit to Regular and Ongoing Insights

Tracking and using this data is not a one-time procedure. Make capturing insights a priority and you’ll have plenty of ongoing data to work with.

Asking users to opt-in, making sure your locations are collecting the right data, and even trying some online tools to discover preferences can help you keep a steady flow of data for your personalization efforts.

Why Location-Based Email Marketing Works for Business

Location-based email marketing allows you to fine-tune your targeting and focus your offerings.

For retailers, customizing the timing of these overtures so that the customer receives an email after a certain number of days has passed–or after they have been absent for a while–can prompt a return visit to a preferred location.

Email messaging with the location as a defining criterion allows you to convert users in a set geographic location, but is not seen as annoying or spammy.

An SMS text message can do the same job but rarely delivers the same results.

Push notifications can invade privacy, come at the wrong time, or simply annoy the customer you are hoping to convert.

When you send an email, they can read the piece on their own schedule and will still likely check out your information while they are on the go, thanks to the ever-increasing rate of smartphone adoption in the U.S. and around the globe.

6 Location-Based Email Marketing Ideas to Try

“Nearest Store” Information

If you have a national presence and want to make it easy for a prospect to find your closest location, inserting this information into your emails is easier than ever.

By incorporating helpful information, from the store phone number and address to directions and operating hours, you make it easy on the prospect and increase the likelihood of success.

Even those without a physical store presence can get in on the “nearest store” approach.

An email that outlines the nearest physical location where your product can be purchased or seen can help drive prospects your way.

If you’re showing products at a festival or event or have a regular appearance schedule, this type of email can also make it easy for your prospects to find you.

“How to Find Us”

GPS is helpful for some prospects, but not all will be smartphone savvy.

Including location-specific dynamic content that includes a Google Map and specific directions to the closest locations can help drive prospects to your business.

Eventbrite does a great job of this when you register to attend an event.

Link out to the app so that mobile users can instantly access the information they need and put it to good use.

If you have any specific directions or people are sometimes confused by your location, adding the floor, suite, or the best place to park can further enhance this type of email.

Segmented Offers and Product Recommendations

Not all offers are valid in every location.

Segmented emails are more successful anyway and can alert your loyal followers to a new deal that is not only appealing, but it’s also in the neighborhood, too.

By alerting them to a bargain, promo or event at a particular location, you can drive traffic to that shop’s door.

No special deals right now?

Check out your metrics to see if one of your products or categories is a top seller in a specific location.

You’ll be able to highlight that particular item to a select group of customers, resulting in an increase in interest for that location.

Simply alerting customers that a highly desirable or hard to find item, style or color is in stock could be enough to get some attention.

Weather-Based Offers

Seasonal changes make some aspects of your business and your products even more appealing than usual.

Promoting your indoor water park in the doldrums of January will likely raise interest as prospects flee the cold and enjoy a bit of summer style fun.

Sell hot weather gear and supplies?

Your misting fans, portable cooling devices, and compact shades will attract plenty of attention when you promote them on the hottest day of the year.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Even a special weather event can be used to captivate and entertain your readers.

After a total eclipse headed their way, businesses of all sizes ran weather-themed promotions.

The eclipse happened on Monday, August 21 and savvy South Carolina restaurants, retailers, and even the State Museum used this event as a news angle for email marketing.

Get the Details Right

If you’re in the United States, then promoting your cold-weather gear, snowboards and emergency preparedness equipment is easy during February, when it is cold in most of the country.

That same promotion will fall flat for your followers in Australia though, they’ll be enjoying summer barbecues and lounging poolside.

Be season savvy if you are emailing international shoppers and make sure your timing is just right for your international locations and brands.

Tie Offers to Local Sports

Your home team doesn’t have to make it to the championship game to be a good tie-in for your business.

Pro teams, college teams, and even your area high school teams can be valuable tie-ins if they are heavily followed in your own area.

A geo-targeted campaign that mentions your local team is good – one that offers a discount based on that team’s success a particular week is even better.

This type of campaign builds positive local associations for your brand and is an effective way to drive traffic to your local store or location.

Test Location-Based Email Marketing for Your Next Campaign

Using location-based email campaigns can accelerate in-store activity and make your email automation campaigns more relevant to your regional customers.

The right approach will leave your local customers heading for your nearest location and can considerably increase the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase.

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