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Lululemon?s email program prioritizes mobile first, relevancy second

PHILADELPHIA ? While the success of email programs heavily depends on relevancy to the consumer, athletic wear brand Lululemon deemed mobile optimization as being the main key at the Email Marketing Summit at eTail East 2014. 

In addition to mobile optimization and relevancy, measuring revenue based on the number of emails sent is the best way to gauge success in email efforts. A good number to aim for is anywhere from three to 10 percent of revenue per email sent.

?You should know how your customers read,? said Sarah Veit Wallis, vice president and general manager of Lululemon?s ivivva, Vancouver. ?Action your emails, and design and build them with that in mind.?

Point of reception
Given the prevalence of mobile usage, Lululemon believes its consumers obtain the majority of emails sent while commuting and during general down time. Consumers skim through their list of emails, delete the ones they are not interested in and save the rest for later reference.

?Forty three percent of consumers read emails via their mobile devices,? Ms. Wallis said. ?You must grab them while they?re scanning. If not, you will have lost them for later.? 

Given the prior, emails must be extremely targeted and relevant as well as have quality design and message content. 

Top 10 lists are an example of a trusted email template, according to Ms. Wallis. While lists may be oversaturated at times, they have been used for decades and are able to break down loads of information, making that content easily digestible for its readers. 

In the message
Lululemon takes three core aspects into consideration during approaches to email campaigns, such as segmentation, triggers and automation and testing and optimizing.

Segmented emails that reach only certain members can be targeted based on a number of different aspects, such as geographic location or serving buyers who are known to have purchased during promotions.

Lululemon wants to make customers feel special about the email they have received using influencing messages, such as ?We?re sending this promotion to only a select few, and you?re one of them.?

Attempts to execute segmented emails must be genuine, Ms. Wallis stressed, who provided an email campaign by LinkedIn as an example. 

LinkedIn sent out a general email telling readers they are included in the one percent of best LinkedIn profiles. Several guests at the Email Marketing Summit confirmed they also received a similar email, making the claim appear to be false. 

Lululemon?s use of triggers and automation aims to regenerate a connection with the receiver of the email, such as notifying upon the anniversary of one?s first purchase or birthday promotions. The brand might also request a review or offer a complimentary product through these strategies.

Methods of testing and optimization can utilize control groups, timing, calls to action and overall design, providing ample amounts of data for marketers to carefully read through and reimagine email campaigns.

?These data aren?t going to be straight forward,? Ms. Wallis said. ?Marketers must really consider timing and be thoughtful while testing such small numbers.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York