Email Marketing
Alternatives


Newsletters, E-mail Marketing Alternative for Ecommerce Merchants: Apple Passbook

Practically any modern e-commerce site that you visit will greet you with a pop-up window asking to subscribe to e-mail alerts and receive exclusive specials, deals, discounts, coupons - you name it. Order anything from the site, and you almost certainly will start receiving newsletters and e-mail alerts on the regular basis. E-mail / newsletter marketing are becoming very important tools for e-commerce merchants to compete for customers’ attention. After all, if you as a merchant will not constantly remind customers about your existence while your competition does, you will lose the sales.

However, as it often happens, when ecommerce vendors enter the race to outdo each other in e-mailing customers, customers start getting "fatigue" to this marketing method. When people are seeing 10 or more e-mails each day from various merchants they stop paying attention. Ecommerce vendors who will come up with an alternative solution and stand out from the crowd will win.

Naturally, mobile marketing comes to mind. In addition to being something new and exciting, it also reaches customers where they are - on their mobile devices. As multiple studies show, people are migrating from desktop computers to mobile devices at a very fast rate. But there are pitfalls here as well - if you want to do your own application, you need to offer customers much more than just information on your store and push notifications, or nobody will ever download it.

If you have limited budget and resources and cannot invest in developing your own mobile application, or just want to test waters of mobile commerce, Apple Passbook is a very good place to start.

Apple Passbook is a new feature of iOS6. It is a pre-installed application that lets iPhone users manage their "passes": coupons, store cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, tickets, etc. All iPhone users have this application installed, and most use it on a regular basis, since growing number of companies support Apple Passbook (AmEx, Starbucks, LivingSocial, Amtrak, Walgreens, Office Depot, Sephora To Go and Dunkin' Donuts just to name a few). Apple Passbook, being originally designed for use in physical locations, found its application in ecommerce and online businesses. By getting your promotions to customers' Passbook application you will ensure that your communications line is always "on" and your messages are always in front of their eyes.

As an alternative, or along with sending customers e-mails with news and promotions, you can offer them to download Apple Passbook promotion card so that they could receive new specials, deals, coupons, or new products information there. There are many ways for customers to get the card on their iPhone: from your web site, via e-mail or by scanning QR code on the products you ship to them. One of the big advantages of Passbook cards is that they can be customized to user preferences – instead of receiving “one size fits all” e-mail each customer can download the card that promotes items he is interested in. Right now Apple Passbook is at the perfect stage to get in – there are enough companies who integrate their offerings into Apple Passbook to motivate customers to use it, but it is not too crowded yet. And the cost to create your own passes is very affordable for company of any size.

If you want to try it out, check our Apple Passbook passes generation tool, which is done specifically to help consumer-oriented businesses to expand their communications with the customers and align it with customers’ interests.