Sep 19, 2022
Amazon.com introduced a new “Tailored Audiences” tool that allows sellers on its platform to send emails to repeat customers, recent customers and high-spend customers at the Amazon Accelerate conference last week in Seattle.
Previously, sellers could only send emails to brand followers. The tool will be available at no cost in Seller Central, Amazon’s online portal for sellers.
Amazon said brands have expressed a need for improved tools to increase customer lifetime value. Sellers will be able to send loyal customers “reminders of things like your hot deals or your new product launches,” said Carla Vernón, VP, consumables categories at Amazon at the conference, according to Geekwire.
Sellers will be able to monitor the impact of their email marketing campaigns and customer engagement with performance and reporting metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, emails delivered, opt-out rates, sales and conversion.
Tailored Audiences is currently undergoing beta testing with plans to make it available to all U.S. sellers in early 2023. Amazon’s sellers are responsible for more than half of Amazon’s physical product sales.
Bloomberg described the Tailored Audiences tool as “a risky bid to boost sales that could inundate inboxes with spam,” noting that customers won’t be opting in for the email messages.
“The move marks a break with Amazon’s historic reluctance to let independent merchants connect directly with customers for fear of alienating them,” according to the report. “But online sales have slowed from their pandemic highs, and antitrust investigators are probing the power Amazon holds over millions of third-party vendors.”
The tool comes as the value of email marketing seems continually questioned with its reputation for spam and the continued expansion of social media, including the popularity with short-form video content on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram among younger consumers.
Email marketing surveys in recent years have continued to show its cost effectiveness. A 2018 survey of from Smart Insights and GetResponse found 47 percent of marketers rating email marketing’s effectiveness as either “good” or “excellent,” ahead of social media marketing, 39 percent; SEO, 33 percent; content marketing, also 33 percent; and social pay-per-click, 31 percent.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Amazon’s Tailored Audiences tool and the effectiveness of email retargeting campaigns? What advice would you have around frequency and engagement tactics around email marketing?
“I don’t see this helping anyone except Amazon against the antitrust investigations for its third party brands. “