Albertsons Cos. Enhances Email Marketing Strategy

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Albertsons Cos. Enhances Email Marketing Strategy

By Jacqueline Barba - 04/25/2019

Albertsons Performance Media Sponsorship Opportunity Types

Offsite

  • APM for e-commerce (display; social, mobile & desktop)
  • SEM for e-commerce
  • Email (audiences for grocery delivery, Drive Up & Go, B2B and coupons.com)
  • Coupons.com native ad units

Onsite

  • Home/deals page banners
  • Aisle banners 
  • Sponsored search
  • Sponsored cross merchandising
  • Sponsored carousels
  • Sponsored delivery
  • Free samples
  • Online-only Just for U digital coupons 

Albertsons Cos. is honing its digital shopping experience with a number of recent enhancements that include its email marketing strategy.

As the retailer continues to roll out new capabilities to improve its overall digital experience, Albertsons is looking to its email marketing strategy as a way to further integrate its marketing efforts across channels and make deals easier for shoppers to find.

Albertsons Cos.’ vice president of e-commerce Kenji Gjovig touched on some of the company's latest email marketing enhancements including upgraded email templates during the company's first-ever summit event in Boise, ID, earlier this month. Email communications have gone from a standard, simple template often listing multiple offers, to one which includes more space for messaging and visuals, and more flexibility for brand marketing and differentiation.

“This gives our teams the ability to have much more engaging content modules that are easy to swap in and out, and to allow us to rapidly deploy emails much more quickly than we have in the past,” Gjovig said.

For example, an April 11 spring- and grilling-themed email invited shoppers to “Begin the outdoor season with cookouts and festivities with family and friends. Beat the crowd and get your shopping done online.” The email included images and messaging for multiple seasonal items such as cheese and crackers from select brands, accompanied by an offer for $2 off participating products with purchase of two packages of cheese and crackers. The ad directed to jewelosco.com where a variety of national brands of cheese, crackers and alternatives were listed.

Earlier this month, Albertson also teamed with Procter & Gamble to offer a slew of “handpicked [Just for U] deals on the brands you love” including Tide, Bounty and Pantene. The email integrated digital coupons that each depicted a “special pick” banner to indicate the deals presented are “personalized.”

The retailer is getting more creative with marketing its delivery services using the upgraded templates as well. For example, Albertsons' Jewel-Osco chain, like others, used to send the same (or a variation of the same) email offer with a promo code for $20 off plus free shipping or pick-up multiple times a week to shoppers. Recently, that email has begun to look different.

An April 15 email blast extending the same offer also shared “5 reasons to shop online with Jewel-Osco,” including same-day service offerings and personalized Just for U freebies based on order history. An April 19 missive promised the same deal, this time focusing on the benefit of “quality & freshness, delivered.”

Albertsons is also launching an enhanced customer journey, according to Gjovig, that lets the grocer be much more targeted in terms of messaging and timing of shopper communications.

“This will allow us to deliver the right message at the right time based on where that particular customer is in their life stage with us," Gjovig said. It will also help Albertsons optimize their coupon-spend as well as increase loyalty and grow value.

Gjovig also said the grocer is seeing strong results so far with these enhancements, including increases in both open rate and click rate.

“We’re in the early stages of giving [brands] more and more tools to be able to tell [their] stories to our customers when they’re on our digital properties, when they’re in the buying mindset," Gjovig said.

Doubling down on targeted marketing, Jewel also sends weekly “[Name], your exclusive deals are here” emails, which corral offers and spotlight items for loyalty members.

In addition, part of its strategy is to take what’s already being done in print, and make it digital. At Albertsons, email plays a huge part in delivering offers to shoppers, digitally. In fact, the company is increasingly replicating circular features as email ads and even in-store signage. It's also pushing for more online shopping, as e-commerce continues to grow. Albertsons just reported in its fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 earnings that e-commerce sales grew 52% and 83% during the fourth quarter and full year, respectively.

Executives at the Albertsons summit gave a peek at what the company has recently been experimenting with as well as what it will soon roll out. Among the latest developments:

  • More relevant on-site search results through a partnership with software company BloomReach.
  • Sponsored search ads, carousel ads and cross-merchandising capabilities online through product home pages, through Albertsons Performance Media. (See sidebar for list of Quotient-powered opportunities.)
  • An unlimited delivery subscription service pilot at Vons, which shoppers have been responding well to so far, according to the company.

Albertsons is also stepping farther away from promo codes, which Gjovig said do not provide the greatest customer experience, and ramping up its now chainwide loyalty program Just for U offers, including online-only digital coupons. He also said the grocer is going to expand online-only Just for U offers this year as part of a much larger attention-marketing strategy.

Visit P2PI.org to view email marketing images from Albertsons.