How retailers can use real-time updates in email

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Do you want to drive more engagement through your email? What about increasing your conversions? And find a way to do all that while still keeping your emails interesting and personalized?

Sounds like an impossible task. The good news is it isn’t. Retailers can use real-time updates in emails to get all of this done while still giving customers the information they want and making your emails stand out. 


We don’t blame you. That’s why we’ve got a few examples of a few different ways retailers can start implementing real-time updates. Let’s take a look.


Sure, this one should be pretty obvious. A great way to add real-time updates to your emails is to advertise your upcoming sales. A flash sale is a great example. It’s a way to offer something different that can engage your potential customers immediately.

If you want to take your flash sale (or any sale) to the next level, try using a countdown timer in your email. With the Zembula platform, you can add a countdown clock that updates every time your reader opens their email. Use it to count down to the end of your sale or to when your sale will begin. 

The timer can help bring a sense of urgency to your sale email, making your customer more interested in checking it out. 

Another real-time feature to add to your emails is inventory updates on sales. Maybe a product is flying off the shelves and won’t last until the end of the sale; your emails can update automatically, letting your customers know that inventory is limited and they need to act fast or miss out.

In-store events

While eCommerce is super popular and not going anywhere anytime soon, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to get customers in your stores for special events. 

Use your email to help. Special events are a great driver of foot traffic, both for local customers and your best VIP shoppers or rewards program members. 

Get an even better response by incorporating real-time updates in your in-store event emails. 

Here are a few ways to do it:

If you’re having a special event, use a countdown timer that ticks down to when it’s kicking off. Here’s a great example that’s super simple and can sit right at the top of any email you send.

You can also use your email to have customers schedule in-store appointments. Let’s say you’re a clothing retailer. You’ve got a limited trunk sale coming up for your VIP loyalty members. Or, maybe you offer personal shopper services. Send an email to your list with dates and times they can choose from to set an appointment to come in. The email will update, in real-time, with available time slots.

Offers and giveaways

Another way to get your customers into your store is to offer some special promotions or giveaways. These can go hand-in-hand with sale events, or you can use them to surprise and delight your customers. 

One fun way to do this is through birthday or anniversary emails. If you’re a coffee shop and you giveaway a cone on your customer’s birthdays, add that to your email campaigns.

Combine two key pieces of information into one email: real-time updates (like a countdown clock) and geolocation.

Here’s an example:

With this email, your customer has a limited time to get into your store and redeem their special gift. The countdown timer helps add a sense of urgency. Who wants to miss out on free iced coffee, right?

In addition to that, the geolocation will update in real-time too. Whenever the reader opens their email, they’ll be directed to the location of the nearest store.

If you have multiple locations in your area, the directions and map will update at the moment-of-open, not when you send it. With these updates, your customer is always going to know where your nearest location is located.

There is a world of possibilities retailers can tap into when it comes to adding real-time updates. You don’t want to miss out on these features. Schedule a chat with Zembula today to find out more.

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