Best Email Marketing Practices for E-Commerce Merchants
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways that e-commerce merchants have to reach out to people, build relationships with customers, and generate more revenue for their shops. Many people assume that email is dead, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Email marketing offers a higher ROI than other forms of advertising and opens communication between companies and customers, promoting a lasting relationship that provides more sales and revenue for businesses.
Using Email Automation
Using email automation is crucial to email marketing strategies, as it allows business owners to create multiple campaigns for many different purposes. Various automation services can be used in conjunction with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, CoreShop, Ecwid, and others. Do your research and pick one that includes everything you will need for sending out high-quality campaigns that will convert more customers and keep them coming back for more.
The Importance of Using Different Email Campaigns
Using different types of email campaigns for different purposes is vital to creating a practical and effective email marketing strategy. It ensures that all bases are covered and allows for business growth on many different levels. Take a look at some of the most common campaigns used by e-commerce merchants and business owners.
The Welcome Email
The welcome email is a true essential to the tool belt of any successful email strategy. A great welcome email not only welcomes subscribers to the list but also lays the foundation for the relationship between customer and company.
Welcome emails should be short, less than 200 words, and should provide information on the company and vital links that are of value to the customer. These could be links to a blog post, a helpful freebie, or even just information on how to contact customer service and give feedback.
The Abandoned Cart
For an e-commerce business, the abandoned cart series is a must. This is an email campaign that is triggered when a customer puts items into their cart but does not complete the check-out process. An abandoned cart series should be sent out at regular intervals to encourage retention and let the customers know what they are looking out for.
Shopify has even looked into the rate of abandoned carts and determined that over 60% of shopping carts are left before check-out. By implementing an abandoned cart campaign, you could very well skyrocket your sales and revenue.
Customer Loyalty Emails
Does your business have a customer loyalty program? These emails are great for encouraging new people to sign up! Send out a short email campaign to new customers informing them of all the great benefits they will receive when they sign up. You can also send emails to customers already in the program to let them know where they stand as far as points or other metrics that are used in the system.
Keeping existing customers is one of the best ways to grow a business. Get customers to make that second (and third, and fourth) purchase by sending out customer retention campaigns! These should target customers that haven't purchased for a while. Studies have shown that customers typically will only buy from an e-commerce merchant once in the first year, so up those rates with this effective campaign. Using emotion-inducing lines such as, "We miss you," is a surefire way to get some of those customers coming back for another round.
Give a Heads Up on Sales
E-commerce businesses usually run sales and offer coupons from time to time. Why not let your customers know about it? Send out an email offering a heads up so that everyone can take advantage. Offering discounts is a great way to increase sales and revenue, so be smart about it and include as many people as possible.
Trigger a Series
Most email autoresponders have an option to send campaigns with triggers, so use them to your advantage! Set up a few campaigns to go out when customers engage in certain activities, such as viewing certain products or clicking through to a blog post. This offers another level of personalization and builds upon the relationship with the customer.
Why Triggers Work
Triggers work by launching a particular email campaign to a certain subscriber when a specific action is performed. This could be viewing a product, signing up for a freebie, viewing a blog post, or any number of other actions taken.
Triggers are effective because they introduce a topic right after the customer has performed the activity, and the action is still on the customer's mind. Timing of campaigns is crucial, and triggers are one way to send perfectly timed emails every time with very little maintenance required on the back end.
Segment That List
When using email marketing to reach out to customers, segmenting your subscriber list and sending different email campaigns to different segments is key to a successful strategy. Personalization is the number one way to get more people reading emails and following through on the call-to-action.
The most important way that e-commerce stores can segment lists is by sending different product recommendations to different customers based on past purchase history. This is a great way to show customers that you care and want to help them find products they need while building trust by only showing products they will actually find helpful.
Maintain Sender Reputation
Another great practice is to maintain a stellar sender reputation. Your sender reputation directly effects how many people will see your emails and if they will go directly into spam or the inbox, so it needs to be taken seriously. By performing a few simple actions, you can help to ensure the emails you send always end up in the correct place.
Cleaning up your email subscriber list regularly is one fantastic way to do this. Purging the list will help to ensure that subscribers are engaged and are benefiting from the emails sent. An additional opt-in after customers sign up for the list, asking subscribers to white list your company’s emails in the welcome email, and making sure not to send too many or too few emails are the best ways to ensure a list stays as clean as possible.
Another good practice for developing a good sender reputation is to send emails with a name attached. This will also increase open rates. People are more likely to open an email that appears to have been mailed from a particular person rather than a computer sending out mass amounts of emails. Even though this is the case, you still want to have that level of relatability in your campaigns.
Set Email Marketing Goals
When starting any new marketing strategy, it is essential to set goals and define what the desired outcome will be. Spend some time figuring out what success looks like for you when it comes to email marketing and implement a plan to reach those goals. If you have a clear path and direction, it becomes much easier to reach the final destination.
Keep Emails Short and Sweet
While it may be tempting to jam-pack every email with as much detail as possible, it is best to steer clear of this. Emails should be short, keeping sales emails under 200 words and newsletters and other content under 500 words. Shorter emails are read more often and help keep clickthrough rates high. Most emails are opened on mobile devices as well, and shorter emails with simple layouts translate better than long, complicated ones.
Providing value to subscribers is another must when talking about using email campaigns for marketing purposes. People are often bombarded with hundreds of sales emails every month, so providing meaningful content and recommendations will help to get your emails read every time. If people look forward to reading what you have to say, they are more likely to open the emails when they see them in their inbox.
Don't forget to provide a clear call-to-action in each email. While a potential customer may read the email, they will likely not take action unless instructed to do so. Make the calls relevant to the email and provide a link so that subscribers can easily follow through and transition into the next stage of the action you want them to take.
Respect Your Audience
Always be sure to respect your audience when it comes to email marketing. While these people have subscribed to your email list, they can just as easily unsubscribe. Even worse, they could send you to the spam folder. This not only hurts your sender reputation but directly impacts how many other subscribers will see your emails.
Take care to segment your list, sprinkle in a little personalization, and email just enough to keep subscribers engaged but not enough to spam them. Following these tips will give you an edge over the competition by establishing trust with customers and building a lasting relationship that will have them coming back again and again.
Let’s Work Together