How to Maximize Ecommerce Sales Using Email Marketing
Every business, big or small, knows that it should invest in marketing. But marketing means something different for everyone. For some, it’s banner ads, for others it’s social media. There are many different ways to promote your store, and they all take a lot of time and resources that typical ecommerce businesses don’t have. Moreover, where’s the return on all that? Every activity needs to be tracked separately.
Email marketing is just one of the tactics, but it’s proved to be invaluable and effective for many ecommerce brands. Without it, growing meaningful relationships with buyers is truly difficult and expensive. And long-lasting relationships are the key to sales, repeat purchases and brand loyalty.
Although email is one the oldest forms of ecommerce marketing, it still delivers the highest ROI for online store owners that adopt it correctly. In comparison with social, email marketing is 40 times more effective when it comes to acquiring new customers. So taking advantage of emails is a no brainer.
Here are a few actionable tactics that you can implement today to leverage the power of email marketing.
Keep in mind – you, just like any of your shoppers, don’t enjoy receiving purely promotional emails. You probably don’t even open the majority of them. So try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and really think – what makes them tick? What do they really want and love? And what do they absolutely hate? Keep that in mind every time you craft an email (or any marketing message for that matter).
Make the first impression positive and lasting – welcome new email subscribers with open arms. Give them insights into your business and send them relevant content. If they subscribed to a particular topic on your blog, send them the most popular articles from that category. To make it even better, send them a welcome offer. Give a discount to encourage trial or even a sample of one of your most popular products to completely delight your brand new customers. They will not forget that!
You don’t need to stop at one welcome email – create an email campaign with a few communications. You can even adjust each following email to be relevant to your audience based on the actions they took with the previous ones.
2. Segment your lists
Segmentation really helps personalize your communications. Some people believe that mass emails are robotic and non-personal. And it could be true if emails aren’t thought-through. However, if you take time to divide your lists of email addresses based on certain criteria, you can make every email feel like you’re talking to just one person and speaking their language. The best practice here is to think not only about demographics (gender, age, income, etc), but also about psychographics – interests, behaviors and lifestyles. The more specific you can get, the more effective your communications will be. Knowing your buyers’ slang for example will help you be relatable in their eyes.
3. Personalize your emails
Building on the previous point, personalization is extremely important. Personalization can lead to 10-15% increase in conversion rate and up to 20% increase in customer satisfaction rate. The latest “State of the Connected Customer” report also suggests that 84% of customers say the key to winning their business is being treated like a person, not a number. The same report also states customers are more than twice as likely to view personalized offers as worthwhile.
Automated personalized marketing refers to improving users’ experience on your ecommerce store by offering them automated but targeted content and messages based on their activities and behaviors. On top of improving user experience, personalized marketing helps you build personal relationships with your customers and nurture your leads to turn them into buyers, and then repeat buyers.
To create a truly automated personalization, look into demographic, behavioral and contextual data.
4. Create loyalty programs
Everyone loves to feel special. And customer retention is perhaps even more important than new customer acquisition. After all, returning customers spend over 65% more compared to newly acquired customers.
Discounts on their favorite products (the ones that they’ve been eyeing for a while, visiting those product landing pages a few times)
Exclusive sneak peeks into new products (new collection before it’s released to the public)
5. Optimize for mobile
Almost 50% of emails are opened on mobile. Imagine opening an email on your phone or tablet and seeing that it’s not optimized for your device. It could be your email app, dark mode, screen size or operating system, but the reason doesn’t matter. You’ll likely delete that email right away. And that’s exactly what your customers will do if you don’t ensure that their mobile experience is pleasant.
Instead of spending hours manually adjusting every email (what a nightmare!), invest in a platform that automatically adjusts not only for different mobile devices, but also for various screens, operating systems, and email apps.
6. Split test your campaigns
You can split test various elements of your email to increase open and click through rate: subject line, email length, visuals, calls to action, overall structure and more.
By doing a split test, you’re sending two versions of the same email to a small number of recipients first. Then, after your email software analyzes which email was better received, it sends the winning version to the rest of your audience. It’s a win-win – your customers get a more engaging email, and you get better results.
7. Notify about back in stock items
This simple email can be easily automated, but it’s so powerful in driving sales. Your customers already showed purchase intent. Even if your inventory couldn’t fulfill that desire at the time, a customer is likely still interested. Give them what they want and get a loyal repeat customer in return! Your customers will also feel well taken care of – after all, you took the time to send them that email.
8. Follow up on abandoned carts
$18 billion is yearly lost to abandoned carts. Don’t let that happen to you – follow up with customers who were almost ready to buy (they already had their shopping cart full!). Maybe the total cost, including shipping, fees and taxes, was higher than they expected. Perhaps shipping options weren’t up to their standards. Or maybe they simply decided to shop around. In any case, creatively reminding them that they spent all this time picking their products and adding them to cart could be extremely effective. These abandoned cart emails are also very easy to automate. And automated email means more time to actually run your business.
9. Send seasonal promotions
In the wise words of Post Malone: “Seasons change and our love went cold’. Don’t let your customers’ love go cold and keep that relationship going. Just when they’re preparing for the next season, send them exactly what they’re looking for. Catch them even before they remember that they need a new parka for the winter or bathing suit for that summer vacation.
Holiday season usually drives 30% more revenue compared to the remainder of the year, so take advantage of that!
10. Track results
There’s no way of knowing what really worked without measuring your results. Luckily, email marketing isn’t difficult to track. Almost any email software will show you open rates, click through rate, conversion rate and unsubscribe rate. More sophisticated software will give you insights into larger campaigns and reasons behind all of this. Ultimately, you want to do more of what’s working and stop wasting time on what isn’t, and metrics will help you determine that.
11. Invest in automation
You might be thinking: “Great, you just added 10 things to my to-do list.” And it’s true that all of these activities are time consuming. Furthermore, email marketing strategy takes time to master and bring results. But there’s a better way and it’s called automation. All of your email marketing efforts could be easily automated which will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort. Automation will also help you achieve your end goal – turn browsers into buyers.
Sophisticated and integrated tools like Maropost Commerce Cloud can help you do just that. What’s more, there’s a free trial, so you can start with no obligations and check if it works for your business.
Need to chat about your email and ecommerce marketing?
More than 10,000 marketers use Maropost to engage with their prospects and customers through emails, SMS, social media and more. We’re here to help you grow your business!