There is no denying it; email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing tool there is. For eCommerce businesses, it is the difference between making a good living and hitting the big time.
The trouble, however, is that most companies treat email marketing the same as a billboard – They scream the same message for everyone, all at the same time, regardless of where they are at in their life cycle as a customer.
To be successful at eCommerce email marketing, you need to change your mindset from a billboard approach to a relationship approach.
You see, when you are building a personal relationship with someone you are more personalised in your messaging. When they are down, you comfort them when it’s a special occasion you celebrate with them, and when you need to be blunt you are.
This blog isn’t a complete course on how to use email marketing (That would take weeks to write!) but instead its 19 of the best tips for eCommerce email marketing success. If you take these tips and implement them in your business you’ll see near immediate results in all area’s of your email marketing – And most importantly – your bottom line.
A/B Test Subject Lines
Just like you need to be blunt with your readers, I’ve got to be blunt with you right now.
Nothing you read from here on matters if your emails don’t get opened. It doesn’t matter if you have the best copy, design, offers and deliverability if no one opens your emails. Currently, the average email open rate is only 27.4%. This means that 72.6% of your list doesn’t see what’s inside.
This is why the very first thing you do with any email marketing project is to split test your subject lines. By maximising your open rate, you exponentially grow your results in every other area.
Now that’s out of the way…
The best way to improve your open rate is to use the A/B split testing functionality built into most good software platforms. Basically, how this works is you prepare 2-3 variations of your subject line, and it will mail these 3 to a portion of your list. Then a set amount of time later (you can set this yourself), it will send the rest of your list with the winning variation.
For more tips on writing subject lines check out Neil Patel’s blog.
2. Incentivize Customers To Review A Product
Product reviews are one of the most important factors in persuasion in eCommerce. In fact over 90% of consumers state that they play a substantial role in their buying decisions. While this is becoming common knowledge, very few merchants are active in collecting them.
To counteract this in your post-sale emails include an autoresponder email that asks for a product review.
Want to get a lot of reviews? Incentivise your customers!
Offer a $5-10 store credit for leaving an honest review.
3. Cart Abandonment Emails
The checkout process is where most eCommerce sales are lost. Whether it’s bad design, distractions in life or simply a change of mind one thing is for certain – anyone who gets to your cart is your hottest leads.
By using abandon cart emails, you can recover approximately 26% according to AbandonAid.
4. Reward Your Most Loyal
In every business, you will get 20% of your customers who will generate 60-80% of your revenue. These are your golden customers and are the ones that you need to look after at all costs.
To keep these customers loyal segment them out accurately and send them a ‘thank you’ credit several times a year. You’ll build good will and will stop them from going elsewhere.
5. Reactivate Dormant Customers
It’s up to seven times easier to reactivate an inactive customer than it is to acquire a new one – Yet to this day I haven’t spoken to a merchant who has a reactivation budget.
6. Prepare Your Seasonal Calendar And Schedule
It doesn’t matter how committed you are to keeping your emails up over Christmas – once you start getting slammed they will always slip into a second priority to fulfilling orders.
So before the festive season kicks off, sit down, plan and schedule your email campaign. This way you can get into the craziness of seasonal sales while knowing that your software is working for you and generating additional sales for you.
7. Over Deliver With Free Store Credit
Want to get the best email response of your business life? Simply give first, then you shall receive.
By offering free store credit such as $5, you earn good will, start the process of reciprocity, while simultaneously driving them towards your store.
8. Use Transactional Emails To Upsell
In sales there is a saying, ‘Always Be Closing’. It means that at every chance you get you should be trying to close the deal.
I’ve personally adjusted this slightly into my motto for eCommerce which goes, ‘Always Be Up Selling’. You see, Amazon generates over 30% of its revenue from upsells and cross-sells – That’s Billions of dollars each year that it wouldn’t have if it didn’t try.
In your transactional emails include a block where you cross sell or upsell them to other products that you offer. Customers are hottest right after a purchase, so this is the perfect time to upsell.
9. Use Milestones To Drive Sales With Money Off
Customers live free money. So next time you are sending a birthday or anniversary email, rather than offering a percentage discount, instead offers a fixed dollar value such as $10 off. This way your customers feel you are indeed giving them a gift rather than only giving if they do something for you.
10. Social Proof Emails
If you have a product that is by far your best seller, then let everyone know! Us humans are pack animals, and we love to feel like we are doing the right thing, which is where social proof comes in.
For example, if your blue dress is your best seller, then in your email promoting it don’t just say ‘best seller’ instead provide some social proof by saying ‘1,378 sold in the last month.’
To ramp up the results, even more, include reviews & Facebook comments about the dress.
11. Remarket Your Email Readers With Facebook Ads
Did you know that customers who see your message in more than 1 location are 22% more likely to convert? By implementing Facebook remarketing through a platform such as Perfect Audience in your emails, you can squeeze every last dollar from your list.
12. Segment Your Optin Offers
We all know that the secret to email marketing is a big list right? Wrong.
The secret to success in all area’s of e-commerce email marketing is to be relevant to your customer – starting at the option.
Most companies offer the same generic pop up across the whole site. So whether someone is looking at cat food or dog food, they will get the same graphics, copy and offer.
By using software like OptinMonster you’re able to display different pop-up offers based on the area of the site that your on.
13. Send Useful Content
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t always just sell, but also build a relationship through posting useful content too.
The trouble is you’re an e-commerce merchant, not a eCommerce blog, so you don’t have content to post.
Instead, send a curated email!
Pull together articles that your customers will love and send them a ‘curated’ newsletter every week. It will keep your emails fresh and keep your deliverability rates high.
14. Use Exclusivity Based Content
Your email list is a private herd. They are a group of customers and prospects who trust you enough to allow you to email them, so don’t just offer them the same offers you spin out everywhere else.
By using a platform such as Magento Enterprise, you’re able to create private sales groups where you can provide exclusive offers just to those on your email list. By providing this kind of truly unique benefits, your mailing list is somewhere that people will stay, and your unsubscribe rate will drop.
15. Ensure Your Emails Read On Every Device
According to Litmus over 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so if your emails don’t display well on mobile you’re going to miss out on a lot of sales.
By using a third party software like Litmus you’re able to send confidently to your list knowing that when the message arrives it can be read easily.
16. ‘Back In Stock Emails’ & Nurture Sequences
In recent years ‘back in stock’ emails have become increasingly popular with many stores offering this functionality. However, most merchants only ever send out one email when the product is back.
If you take a minute to think about it – everyone who signed up to receive this message wanted the product badly enough that they gave you their email, so the least you can do is mail more than once!
Instead set up a 3-part nurture sequence to maximise your sales from these customers.
17. Personalize All Your Emails
It’s time to take things back to basics a little and talk about personalization.
Most large companies send un-personalised messages which are generic and as a result fail to connect with the reader. Simply personalising the name in the email can bring about a huge boost in response because they know the email is for them directly, not just a bulk blast (even if they know subconsciously it is).
Some software applications also allow you to mention their most recent purchase which can add level of connection if implemented correctly.
18. Remind Them About The Loyalty Program
If you look at your credit card bills online, the chances are that your points balance is showing in the template. This tactic has been developed and tested to maximise your spend on their cards.
The same tactic can also be used for your eCommerce store.
For example, if you have a points based loyalty program then dynamically integrate the customers points balance into your email template in the header. This keeps them reminded that they have rewards waiting to be claimed when they return to purchase again.
19. Scale your traffic
One of the fastest and most overlooked ways to grow your email marketing results is to grow your traffic. Why? Because the more traffic you have, the more subscribers you’ll attract. And the more subscribers you attract the quicker you grow your ROI.
For eCommerce merchants, the best traffic tactics that are proven to work are Google Shopping, Adwords, and eCommerce SEO. By growing your traffic in all of these area’s you’ll find your email revenues will grow accordingly.
20. Be Persuasive
The average consumer receives 121 emails each day so to say their attention has limited an understatement. If you want to generate large amounts of sales from your emails, you need to get persuasive.
By implementing persuasive email copy you can boost your sales, click through rates and customer satisfaction overall.
So there you have it – enough tips to keep you or your team busy for the next few weeks. If you follow through on all of these pieces of proven advice, don’t be surprised if your email marketing revenue jumps dramatically!