You’re on Facebook. You’re on Twitter, too. Both are important, yet neither will ever be as effective at helping you sell eCommerce products as a good email marketing campaign.


Email is here to stay

Consider these statistics:

Email campaigns are six times more likely to get a click than a tweet – source: Campaign Monitor.

Email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined – source: McKinsey.

Nearly 81 percent of digital shoppers said they were at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases, either online or in-store, as a result of targeted emails – source: Harris Interactive via eMarketer.

Email marketing was responsible for 25.1 percent of all orders from Black Friday 2015 – source: Custora.

Approximately 72 percent of adults said that email is their preferred method of communication with companies – source: MarketingSherpa.

There’s really no comparison is there?


6 traits of award-winning email campaigns

Some campaigns are better than others, of course. What makes for a winner? MarketingSherpa has 11 years of analysis of winning campaigns to inspire your email communication. Below we’ve also identified six traits that the best campaigns share, and which you should seek to inject into your own email marketing:

1. They’re creative. Don’t just write a pitch asking your readers to sign up for a newsletter or buy a product. Consider a variety of strategies to pique their interest. You could send them to your website for a scavenger hunt that unlocks a 50 percent off coupon to buy the product you want them to try.

2. They’re interactive. Clicks are good but engagement is better. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center created an email marketing campaign that included asking readers to name a new baby giraffe. Readers couldn’t get enough and newsletter open rates surged to 35 to 40 percent while clickthrough rates improved to 16 to 20 percent.

3. They’re personal. Who do you trust more: a stranger on the Internet, or someone who knows you? The best email marketing is tailored using data. Say your site sells cameras and other recording gear. Leverage logs and click data to trace the paths of those who visit often but don’t buy. Are there certain things they’re highly interested in? Design a campaign around those themes and include a juicy incentive. The email marketing team at Eventful, an online events discovery platform, turned their algorithms to personalize its weekly newsletter and developed tailored email alerts for notify its 20 million users of events relevant to their specified interests. Clickthrough rates jumped by 97 percent in response while “reactivations” of inactive accounts improved by 400 percent.

4. They tell a story. Stories are human. The best evoke emotions, relating to or challenging our core beliefs. Email marketing can have the same effect. Think of how some organizations send emails as a series, as if they were chapters from a book. Each new pitch reveals a little more about the company and its products while promising a benefit at the end of the series — mirroring the set up, tension, and climax format of all classic storytelling.

5. They’re well-designed. Good visuals are crucial for email marketing. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) put this maxim to the test in a winning campaign, in which the organization’s newsletter was enhanced with engaging photos of the endangered Amur leopard. Readers were asked to donate — 33 percent did.

6. They’re fun. Email marketing campaigns that make readers smile are more likely to get conversions. Turns out that’s true even in unlikely industries. Sungard Availability Services hooked into the zombie craze to pitch its technology services, suggesting that those of us with the skills to manage an Internet-based network might be survivors of the zombie apocalypse to come. Director-level readers responded with a 1.2 percent higher click-to-open rate, meaning Sungard had reached those with the budget and authority to buy its services.

A good email marketing campaign is like a powerful headline: it grabs your interest and then hooks you into reading more. The best will then convert your interest into action!

That’s because there’s something irresistible about a pitch that’s creative, beautiful to look at, personal, interactive, and which tells a fun or relevant story.

Winning campaigns do all that and more, and as the stats above show, customers generally appreciate the effort.