With just a few clicks, you are able to shop and get the items delivered to your doorstep. So convenient and hassle free! According to a Global Ecommerce Sales Growth Report for 2020-2025 by Shopify, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $5.5 trillion worldwide in 2022.
As such, many businesses are spending on ecommerce marketing channels, driving awareness of their branding and increasing website traffic. There are numerous ecommerce marketing channels available to grow your business and some of them include social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), network marketing, pay-per-click-advertising (PPC) etc. However, email marketing still remains as the most profitable ecommerce marketing channel.
Ecommerce email marketing is a marketing channel that allows you to send marketing messages to existing and potential customers. The email marketing strategies can be as simple as a weekly email blast with featured products or more complex with multiple automated emails for customer re-engagement, new product launches, cart abandonment, festive promotions and exclusive member discounts etc. The main objective is to increase customer engagement and drive conversions.
Statistics have shown that there are 4 billion daily email users and this number will increase to 4.6 billion by 2025 and you do not want to miss out on this opportunity. With the right email marketing strategies, your ecommerce business can benefit from brand awareness, customer engagement and high return on investment (ROI).
Without further ado, let’s go into how you can make use of 10 best ecommerce email marketing strategies to grow your online business:
1. A Welcome Series Is A Good Start
It is recommended to create a welcome email series for new subscribers because this gives you an opportunity to share your brand story, highlight your best selling products and even offer a first purchase discount to drive sales.
Usually for email marketing series, two or three is the sweet spot, driving serious engagement with an average open rate of 68.59 percent and an average click through rate of 16.05 percent.
Whether you choose two or three emails, your email should contain a few elements like thanking the subscriber, welcoming them, letting them know what they can expect in future emails, asking to connect with them on social channels, focusing on the value you can bring to them and telling them why they should purchase from you.
2. Include A Clear Call To Action
Think of the action you want your subscribers to take. It can be watching a promotional video, buying your new product or reading your recent blog post, they should know what you want them to do.
A call to action aka CTA, is a prompt given to subscribers in an email, newsletter, video or on a website. The prompt usually comes in the form of a button or hyperlink to help subscribers to achieve their goal.
A survey by Unbounce indicated that just one clear CTA in emails boosts clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1617 percent. That goes to show a clear and concise CTA is effective for driving traffic and sales.
3. Use Personalisation To Segment Your Subscriber List
Do you notice that you often open emails that are personalised? Results have shown that personalised promotional emails increase the transaction rates and revenue 6 times higher than non-personalised emails.
Personalised emails are divided into 3 categories:
- Contextual – it utilises where a customer is at in their buying journey. Eg. Just beginning to research the topic or getting ready to make a purchase.
- Demographic – it utilises demographic information such as age, gender, location and household income level to provide tailored recommendations.
- Behavioural – it uses past purchases or website behaviour (Eg. Browsing history, abandoned cart).
Depending on the size of your subscriber list, you can combine the categories to create intersections. Eg. Past purchases with new location-based recommendations. As your list segmentation becomes more specific, the marketing campaign will be very personalised and fit to a tee, greatly improving the success rate.
4. Automate Whenever Possible
Campaign Monitor discovered that automated emails generate 320 percent more revenue than non-automated emails. Therefore automation is imperative in your overall marketing strategy.
You can automate various emails – welcome series, cart abandonment, transactions and re-engagement. Investing in an email marketing software will make your time and money worth it, bringing your marketing and business growth to the next level.
5. Follow Up With A Dynamic Cart Abandonment Series
A cart abandonment series can prove to be one of your most profitable series. With an average open rate of 41.18 percent and a click rate of 9.50 percent, cart abandonment emails provide a great opportunity for conversions.
3 or 4 emails typically work the best and when creating a cart abandonment series, consider the following:
- Frequency and interval between each email – try sending one an hour after the cart abandonment, another the day after and the final one 3 days later
- Discounts – If you want to secure a sale, offer a discount code on the products they have in their cart
- Subject lines – Clear subject lines strongly impact the click through rate (CTR) of your cart abandonment series and help to ensure your audience opens their email and reads the information given
- Calls to action – Compelling CTAs need to be implemented to motivate potential customers to return to their carts and proceed to checkout
Like the welcome series, cart abandonment series can be personalised too, bringing the overall customer experience up another notch.
6. Perform Split Testing
The best way to find out whether your email marketing campaigns are effective is to perform split testing. Also known as A/B testing, this is a strategy that compares 2 or more similar variations of an element against one another. Eg. A split test may test the efficiency of two CTA buttons like one white with black text and vice versa.
The goal is to find the best variations of common email elements to ensure the highest ROI and can include the testing of user experience design elements, subject lines, preview text, product image, button colour etc. This can surprisingly result in better conversion rates of up to 400 percent.
7. Encourage Engagement
Engagement comes in many forms and it doesn’t need only to be in the welcome series section. That is the beauty of email marketing because it offers a unique opportunity to capture your audience when open rates are high but click through rates are somehow lacking.
Segment your audience according to their engagement and deliver the appropriate messages accordingly. Subscribers who have previously converted are 74.7 percent more likely to do so again. Capitalise on brand trust and understand what made the customer buy from you before and use it as a good opportunity to send a product recommendations email based on their purchase history.
If it is a consumable product, a subscription offer email is sufficient and if it is a non-consumable product, a complementary product email will be a safe bet. For subscribers that have yet to convert, choose to focus on building brand trust and offer discounts to make a purchase less risky.
8. Offer Exclusive Perks To Loyal Subscribers
Segmentation makes it easier to monitor and know who your loyal customers are besides the purpose of personalisation. By segmenting according to the time length of subscribers or biggest amount of money spent, you can offer exclusive perks to sweeten their overall customer experience with you, making them feel valued.
Loyal customers know the value of your brand so do not offer discounts because it might make your brand seem cheaper. In most cases, an experiential reward works well and this has been backed by millennial spending habits. 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than a product.
Examples include once in a lifetime trips, meet and greet sessions with brand ambassadors, having access to an excellent rewards program or even virtual events which are only offered to the VVIPs.
9. Create Back In Stock Or Wishlist Emails
We have talked about the importance of automated emails, the welcome and cart abandonment series. The next important email is actually the back-in-stock or wishlist emails. With recent world events putting certain strains on the supply chain, more brands are having restocking or other inventory issues.
You can either waste an opportunity by removing temporarily unavailable items from your website or you can choose to capitalise on what customers want with back-in-stock emails.
Back-in-stock emails notify customers when a product they expressed interest in is back in stock and available for purchase. A study by Barilliance stated that back-in-stock emails had the highest open rate of 65.32 percent when compared to alternative post purchase emails.
10. Use Dynamic Content
Personalisation drives great conversions and the same can be said for its subset known as dynamic content which has been shown to increase email ROI by 100 percent!
Dynamic content is generated based on user behaviour such as product recommendations based on past browsing history or purchases, calls to action tailored for the user’s browsing behaviour and free exclusive offers (ebooks and white papers) for someone in the “research stage” of the buying journey. With most major email marketing software companies, dynamic content will be an impressive addition to most ecommerce email templates.
In summary, email marketing is still a highly recommended marketing channel for reaching out to your existing customers and target audience. With the right strategies, content and prompts, ecommerce email marketing will boost not only your business branding, customer satisfaction score but overall sales too.