Email Marketing tips for E-commerce businesses
You've heard customers complain about getting spammed left, right, and center with emails that are as irrelevant as they are ruthless from a marketing perspective. But can you really blame them? Most E-commerce businesses consider emails as their primary form of communication.
Research suggests that an average user sends and receives 121 emails a day. To top it off, they're constantly bombarded with emails that are factually and grammatically incorrect, a huge faux pas if you ask us.
So, does this mean that we should give up on email marketing altogether and look for other means to communicate and connect with our customers? Not really. Email marketing, if done right, has a plethora of advantages especially for E-commerce businesses that are backed by numbers and facts, namely:
- Skyrocketing ROI: It can create an ROI reaching upwards of 4400%, not a small number by any standards.
- High open rates: One of the most established brands, The New York Times, boasts of a 70% open rate.
- Increased digital-spending: Forrester predicts that by 2021, $146 million will be spent on digital marketing.
The verdict: In this economy, if there's one dependency that's actually good for e-commerce businesses, it is a digital dependency. To that end, let's look at the cornerstone of a rock-solid digital marketing campaign in place: email marketing. Let's jump right in.
1. A Grand Welcome: Launch the Campaign with an "On-Boarding" Email Series
If you're not welcoming your users personally, you may as well say your goodbyes. Research claims that around 76% of people expect to receive a welcome email instantly once they subscribe to your mailing list. The objective of your email should be three-fold:
- Eliminate any kind of anxiety and uncertainty about your offering. This can be done by clearly laying out what the brand stands for and how it can help the user. Be clear, concise, and consistent.
- Integrate an interactive CTA, one that encourages users to explore your brand offerings further.
- Thank them and make them feel special. This can be done by introducing them to your brand as an integral member of the community. A personalized and warm content tone does the job neatly.
If you don't know where or how to begin, here's an in-depth post that details everything you need to know about welcome emails.
Note: It is also equally important to send follow-up emails once the user has engaged with your services/offerings for the first time. After all, the "Out of sight, out of mind" philosophy stands true for e-commerce businesses, now more than ever.
2. Mix It Up: Cross & Up-Sell Emails for Existing Users
This strategy comes in handy, especially for E-commerce businesses when catering to customers who have already purchased an item or availed of your services. Experience dictates that there are two ways to go about this:
- Up-sell/Cross-Sell "Product" Emails: Say your customer recently bought a shampoo of brand [X], you may want to cross-sell similar products or perhaps up-sell by suggesting shampoos belonging to a more luxurious brand category. The idea is simple. You want to inform the users about your brand's offerings (across price ranges, product types, etc.) while giving them the 'power of choice'. Remember to select a few options instead of bombarding them with hundreds of choices as this will only lead to chaos and a confused customer.
- Up-Sell/Cross-Sell "Category" Emails: If you love categorizing your products to make the customer's life easier, this option is for you. Let's look at another example. Your customer recently bought something from the 'Gifts for Him' section. You can send follow-up emails which feature "Cool Tech Gadgets for Men" or perhaps "Grooming Essentials for Him." This way, the customers get a 360-degree view of the brand's offerings at opportune times of their purchasing cycle. More often than not, it leads to a sale.
3. Remind Every Now and Then: Send Reminder Mails with Engaging Visuals
Wouldn't it be great if you had a personal assistant who could remind you of important meetings, deadlines, occasions, and the like? In the digital marketing world, this is now a reality. We're referring to the latest innovation that is turning out to be a necessity rather than an option: Live Chat. Think of live chat as the customer's personal assistant and your brand's digital spokesperson. So how does it help your E-commerce brand:
- One, with live chat support, companies can send reminder emails if they notice that someone left the checkout process halfway i.e. without purchasing the product/service.
- Two, companies can proactively reach out to their prospective audience by observing and analyzing their website activities.
4. Leave No Stone Unturned: Send Abandoned Cart Emails
You must have noticed that often customers, old and new, tend to abandon their cart despite spending considerable time on your website browsing through the offerings. It may be because they get overwhelmed or simply change their mind about making the purchase. This is the ideal time to send 'Abandoned Cart' emails to them. These are transactional or triggered emails which receive some of the highest engagement.
But remember to keep the tone subtle and suggestive. For example: Instead of blatantly saying "Why didn't you make the purchase? You're missing out on amazing products. Order right away," say something to the tune of, "We noticed you left the purchase midway, how can we help? Take a look at some other items you may like."
Handy tip: You may want to send emails after work-hours as open rates are highest for emails between 6 pm and 11 pm.
5. Promotion Is Key: Initiate Promotional Offer Emails to Boost Engagement
"That's a steal!" Every happy customer's go-to phrase, right? Nothing sticks in the customer's mind or makes them happier when buying products at discounted prices. So, it is your prerogative to inform customers about upcoming sales/offers/deals/discounts to ensure that they remain loyal to your E-commerce brand. Plus, it also helps businesses to develop long-lasting relationships with their customers.
So, our suggestion is this: Invest your energy and resources in sending customized offers to loyal customers that reflects their buying patterns and syncs up your brand's offerings with their needs effortlessly. For example, the email can say something like: "Good news! X% discount for all users who subscribe to a newsletter today!" Handy tip: Data suggests that "Thursday" is the best day when it comes to opening rates for emails.
6. Good Design, Great Aesthetics, On-Point Content: Focus on Email Design
Get this: Around 80% of respondents from a survey by Marketing Land claimed that 'email etiquette' plays a vital role in their decision to interact with a stranger/brand. But what do we mean by email etiquette?
- One, it should be well-designed, visually appealing, and mobile and web-responsive (consistent fonts, decent spacing, engaging visuals, crisp content, quick to load, etc.)
- Two, it should preferably have a 'personalized subject-line' for greater intimacy and connectivity with the user.
- Three, it should be error-free in terms of the content (lesser punctuation, zero grammatical errors, clear and smart copy, creative subject line, etc.).
- Four, talking from the technical point of view, it is recommended that you do an A/B testing for the email design template before sending out the final version. After all, we don't want any "oh-nos" and social media flak from users once you hit the send button.
7. Let the Numbers Talk: Monitor and Analyze the Marketing Campaigns
To get the most out of your marketing campaign, you have to monitor and analyze the progress at all stages. This can be done by:
- Creating a dashboard and tracking results with the help of a simple and easy-to-use data analysis tool.
- Extracting information from the available data and taking prompt actions to fill in the gaps, from the business' or customer's end.
With Gmail expected to grow to have 3 billion users by 2020, email marketing is here to stay. So, maybe it's a good idea to read up on Gmail Inbox Delivery: Trends for 2019. The digital space is continually changing. It only makes business and logical sense to stay on top of the latest digital trends by understanding and embracing them one campaign at a time.
Remember that businesses can find their "e-edge" with emails if they have the right digital strategies at their disposal. Plus, it also depends on how effectively they use the tips mentioned above, how often they use it, and of course, how strategically they use the "send" button to delight the user on the other side of the world, or in this case the screen.