Friday 3rd June 2016
10 Secrets to Successful Email Marketing for eCommerce Brands
If you’ve heard the rumours that email marketing isn’t relevant anymore, that’s all they are - rumours. Email marketing is just as relevant and effective as it’s always been. On average, people at work check their emails 74 times per day, so email is not a form of marketing that your eCommerce business can afford to ignore.
Create a great template
First thing’s first: you need a template for your emails. Putting together an aesthetically pleasing, simple (branded!) layout is a vital first step in your email marketing. Follow your brand guidelines and consider what you’d think if you found this email sitting in your inbox.
- Does it look like your other marketing assets?
- Does it look legitimate and trustworthy?
- Does the layout make it easy to read?
Your customers need to know immediately that they’re receiving a message from a brand they love, and not another spam email, so you need to make sure it looks professional and on brand before you send the email out to your subscribers.
Email marketing tools such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor allow you to create templates with simple ‘drag and drop’ features, so creating an attractive and easy-to-navigate email template can be easily done.
Use clear calls to action
When creating your email campaigns, be sure to use clear calls to action. If you want your customers to click through to your site, use a button that tells them exactly what to do.
Using an eye catching call to action does exactly what it claims: it’ll call to your customers and prompt them to carry out an action - click. Whether you want your customers to ‘Buy Now’, ‘Shop the Edit’ or ‘Read More’, clearly stating what they should do next will help your customers along their journey. For an example of what we mean, take a look at a CTA used in one of our recent email campaigns.
Use your customers’ names
80% of people say they receive marketing emails on a daily basis, so you need to make sure your emails stand out from the rest. An effective (and straightforward) way to do this is to personalise your emails.
If you can, address your email recipients by their names. Most email marketing platforms will have personalisation options so you can use your subscribers’ names, and if you can’t, they’ll probably have a fall back option.
For example, if you have their name, your email might start ‘Hi Ellen..’, whereas those who didn’t give you their name will see ‘Hi there…’ instead. Even though we all know this kind of personalisation is automated, emails that use our names instantly feel more personal and speak to us more than those that don’t.
Send unique discount codes
If you want to go a step further, personalised discount codes are a great way to make your customers really feel valued and close to your brand. Whether it’s to encourage a return to your brand, or to celebrate your customers’ birthdays, generating discount codes such as ‘Ellen20’ to send in your email marketing will make the receiver feel like they are being treated as an individual, and remove the idea that they are just one in a million people receiving exactly the same email.
Welcome new customers to your online store
As soon as someone signs up for your email newsletter, or creates an account on your site, sending them a brief email can be a simple way to welcome them to your brand and prompt them to browse your products. Take a look at this great example from cosmetics eCommerce brand, lookfantastic.
Ask for reviews and feedback
Automated emails can also be highly beneficial for prompting product reviews or feedback on different aspects of your service, such as packaging and delivery.
Make sure to leave enough time for the customer to have actually received their order before you ask them for feedback (one or two weeks is probably about right), and for products that need to be used for a while before you’re able to tell whether you like it or not, be sure to allow for this when scheduling your automated emails for these products.
Chances are, the majority of your customers who do like your products, won’t give you any feedback unless they’re asked to, so sending out review requests can very much work to your advantage.
Follow up on incomplete orders
Not everyone who abandons their cart decided they didn’t want to buy anymore. Often, uncompleted orders are due to the customer wanting to think about it a little longer, or they may have been distracted and simply forgot to place their order. In these cases, sending a brief reminder the next day of what they had in their basket, and prompting them to complete their purchase, can work wonders.
Followup cart abandonment emails have been found to recover up to 40% of carts, so reminding your customers of what they’re missing out on could be enough in itself, but on top of this, making the most of the bold CTAs we talked about earlier will help increase the chances of a fast impulse purchase.
Don’t be afraid to prompt reorders
If you sell products that your customers will eventually need to stock up on again , don’t be afraid to remind them to reorder.
Obviously, don’t ask your customers to reorder a jar of coffee granules three days after it arrives, so monitor any reorders you do receive, and if you see any patterns in time frames, schedule your prompts to be sent around this time. If you notice that your customers all seem to reorder a particular product after three or four weeks, send out your emails three weeks after that product is delivered. Below is another example from lookfantastic.
Segment your subscribers
We’ve all received marketing emails that we don’t think are relevant to us before, so to avoid your customers feeling like this, be sure to segment your list of subscribers into different categories.
Sending out surveys, or asking for information about your customers that are relevant to your products such as their age, interests, etc. upon signing up to your email newsletter will help you separate your email subscribers into different lists.
These different lists will then help you to only send your emails to those who are most likely to find them helpful - there’s little value in marketing baby changing bags to people who don’t have children.
Monitor the results of your email campaigns
As with any aspect of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to know how your emails are performing, so it’s important to monitor the results of each of your campaigns.
Many email marketing platforms will have their own analytics, but some may be more in depth than others, so be sure to check which metrics you will be need insight in to before choosing a platform.
At a basic level, you should be monitoring the open rates and click through rates of each of your emails, as this will give you valuable insight into whether your emails are catching your customers’ attention, and if they are then giving them the content they want to receive.
Keeping an eye on how many of your customers unsubscribe from your emails is also important. Of course, there will always be people who are just cutting down on the number of brands they receive emails from so don’t worry too much if you see one or two unsubscribes, but if you see particularly high numbers of unsubscribes on emails about a particular topic, this can give very beneficial insights into the emails your customers don’t want to receive.
A successful email marketing campaign is about more than just sending out a quick email every time you’re having a sale. Ensuring that your messages look the part, are personalised for each of your subscribers, and are only sent to relevant groups is crucial in increasing sales.