Email marketing campaigns are vital to every e-commerce shop’s arsenal. Promotions are an excellent way to keep current customers, convince old ones to stay, and gain more purchases. The issue with promotional incentives is that they flood potential customer’s inboxes every day.
If you aren’t handling your marketing efforts smartly and creatively, it will more than likely go unread or end up in the trash.
But, an influential newsletter can be the difference between a sale and your email ending up in the trash. An effective newsletter can keep your audience engaged and build strong customer relationships.
You want to create memorable messages that your customers want to open and read. If you can achieve this, you’ll increase sales and promote your brand to expand to a broader audience.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the act of sending promotional materials through email. This is a useful digital marketing technique that allows you to reach any of your customers through their inbox.
Many emails are standard, such as cart abandonment, sales, and product announcements. You can send them in almost any situation, this makes your email not unique.
You want any customer, recent or potential, to feel encouraged and excited through email. It’s all about how you set up your campaign.
Why Email is Crucial in Driving Sales
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to let customers know something essential about your online shop. This could include things such as promotions or sales. According to the Data and Marketing Association, customers check their emails every day. If they are searching for something to buy, they will often look to see if their favorite shops are offering a promotion or sale.
Email is more effective when you coordinate it with your content. It is all about how you advertise your campaigns to a wide variety of customers, encourage new subscribers, nurture old customer relationships and move them through the Customer Journey.
Email marketing provides many benefits to reaching your customers and increasing sales. Some of these benefits are:
1. Access to customers
Customers like to check their emails to see when their products will arrive or sign up for your newsletter. After they enter their email address and sign up for newsletters, you have a direct line to communicate with them about your store.
Just make sure that you have an effective strategy not to overwhelm the readers but still build strong relationships.
Emails are easy to segment since you own your complete list. What segmentation means that you can split up the emails that you send out, depending on where their customer journey lies or their demographics.
An effective way to segment your emails is to start with the basics. You could start with a timeline of the last purchase made and offer recommendations based on that purchase.
But, you can also segment your list based on income, age, gender, abandoned carts, etc. Depending on the data you have, it may deliver other results, yet they can all be useful.
3. More personal promotion
One of the most effective ways to use email to drive sales is to know who your customer is. The key is to collect useful data about your readers, so you can effectively analyze it to use the information to your advantage.
This means looking into each buyer’s purchase history and personal information provided, reaching out to customers individually, and personalizing each email to offer promotions based on each customer’s data.
The timing of emails is also exceedingly effective in accelerating sales. When you send an email may be more important than whom you send it to or what it says. You also want to ensure that you don’t send a handful of emails in a matter of a few days.
One way to send out an effectively timed email depends on the customer journey. If the customer has previously made purchases, you can take advantage of the purchase process.
When a potential customer signs up for your newsletter, you can send out a welcome email and offer a first-time promotional offer. When a returning customer has made a purchase, you can send a follow-up email, asking the customer to rate their purchase process to receive a discount on their next purchase.
Setting Up Your Email Program
Now you are of why email marketing is so useful for online shops to drive sales and what makes it essential for your e-commerce business. But, it is also crucial to know how to set up your email program.
1. Start Grabbing Emails
You first need to develop an email list. An effective way to do this is to add a sign-up form. This can be at the bottom of your page or in a pop-up form, when a reader first opens your website. The more comprehensive your list is, the more potential and current customers you will be able to connect with.
2. Design Your Email
If your emails aren’t executed and designed properly, it can come across as a spam message and end up in the trash. A few design features to keep in mind include a personalized greeting, a brief but useful description, and engaging visuals. This can ensure that your email looks like a real email and not spam.
3. A/B Testing
A/B Testing, also known as split testing, is an effective process that offers the ability to figure out which variable works best for your email marketing. It will also help you find out what will keep your customer on their journey.
You likely won’t succeed in your email marketing on your first try. It will take a lot of practice to get it right, which is why A/B Testing is useful to find out which emails are most effective based on a variety of design features, including subject lines, segments, time sent, etc.
4. Review results
After you have done your A/B testing and feel like you have the most effective email marketing campaign possible, you need to review the results.
Taking a look at elements, such as Click-Through Rate (CTR, Open Rate, Links Opened, Conversions, etc.), will help you see what works in your email newsletters and promotions and also what needs some adjustments.
Following these steps will ensure that you have an effective email program and give you a better opportunity to grow your contact list.
Building Your Email List
Having an effective email marketing campaign won’t be useful if you are unable to build your email subscribers list. It is useful to offer your customers an incentive in exchange for them to become an email subscriber. This is what makes signing up for your emails a compelling offer.
When you create an opt-in form on your website for users to fill out to sign up for your shop’s newsletter, offer an incentive such as valuable discounts or free items that are only available via email.
To create a compelling opt-in, place it as a pop-up form or at the bottom of your site so that potential buyers are more likely to see it.
2. Sweepstakes and Giveaways
To get your customers interacting with your site, offer a giveaway or sweepstakes. This is an effective way to grow your email list by having potential customers submitting their email to enter the sweepstakes. Customers love the opportunity to win things, and you gain a more extensive list of contacts that start as prospective customers and can turn into regular customers.
3. Cart abandonment
You have the ability to set up cart abandonment software that will gather a customer’s email address before they abandon your online shop at the checkout. This gives you the ability to send a follow-up email to make the customer aware of the items that they left in their cart. To encourage the customer to follow through with their order, offer a discount on their purchase and provide recommendations based on what is in their cart.
Cart abandonment emails are one of the most effective strategies to use to bring buyers back to your shop to either complete their purchase that they started or to add more things to their cart.
Elevating Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Now that you have a growing email list, how can you take your email marketing campaigns to the next level?
You should start by thinking about the type of email you want to send. Your goal should be to create and deliver well-crafted emails that will not only gain your customers’ attention but also have the ability to increase sales and build stronger relationships.
If your email marketing campaigns aren’t reaching your customers, there isn’t a point to the emails. There may be cases where your emails end up in a user’s spam folder, and they won’t see your email. To prevent this from happening, avoid using words such as free and winner. Email Service Providers flag certain words, which is how emails end up in the spam folder.
You can also enable double authentication, which requests users to confirm their interest in joining the email list, which ensures that the only people who are receiving your emails are the ones that are most likely to open them.
You also have the ability to set up an automatic email series. There is a variety of series that you create, which gives you the potential to drive more sales. The Series of Emails are effective in elevating your email marketing campaigns.
1. Welcome Series
It would help if you first considered offering a promotion with a discount code for joining the list. After a couple of days, automatically email the customer again if they don’t purchase using the code. The last email you should send in this series is an email that lets the customer know that the promo code will expire soon, which creates a sense of urgency.
2. Abandoned Cart Series
The first email in this series should offer a discount code to continue with their purchase and create a want to follow through with the checkout. A follow-up email is sent out next, reminding them of their order and the discount code. After a couple of days from the two emails, send a final follow-up email, letting the customer know that the discount code will expire if not used.
3. Re-Engagement Series
This series targets unengaged users. Email anyone who hasn’t been active with your campaigns in a while. The exact timing of these emails should depend on your business. For example, e-commerce businesses should usually be every six months, while daily newsletters can be useful after a few weeks. If the customer still does not engage with the emails, you can unsubscribe them from your list.
4. Triggered Email Series
This email series targets specific times and allows you to get more creative. You can create a birthday series that sends out a coupon as a birthday gift. You can create a browse abandonment email that sends an email to anyone who browsed a product. You can create a post-purchase email that asks customers who purchased a product to leave a review. All of these emails are effective in creating sales.
Best Practices for Getting Higher Open Rates
Now that you have useful emails and you’ve made sure users can receive them, how can you get higher open rates, ensuring the user views the actual content?
No matter what emails you are sending out, you want your customers to view and read what you are sending.
1. Test Your Emails
Make sure always to test your emails to ensure that you are sending them out at the right time and with the most effective subject line. A/B testing ensures that this is possible so you can directly track your email performance.
Try to make the pieces of content you send in your email useful or entertaining for your users.
2. Personalize Emails with Segmented Lists
When customers open an email, they want the email to sound like the email is meant for them. Segmenting lists gives you the ability to send more personalized emails based on customer data provided.
Another key to personalizing emails is not to sound robotic in your sales voice. Write an email like you are talking to a friend, and you’re telling them something they want to hear.
3. Clean Your Lists Regularly
Inactive users are not effective on your email list. Ensure you are cleaning up your email list regularly to ensure that you have the most effective list possible for potential sales.
Helpful Email Marketing Advice
Quantity isn’t Quality
You want to ensure that your contact list is full of engaged subscribers. If you have a big list of emails, but not types of customers who are active and engaged in your emails, then your emails aren’t reaching any of your email readers, making your marketing strategies ineffective.
Don’t Make Your Emails too Complicated in the Beginning
When a company tries to throw a lot of information at potential buyers who just signed up for their emails, this does not build a strong relationship and may make them more likely to unsubscribe.
Following the marketing tools listed above and not skipping email strategies to ensure you send out effective emails will build stronger relationships with potential buyers and create sales opportunities if you are offering promotions or showcasing a sale.
Use a Sense of Urgency
When customers abandoned a cart, it could be because they are either unsure about the products that they were thinking about buying, or they simply forgot about their cart.
By sending out an abandoned cart email with a discount code and then sending a follow-up when it is about to expire may fill your potential buyer with a sense of urgency to buy the product. These emails can be effective in persuading buyers to complete their orders.