Have you watched Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel lately? The gold miners move tons of dirt to produce just a few grams of gold. If they find a few ounces a day, it's worth the effort.
Email marketing for eCommerce is similar in that you send out tons of emails to return a few leads or buyers. At least you don't get your hands dirty or worry about the weather like those miners.
This article reveals why email marketing is essential and how it helps increase eCommerce sales. Plus, we've added a few tips to get more positive results from email marketing campaigns.
Let's start with the basics. If you are already familiar with email marketing, feel free to skip this part.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing for eCommerce is the approach of sending out emails to generate sales for an online store. It can be as straightforward as sending a promotional offer to your entire mailing list. Or it can be complex, by segmenting the email list into groups and targeting individual customers by how they shop in your store.
Do you know that the first email ever sent happened in 1971? It took seven more years to witness the birth of email marketing as we know it. Gary Thuerk, Digital Equipment Corp. salesperson, sent emails to 400 people to promote their computers. His email blast resulted in $13 million in sales, worth about $78.8 million today.
By today's standards, Gary's email list was highly targeted, had one heck of a conversion rate, and would be considered spam.
Online retailers use eCommerce email marketing to attract new buyers, convert first-time buyers into repeat customers, and build loyal customers.
The Benefits of eCommerce Email Marketing
There are plenty more reasons to use emails, but here are the top six benefits:
- Primary Source of Communication - Before or after a shopper buys, it is the most crucial line of communication as they check it for receipts, tracking information, and the latest promos.
- Customer Feedback – Send surveys to gather vital feedback after each transaction. Use the information to make improvements or boost social proof.
- Build Strong Relationships – From the first welcome email to promotional and ongoing nurturing messages, marketers can build lasting relationships with customers at every stage of the buying cycle.
- Increase Customer Loyalty - Use automated emails to send exclusive deals to members of your loyalty program or your most active customers.
- Grow Your Mailing List - Entice your customers to spread the word about your brand or latest promotion. Offer exclusive deals and discounts to subscribers that recommend your store to their friends and colleagues.
- Increase Conversions and Sales – The number one reason to send out emails is to increase conversions and make sales. Email marketing converts 40% better than Facebook or Twitter. Email returns, on average, $42 for every $1 spent. That's a 4,200% ROI.
Utilize Email Marketing to Increase E-commerce Sales
These are the seven most common and effective email marketing sequences that can boost sales, attract new business, and re-engage those unresponsive customers.
Customer Onboarding Email
A personalized welcome email makes a strong first impression, and it should trigger the moment a customer makes a purchase or other conversion action. It's not only good business but also just good manners to thank someone for signing up or buying from you.
The average open rate is over 50% for a welcome message. Typically, the welcome sequence will have two to three emails. Their purpose is to help educate and transition the new customer to your brand. Content can include videos, guides, or checklists.
Relevant Lead Nurturing
Once you have a new customer or lead, you must keep them interested and engaged. Lead nurturing sequences do that by sending relevant information over weeks or months.
Half of all leads are not ready to buy when they sign up to your list. Nurturing emails keep your business top of mind until they are in a position to buy your product or service.
Mailing List Segmentation
Email service providers (ESPs) can segment a mailing list down to the smallest personal details. One ESP company, Klaviyo Email Marketing, uses predictive analytics. They can predict the next day and dollar amount a customer will shop with jaw-dropping accuracy.
Sending segmented and targeted emails ensures that you send emails to the right subscriber at the right time. Sending specific messages to targeted groups can increase revenue by 58%.
Re-engaging Passive Customers
A passive customer is just a name on an email list, and they will leave you within six months of signing up if you don't offer the right incentives.
The primary goal is to get them to buy. The secondary goal is to keep customers interested enough to say positive things about the brand on social media. If all else fails, purge them from the list to keep it current with better segmentation.
Cross-selling for Higher Revenue
When is the best time to sell someone? When they've just purchased. Selling complementary products or services makes sense. Existing customers are up to 70% more likely to buy versus 20% for new customers.
Cross-sell emails are among the most profitable post-purchase email sequences with open rates as high as 61%, click-through rates close to 10%, and conversions of over 9%.
Upselling Provides Added Value
Set up an autoresponder to trigger immediately after a shopper buys a product, and they are still excited.
Upselling emails can convert as high as 30%, increasing Average Order Values (AOV). Adding upsell offers to email receipts is a tactic that works well. Email receipts get opened 4x more than regular marketing emails.
Abandoned Cart Emails
Are abandoned cart sequences worth it? They sure are! Abandoned cart emails get opened up to 45% of the time. More importantly, conversion rates are almost 11%. That's like finding money with just an automated reminder and follow-up.
Email marketing is a proven source of leads and revenue. 81% of SMBs rely on email as their most important customer acquisition channel. Shoppers spend 138% more when marketed through email than folks who didn't get the message or offer.
E-commerce Email Marketing Tips
Here are a few proven strategies to increase your email marketing effectiveness:
- Optimize for Mobile - 51% of the global population reads emails on their smartphones. Always check to see how your email looks on a phone before sending it.
- Personalize and Segment – Personalized subject lines get opened 50% more than generic. Personalization drives down spam rates too.
- Send Emails at the Right Time – There is plenty of data out there showing the most effective days of the week and times of day that garner the highest responses. Depending on the test, the sweet spot seems to be 1 pm on Tuesdays. Your results may vary due to location and the target market.
- Do A/B Testing – Test everything, including subject lines, personalization, and offers. Testing reveals your clients' needs and makes your emails more effective.
- Keep Sending Promotional Emails – Keep your customers in the loop about all the latest promotions. Just because they didn't buy last time doesn't mean they are not ready to buy now. Consistency pays off. Stick to only one clear CTA per email for best results.
There are many other e-commerce email strategies, but the five above will help you bring in more business.
eCommerce Email Campaign Ideas
The assistance of email marketing experts is sometimes beneficial to see the greatest returns. Email experts can help strategize, create, and consult on the largest eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and ESPs like Klavio and Active Campaign.