Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for reaching consumers today. Above video ads and social media campaigns, email is still the dominant communication medium.
According to a VentureBeat Insight study, “users of email marketing systems are achieving $38 in ROI for every $1 spent.” This tremendous return is likely the reason that the same study notes that “84 percent of marketers believe email is important or critically important for customer loyalty.”
When it comes to email marketing for eCommerce companies, the key to running an effective campaign lies in sending the right kinds of email campaigns to the right people at the right time. If a merchant masters this, the results can be astounding.
Effective eCommerce email marketing campaigns must be smart, timely, enticing and targeted toward the correct inboxes. To accomplish this feat, retailers must know which kinds of campaigns to run to meet these goals.
Here are four email marketing campaigns that every eCommerce merchant should deploy to drive revenue and brand engagement.
The ‘Welcome’ Series
Studies indicate that, on average, less than one in three new customers will place a second order within their first year of patronage. Given how much it costs to acquire a new customer (seven times more than retaining them), this doesn't leave retailers with much profit.
Most of a merchant's revenue will come from repeat purchases as roughly half of the customers who make a second purchase will make a third. Sixty-three percent of those folks will make a third and more than 80 percent of those who make nine purchases will go on to place order number 10. Therefore, once a consumer gets over the hurdle of buying and turns into a customer, merchants should do all they can to encourage that elusive second purchase.
The first step to achieving this goal is to enter new customers into the “welcome” email series campaign. Here, retailers will reach out shortly after a visitor converts to engage further with the brand. This can be accomplished with emails that:
- - Invite them to shop a specific category or popular products.
- - Ask them to connect on social media.
- - Tell them a brand’s story and history.
- - Invite them to make a second purchase with a coupon code.
There are numerous possibilities for this series. The direction retailers take should be informed by their brand goals.
Abandoned Cart Emails
This is one of the most crucial email campaigns a retailer can send to their audience.
Across the industry, abandoned cart rates are nearly 70 percent. Therefore, these emails are a natural aspect of the eCommerce sales cycle.
Visitors might abandon a cart for a variety of reasons – they get interrupted, shipping costs were too high, they were merely comparing prices, etc. There is nothing that can be done to stop this phenomenon altogether. However, merchants can reclaim a sizable portion of this audience by viewing the ditched items as an opportunity to "wow" consumers and show off their customer service skills.
By sending abandoned cart emails from a live, monitored address, retailers can not only provide a potential buyer with an incentive to convert via a discount code or other means, but they can also ask for feedback to help reduce such instances in the future. By asking questions such as "How can we help?" or "Was there a problem?," merchants can identify friction in their checkout experience.
Moreover, by crafting thoughtful abandoned cart emails, sellers can either:
- - Win back roughly 10 percent of shoppers
- - Earn quality feedback
- - Provide exceptional customer service that people will remember
Consumers who abandon their carts give incredible signals of intent to buy. Abandoned cart emails are a retailer's second chance to capitalize on that interest and increase brand loyalty.
The Cross-Sell Campaign
If a customer makes a purchase and a retailer’s store carries an item that would perfectly complement the order's contents, merchants should send a cross-sell email (automatically triggered, of course) that enables shoppers to get the most of their experience.
This tactic not only helps to enhance the user experience through personalization methods, but it also assists in increasing the customer’s lifetime value for the merchant.
To initiate such a campaign, sellers must identify two products that go well together (sneakers and matching socks, for instance) and enter the items into their email marketing platform’s segment builder to create a series that dictates “Has purchased X, has not purchased Y,” which then triggers the campaign.
However, be mindful in how products are paired. Sellers should not match arbitrary items for the sake of (attempting) to earn sales. These emails must bring value to their recipients and further enhance their shopping experience.
Following the Pareto distribution model – colloquially known as the 80/20 rule – 80 percent of a brand's revenue will come from 20 percent of its customers. Therefore, all brands have a segment of their customers who are true VIPs, and this should be acknowledged to celebrate and retain them.
It’s up to retailers how they will define their VIPs. Perhaps these consumers made a specific number of purchases, exceeded a certain dollar amount, referred a certain number of new customers, etc.
The merchant’s job in this scenario is to sift through their customer data to identify these individuals and reach out to them with the appropriate encouragement.
Since VIPs are already loyal customers, eCommerce sellers must go beyond just another discount to inspire more action and loyalty. Therefore, business owners should aim to make these customers feel genuinely special and appreciated. This sentiment can be conveyed with emails that:
- - Provide them with a unique perk such as free shipping
- - Give them the chance to buy new products before they go live
- - Offer exclusive products only available to VIPs
- - Present invitations to special events
These are just a few of the many ways in which VIPs can be recognized and rewarded in an eCommerce company’s email campaigns.
Email marketing can do much more than merely generate sales. Using the campaigns listed above, merchants can engage, inspire, surprise and delight. Engendering these feelings makes it more likely that customers will develop deep and abiding loyalty to a brand, act on its behalf as an advocate and spread the message about a store’s incredible offerings and services.
Integrate these four email campaigns into the marketing mix for your eCommerce store to reap the rewards that an engaged fanbase has to offer.
About the author:
Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an eCommerce-focused marketing agency. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions, which is derived from his specialties in SEO and PPC. When he is not working, Ron enjoys fitness-related activities and playing fetch with his dog, Patriot.