Posted on: October 11, 2021 | Written by: Channing Chea, Ignite Visibility
If you didn’t already know that ecommerce email marketing is an art, we’re here to prove it.
The average email open rate is about 20%. If you want your content to count, everything from the subject line to the HTML coding is a critical piece of the puzzle.
But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you can’t do it. As Email Marketing Manager for Ignite Visibility, I have some tricks up my sleeve to help you master ecommerce email marketing.
Let’s cover how to double your sales in half the time through ecommerce email.
Before we jump, let’s make sure we’re clear on a few key terms.
Marketing automation is the process of using Email Service Providers (ESPs) or other types of marketing platforms to create an automated or personalized marketing experience for your potential customers.
People usually use marketing automation based on actions that the user takes.
Thinking about incorporating marketing automation into your strategy?
Your subscriber list is not a cohesive unit, nor are they all as qualified as those who convert.
Audience segmentation addresses this. It’s the process of filtering contacts from your list. A healthy audience segment will usually include:
There are a couple of reasons why email is crucial to your ecommerce success.
Without email, you won’t be able to communicate with prospects unless they choose to visit your website. That’s a lot of hope to place in your users, who may not have your brand top of mind long enough to make it to the browser bar.
With an email marketing strategy, you control the conversation. You can reach out to let customers know about deals or other important information.
In short, email is a way for you to take initiative in building relationships with your audience.
Just because someone visits your website doesn’t mean they are sold on your product. Think about your own experiences as a consumer – how many times have you browsed for the sake of browsing?
Some people need a little more convincing, and that’s okay.
In fact, that’s why we have the buyer’s journey and content funnel in the first place. With email, you can strategically move people further down your sales funnel. Remember, the further down someone is in the funnel, the closer they are to converting.
You can move them through the funnel by sending information that will likely sway them toward a purchase. And, you can segment different audiences based on where they are in the funnel. That way you can be sure you’re sending the right kind of messages to the audience that’s ready to hear them.
There are two types of emails I recommend using to boost your ecommerce email strategy.
You can use them in different ways to suit your brand’s needs, and each one contains a few types of campaigns you can try.
Broadcast campaigns are emails sent out to a segmented list of contacts. There are different types of broadcast campaigns to help you stay flexible in your content strategy.
Promotional Broadcast Campaigns are classic sales, discounts or specials that you send via email.
The right discount can go a long way in getting your audience’s attention (emphasis on the right discount, as you’ll have to figure out what appeals to each segment).
PRO TIP: Be careful not to make your sales schedule too predictable. Customers will feel less urgency to respond to a sale this week if they know there will be another two weeks away. You want people to act, so this is really important.
Newsletter Campaigns provide education more than promotion. Some audiences want information, not just discounts.
You can provide value to the reader by sending industry news, tips, or products that interest them. You can even use this as a space for releasing press about your company, including any updates or changes to your products or company structure.
Automated emails help nurture consumers after they take certain actions with your brand.
For people who run ecommerce sites, there are many automations you can use. But four in particular will make a big difference in your ecommerce email marketing approach.
Welcome Series Automations do exactly what the name suggests. They welcome the customer to your newsletter or other series they’ve signed up for.
This is the first point of contact your customer is likely to have with your store (or at least your email channel). That makes it super important to leave a high-quality first impression.
Sometimes, ecommerce brands will incentivize the customer to sign up through a discount or promotion. If you take that approach, the welcome series is the perfect place to provide users with the promo code. If you fail to send the promo code, you may lose a customer.
Browse Abandon Automations send messages to contacts who have looked at a product but did not add it to their cart.
If you see someone clicked on a particular item or spent time on a products page, you can assume they’re interested in that item. Following up with an advertisement or promotion can help re-capture their interest and nurture them through your funnel.
These automations work best after you’ve earned your customer’s trust. If they trust you, you’ll be able to score their email address. Then, you’ll be able to see what they’re looking at and what actions they’re taking once they’re on your website.
Reaching out to these contacts will allow you to entice consumers with potential discounts or build urgency for a product you know they are interested in. Don’t set the email to trigger immediately after they’ve left your site, but you’ll want to do it within the hour or day.
It’s poor form to overwhelm them, so keep it to one browse abandon automation within a 48-hour period.
Abandoned Cart Automations trigger when shoppers add items to their cart and then leave the website.
This automation takes things a step further than the browse abandon automations. If your contact adds an item to their cart or goes to the cart/checkout page but doesn’t purchase, you may send them a polite reminder that they forgot something. This is usually sent an hour or so after the contact has left your site, and it can prompt them to come back.
People who put products in carts are very close to purchasing, and nudging them with an automated email can be the extra push they need.
Post-Purchase Series Automations trigger after someone purchases a product from you. You may think you’ve reached the final step, but customer loyalty goes a long way in achieving long-term ecommerce success.
Once someone purchases from you, it’s a good idea to pop in and thank them. A post-purchase series can be very helpful in making customers feel appreciated. Plus, it’s another means to encourage product or service reviews and incentivize referrals. Post-purchase automations can even prompt repeat purchases, which helps you increase your average customer lifetime value (CLV).
PRO TIP: Test out this strategy by sending your customers a timely discount that feels exclusive to them. This will encourage buyers to make repeat purchases.
Whether you’re sending your contacts a dedicated broadcast email or automated messages triggered by their actions, having a defined and premeditated email strategy can make all the difference in bringing in revenue to your ecommerce company.
The fact is this: Email marketing is effective, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Double your success, slash your time commitments, and find the equilibrium that will elevate your ecommerce site.
First thing’s first: You can only maximize these strategies with a healthy email list size. Check out 4 steps to grow an email list—fast—over on the Ignite Visibility YouTube channel.
About the author:
Channing Chea is the Email Marketing Manager at Ignite Visibility. With a BA in Communication Technology from The Ohio State University, Channing has a collective 10 years of experience working in the digital space. He has worked in IT, teaching high school students web development, and is the author of one novel, Vega’s Sanctum, and three screenplays, part of the AfroFantasy series. He has also worked in video production, working on various projects for C1GNUS STUD1O, and he is an FAA Certified Remote Pilot. As a digital marketer, Channing has worked for multiple brands, building out many email marketing strategies. His favorite hobbies include writing, driving, and keeping up with technology news as if they’re sports scores.