Email is undoubtedly the most powerful tool for marketing, branding, building lasting customer relationships and getting direct response. While a good email can dramatically enhance your response rates and forge lasting subscriber relationships, a sloppy one may not only turn away your prospective customers but may also damage your brand as well.
Moreover, email is a great tool that helps you target relevant content to interested subscribers. Ecommerce Emails should ideally serve three objectives:
- Drive sales
- Generate more revenue
- Keep the subscribers active and get them to buy again and again
Creating powerful email marketing strategies isn’t a simple task. Constant testing, analyzing and enhancing the power of messages is a must if you wish to leverage the myriad opportunities that exist for email marketing. It is an unspoken rule of conversation to talk relevant if you want to make sense in your circle. Same holds true in email marketing. In our busy lives, we don't pay heed to stuff that doesn't concern us. Taking this fact into consideration, categorize your subscribers according to their age, gender, location, past purchases, interests and most viewed items. This will allow you to customize your emails and send out relevant information to the concerned subscribers. Let's explore together the tactics on how to make email marketing more successful for ecommerce websites.
1. Design for Deliverability
To ensure that your email faces no deliverability issues, you have to get your email design right. You ought to ensure that all the important email clients support the elements in your email. According to latest Litmus Email Analytics, email mobile opens are 56%, desktop opens 17% and webmail opens are down to 27%. The design should be responsive so that it is compatible with laptops as well as mobile devices. Your emails should invariably include an unsubscribe button with a preference center that allows your customers to select when they want to hear from you. This would enhance your credibility by cutting down the spam rate.
2. Email Template
Email template includes the following elements:
a. From name
‘From name’ is very important as it has a huge impact on your open rate. If you are not able to grab attention with the ‘from name’, your subject line would also get ignored and maybe your email would end in trash or get marked as spam. The best way to get heard is to use a trustworthy ‘from name’ that gets recognized by your subscribers. It’s usually your Company name or your founder's name.
b. Subject line
The subject line of your email has to generate curiosity or clearly convey what is in the email. For instance, “You Cannot Miss Out on This” sounds intriguing whereas “Flat 70% Off on All Purchases” is an obvious subject line. A unique subject line catches the attention of the subscriber’s lot faster than ordinary ones. But how long should your subject line be? If you want your subscribers to see the whole line in their inbox, make sure it is less than 50 characters. 40% of emails are first opened on mobile phones and thus, limiting your subject line to the above mentioned characters is of great importance. Include “Free Delivery” in the subject line and get higher open rates. According to a research, such emails get 35.9% higher open rates than average. Words like “save”, “buy”, “cheap” and “free” generally put subscribers off. Personalized subject lines and incorporating cute emojis in them has also shown to boost open rates. Try cute snowman, jingle bells or party emojis for your holiday email subject lines this season.
c. Pre-header text
An engaging pre-header text is another important element that can enhance email open rates with few characters. It subtly conveys to the customers what the email holds in store for them even before they have opened the email.
d. Email body
Once your subscribers open your email, they should not regret their decision, but feel delighted about how your email has answers to their problem. The words you choose should ‘connect’ and be empathetic rather than salesy. Talking about the holiday season, you can add a party mood to your emails with bright colors, animations and rich graphics. What's to be kept in mind is that 75% consumers like personalized emails.
3. Attractive Offers and Prominent CTA
Most of the time, it is the incentives and attractive offers that drive sales and convince the user to take an action. A distinctly visible CTA in your emails will impart a direction to the users. The subscribers should be able to understand the need to act. They are looking for products that can solve their problems. If your product does not make their lives simpler, they believe that they are better off without it. The job of your email is to stop them from thinking so and take action. You can go that extra mile and offer something unique to your subscribers in return of that one click. It could be a discount, a free gift or an exclusive coupon on their next purchase. Ecommerce emails with coupons have an increased open rate, click rate and purchase rate. It is interesting to know that companies invest 76.9 billion USD for incentives and promotions every year.
4. Email Send Time
Sending an email at the right time is of paramount importance if you want to get your email opened. Your customers would obviously not want to receive your email promoting discounts at 2 AM. Engage your customers at the optimal timing to get best results from your email campaign. According to Mailchimp, the best day of the week to send emails is Thursday. Moreover, the optimal send time is 10AM in the recipients’ own time zones. But to achieve the best engagement rate, it is advisable that you keep monitoring your email analytics. Have a close look on the times that work the best for you so that you do not get lost in the inbox.
5. Email Automation
It is important to let your subscribers know that you value their relationship. Sending out automated emails really works well to engage them and encourage repeat sales in ecommerce email marketing. Automation saves the effort of manually sending out a personalized email to your subscribers. You can design an email communication schedule and accordingly address the particular subscriber concerns throughout the email lifecycle. Once your subscriber signs up for your newsletter or confirms the first order, you can start off your drive of automated emails starting with welcome emails, promotional emails, transactional emails and emails for shipping information. Cart abandonment emails can also be triggered if the subscriber leaves an item in the cart. Moreover, you can even send product recommendations in the cart abandonment email or on completion of a purchase. Think out of the box and engage customers with some unique ideas that can help you promote your brand. As the holiday season is fast approaching, you can consider the following automated emails:
- Last-minute gift ideas
- Requests to leave a feedback and refer to friends and family members with exclusive festive offers on sign up
- Cross-selling emails
6. Don't miss out on testing your email
Email marketers usually think that it takes up too much time to A/B test emails but that small investment can improve results to a great extent. Testing allows you to evaluate the best offer for the entire customer base as well as helps you determine which groups of customers choose which specific offers. Test your email ALWAYS before you hit the SEND button. Ultimately, email marketing is all about creating relevancy and abiding by it in order to prevent customers from unsubscribing. Take the learning into future campaigns and make sure that you test a few times just to be sure.
You can run successful holiday email campaigns without actually being * THAT * ecommerce website which sends out overly frequent and incoherent emails. Creative emails that deliver something apart from “plain marketing” and sales gimmicks are what customers are actually looking for. The results you get with successful email marketing are nothing short of astounding. Author Bio: Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks - one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting beautiful email design, PSD to Responsive Email HTML conversion and much more. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage and share insights with fellow marketers. You can follow him on Twitter.