It's easy to get caught up in the complexities of email marketing - such as the best email design to increase engagement and the latest email trends to look out for. So, we're going to take it back to the basics here. Let's take a step back and focus on eCommerce email marketing best practices so that your email reaches that inbox and has high open rates.
I Didn’t Sign Up for This!
You never want to be “that person” in any situation, so why should your email campaign be any different? Simply put – it shouldn’t. The most important rule to live by when it comes to eCommerce email marketing best practices is that you should never send an email to a person that didn’t sign up for it. We call this spam email, and being marked as spam hurts. It hurts not only the deliverability of your email campaign but also your brand reputation in the grand scheme of things.
Good Subject Lines Only, Please
Unfortunately, the subject of spam is not going away when we discuss eCommerce email marketing best practices. Including a smart subject line is the number one way to ensure that your email will reach a desired inbox. A smart subject line gets straight to the point without containing too much punctuation or capitalization. Short and sweet subject lines can be fun, humorous and effective when they properly relay the message of your email content.
Bad Subject Line: READ THIS EMAIL TO SAVE $10!!!!!
In the example of a bad subject line above, there are two types of punctuation used: both a dollar sign and exclamation points. Many email programs might read this as spam and never deliver the email to your targeted inboxes in the first place.
Good Subject Line: Learn How You Can Save $10
In the example of a good subject line above, it is short enough that many preview panes will show the entire subject line without cutting it off. It is the perfect exemplar of how keeping a subject line short and sweet can get the point across and relay the benefits of the email without disrupting consumers or coming off as spammy.
Inscribe Your Company Name in Email
Do you have an email address dedicated to your email campaigns that includes your company name? If not, when you're done reading this blog - make one! Having a dedicated email address will ultimately increase your email deliverability. It's always a good rule of thumb to include a reminder for your subscribers to add your email address to their safe sender list. Follow the template below when creating your email:
From: Your Business Name <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Your email’s from name is also an important factor when sending your emails. Your from name should either be your company’s name or someone specific at your company. Don’t forget to use this name consistently in your email campaign – it will help you build familiarity, which ultimately could increase your open rate.
Don’t forget to check this email account on a regular basis for correspondences or unsubscribe requests.
I strongly believe that if you are going to put forth the effort to begin an email campaign, you should have enough content to keep it going – consistency is key. Inform your email subscribers of what to expect from the beginning. Then, it's up to you to keep up with those expectations.
Every Email Has Multiple Versions
With every beautiful email you send out, always have a back up plan. You can’t rely on people to have their images turned on or for people to subscribe to the HTML version. Every email you send should have a plain text version, which includes:
- Your company’s name, website, address and phone number
- Your email subject line
- Your email content
- Specific URLs from your email
The HTML version of your email should also contain alternative image names. Without these, people who have turned their images off will be missing out on that content and might not understand the message of your email – especially if you are sending an email that contains mostly images and little text – which I would never suggest.
Use Enticing Calls-To-Action
Just like your website, your emails need strong calls-to-action (CTAs). These are principal when it comes to eCommerce email marketing best practices. Without CTAs, people won’t know how to properly interact with your email or website and likely won’t take the “intended next step”. Similar to CTAs, your email needs to have a clear and concise message. Without a concise message people are going to miss the purpose of your email. Your email’s message and its CTAs are the best way to lead people to your website and a great way to direct their interaction.
Test, Test, Test
I can say from experience that there is no such thing as over-testing. If you don’t test your emails regularly, there’s a good chance that something will go wrong on at least one occasion. A customer or someone else can find these irregularities, which may or may not cause problems for your company. Don't make this mistake! Test, test, and test your emails some more to avoid embarrassing your brand!
We hope these eCommerce email marketing best practices have inspired your email marketing strategy. By following these best practices, your email is bound to reach your targeted inboxes (and have a great open rate.)
If you need assistance in running the best marketing campaign for your eCommerce business or are struggling with high abandoned cart rates, contact us through the form below. We're happy to help!
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