eCommerce Email Marketing: The Complete Guide
Why is eCommerce Email Marketing Still Relevant?
eCommerce email marketing is far from dead. In fact, more than 74 trillion emails are sent every year. Although engagement and open rates will vary, email remains an essential tool to attract and nurture customers.
According to Campaign Monitor, 72 percent of people prefer receiving branded content through email. With a significant potential for growth, brands need to tackle and improve their email marketing strategies to reach their goals.
In this eBook, we cover actionable steps to optimize your email marketing eCommerce strategy, increase brand awareness and drive conversions.
Laying a Foundation
There are four fundamental aspects of a successful foundation:
Build your contact list
Understand your contact list
Determine a cadence and frequency
Choose the right technologies
Building Your Email List
Growing an email list is the first step to a successful email marketing eCommerce strategy. To do this, brands need to attract customers to their websites and capture their email addresses.
We know what you’re thinking – website
We often recommend Justuno as a lead capture tool for eCommerce businesses. Justuno is an eCommerce platform that helps brands easily build high-performing and aesthetically pleasing pop-ups. Successful pop-ups typically include:
CTA (Call to Action)
In addition to increasing your email contact list, pop-ups can also improve visitor engagement and website conversion. We encourage you to think beyond a standard newsletter sign-up form and to get creative. Try highlighting benefits, such as discounts, promotions, downloadable content or special offers to encourage conversion and improve your eCommerce email marketing strategy.
Transferring Your List to An Email Marketing eCommerce Tool
Every eCommerce platform collects customer data after purchase. This information can include product orders, cost, shipping addresses, phone numbers and, of course, email addresses. To take full advantage of this information, businesses need to transfer customer purchase data into a marketing automation tool, like HubSpot.
With some creative development work, businesses can use the HubSpot eCommerce Bridge API to activate this functionality. Another option is to use HubShop.ly, an automatic HubSpot eCommerce integration our team created. This advanced tool uses customer purchase data to trigger abandoned cart workflows, update contact properties and more.
Understanding Your Contact List
Before you can succeed with email marketing, you must understand your customer needs. This starts by evaluating information like customer demographics and purchase history.
We recommend segmenting lists into similar groups to create personalized experiences for specific customer needs. This tactic uses factors like demographics, online behaviors and interest patterns to create and send personalized emails to customers.
For example, if a customer has only ever purchased women’s clothing from your site, you’ll want to showcase those types of products in your emails. Appealing to the consumer’s interests can significantly increase conversion and the amount of time spent on your site.
You can use a CRM like HubSpot with your eCommerce platform to achieve this level of personalization. To learn more, we recommend exploring our related blog that outlines HubSpot CRM features and benefits.
Determining a Cadence and Frequency
Finding the right cadence for your business is more complex than it may appear yet is one of the most important email marketing strategies. Email frequencies vary based on a company’s objectives and needs; unfortunately, we don’t have a universal recommendation to share. However, we can offer some sound advice on how to figure out what the best fit is for your business.
Start by identifying your email goals before adjusting your cadence and ask yourself:
Why am I sending emails in the first place?
Am I trying to close deals, get online purchases or drive website readers to convert?
We encourage you to identify the line between being helpful and annoying. Over-sharing can result in a drop in your open and click-through rates, as well as an influx of lost subscribers.
Remember that your customers are at different stages of interaction with your business. Depending on their stage, each will require a different type of information and communication. Hence, why segmenting can come in handy.
Keep a close eye on your email marketing analytics to ensure your conversions, click-through rates, open rates or other data points are fulfilling your marketing goals. Also, be mindful of your customer’s feedback and responses to your emails. If your email marketing eCommerce strategy is working (or not working), they’ll let you know.
Choosing the Right Platform
HubSpot is one of our favorite marketing automation tools. This email marketing tool allows marketers to personalize and optimize emails without having to wait for IT or designers.
Businesses can use HubSpot to automatically send relevant content, attachments, links, CTAs and subject lines that will boost email open and click-through rates. This tool also includes A/B testing to track what methods earn better engagement rates and sales.
Klaviyo also has many features to help optimize your eCommerce email marketing strategy. Most importantly, it transfers and stores your contact list. This tool also allows you to personalize emails with the drag-and-drop email design, as well as tailor messages by including events, properties
You can also pull in product recommendations and use custom web feeds to insert dynamic content blocks. The website tracking tool uses visitor behavior to segment your audience and target triggered emails. Finally, pre-built autoresponders (email flows) will help you make more money with less effort.
Moving the Needle
Now that you’ve clearly outlined email marketing eCommerce goals and technologies, it’s time to put the rubber to the road and start sending.
Types of Emails
First, it’s important to consider the different types of email techniques businesses can use to reach subscribers. There are three main eCommerce email marketing categories:
Promotions and offers
Blogs & other helpful content
1. Abandoned Carts
There are many reasons why customers leave items in online shopping carts. Factors like competitive prices, lack of trust and uncertainty about your store can easily lead to forgotten products.
Regardless of the reason, abandoned carts will happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them. By taking the time to set up abandoned cart email workflows, you’re giving your business a second chance at recovering potential lost sales.
These automated emails redirect customers back to their carts and motivate them to complete the purchases they left behind. Be sure to include images of the abandoned items along with links that will easily redirect consumers to their shopping carts. Over time, your store will adjust its abandoned cart workflow according to the scale of the business and the amount of revenue being brought in.
2. Promotions and Offers
Incorporating discounts and promotions in your email marketing eCommerce strategy can help recapture a potential lost customer’s attention. However, we want to stress that there are right and wrong ways to use them.
Before going discount crazy, assess whether your store’s profit margins can handle these offers. Online businesses with smaller margins should avoid heavily relying on discounts, as this can reduce profitability.
Misusing discounts can also attract price-driven shoppers who are conditioned to expect offers. This can reduce the likelihood of them purchasing full-price items in the future.
When used appropriately, incorporating promotions and offers in your emails can help increase customer acquisition and drive customer loyalty.
For the best results, build custom promotional offers based on your business, customers
Overall, successfully implementing occasional promotions can encourage shoppers to convert and revisit your store over time.
3. Blogs and Helpful Content
Blogs and content help customers build trust in your business. Whether you send a monthly newsletter, downloadable content or blogs, this content helps nurture your list and reminds them that you aren’t just here to sell them things. Rather, you’re a resource here to help them solve a problem.
For an added personal touch, you can send a welcome email to new blog subscribers. This is a great way to provide a quick introduction to your business, as well as an overview of the blog itself, and is one the best email marketing strategies to welcome new consumers to your brand.
Improvement & Optimization
Continuously striving for improvement can set you apart from other businesses. We recommend using testing tools to analyze your email success and identify areas for optimization.
Your best bet for collecting feedback on your emails is to use the A/B testing model. Using this information, brands can improve content and user engagement, reduce bounce rates, increase conversion rates and, everyone’s favorite, increase revenue.
A/B testing allows you to compare two variations of emails. Sending two versions of your email helps you understand what drives more opens, clicks
Don’t be afraid to take risks and remember that if your results aren’t statistically valid, you can choose a set fallback to send. Lastly, keep an open mind to feedback outside of your contact list. Ideas for change can come from anywhere and creative and innovative thinking will boost your business’s success.
Emails sent at odd hours often end up being ignored or in the trash. Marketing automation tools like HubSpot provide an easy solution to this problem by allowing brands to send emails based on recipient time zones.
Hubspot’s Smart Send feature also shows you how many recipients are in each time-zone, and once you’ve set up your send schedule, it will automatically disperse at the set time in each respective time-zone.
For example, if you want to deliver an email at 10 a.m. to multiple time-zones, the Smart Send feature will send the email whenever it is 10 a.m. in each area. Consistent sending times is one of the smartest email marketing strategies out there, as it will help your audience know when to expect your content and increase engagement, brand perception and conversion.
eCommerce success relies on carefully thought out strategies. Whether you’re just dipping your toe in the water or are a seasoned eCommerce expert, we hope this guide has helped you refine your approach for success.