Despite the rise in popularity of social media in eCommerce, email marketing remains one of the most powerful eCommerce marketing tools to engage prospects and customers. In fact, according to Custora, email marketing accounts for approximately 7 percent of all eCommerce user acquisitions, making it second only to search (15.8 percent).
If you want to capture more leads, keep more prospects in your sales funnel, turn them into customers, and increase sales, you’ll want to take a closer look at these 8 things that will determine the success of your email marketing efforts in 2015.
1. Relevance is Key
Successful eCommerce email marketing begins with segmenting your customer lists. One communication or promotion is not going to resonate with all of your customers. For example, if you sell both male and female clothing, blasting an email promotion for a sale on men’s dress shirts is going to alienate half of your list. Worse, women who open the email may assume that your promotions aren’t for them and will stop opening them altogether.
A study by the email service provider MailChimp found that sending segmented, promotional emails to specific list segments increased open rates by 14 percent and improved click-through-rates by approximately 15 percent. Segmentation also reduced bounce rates, spam report rates, and unsubscribe rates.
2. Consider All Devices
According to Litmus, 53 percent of emails are now being opened on a mobile device. This number is only going to rise, making it critical for you to incorporate responsive design into your eCommerce email marketing strategy.
Simply put, responsive design is design that adapts itself to whatever device is being used to view your email. Regardless of whether a prospect or customer opens it on his laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the user experience needs to be consistent. When you consider the Experian study that emails using responsive design show an increase of up to 63 percent in click-through-rates and 18 percent in transaction rates, you simply can’t afford to ignore it.
3. Leverage Your Data
One of the most effective ways to use email for eCommerce marketing is to leverage the data you collect from the behavior of your website visitors. For example, if a visitor seems to be about to pull the trigger on a purchase but abandons the shopping cart, this action can trigger an email that re-engages him. If he doesn’t return and make a purchase after the first reminder, you can add him to your lead nurturing campaign to keep him in the sales funnel.
4. Get Personal
Personalizing emails is one of the easiest and most effective ways to grab the attention of your prospects and customers. With so many emails overloading their inboxes everyday, yours is likely to get skipped over if you don’t stand out. Aberdeen Group reports that personalization improves click-through-rates by 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent. Personalized subject lines and calls-to-action are especially compelling:
- Subject Lines: Emails with personalized subject lines have 26 percent higher unique open rates than non-personalized emails. (Experian)
- Calls-to-Action: Personalized calls-to-action (CTAs) have a 42 percent higher view-to-submission rate than CTAs that are the same for all website visitors. (HubSpot)
From quickly attracting prospects to convincing them to click-through to your offer, personalizing your emails can be the difference between you or your competitor making the sale.
5. Make Automation Work For You
Use marketing automation to continue to nurture leads through your email marketing campaigns. This enables you to methodically stay in contact and send targeted content to your different customer lists wherever they are in the customer lifecycle. Ultimately, you want to automate as many interactions as possible, providing prospects with relevant content when and how they want to receive it. Three of the most popular ways to use marketing automation are to send:
- Shopping cart reminders
- Reminders based on search history
- Cross-sell emails
6. Harness the Power of the Subject Line
Email subject lines are literally on the front lines of your eCommerce email marketing efforts. Depending on how you write them, they will be either the first or the last thing a prospect or customer sees. Generally speaking, subject lines need to be short and descriptive. Make sure they’re personalized and targeted to the needs and desires of the segmented lists receiving the email.
7. Reinforce Your Message With Imagery
In addition to capturing the eye of your readers after opening an email, images help tell the story of your offer or reason for communication with them. Images sell as much—or even more—as the copy in your email. Make sure they reinforce one another to compel a prospect or customer to click-through to your website. And remember to make the images clickable as well.
8. Have a Compelling Call-to-Action
After spending so much time, money, and effort on a marketing email, many eCommerce businesses fail to include a strong CTA—which ultimately defeats their purpose. Use your subject line, images, and copy to communicate a single, compelling CTA. Multiple CTAs can quickly frustrate a reader in the few seconds they’re looking at your email, so avoid confusion by making their desired action crystal clear.