To build a successful e-commerce venture, it takes a wide-ranging promotional strategy. You may be able to make sales with one promotional channel, but the best stores reach customers using a number of different techniques. One important channel to focus on is email marketing.
While email doesn’t always feel like the most cutting-edge technique, it offers the chance to build relationships that provide long-term results. Whether it’s sending a simple broadcast email or designing more complex segmentation campaigns, an email will invariably produce results. So what can e-commerce stores do to get the best results from email marketing?
Offer Subscriber Discounts
It is important to create a sense of urgency among subscribers, so they consistently open messages. One effective method is to offer subscriber-only discounts that encourage immediate purchases. Coupon codes can be made available for a limited time, increasing the likelihood that interested customers will take a look at each message sent.
An additional option is to create loyalty programs, moving your regular buyers to a separate list. Loyalty programs can help people feel they are getting preferential treatment, adding to the importance of each message.
Create Holiday Promotions
Every successful e-commerce store owner will understand the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These dates, alongside the Christmas period, can sometimes generate more sales than the rest of the year combined for some stores. Stores need to be prepared for the important holiday seasons, developing promotions that encourage people to purchase at a higher rate than normal.
Email will be integral to this process, with many consumers waiting for discounts before they make bulk purchases. Rather than a simple email promo, though, you should develop a series that offers scarcity and a clear end date.
The more you can personalize messages, the better response you will get. The most common form of personalization is to include the name of your subscriber. Adding a name to the title can often lead to an improved open rate while using it sparingly in the body copy can improve the response rate.
You can go further than just the name, though, with various creative techniques. You could send messages based around the location or time zone of groups of users. Additionally, you can personalize your own brand, possibly adding an image of the store owner or a customer representative.
Test Email Advertising
Building an email list can be a time-consuming endeavor. You will typically only convert a small percentage of visitors, with most people needing time and an incentive to join your list. While it is still important to focus on list building, you can also use email advertising to reach targeted audiences. There are many newsletters that have already been built in various markets, but they allow third-party businesses to advertise within them.
These newsletters have engaged followings who pay attention to the emails. One option is to include a sponsored post within the message, providing relevant content that will lead to clicks to your website. Alternatively, you can create a dedicated campaign where a series of messages are designed around your business and products.
Focus on Segmentation
Sending the same emails to an entire list is not the best way to maximize results. A typical e-commerce store will have buyers and leads who entered your marketing funnel at different points. Simple segmentation would involve moving buyers onto a separate list from leads, so you can adjust the types of messages you send. You can go further, though, segmenting based on user demographic information you have acquired. Factors like gender, age, and location might help you to tailor emails, while the landing page a person subscribed from will also be a factor in the marketing messages they respond to.
Notifications can be used to provide relevant information at the right time. When a potential customer abandons the cart, for example, you can send a notification to remind them of the items they have saved. The remarketing company SaleCycle found that cart abandonment emails tended to convert at around 3% depending on the market sector.
The figure might appear small, but this can make a big difference to revenue over time, allowing you to reinvest into advertising. Additional notifications can include sending an email when you have new stock of a saved item and offering related items after a purchase has been made.
Email might not be the most eye-catching marketing strategy available to you, but it has been proven over many years. People still open emails, particularly when they come from brands they trust. Of course, you will get the best results when you combine email with other promotional strategies. Social media and blogging, for example, will further increase brand awareness among subscribers, leading to better responses to your messages. Email, though, should be at the heart of your promotional strategies, helping to build relationships that sustain long into the future.