Email marketing is one of the most widely used forms of marketing. To shop online you need an email address, which means if you can capture it, you can market to it.
The problem is using that email address for good instead of evil.
The most important thing that all businesses need to understand about email marketing is that it is interruptive marketing. When it comes to email marketing it’s the business, not the customer who decides when contact is made.
This is intrusive, especially when the emails have little value. The industry average open rate for emails in eCommerce is 15.6%. So anything above that is considered good.
But that’s ignoring the fact that while 15.6% opened, the other 84.4% ignored you entirely. Similarly, the average click-through rate is 2%. This means 98% of those who opened your email saw nothing worth acting on.
This doesn’t make email pointless, rather highlights how ineffective bad email marketing can be.
If your customers have seen fit to hand over their data then you need to make it worth their while.
Not least because eCommerce is in an increasingly competitive space.
Email marketing can help any business, not just new businesses grow, you just need to go about it in the right way.
Know Who you’re Talking To
This is not only good practice, it’s what your customers want.
Historically eCommerce businesses have – and do – send generic sales emails.
Whether it’s promoting new season fashions, sales or promotions. There is little to no thought as to who is receiving those communications.
This is largely because the sales component of the business and marketing don’t interact.
Unsurprisingly, generic emails don’t perform well because they are exactly that, generic.
By trying to appeal to your whole audience, you will fail to engage with any of them. This is what impacts open and click through rates.
The majority of your customers question the relevance of your communications to the point that they don’t even open the email.
Generic you’re alienating a proportion of your customers. Offering the latest summer dresses will only appeal to those members of your audience who want a summer dress. Or those who may consider buying one as a gift. The rest aren’t interested.
The hard part, when you’re a new business is (a) having the customers and (b) having their data.
The temptation is to buy a database. This is fraught with risk. Not least because laws like GDPR could have you put out of business fairly quickly if someone reports you.
But the value isn’t in sending the email but what they contain. Buying a database full of anonymous users makes it impossible to deliver any meaningful value to your audience.
Doubly so if the recipient has never heard of you.
Offering promotions or discounts to visitors to your site in exchange for their email addresses is far more useful. Especially if you have the means to track their behaviour and gather purchase data.
The more data you have the better you can understand your audience.
Personalisation in Email Marketing
Personalisation in your email marketing is essential if you want to use the channel to grow your business.
The ability to communicate with your customers about the things they are interested in is a key differentiator between you and your competitors. It will build trust and drive sales. It will also help to build loyalty.
Customers who felt understood by the businesses they shop with tend to spend more and more frequently. They also are more likely to promote your business to others and even defend you against detractors.
And they’ll do it for free.
Getting your email marketing right matters, so take the time to gather as much data together as possible. The more you know about them, the better you can communicate with your customers.
Purchase data helps you to understand not only what they’ve bought but what they could be interested in.
That can make your product emails far more engaging.
The more data you have the more segmented your emails can become and therefore more targeted.
By consolidating your data into one place, so you can get a Single Customer View, you can personalise all your campaigns. Even sales emails can promote the products your customers are more likely to buy.
The more you personalise your emails the more your customers will expect customised communications. This means they are far more likely to open and click.
It becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more customers interact with your emails the more data you will accumulate, allowing you to personalise those emails further.
Although you’ll never get all your opening or clicking, increasing your CTR from 2% to 3% can represent a significant increase in revenue.
And with each small uptick in performance, your business will become more profitable and your customers more engaged.
Automate your Email Marketing Campaigns
Automating your email marketing has several benefits. The first is time. There are two areas you can save time through marketing automation.
The first is building your email marketing campaign in advance means you can leave it to run. Rather than remembering to send the next email in the sequence. A manual approach also prevents you from giving customers a nudge depending on how they interact with the email.
The second is marketing automation allows you to build long term nurture sequences. All you need to do is add new users to the campaign and they will start to receive content from you at regular intervals. You don’t need to build a new email, they’ll just receive email one in the campaign.
This helps you to keep in regular contact with your customers in a way that adds value. But doesn’t actually require a significant amount of your time to execute.
Planning the Journey
Email marketing automation allows you to map out how you want to interact with your customers and at what intervals and stages of their buying journey.
Automation allows you to nudge customers who have opened your emails but didn’t click. Or clicked but didn’t buy. You can tie an abandoned basket campaign in here as well.
These gentle nudges that focus on delivering a great customer experience will ultimately boost your sales.
Essentially, if you plan on sending a weekly email to your customers, your journey planner should actually include:
- An email for each customer segmentation
- These emails should be personalised based on each customer’s personal information, including purchase history
- A follow up email for those customers who didn’t open
- An email for those who opened and didn’t click
- And one for those customers who added something to basket but didn’t buy
At minimum. To properly engage with your customers, boost conversions and shorten the sales cycle, takes planning. You need to carefully map out each communication, when it should go out and to what extent you want to incentivise your customers.
However, once you’ve built your campaigns it’s just a case of test and learn. Take advantage of the data the campaigns generate to adjust the messaging, content recommendations and product suggestions.
This will help you to boost sales while building trust between you and your customers because they will feel understood.
Key benefits of Email Marketing for your Business
The main benefit is regular contact with your customers keeps you at the forefront of their minds. Providing your communications are being well received.
This makes it more likely for your customers to consider your business before your competitors. Especially as you’re regularly showing them products that they like.
Personalised communications also increases the performance of your email marketing. That means more opens, more clicks and more purchases.
This both shortens the sales cycle and boosts revenue, making each sale more profitable.
Moreover, the more customers purchase the more likely they are to become loyal customers. Loyal customers spend more and more frequently.
Building a loyal customer base who regularly shops with you will not only make your business more profitable but they’ll advocate for you too. This brings new customers to your business who you did nothing to attract but are already engaged.
To learn more about how email marketing and marketing automation can help your business, get in touch with the team to request a demo.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.