Email marketing, which is often deemed dead for no apparent reason, can be a valuable ally of your e-commerce initiative. Your e-commerce shop generates sales, and it’s off to a good start. But what if, once the user has clicked that check-out button, you don’t hear from him anymore? Jason Yahiaoui has the answer.
How email marketing can help you boost your e-commerce website
While one-off customers are a definite source of income, it is often frustrating to see them leave without a means to get back in touch with them. Here, we will look at six steps to turn them into loyal customers and a sustainable source of income.
Tip #1: Build a qualified list of email contacts
The effectiveness of an email marketing campaign depends on the quality of its mailing list. The contact list is one of the pillars of email marketing. But what do we mean by “qualified?” Qualified contacts are those for whom you retain detailed information about their tastes, requirements or consumption habits.
Build one’s own mailing list is crucial for it will generate trust. According to French e-commerce experts SNCD, Trust is a pivotal condition for opening emails for 84% of Internet users. Collecting users’ email addresses by yourself is the first step in building customer loyalty.
However, be careful not to violate the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Collect only the information you need, and do not forget to ask for the visitor’s consent. Now that your contacts have granted you permission to communicate with them, it’s time you defined a message.
Tip #2: Make your objectives SMART
Your expectations define the purpose of your newsletter. Your main objective will be the guiding line of your campaign. What is the action towards which you want to guide your addressees? The objective should be straightforward and SMART so that it can fit into a call-to-action button easily.
Having a goal in mind when creating your newsletter is the first step showing that you’re going in the right direction. When your emails meet a specific need, it is easier to measure their performance accurately. Clear objectives prevent errors. It is a way to ensure the relevance of your message. 60% of Internet users will unsubscribe when your messages do not match their expectations.
Don’t tell me “my goal is to sell more”. Even though it is true that the success of an e-commerce business is measured by the revenue it generates. But that’s not a SMART objective. Your goals must be specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and time-bound to ensure that you will be able to measure the performance of your campaigns for future improvements.
You can set yourself several goals but be careful not to spread yourself too thin. The recipient is more likely to act if she knows what is expected of her. The content of your newsletter should serve your purpose. This applies to the written content of your email, but also its images.
Tip #3: Images sell: out-of-the-pack-shot ideas
What would a newsletter be without pictures? From a tiny logo to a full-width photo, visuals are a must-have for newsletters. We’ll see how to go beyond the pack-shot to stimulate the interest of your readers and develop your brand image.
Photos and other graphic design elements are used to convey messages which cannot be expressed with words. This is true of web design. It is also true for newsletters. Images create emotion. Mood boards tell the story of your brand, while the staging of products helps future buyers with their purchase. Visuals are not just mean to be pretty pictures.
Images are used to stimulate emotion. Don’t limit yourself to pack-shots that are matter-of-fact representations of the product. Use photographs to depict a customer experience, a way of life, and build an emotional bond with your subscribers. As in all sales processes, be sure to emphasise the benefits of your product rather than its features.
Images should not, however, replace text. A successful newsletter also means a balanced text/image ratio. A ratio of 60/40 is often referred to as an ideal ratio. This is primarily a question of deliverability. In practice, it can vary. Bear in mind that a single image equates to spam for most mailboxes.
Tip #4: Know when to display or not to display your prices
Do we have to display product prices in newsletters? That’s the question. As an e-merchant, you want to deliver as much information as possible to your readers, so that they can make a quick decision. This is a good thing for an online shop. Don’t cram your newsletters with information.
Displaying your price is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can guide your recipient towards impulse buying. On the other hand, you run the risk of deterring the buyer if your product is too dear. Your recipient may also be befuddled when receiving information she did not ask for. So, how do you choose whether or not to display your prices?
The answer can be found in the purpose of the newsletter. The price should only be displayed when it is relevant information. It is up to you to determine whether it will influence your recipient in the right or wrong direction. Remember that the objective is to sell. The price can be displayed when it is likely to trigger a purchase. This is the case for promotions, for example. Most of the time, it is not relevant information.
Emailing marketing is not mail-order. Don’t flood your recipients with aggressively coloured prices. Be subtle. Choose carefully which products you should add to your email campaigns, to increase your click-through rate.
Tip #5: Personalise your messages to boost your click-through rate
When we talk about email marketing in e-commerce, we need to talk about personalisation. As mentioned above, it’s not just about knowing your addressees’ first-names. With e-commerce, a personalised newsletter makes cross-selling strategies possible. This means offering complementary products to a customer who has already purchased something before.
The objective is to turn a one-off customer into a loyal customer. Let’s give them a reason to make another purchase online. A well-conducted cross-selling strategy can increase your revenue in the short and long term. By showing the customer products she needs, you will reap the benefits of her clicks. This is the essence of personalisation.
Let’s assume you are selling golf supplies. The customer who bought a golf club from you will probably need golf balls and apparel. Add such suggestions into your newsletter will increase your click-through rate. Even if the recipient doesn’t make a purchase right away. She will be made aware of this and might visit your online shop a little later. Moreover, according to Zendesk, ‘surprise and delight’ is a viable strategy to build customer loyalty.
Conversely, irrelevant emails make readers unsubscribe. You may run a risk of losing your customers forever. Try not to send too many emails. If your recipients do not click, there is no point in sending them more messages. Change your content, be more personal in your messages; imagination is the limit.
Tip #6: Learn as you go along
You are now in pole position. Email marketing helps build communities of loyal buyers. In the event, your revenue will benefit from it.
This process is a difficult one, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. But results will show. I advise you to start with tip #1 now. Remember, a qualified mailing list is the cornerstone of any successful email marketing campaign.