According to GetResponse Report 2017, email marketing is the most effective digital marketing channel today. With over 4000% ROAS benchmark and 60% conversation rate, this marketing channel attracts the attention of all types of businesses, no matter their size.
Let’s figure out what types of promotional emails you need to deal with, and what steps you need to follow to launch your email marketing campaign successfully.
What the Numbers Tell Us About Email Marketing Effectiveness
People are used to checking their inbox regularly. Over 45% of all users check the Promotions tab at least once a day, and 26% – per week. If your emails have eye-catching subject lines, there is a high probability these will be opened.
Email marketing is a dominating digital way for driving up-sales and cross-sales as well as boosting customer loyalty and brand awareness. It accounts for over 25% of all online transactions. Analysing the email marketing strategies in 2017, 40% of marketing influencers consider them to be very successful and only 1% – to be unsuccessful at all. Little wonder, that this provides the reason for 58% of businesses to increase their email marketing budget regularly.
This year, MailChimp had tracked email campaigns that went to at least 1000 subscribers and found that the average open rate in the ecommerce industry was 16.75%, 2.32% of these users usually clicked through to the website. However, the last benchmark is about 50 percent higher than that for social posts on Facebook or Twitter.
Email marketing plays a vital role in generating e-commerce revenue. But these are just words, let’s view all the options that will make this channel profitable for you.
The Types of Marketing Emails You Need to Deal With
There are three primary types of emails you should be concerned with in ecommerce: transaction, triggered and promotional (marketing) emails.
Although some argue that transaction and trigger based emails belong to one type, we prefer to separate them.
A transaction email is a system’s response to a customers action on a website or app. It’s a form of confirmation that is sent when a user:
- signs up
- subscribes to the news
- makes an order
- requests a password reset
- leaves feedback, etc.
Tip: Real-time emails are usually formed by developers and in many cases as a template as default, this is why their design are not always attractive enough for your customers. To turn these into extra advertising opportunities, engaging in a copywriter and a designer wouldn’t hurt.
Triggered emails are responses to a commercial action of customers.
Their fundamental characteristic is personalisation. With an ability to collect and check all the necessary customer’s data (from their birthday and relationship status to colour preference and average purchase size) this is a magnificent opportunity to make an individual offer they will be interested in. And consequently, keep customers coming back for more.
There are two classifications of the trigger types, which are similar in many instances:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Event-based emails are discrete and have a warm approach. This is the way to demonstrate to your customer how you appreciate them.
- Welcome messages may contain your brand information, discount code and call to action (CTA) in a noticeable button like “Shop now” approach. These are usually sent within 24 hours after a customer opts in to your list.
- Emails with an interactive quiz after their first purchase can also improve your customer’s loyalty.
- Onboarding emails may contain any added benefits of becoming a “club member” and can be sent within 14+ days after a customer joins.
- Initial cross-sell messages may contain a request for feedback after 1 month or 1-year membership.
Behavioural or abandonment emails
These triggers are oriented on customers who have demonstrated a jumping ship behaviour before completing a purchase with your brand.
- At-Risk emails are sent to customers who used to regularly shop from your website but haven’t shown any activity for a set period of time. These may contain miss-you messages, discounts and invitations back to your store.
- Abandoned Category/Product/Search triggers are sent to shoppers who have viewed several items within a specific category, searched for a particular product or term, or was interested in special goods on your website. These emails contain offers with similar interesting options or new arrivals to bring a customer back.
- Abandoned Cart emails are sent to customers who added products to their carts but have not completed the purchase. These triggers help make a customer return and complete their transaction, these are considered to be the most common and successful in ecommerce.
Product Catalogue emails are sent to inform customers that the catalogue data on your website has renewed.
- New Arrivals emails are sent to shoppers who have previously purchased certain items in a certain category to let them know that the new items on your site are available now.
- Price Reduction/Decrease triggers are sent to customers to inform about discounts on products they purchase regularly.
- Price Increase emails are sent when discounted items jump back to full-price or after a sale.
- Low Inventory triggers are sent to boost sales of unpopular products on your website.
- Out of Stock emails are sent to customers who have previously completed an abandoned action for items that are now sold out.
- Back in Stock triggers are sent when a shopper’s desirable product that was sold out is available on your site again.
These triggers are usually formed with dynamic content which can inspire customers in purchasing products they browsed or added to their cart previously. Such emails may also include a selection of best sellers from your website or site-wide trends.
- Wishlist triggers are used only in case your ecommerce has “save” or “like” features in the item card/product page. Such emails remind customers about products they were interested in.
- Cross-sell emails offer shoppers complementary options to an item they want to purchase.
To ensure a long-term relationship with your customers after one purchase is necessary to pave the way to the next.
- Purchase Confirmation email confirms the dispatch and thanks a customer for shopping with you. For the first time, this trigger may be sent right after the purchase has been made, and for the second – within 2-14 days after the transaction was made.
- Product review and Ask for feedback. Such triggers increase brand awareness and improve customers loyalty like nothing else.
- Social Share emails are sent to customers after a purchase to ask them to take a photo with a product for your social network profile.
- Date-based trigger campaign is an extra opportunity to remind a customer of your store and brand. The reasons for sending this can be different – from their birthdays and anniversaries to seasonal or national holidays. Besides the point, birthday emails have a 342% higher revenue than promotional emails.
- Replenishment emails are also in this trigger category. These are sent to customers who regularly order a certain product that may run or wear out from time to time.
Marketing emails traditionally contain general promotional information and are sent to groups of prospects or customers programmatically.
These work when you have limited time sale, free shipping or a new app to promote. In other words, these created for news you wish to make your shoppers know and respond too.
Tip: To achieve your objectives successfully, other digital one-to-one channels like sms, Viber, app- and web-push notifications should be also included in your email marketing strategy. According to the statistics, almost 30-50% of user follow the link from these messages.
Profitable Email Marketing Life Stage
Steps to launch your email marketing successfully.
1. Define the company’s goals.
Outlining the correct goal of your email marketing campaigns can be crucial to your business success. First of all, this will help to understand what steps and what time you need to achieve your objectives in the real world, and second, this will make your actual results more accessible to track.
2. Build and validate your customer base.
In each case, you need have existing or potential customer email addresses to action your email marketing campaign. Of course, it may seem easier to buy them, but don’t comfort yourself with false hope. Your real target audience is always formed thanks to your subscription forms, useful content, contests, advertising, social networks, and referrals.
In addition, don’t forget to validate all the email addresses to ensure if they are still correct and active, and to avoid ineffective toll of your marketing budget as well.
3. Hire a qualified team or agency.
Email marketing needs a lot of time, effort, and deep expertise. So you should take heed to hire a skilled in-house email marketer strategist, an optimiser, a copywriter, a designer, and a developer. If you can source and your business is small, try to find a multifunctional specialist where possible. Or try an outsourced solution if you do not wish to spend your time on this channel but wait for quality results.
4.Segment your customer base.
As has been noted above, all types of transaction emails are personalised. Accordingly, to offer your customers goods or services they really need and make them click through to the website, it is important to segment users according to their demographic, financial, behavioural, or other data funnels that are important to your business.
5. Choose a right email marketing service.
Email marketing services allow you to create highly engaging emails, manage your contacts, segment users into groups and track the campaign performance. Moreover, this ensures that your emails will not end up in the spam folder.
6. Determine the email contents.
Building an email marketing strategy may be considered a synonym for this important step.
Compose a variety of email content to test them within a specific period of time, and think over all the trigger subjects. Choose a style of writing you will use according to your target audience, and change this if it does not work. Consider the mistakes made by your competitors. Plan out your campaign with details to improve your conversion rates.
7. Design and mark up the email template.
User-friendly responsive design, eye-catching buttons, attractive pictures, and active links are important here.
8. Choose a sender domain
Please, note that your email domain must coincide with your website domain. In other words, you can’t perform your campaign with “email@example.com” if your website is “examplestore.com”. Create “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” for your email marketing needs.
9. Configure DKIM/SPF/DMARC records
These systems will help to prevent your emails from being classified as spam while using email services. Also, they add a signature to headers of the outgoing emails, which allow you to request reports on failed and marked as junk messages from receiving mail servers, and monitor your domain reputation as well.
10. Connect other digital one-to-one channels
In case your customers do not check their promotions inbox, add extra digital channels – sms, push-notifications and messenger bots. Approximately, 90% of SMS are read within the first three minutes of delivery. Following messenger bots can be the most convenient way for your users to catch all the necessary information about your store. Attractive push-notifications have an impressive opt-in rate of around 15%.
11. Set up automatic new email capture on the website
Subscriber forms and pop-ups on your ecommerce website are highly effective. In any case, please, do not ignore these and improve their message regularly if needed, look for new platforms and channel opportunities to increase your customer base at all times.
12. Test the email marketing campaigns
Test your emails within your team on all sorts of devices before sending. This will help to fix possible opening or display errors, and text mistakes before your customers notice them. Remember, that 72% of consumers use a mobile phone to check their email inbox.
13. Send emails
The optimal frequency for email marketing is 2-3 messages per week. More is not necessarily better. If you send your emails every day, transactions will increase twice, but you will also have 2-3 times more unsubscribes (normal is 0.03%). As a result, this will intensively destroy your customer base over time.
14. Analyse results
Test each element from time to time to isolate exactly what is working and what has not. Perform overall analysis once per month to moderate your results. If you have to fail – fail forward.
15. Fix the mistakes
Refund & Conclusions
If you follow all these steps your email marketing campaigns will bring you profit within 3-6 months from the start.
To achieve regular income and transactions continue to:
- Personalise your emails by careful segmentations
- Control analytics
- Deal with all sorts of triggers
- Try fresh solutions
- Monitor the reputation of your domain
- Use several digital one-to-one channels
- Change the email service if it is ineffective
- Improve your customer base