THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO E-COMMERCE EMAIL MARKETING
What is eCommerce Email Marketing? Why and how to do it.
E-commerce is a booming industry and today, there are plenty of e-commerce marketing channels available to grow your business. Nowadays, there’s great hype with social media, SEO, PPC, and network marketing.
However, although one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing is to date the most profitable and cost-effective direct marketing channel. One-third of Romanian specialists in e-commerce rank it in the top three most satisfying online marketing channels.
For this reason alone, email should be a key pillar of any digital marketing strategy. But we’ve seen it put into practice and the fact is, so many Romanian businesses are still outside the game by not doing any email marketing at all or leaving money laying out on the table by doing it without a cohesive strategy.
So we decided it was time for an intervention. We gathered all our findings from doing the actual work (email marketing) or advising businesses on how to do it, in the following know-it-all guide. Stick around for everything you need to know about email marketing:
- What is E-Commerce Email Marketing
- Why Should E-Commerce Businesses Do Email Marketing
- How to Do Email Marketing
What Is E-Commerce Email Marketing?
Simply put, e-commerce email marketing is a direct marketing channel that enables businesses to send marketing messages to current and potential customers on their contact lists.
Early adopters of this Inbound Strategy usually commit themselves to a simple strategy at first, such as sending a weekly email on featured products or industry information.
But modern email marketing has moved away from one-size-fits-all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent, segmentation, and personalization.
If this sounds time-consuming it’s because it actually is. So thanks to the Internet Gods for marketing automation. Not only does it shave days off work schedules and tedious work, but also helps drive sales and build a community genuinely appreciative of a brand.
So the more marketers get the grab of the high ROI, the more they want to employ more complex strategies. Automated email series makes wonders for cart abandonment, customer re-engagement, or tempting membership deals. Either way, with both simple and complex strategies, the ultimate goal is to increase customer engagement and drive conversions.
Why Should E-Commerce Businesses Do Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a unique process in that, unlike social media or SEO, you own every piece of the funnel. Most importantly, you don’t own just an email subscriber list, you own consent. Why is this so important?
As retail and e-commerce increasingly depend on digital marketing to reach leads, prospects, and existing customers, email marketing hits the sweet spot. It delivers personalized messages at the right time, in the right place, with the right offer — with customers’ consent.
But nothing really shows to business owners just how valuable a tool email marketing is to sales strategy than data & arguments:
- It’s effective.
Email reaches a minimum of 84 percent of the people you send it to, according to 2020 Deliverability Benchmark Report (PDF) as applied to Europe. Emails have an average open rate that can touch the mid-30 percent range.
- It’s trustworthy.
Small business owners who know for a fact they offer a better product and sales service, might feel a bit discouraged to see people prefer bigger companies over them. But it’s just because they’ve tested with and invested in a bunch of marketing channels in order to establish a trust factor with their potential customers. Email marketing is one proven way to add credibility to any small business. According to research, 66% of people purchased in response to email marketing, while only 20% bought via a Facebook promotion.
- It’s wanted.
If someone signs up for an email list, it’s because they really do want to hear from a brand. According to a 2019 Adobe Email usage Study, about 60 percent of customers say email is their most preferred method of communication from businesses. And more than 90 percent of people say they want to receive promotional emails from companies with whom they do business.
- It’s measurable.
Email marketing is an extraordinarily measurable form of marketing. The effectiveness of email copy and design can be measured right away by checking with stats such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Stats like bounce rate, spam complaint rate, and unsubscribe rate, on the other hand, will give a clear perspective on the health of the subscriber’s list. Business owners may find it particularly interesting to find out how popular their brand is by consulting the email sharing rate and list growth rate.
- It’s targeted and personalizable.
Today, more than ever, nobody is generous enough to spend precious time with spam emails or wide-interest ones. So personalization and targeting according to buyer journey stages are the key. For example, if a potential buyer is at the research stage – they should first be smoothly encouraged to get acquainted with the brand or just explore the benefits or even the needs that can be met by buying. While in the ready-to-buy stage – give a discount or offer.
- It can win back lost customers.
It is very common for people to leave the process midway due to a variety of reasons including distractions. Sending emails to follow up with someone who did not complete a purchase proves to be a fixer for shopping abandonment cart issues. Sending three emails to these customers can result in 69 percent more successful than sending a single abandoned cart email.
- It’s perfect to disseminate content marketing.
As you’ll find on contentmarketinginstitute.com’s 2020 research, about 87 percent of marketers prefer to use email marketing to promote their content. It’s among the most used distribution channels. About 81 percent of businesses use it to market their content and it’s only a little behind social media. The fact that Romanian B2Bs are still rather new to content marketing strategies opens an entire opportunity gap for both content and email marketing to mix and capture extra minutes of attention.
How to Do Email Marketing
The 2019 Adobe Email Usage Study uncovered that people are spending more than five hours a day checking or reading their work and personal emails, personal inboxes being granted 143 minutes of this time. That means that e-commerce businesses have almost three hours each day to capture the recipient’s attention and motivate them to purchase.
Although quite a generous interval we could say, only 26% of promotional emails from brands are actually opened. And here’s why:
- almost half of the respondents complained they are emailed too often
- others don’t open promo emails that include wrong marketing data about the recipient (23%)
- poorly written copy (23%)
To sum it up, personalization, done right, is quintessential. That’s why we started with what can go wrong when not allocating the necessary amount of effort to an email marketing strategy.
In order to avoid frustrating such a precious resource, the list of people who actually want to hear from you, let us tell you what are the first steps you should consider when starting your journey with email marketing:
- First of all, start with a goal. A sustainable one, such as building a hell of an email list or, depending on your biggest challenge at present, it could be something like improving customer retention by x %.
- Find a sustainable way to collect email addresses. Remember that before asking for something, you should be giving first. For example, it is common for e-commerce companies to offer a small discount in exchange for email addresses.
- Research and select the best email marketing software for your needs.
- Understand where each recipient is on their customer journey. And then, the simplest way to get started with email marketing is to set up some automated lifecycle emails which can address: a welcome mail to a new subscriber, a cart abandonment email series, or win-back emails for customers who’ve stopped engaging with your brand.
- Map out your initial campaigns (e.g., welcome series, abandoned cart series, or new product launches).
- Set up landing pages as needed for campaigns.
- Set up campaign tracking with your chosen analytics provider.
If you haven’t hurried up till now, don’t overdo it. It takes time to build a strong foundation, but once it’s done, it’s what’s going to accelerate your e-commerce business’s growth.
Remember also that it doesn’t have to be hard. Ask advice from fellow business owners or even set up a discovery call with specialists that do this every single day, be it us or anybody in the digital world who masters the email marketing channel.
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