Practical Ecommerce

4 Email-marketing Tips to Drive (More) Sales

There are many ways to increase the effectiveness of email marketing, from testing subject lines and creative to increasing frequency and discounts. In this article, I will review four ways to increase the results of your emails, to move the needle on traffic and, ultimately, sales.

Personalize Follow-up Triggers

Your email subscribers are used to seeing your company as the “From” name in their inbox. And shoppers tend to open and click on emails when they are in the market to buy something, or when they see a deal that may be too good to pass up.

Triggered emails are effective because they fire based on a behavior that a visitor has recently taken on your site, such as looking at a certain product or abandoning a cart. But to grab the attention of your email subscribers and to help differentiate between triggered and regular promotional emails, try changing the “From” name to a variation of your site name or an individual.

The example below shows a screen shot of the inbox on my phone. The first email is from The RealReal, a consignment website. I visited the site the day before. I then received a personalized triggered email from an individual, Rosa Mendoza. This was different from the normal promotional emails I usually receive. It prompted me to open and read the email.

The first email in the author's inbox is from The RealReal. The last one is also from The RealReal, but it was a personalized from an individual, Rosa Mendoza. 

The first email in the author’s inbox is from The RealReal. The last one is also from The RealReal, but it was a personalized from an individual, Rosa Mendoza. 

Utilize Advanced Tools

There are inexpensive and powerful email marketing tools — beyond using an email service provider — that can help accelerate the performance of your emails and, also, save time in preparing them. My top recommendations for email marketing tools are Litmus and Email on Acid. Both companies offer similar services. I use the following two features the most.

  • Email creative previews. Here, you simply upload your HTML (or send an email to the tool) and you can preview the creative across any combination of email clients and browsers. This allows you to see how the email renders, spot potential problems, and fix them quickly.
  • Email deliverability test. Send an email to the tool and it will analyze how that email will deliver based on the domain, IP, and creative. It will identify potential problems, allowing you to correct them before they occur. This will enable you to address issues you may not be aware of, to ensure the highest deliverability of your campaigns.
Email on Acid and Litmus can test the deliverability of emails, as shown in this example from Email on Acid. Click on screenshot to enlarge.

Email on Acid and Litmus can test the deliverability of emails, as shown in this example from Email on Acid. Click on image to enlarge.

Shorten Offer or Promotion Time on Mobile

With mobile usage at an all-time high — more people open emails on smartphones than desktops — the lifespans of email campaigns are becoming shorter. To take advantage of this, email marketers can create shorter sale periods and highlight certain products or promotions that are good for one day only.

Using a responsive template for your email creative can allow you to present slightly different content to those recipients who are opening on a smartphone.

In the example below, again from The RealReal, the mobile version features “Today’s Sales.” This helps to set expectations with the recipients that The RealReal changes sale items every day. It will help increase open and click rates for a daily frequency. Telling recipients that there are different sale items each day may also help to lower unsubscribes, as recipients may want to keep receiving the emails if they know sale items are consistently changed.

The RealReal's email features a different "Today's Sales" each day. The short sale period prompts recipients to act on the offer and, also, likely reduces unsubscribes.

The RealReal’s email features a different “Today’s Sales” each day. The short sale period prompts recipients to act on the offer and, also, likely reduces unsubscribes.

Add Retargeting Banners

Email marketing typically produces a high return on investment. Merchants can supplement email’s results, however, by adding a retargeting campaign — sent to recipients who did not click on an email and, also, those that did. Vendors that supply this retargeting technology are improving. The cost of deploying retargeted ads is dropping and the ads are becoming more relevant by adding dynamic functionality, to showcase the exact products that visitors viewed.

Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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  1. Aleah April 20, 2016 Reply

    This was so helpful. And creative

  2. Philip Mendez April 21, 2016 Reply

    Excellent article, thank you! I would add one more way to improve your email newsletter – A/B testing. It helps even before the sending to determine what kind of letter will be more in demand among the recipients. My service (in my case it is SendPulse http://www.sendpulse.com) opened for me that opportunity and now I use it every time. I see a good result and very happy!

  3. Perry Brown May 12, 2016 Reply

    I found this article to be of some significant help in my Email Marketing.

    Thank you.

  4. Ewan May 13, 2016 Reply

    To track customer behavior on your website, so you can also use this information for effective interaction with them. The best example is the automation of e-mail-mailing to all customers who have viewed a particular product or product category and went to your site without buying. In this issue you can help automate email marketing systems such as:http://triggmine.com/en/

  5. Daisy May 19, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I’ll surely make use of them with my next campaign in GetResponse.

  6. sandeep April 19, 2017 Reply

    Great article. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.