Practical Ecommerce

5 Email Marketing Tips to Try This Week

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools an ecommerce business can use to increase sales.

Depending on who you ask, email marketing can generate a return on investment between a few dollars for every $1 invested and a phenomenal 43,000 percent. The difference in email’s reported performance may have something to do with execution.

The best online sellers can use an email message, which costs just a few dollars to send, to produce tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

A simple email marketing message can generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

A simple email marketing message can generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

Here are five email marketing tips you can use to boost your business this week.

1. Use a Cart Abandonment Series

By some accounts, a shopping cart abandonment email series can boost ecommerce sales 35 percent or more. But perhaps less than a quarter of online sellers actually use this tool.

A shopping cart abandonment series works by sending a known shopper — someone whose email address you have — a message when that shopper leaves items in an ecommerce shopping cart.

There are a few requisites.

  • Your ecommerce and email platforms must be integrated.
  • You need to know the shopper’s email address.
  • You should have a reasonable amount of site traffic (maybe 5,000 visitors a month).

While there is not necessarily a “formula” for the perfect shopping cart abandonment series, consider at least three messages, such as.

  • One hour after abandonment remind the shopper about the order.
  • 12 hours after abandonment offer to address questions or concerns.
  • 24 hours after abandonment make a free shipping or discounted price offer.

Your email service provider likely has a tutorial showing how to set up an abandoned cart email series.

2. Create a ‘First Purchase’ Email Series

Repeat, returning customers are worth a lot more to your ecommerce business than one-buy-wonders who arrive at your site from Google, make a single purchase, and never come back again.

To help engage transform new customers into repeat shoppers, try a “first purchase” email series. Some marketers think of a first purchase email series as one that combines the elements of both a welcome series and a post-purchase series.

This series might:

  • Thank the customer for making her first purchase;
  • Offer a free gift to new customers;
  • Follow up to ensure that the order arrived as expected;
  • Request a product review;
  • Educate the customer about related products you sell;
  • Make an offer to encourage a second purchase;
  • Invite the customer to comment.

3. Try a Single Call to Action

There is some debate in marketing circles about whether an email message should have one call to action or several.

Without concerning yourself with details of each argument, try a single call to action. For your next few email messages include either a single call to action or at least a singular call to action.

A single call to action will have just one button or link for the shopper to click. A singular call to action will have one dominant link, but additional links in images or copy that all point to the same landing page.

Online marketing firm Wordstream reported that using a single call to action helped one business boost sales more than 1,600 percent. While you may not get that sort of lift, a single call to action can boost clicks.

4. Segment Your List

Email marketing consultant Jordie van Rijn describes email segmentation as the “art of thinking in groups.”

“You have to realize that your email list consists of different kind of people, with different behavior, profiles, and interests,” van Rijn wrote, adding later that some businesses have seen a 700-percent increase in revenue with robust email segmentation strategy.

Email service provider MailChimp analyzed 11,000 segmented email campaigns from some 2,000 businesses, finding that email segmentation led to:

  • A 14.31-percent increase in email opens;
  • A 10.64-percent increase in unique opens;
  • A 100.95-percent increase in clicks.

Your email service provider should have segmentation tools that can help you start segmenting messages.

5. A/B Test Your Email Subject Line

Sometimes email marketers get in a hurry. They write what they believe is a good subject line and they send it off to the entire list, hoping to get a good open rate.

If this describes your typical campaigns, try testing your email subject line.

To make your subject-line testing a success, start with a specific goal or question.

  • Does including a question in the subject line increase opens for this segment?
  • Does addressing the subscriber by name boost open rates?
  • Does the length of the subject line impact open rates?
  • What happens when I start the subject line with the store name?
  • How are open rates affected when I put a price in the subject line?
  • Does including brand names in the subject improve open rates?

Be sure to:

  • Test simultaneously, since when you send can impact results;
  • Use as large a sample as possible;
  • Test every campaign;
  • Measure open rate, click rate, and conversions.
Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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  1. Jacob Wallace August 20, 2017 Reply

    Great tips! Abandoned cart emails are really important for us. I might try the first time order series you mentioned this week.

  2. Tom September 12, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for the tips on how to improve! I’m currently using Mailerlite ESP (https://www.mailerlite.com) and not sure if it’s even possible to connect with ecommerce platform that is showing dropped carts – is there some “linking” program needed? Still fresh in all of this, so would appreciate the heads up! While waiting for the response, will keep myself busy with the first timer shoppers! Thanks for the inspiration!