Practical Ecommerce

Email Marketing Pointers for Cyber Monday 2014

Cyber Monday is the traditional kickoff for the ecommerce holiday-selling season. In this article, I’ll review five pointers for your holiday ecommerce email-marketing program.

Facilitate Ordering Directly from an Email

People have a good amount of holiday shopping to do. Making it as easy as possible to order will help shoppers, and convert sales faster. A good way to do this is to allow email recipients to place something in their shopping carts — such as a free gift — directly from the email. They can then browse your site, hopefully.

Offer this in an email with a picture of a gift that is automatically added to the cart with one-click (in the email). The gift can be a surprise mystery gift, a standard gift, or a choice between a few options. This will help encourage shopping and sales. In addition, it provides the opportunity to trigger abandoned cart emails if the shopper leaves the site, helping to convert later.

Present Your Best Offer Early

A few years ago when I put my home up for sale, my real estate agent gave me good advice. She said to price the house initially at the lowest I would be comfortable with. Homeowners that price too high, she said, then need to reduce the price and end up chasing the market. They look a bit desperate and homebuyers may be turned off.

The advice worked and my home sold in three weeks in a very tough market. I see similar behavior during the holiday season. Retailers get desperate when Christmas draws closer, and start offering wild discounts and offers to spur sales. Head off competition from the start with your best offers, and run them all season. Your average order values may be a little lower, but hopefully the quantity of orders will compensate for the price reductions.

Test, Test, Test

The holiday season, with higher volumes of email, is a good time to test your program. Even slight increases in open, click, and conversion rates can translate into significant dollars. The easiest and most impactful areas to test are:

  • Subject line;
  • Offers;
  • Time of deployment;
  • Creative design and messaging.

Every email you deploy should test at least one element. Make sure each deployment is different to help determine — via testing — which elements yield the highest metrics.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Delivering the most relevant content to your email subscribers will usually produce higher conversion rates. Knowing more about your subscribers’ preferences and order history, and then segmenting your database to send more relevant emails, will pay off.

The email below from Personalized Creations dynamically adds my family’s name (“Nye”) to the welcome mat offer.

Personalized Creations dynamically adds my family’s name to the welcome mat offer — a highly personalized email.

Personalized Creations dynamically adds a name to the welcome mat offer — a highly personalized email.

Make Emails Easy to Shop from a Smartphone

You may have reworked your email creative to make sure it renders nicely on a smartphone. But is your email actionable in terms of conversions? After analyzing dozens of recent campaigns from clients, I’ve seen, on average, opens from smartphones account for 60 to 70 percent of the total on a typical email campaign. However, clicks from smartphones account for just 10 percent, roughly.

Analyze your email statistics in terms of opens and clicks from smartphones. Test dramatic changes to your creative and landing pages. If your email service provider does not offer an option to analyze opens and clicks by desktop vs. smartphones, consider a service like Litmus, which can provide that data for you.

Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Paul Simmons November 17, 2014 Reply

    Great timely post on email marketing. We have developed a module earlier this year to let Magento users send their customers automatic emails on special event. Looks like we have some more idea to incorporate the above points in our module.
    http://www.fmeaddons.com/magento/follow-up-emails-extension.html