More than 90% of all e-commerce businesses rely on e-mail marketing as a sales and marketing channel (Newsletter2Go). On the other hand, around 90% of the customers chose e-mail newsletter as the preferred communication for receiving updates, marketing campaigns and useful information for the subscribed services (Capterra, 2014.).
If these facts don’t seem to be compelling enough, here are a few more that will motivate you to rethink your e-mail marketing strategy and grasp its vital effect on your eCommerce business.
- When marketed through email, consumers spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers. Capterra, 2014.
- Email marketing has a Return On Investment of 4,300%. ExpressPigeon, 2014.
- A recent study concluded that email marketing is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter marketing combined. Capterra, 2014.
- Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% highervalue in the conversion. Capterra, 2014.
- Email the 2nd most effective marketing channel behind the organic search. CrazyEgg, 2014.
- Mobile purchasing decisions are most influenced by emails from companies only surpassed by the influence of friends. Adobe Digital Report, 2012.
For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25. Capterra, 2014.
Pretty convincing, isn’t it? The purpose of this blog post, however, is not just to throw facts at you. It is rather to introduce you to the importance of the e-mail marketing and how to utilize it in the best possible way. In this article, you will find strategies and tips for email marketing success, useful e-commerce marketing statistics, as well as a few examples to take into account before your next big e-mail campaign.
The first thing that pops into your mind when you think of an e-mail is the content. Although the e-mail content creation is the part of the whole process that requires the most time and efforts, it is also the one that plays the most vital role for the e-mail marketing success, so you shouldn’t rush through it. Here are a few things to have in mind when building your marketing message:
Clarity and simplicity
Creating a clear, simple and easy-to-follow content is always a must when setting up an email campaign. Avoid using sophisticated language and complicated phrases guided by the ambition to sound smart as this might result in confusion and frustration for your customers. Aim for simple words and short sentences, which can be easily comprehended even when skimming through the text.
Quality over Quantity
Always remember to focus on the quality of the text, not on the quantity and the number of words. Your text should be relevant and straight to the point. At the same time, it should be useful, informative and beneficial enough so that it creates value for your customers. When opening an e-mail, your subscribers expect to find something new they are not aware of, so don’t fail to meet their expectations.
Smaller emails, which tend to be more targeted, have the highest open and click rates. Informz, 2014.
Personal messages are always trendy and won’t be left unnoticed. People, enjoy and crave feeling special, so adding personality to your e-mails is the key to accomplishing that. You will be surprised how just a few simple words that fulfill our desire for special attention can make a huge difference.
Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. Hubspot, 2014.
Here is a short email from Barack Obama, courtesy of Georgi Petrov, which demonstrates perfectly what a personal e-mail looks like:
As well as one from Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama:
Nearly 2/3 of respondents said they preferred mostly image-based emails. Hubspot, 2014.
Adding images is always a good idea when considering your email content. Images are quickly comprehended and leave an immediate impact on the reader, which makes them a powerful tool for informing, communication, motivating, provoking. However, you have to make sure that the images are complementary to the e-mail and enrich the text, not contradict it. Also, make sure you use good quality not distorted images because the last thing you want for your e-mail is to be mocked at.
Try, Test and Revise
Don’t forget to test and revise your email before sending it to your customers. Typos, grammar errors and display faults tend to leave a negative impression on your customers and decrease your company’s reputation. So always, before launching your e-mail campaign, go carefully through your e-mail, ask for a second opinion and make sure that everything looks perfect.
Research shows that the subject line of the e-mail is the first thing that you encounter when receiving an e-mail. It also is the one that makes you decide whether to open the email right away, or just to leave it for later, send it to the spam box or delete it without any further consideration. Although option the leave-it-for-later option might not be that crucial for your e-mail marketing success, options the move-to-spam and delete options surely are, so you have to do everything in your power to avoid them.
Nearly one-third of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. ExpressPigeon, 2014.
Creating a catchy and interesting, yet informative and concise subject line is not an easy job. Since, the average consumer receives an average of 13 promotional e-mails per month from each company’s subscription (BlueHornet, 2014), you have to roll up your sleeves and start thinking of a subject line which will stand out from the rest. To help you accomplish this, we have prepared for you a few tips on how to improve your subject line.
- Create short subject lines as they tend to outperform longer ones. Subject lines with fewer than ten characters have 49.73% open rates. Informz, 2014.
- Preparing your customers on what to expect in the e-mail by using words like “Alert” or “News” or “Bulletin” or “Sale” or “New” or “Video” in subject lines significantly boosts open and click-through rates.ExpressPigeon, 2014.
- Using “Daily” or “Weekly” in subject lines boosts open and click-through rates whereas “Monthly” hurts open rates and CTRs. ExpressPigeon, 2014.
- Why not ask questions? Questions in subject lines are often said to perform better, but less than 5% of emails used them. TrackMaven, 2015.
- The correct use of Unicode symbols is likely to attract attention and thus, increase the open rate. Newsletter2Go
Creating a subject line that catches your customer attention is vital, but a misleading one might be disastrous. Be careful not to add false or tricky information, which would not be asserted by your e-mail content, as this will result only in disappointing your customers and in the worst-case-scenario, losing them.
To support our tips with some real-time examples, we have chosen a few smart and catchy subject lines, which (we hope) won’t leave you indifferent.
Feast For You
More from Michelle
Considering all devices through which e-mail could be opened is an essential part of the e-mail marketing campaign preparation. Nowadays, checking e-mails is the most popular activity on smartphones, way more popular than the phone calls. This means that you have to make sure that your e-mails are displayed in the proper way regardless of the device and its size. Investing time and efforts in making your e-mail responsive will be worthwhile having in mind the impact it will have. Enabling your customers to read your emails using their mobile devices will surely result in higher click-through and conversion rates.
48% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Capterra, 2014.
Here is an informative article regarding responsive e-mails, which will give you more insights on why and how to implement it: The How-To Guide to Responsive Email Design.
Dividing your customers into different customer groups and sending them emails with different content is another tip for your e-mail marketing campaign success. Segmentation will increase the relevancy of the e-mails and thus, the click through rate and the conversions. Depending on your clients and the products and services you offer, you can think of various categories, which you can target with different e-mail campaigns.
Emails sent to 50–100 people have the highest open and click rates. Emails sent to smaller groups, which tend to be more targeted, have higher engagement rates. Informz, 2014.
Adding hyperlinks, clickable images, and call-to-action buttons are what increases the click rates of your marketing campaign. When promoting a product, don’t forget to add a link to it in your store whether it is in its image, or in its name, or why not both. Customers get frustrated when they encounter a product ,service or a promotion in an e-mail, but they are not able to directly visit the page where they can find more information. Don’t impede your customers from checking out your products in your website, add as many links as possible, but make sure they are relevant and reasonable.
Emails, containing more hyperlinks, even to the same destination, had higher click rates, especially those containing more than 30 links. Informz, 2014.
Call-to-action buttons are also nice to have but make sure not to overuse them as the more you use, the more your customer will be confused on which one to click. Design your call-to-action buttons in a clear enough way that attracts customers’ attention, but also gives a good understanding of what to be expected when on a button click.
Adding an unsubscribe link is the one thing you should never forget. The lack of one might be perceived as a restriction and an inability to stop receiving emails. In addition to the link, you can add a feedback form on the unsubscribe page in your website that asks the customers why are they unsubscribing. This will help you gather additional feedback from your customers about your newsletters and how to improve them.
Scheduling e-mails is another important part of the e-mail marketing strategy that shouldn’t go unmentioned. Deciding on when exactly to send an e-mail, whether on a specific day, at a specific time or on a specific event, plays an important role. It is either increasing or decreasing the chance the email to be opened and read. Here we will take a look at two different time-related e-mail sending scenarios: best time&day emails and event-triggered emails.
Best Time&Day emails
Before scheduling your email campaign, you should think about the best time to send your campaign. In other words, you should make an estimation when your customers are most likely to check their mailboxes and open your e-mail. Will this be during the week or rather on the weekends? Will this be in the morning, during the day or in the evening? If you stop and think about it for a second, you will reach the common-sense conclusion, which is also supported by the data, that email open rates are noticeably lower on weekends than on weekdays (ExpressPigeon, 2014.)
Try conducting a small online research that will give you some statistics and insights on customers’ behavior when talking about email marketing and thus, help you making scheduling decisions.
80.1% of the people first check email, text messages, social media, and voicemail before work, with the other 19.9% checking during or after work. BlueHornet, 2014.
Sending e-mails on certain events such as registration, adding a product to a wishlist or cart abandonment, as well as birthdays and holidays, is again a way to personalize the customer’s experience and add value to the e-mail marketing message.
Birthday emails have a 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails. Experian, 2014.
Discounts & Offers
Don’t forget to include offers, discounts and promotions in your e-mail marketing messages as they are highly desired and used by your customers. Psychologically, discounted and special prices increase our willingness to pay, and the higher the willingness to pay is, the higher the chance for sales in your store would be.
Your customers are expecting to see a discount at least once in awhile in the e-mails they are receiving from you, as most of the times, this is the main reason behind their subscription. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and you should make sure to meet your customers’ expectations and keep them happy.
72% of consumers sign up for emails because they want to get discounts, but only 8.2% sign up because they love the brand.BlueHornet, 2013.
Analyzing and tracking your e-mail campaigns is as equally important as launching them in the first place. You need to know whether they were successful or not, whether they met your expectations or not and how much precisely did you gain or lose. Make sure to collect the data and the feedback and to analyze it. This will give you a better understanding of what was liked by your customers and what was not. It will give you a guideline on what to replace and improve. Changing your marketing newsletter and marketing email campaigns is vital for your ecommerce business so be willing to experiment, diversify and try new things.