Email is definitely not the new kid on the block. It’s been a staple of our digital world since the days of AIM and dialup.
But despite the meteoric growth of TikTok, Instagram, and every other new-fangled marketing channel, email reigns supreme. In fact, by 2023, half of the world’s population will have an email address.
While we have nothing against Instagram or TikTok, your eCommerce biz has to prioritize email marketing. Not only does email keep you top of mind for shoppers, but it can even boost order value by 138%.
Please don’t send a wimpy, generic email to your shoppers. This isn’t 2005; your customers expect something truly wow-worthy.
Flimsy subject lines aren’t going to build your brand. You need to prioritize email marketing to become the world’s next eCommerce giant.
Why should I use email marketing for eCommerce?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Psh, I don’t have time to bother with sending emails. I’m just gonna talk about my products on Instagram.”
Social media is great and all, but email does 3 things that social media just can’t offer your eCommerce store.
1 - Proprietary data
Hey, did you know that marketing through third-party platforms like social media means you don’t really own your customer data?
Yup, it’s true.
With email marketing, you own the data outright. This is called proprietary data and means you can do anything you darn well please with it.
Communicate with your customers on your own terms, not Facebook’s or Instagram’s. As long as you follow the law, you can nurture customer relationships however you see fit.
Oh, and in terms of dollar signs, every email on your list translates to $10 - $15 per email in sales.
2 - Get more branding mileage
You’re working your fingers to the bone creating content. If nobody sees it, what’s the point?
Email marketing gets more traction from your content marketing efforts. While you can share content on social media, email is actually more effective.
87% of businesses share their content via email and see more engagement from these email users. If you want more mileage out of your branding efforts, email is a must.
3 - Reduce lost sales
Abandoned carts are a huge headache for eCommerce.
You’re losing as many as 70% of shoppers before they click “buy.”
Fortunately, email can save the day. A good abandoned cart email series has a 21% click-through rate, with 10.7% of all customers returning to complete their purchase.
Abandoned carts are no fun, but if you could reduce them by 10%, why wouldn’t you? No wonder email marketing earn businesses $42 for every $1 spent.
6 tips for better eCommerce email marketing
We know there are a ton of email marketing tips out there for eCommerce brands like yours. But here are the 5 most important eCommerce email tips you need for your biz.
1 - Be interesting
You have a personality, right? Show it!
33% of shoppers open emails because of catchy subject lines. And you just can’t be catchy or interesting if you’re boring.
Yes, this email represents your brand, but that doesn’t mean it should be dead on arrival.
Try personality-boosting tips for your eCommerce newsletters and emails like:
- Funny GIFs: Say what you will, but GIFs boost open rates by 6%. Grab something jazzy off GIPHY to make your email stand out.
- Writing in a light, conversational tone. Use Grammarly’s email tone checker to make sure you’re coming across the right way. When in doubt, read it out loud and write how you speak.
- Use “you” language: You’re speaking one-on-one with a customer, right? Make your language more personal and intimate, like you’re chatting with your BFF.
- Be consistent: Don’t load one email with GIFS and slang and then send a super formal follow-up. You’re going to look wishy-washy; decide on your voice and stick with it.
A great example of personality-laden eCommerce emails is Groupon. They actually sent a subject line that said "Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)".
Now that’s personality!
2 - Always send a welcome email sequence
It takes a lot (and we mean a lot) of trust for customers to fork over their email. They’ve welcomed your brand into their digital home; the least you could do is nurture that relationship.
Welcome sequences are one of the most important series in email marketing. They drive 3X more revenue per email than any other message you’ll send.
Follow these quick tips when building out your welcome series:
- Send 3 emails, minimum: That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually not. This gives customers the chance to know you and form expectations about the relationship. Plus, it’s unlikely they’ll see all of your messages, so this hedges your bets.
- Ask for a reply: You want to engage with customers as much as possible in eCommerce. Asking them to reply to your email with a tip, pain point, or story boosts engagement.
- Offer a discount: The shopper did just give you their email address. The least you could do is hand over a discount for their next purchase.
Moosejaw has an awesome welcome email sequence for their shoppers. The sequence has great visuals but also has a lighthearted feel.
Oh, and a discount, which everyone loves.
3 - Clean your email list
It’s not all about having the biggest list when it comes to email marketing. It’s about having the best quality list.
The best quality list means better open-rates, fewer spam complaints, and more revenue.
Over 25% of emails miss the inbox and land in spam, get filtered, or get blocked by ISPs.
By cleaning your email list, you can get ahead of users unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam.
More of your emails landing in the primary inbox (not promotions). Yup, even your newsletters!
Be proactive about list cleaning by:
- Unsubscribing contacts who don’t engage with your emails within 120 days of signing up
- Keeping contacts out of individual email campaigns when they are in a post-purchase sequence
List cleaning ensures that you are only sending emails to users who are interested in your content. This creates a higher open-rate and tells email service providers that your content is important.
Tech accessory brand NOMAD (who we’ve had on our podcast) has used list cleaning to score open-rates of 40, 50, 60, and sometimes even 70%.
NOMAD’s aggressive approach to list cleaning has helped email marketing account for 20% of their revenue.
4 - Don’t over-segment your audience
Most brands know the importance of segmentation, but is it actually worth your time?
On average, segmented campaigns get 14% more opens, 100% more clicks, and 9% fewer unsubscribes.
There’s definitely value to segmenting your audience, but make sure you don’t overdo it.
NOMAD (who we mentioned earlier) has been scoring open-rates of 70% on some of their email newsletters without segmentation.
Here’s what NOMAD’s Director of Marketing said about list segmentation on our podcast:
“We used to do a lot of segmentation but it didn’t really move the needle for us. We’ve found that have a clean email list is far more important for success.”
- Chuck Melber, Director of Marketing at NOMAD
If you’re going to segment, Chuck recommends using it as a way to test how your audience reacts to different products.
For example, NOMAD might segment their audience by AirPods case buyers, Apple Watch band buyers, and iPhone case buyers and see how they each react to a new product.
5 - Sprinkle in some user-generated content
What’s the meat of your email? Is it value-laden and interesting, or spammy as heck?
Shoppers want to hear from you—that’s why they gave you their email address. Give them the awesome, authentic content they want (while promoting your brand).
The best way to do this is through user-generated content (UGC).
When you partner with experienced influencers and content creators, UGC increases email click-throughs by a whopping 73%.
We’ve seen the results firsthand. eCommerce brand Mizzen + Main tapped into Trend’s influencer network. This UGC campaign helped the brand:
- Create 50+ high-quality images for Mizzen + Main’s email campaigns.
- Generate over 700,000 impressions.
- Reduce time spent managing campaigns in half.
- Create 58 influencer social media posts.
The great thing about UGC is you can spread it all over your digital presence. Use the images on your website, social media, and (of course) your email newsletters to boost shopper engagement.
6 - Set up abandoned cart sequences
70% of all eCommerce carts are abandoned. That means, on average, 7 out of 10 customers add items to their cart and never buy anything.
While you can’t recover all of that 70% loss, you can get some shoppers back with an abandoned cart email series. This is so darn effective that every eCommerce product band must send abandoned cart emails.
Done right, you can recover 10% - 15% of otherwise lost revenue with a classy abandoned cart reminder.
And if you don’t think people read these emails, think again: abandoned cart emails have the highest conversion rates of any eCommerce email.
Car parts seller Enjuku Racing recovered more than $450,000 in its first 8 months of using abandoned cart emails, so abandoned carts are definitely worth your time.
Email isn’t going anywhere. In a world where eCommerce is getting more competitive, you need a heavyweight in your corner.
Email marketing and newsletters are a must for eCommerce brands, especially if you want to boost brand awareness and market positioning.
Ready to put your eCommerce newsletters and email marketing into overdrive? Don’t go alone.
Trust vetted content creators to boost your email performance. Sign up for Trend now—it’s free.