How to Drive e-Commerce Sales Through an Email Marketing Strategy

If you’ve had an online shop for quite some time or you’re new to setting up your e-commerce shop, you will always want to drive sales as much as you can. While there are many ways you can go about driving sales from PPC, to content marketing, today we’re going to be talking about driving sales through an email marketing strategy.

How to create impact

Email marketing is one of the most profitable marketing channels for online retailers. Think back to a time where you received an email and if you can now actually recall the email – it was probably a highly personalised one.

The impact that personalisation can have on your customers’ experience when interacting with your business can have lasting effects on building your brand. However, finding what works for your business can involve a little bit of trial and error.

Personalised emails don’t actually need to be all that personalised – you only need a few key bits of information about your customer in order to create personalised emails for them.

There is also another side to personalised emails and that is building trust with your customers and your potential customers. The main route to creating trust between your brand and your customer is using promotional emails including offers such as free shipping, discount on their next order etc.

But before we get to that, we need to know where to get all the data necessary to create highly personalised email campaigns.

Data gathering

So how do you gather all the data you’ll need to create personalised emails? Your first point of call will be the information you have on your customers already. You should have basic information such as their name, email address etc if they have ordered from you previously, which is a good start to creating personalised emails.

Instead of sending them a generic promotional offer you can include their first name and tweak the messaging slightly to give it a more personalised feel, for example.

“Hi Rachel,

As a small thank you, here’s 10% off your next order with us, and free shipping!”

This messaging makes the email sound as if it were written specifically for that customer. You might have to do a bit of research to find out what tags your email marketing platform uses but most would have something like the following if you wanted to include the customers’ first name.

“Hi [FirstName],”

Tags instruct the email platform to go and find the data from the send list, in this case, the first name and pull it into the email as plain text.

If you have more information on your current customers like what items they’ve bought from you before or an item they’ve viewed but not purchased you can increase the complexity of the personalised email and include the items they’ve looked at previously – just like in the below example.

How to Drive e-Commerce Sales Through an Email Marketing Strategy

So now you have a plan to engage your current customers, how do you find data from new and potential customers?

One of the best ways to do this is to encourage that prospects visiting your website sign up to receive your newsletter. Asking your visitors to sign up to a newsletter requires a bit of trust (and can be one of the first stages in building trust too) and they will want something in return for giving you their information.

The most common way to do this is to offer exclusive discounts and first looks to newsletter sign-ups. The exclusivity is what draws them in and makes handing over their information so much easier. Tattly have this beautiful thank you email that they send to their newsletter sign-ups which include a discount code for 20% off.

How to Drive e-Commerce Sales Through an Email Marketing Strategy

One other way to do this is to include a pop up on your site offering them a discount straight away and not asking for an email address. This action can encourage a purchase and will therefore provide you with their information later on.

Types of basic campaigns

Once you’ve built your contact list there are a few different types of campaigns that you can look to run for your e-commerce store. Apart from the earlier emails we’ve looked at, you can also look to run some cart abandonment campaigns too.

Cart Abandonment

So when a customer shops on your site and has items in their basket ready to check out, but for some reason, they leave your site as they may not be ready to purchase, you can send them an email to remind them that they have items waiting – just like the email below.

These kinds of emails can be automated and can help you reduce the amount of cart abandonment your shop sees. This is something that you should be continuously running as part of your email marketing strategy.

How to Drive e-Commerce Sales Through an Email Marketing Strategy

Buyers List

One of the best lists you can possibly create for your online shop is a buyers list. This is a list of customers that you a) know are willing to spend money and have bought from you multiple times, b) they have experience with your online shop brand and trust it.

This list will become your goldmine for sales. You’ll want to reward these customers with exclusive offers and notify them of new stock and when items they’re interested in are back in stock.

Retentions campaign

If you have a list of customers who have been inactive for say 60 days i.e. not opened and email or not visited your website you can run a retentions campaign. This is another campaign that can be automated but is designed to encourage engagement with your brand and then work on increasing sales.

You could begin by offering a discount on some items they’ve looked at previously but the most important thing to do with a retentions campaign is to use emotive language just like the example below. The ‘we miss you’ plays subconsciously on the emotions of the reader. It’s this type of language that can help to encourage them to engage with your brand again and perhaps even purchase something.

How to Drive e-Commerce Sales Through an Email Marketing Strategy

You can read more on how to create a robust email marketing strategy through my in-depth guide on the ultimate introduction to email marketing.

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Author: Rachel Smith

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