While there are no shortages of marketing tactics to help you grow your sales, there is one marketing method that you can always count on, so long as you do it the right way.
And that method is Email Marketing.
Yes, when done well, eCommerce email marketing is one of the best ways to consistently and dependably grow your business.
However, many people either don’t focus on email marketing and growing their list, or they know it’s important, but don’t know what to do to maximize their results.
With that in mind, here are 7 eCommerce email marketing tactics that are simple to implement and that can have a big impact on your bottom line.
1. The Welcome Series
Whenever anybody joins your email list for the first time, it’s critical that you send them a Welcome Email series so that you can begin building a relationship with them.
Some people also refer to this initial email series as an Indoctrination series, because you ask them to take deeper steps into creating a lasting relationship with you.
For example, in this series of emails, you may:
- Tell them about you and/or your business…
- Ask them to engage with your social media properties by taking actions such as:
- Share some of your best content, including your most popular blog posts, podcasts, emails and more…
- Give them access to some of your best reports…
- Put them into a high converting emails series…
- And much more…
Once they’ve been through your best content and hopefully have added you on your various social media platforms, then you move them to your main broadcast list.
2. Segment and Personalize
As you bring new email subscribers into your lists, it’s important to be able to segment them into various interests, purchases, actions and other segments.
You can do this by adding them to multiple lists the moment they enter your system and/or you can tag each subscriber with a relevant tag based on their actions.
For example, once someone purchases something from your store:
- Add them to your Welcome Email Series (if it’s their first time on your list), then push them to your broadcast list once the series is over…
- Add them to your Buyers list…
- Tag them as a Buyer (add more specific tags if it makes sense, such as product category if you have a lot of categories)…
- Tag them with Welcome Series (so that if they buy again, your system knows they’ve already been through the Welcome Series and does not send that series again)…
- Now, if you offer any lead magnets, special discounts for opting in or other ways to build your email list, you’ll want to put them on a related list or email series first, as well as give them a relevant tag, such as…
- Lead Magnet Name, VIP Discount, Coupon, etc based on what the optin offer was…
At the end of the day, the purpose is to categorize them in such a way that if you want to make special offers or send specific content to the right people on your list, you can do that with ease, instead of just blasting every email to everyone on your list.
When you're able to segment and specialize, you better engage your list according to what they are interested in, and you can get better results and conversion as a result.
3. Send Flash Sales
One of the best ways to drive sales in small, concerted batches is to use Flash Sales.
A Flash Sale is a very short sale, usually several hours to a few days in length, but with a bigger than usual discount price.
For example, you may offer a special weekend Flash Sale that runs from Friday morning to Sunday night and you offer a larger than usual discount to really capture attention.
A special series like this might have 4 emails total:
- Friday morning – 72 Hour flash sale
- Saturday morning – Less than 48 hours left
- Sunday morning – Ends tonight
- Sunday night – End in less than X hours
If the sale is going really well, you can send out even more emails OR you can mail just to non-openers, especially if a particular email is getting a lot of sales.
While Flash Sales can get a big bump in sales, it’s also important not to run them too often, or at least not for the same products if you run them more often.
They key to running them more often is to vary up which products are on sale. At the end of the day, you’ll just need to monitor how your list resounds to these sales and adjust your promotions accordingly.
4. Reward Loyal Customers
A great way to drive more sales and higher cart values is to run special offers and make special reward experiences for your best customers.
Some great ways to reward loyal customers is to run campaigns like:
- Early bird access to new and/or product lines…
- Special offers that regular customers and subscribers do not get access to…
- Freebies or other premiums that others do not get…
Bottom line, finding creative ways to show your best customers extra love will increase how much they buy from you and they will stick with you for a long time.
5. Mobile Responsive Emails
As more and more people use their phones for nearly everything they do, sending emails that are both desktop and mobile responsive is key to maximizing your sales.
The good news is that most email marketing systems have been building in mobile-responsiveness into their design templates.
However, you still need to send a test email to make sure that your emails look good on email.
For example, many times images may look okay on your set up, but end up looking stretched or contort when re-sized for your inbox.
You may also find that going with larger fonts, such as 16 to 18 point font is more needed now for viewing on small screens.
The important point is to send test emails and make sure that they look good on mobile devices, especially for the top 3 email service providers who account for over 85% of all email users, which are Gmail (53%), Yahoo (18%) and Outlook (15%).
6. Send an Abandoned Cart Email Series
One of the most powerful and profitable email campaigns you can send is an Abandoned Cart campaign.
The fact is, while more than 95% of all customers don’t buy from your site when they visit, studies show that as many as 75% of visitors put items in their shopping cart, but never buy.
That is a ton of money sitting in shopping carts that you’re missing out on.
If you’re running your store on a platform like Shopify, there are a lot of Cart Abandon plugins that can make following up and recovering those “lost” sales easy and really profitable.
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your sales, because these visitors came to your site, added items they liked, and left without purchasing for any number of reasons.
That makes them a lot more receptive to coming back and purchasing when you remind them of the items they liked.
So, if you’re not using a Cast Abandon plugin, be sure to add one right away and start using it.
7. Grow Your Email List
Even though it’s last on the list, this is the most important one on the list as it can be the most profitable strategy. That’s also why I’m surprised at the number of eCom store owners do not focus on growing their email lists.
So yes, while you should make sure to add every customer to an email list…
…you should also proactively build your email list with free subscribers, so that you can market to them by email to get future sales from them.
There are countless ways to entice your store visitors to give you their email address without buying. Here are some simple examples:
- Store Discounts: Send them a coupon to get a discount off of their first purchase…
- Newsletter: Send them newsletter updates related to your store theme…
- Free Report: Put together a free PDF they can download that has information / education about the products you sell…
- Gift Guide: Put together a free gift guide to show them how your products make great gifts and bundles for holidays, birthdays and other special occasions…
- …and much more.
The more you can tie your opt-in freebies to something they actually want and care about, the more subscribers you’ll get, and the more people you’ll have to put your offer in front of.
The Bottom Line On eCommerce Email Marketing
In the end, email marketing is a core strategy that all eCommerce business owners should invest a lot of time and attention to, because the ROI on email marketing is so big.
Even better, there are so many email tools, plugins, campaigns and templates out there to use and/or learn from that you no longer have an excuse not to be using and selling more with email marketing.