Most online stores consider the conversion rates as their critical priority. After all, aren’t we all sharing the same goal of generating more sales? However, not every customer make the purchase decisions right after they land on your site.
Some bounce off while browsing, the others just abandon their carts. But you can always save these missing customers with emails. Email marketing for eCommerce is crucial to your growth, even in the early stages of your business.
Why? Emails could help you nurture the personal contact with the customers. They are effective in pushing customers further in the sales funnel, turning your visitors to customers, and transforming customers to loyal ones.
So, here we collected 6 proven ways to leverage your emails and maximize sales. These tips could be done in a few minutes, but you can gain many potential sales from them.
Let’s get started!
1. Give out incentives in welcome emails
Typically, people expect a welcome email right after they subscribe to your list or purchase some items for the first time. A study shows that welcome email reaches the average open rate of 50% – 60%. Then such emails are not only the first personal contact you make with the customers but also the key opportunity to enrich your relationship with them.
You should take this chance to give customers the best offers you got, something like:
- Discount codes for new subscribers, encouraging them to make their first orders.
- A reminder of the coupon codes shoppers win from coupon popups, motivating them to purchase if they haven’t done yet.
- Next-purchase discounts as thank-you gifts for customers who buy from your store already.
Ann Taylor welcomes customers with a $25 off code for the next purchases, giving them an extra motivation to buy, slowly turning them into loyal customers.
Tattly welcomes customers with a reminder of the 20% coupon code they won.
These are just a few suggestions you can take to send your first emails to customers. You can give them other offers, or sometimes a simple but sincere “hi” could leave a positive impression as well.
2. Personalize emails for better experience and sales
Automated emails are not about welcome emails only. You could rocket your sales by sending more insightful messages to the customers. The more you understand about the customers, the better you may fulfill their desires.
# Use form to collect customers’ information to recommend personalized products
Fabletics is serious about the customers’ insights from the start. They built a VIP program to engage the customers with a focus on individualization to keep the customers loyal and happy. Hence their subscription box is like no other, in which they implemented a quick quiz right on the popup. Take a look:
The popup consists of 6 questions analyzing the customers’ behaviors from their workout routine to their clothing size and preference. The quiz is rather simple with lots of images to help customers with their selection. And of course, to make the offer truly exclusive, they top it up with a deep discount of $99 off for 2 pairs of leggings.
All this information helps the brand suggest the best-fit products for the customers in personalized recommendation emails. Recommendation emails could re-engage the customers with the products they are most likely be interested in, hence boost your sales as well.
Fabletics sends out personalized picks for their customers, along with a nice section featuring their new collection.
# Remind last-viewed items to customers
However, if you do not have the complicated customer management system like Febletics, you could send out the recommendation email based on the customers’ last viewed items.
Julep sends product recommendations to customers which reflect the exact products shoppers viewed and their top-selling items. Plus, in the above email, they did a great job in suggesting products with high image quality, a nice display of titles without prices, and a sense of urgency in the headline.
# Win back abandoned carts with emails and extra incentives
You could also send cart abandonment emails. This type of emails remind the customers about their added-to-cart items that are waiting to be checked out.
Hayneedle knows exactly how to sweeten the deal with the customers. They not only remind the customers about the abandoned carts but also highlight the 10% off offer in the subject line plus the huge image for extra motivation.
Extra tip: Mention recipients’ names to boost engagement
Also, don’t forget to personalize emails in small details like the recipients’ names. Instead of the general “hi there”, you could use custom variants to make emails specifically for the readers. This act also helps you prevent the emails from falling into the spam box.
MailChimp’s merge tags allow users to customize email content for the recipients.
3. Announce product restock
It is problematic when some products go out of stock. Most customers would neglect an item immediately when they see it sold out already. And worse scenario, they are interested in it then look for the same good in your competitors. But we can always deal with this and bring back the customers with a restock alert.
When a popular item is sold out already, don’t remove it from your website. Instead, you could ask customers to subscribe to get updates when the products are available.
ModCloth asks customers to leave emails for notification of when the products are back for order.
Then voila, you could gain extra emails by this method. And the best thing is, these new subscribers are highly engaged with your store and most likely to purchase!
Once you have their email addresses, you can notify them of the product restock. This way you can keep the customers happy by keeping them updated with the products they really want.
An example of restock email from ModCloth. When the items are back in stock, they send emails to customers announcing the updated inventory.
4. Boost sales with seasonal sale emails
The holiday season during November and December makes up to almost 25% of total annual sales in eCommerce. In fact, lots of stores rely on a huge revenue boost on days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. So, make sure to take advantage of these seasonal opportunities.
# Announce seasonal sales in emails
Curioos sent an amazing email to announce Christmas sale to all their customers. There was no room for nonsense, they got straight to the point of free incentives and shipping.
There are more things we can learn from this campaign:
- Design: The email was well designed with the pine pattern, which brought out the holiday feel at first look.
- Content: The 20% off plus free shipping message is highlighted in a huge image. Who could have missed that?
- A sense of urgency: Message “Promo ends tomorrow at 12 PM EST” encourages people to take immediate action.
And that is just one email. In fact, you could get out of the box and build a whole email flow for seasonal promotions. The campaign could involve emails like a series of countdown emails. They remind customers about your upcoming sales, bringing you a boost in traffic on the D-day. You can even plan out the series with an increasing level of hype by revealing more sale promos incrementally.
# Use countdown timer to boost the urgency
A well-placed countdown timer can increase conversion rates by a whopping 400%. Why? They trigger the customers’ fear-of-missing-out, increase the urgency of your promotions, and urge the shoppers to take immediate action.
Vistaprint announces the Black Friday savings one day before the actual promotion launch. They implemented a big countdown clock in the email, which successfully built up the interest and excitement of the deals soon to be available.
You can put the countdown timers in:
- Pre-sale announcement emails: Alert your customers of the upcoming sale and make sure they don’t miss out on such an exciting event.
- Sale emails: Tell customers your sales are going to end soon, hence they should take purchasing decision before the time runs down.
# Extend the promotions in last-minute for extra sales
Some customers may miss on your sales, or they were on pending thought for too long that the time runs out. Knowing this, you can always give them (and yourself also) a second chance by extending the sale to check out your store.
It could be a golden opportunity to surprise the customers and boost your sales. You could even offer a new discount to catch the customers off fence. Who knows? Maybe they would purchase more things from your store.
Julep shouts out their sale extension with a huge “50% off everything” in the email, which is straight-forward and eye-catching.
5. Invite customers to a loyalty program
Do you have a loyalty program for the customers? Well, if you haven’t already, consider building one. 84% of consumers are more likely to choose a retailer that has a loyalty program. And it is 16 times as costly to build a long-term business relationship with a new customer than simply to cultivate the loyalty of an existing customer.
All this means you should do your best to foster the relationship with loyal customers to keep them coming back to your store. The first step could be inviting those who already purchased and engaged with your brand to join your program.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider is a typical example of the loyalty program with PDP recommendations alone yielding a 6x ROI.
You can also set up many more emails to boost customers’ retention. For example:
- Announcement email for VIP rewards: Run a special discount campaign for loyal customers? You could shout out this exciting news to them via emails.
- Reminder email: Keep the customers engaged by showing how close they are to a reward. When people are close to a goal, their motivation increases when they see how easily they can achieve it.
One more small detail, you can present the customers’ point balance and VIP tier in all emails. This can help you improve the visibility of your program without sending out too many emails while making sure people are aware of the additional value from your program.
Wigs display the customers’ points and statuses at the headers of every email.
6. Maximize the effect of eCommerce email marketing
# Optimize the subject line and preview text to improve open rates
The subject line and preview text are utmost important in email marketing. Since they are the first impression the customers get when receiving your emails, they could become the make it or break it factor. And as a person receive 88 emails a day on average, you’d better make your subjects and preview texts so eye-catching that the emails would stand out in the customers’ inbox.
There are a few hacking tips to boost the open rate of your emails:
- Addressing the personal names of the recipients can increase open rates by 35%.
- Keeping the subject lines short within 6 to 10 words can result in the highest open rate.
- Subject lines with movie titles or song lyrics have an average open rate of 26%.
- Powerful words that trigger people’s curiosity like “secret” also got the most clicks.
# Add social proof to build trust
The trust game seems easier to well-known and recognizable brand names since people tend to have higher opinions of these companies. However, if you are no big name, then you could use social proof to build greater trust with the customers in emails.
The social proof could be anything to prove your store’s credibility like reviews, ratings, follower counts, or trust badges.
- Numbers and statistics: Just tell your customers how many social followers you have, or the percentage of people recommend your products to their friends. Of course, these numbers would better be impressive. Then they will help you improve the reliability of your brand, not to mention creating a sense of wanting to belong in the customers.
- The testimonials: You can include 5-star feedback from customers at the bottom of your email, including real photos of real people whenever possible.
- Partners’ logos: Show logos of some well-known brands you’ve partnered or featured you before. Or maybe some awards you won to show customers that you are legit and reliable.
Tluxe proves their credibility to the customers by showing their award badges at the bottom of their emails.
# Use GIF to boost the click-through rates
Email Institute found that animated GIFs produce click-through rates 26% higher. You can use GIFs to impress the customers as they stand out more compared to your competitors. And these animated images could help you explain the products in alternative to videos, which normal emails don’t support.
Another example from ModCloth. The GIF draws the attention of the readers’ eyes and helps them focus on the most important part of the email. And instead of showing blocks of different products, they animate the items and show customers how to combine them.
Note: Use GIFs with caution. Make sure that they are highly relevant to your email content that helps the customers to understand your message, not a fancy distraction.
When it comes to digital marketing, email is still alive.
It can help you push the customers further in the sales funnel. And you can set up emails for every stage the customers are in the buyer journey. It may take time to build a proper email list and get dramatic results from the campaigns, but definitely worth it!
In case you are a beginner in email marketing for eCommerce, or you are still looking for an effective tool to convert visitors to subscribers and customers, then SiteKit could be a good start. You may find it powerful in catching the customers’ information and rocking your sales with smart header bars, coupon popups, or Win Wheel popup like this:
So if you haven’t found the ultimate tool to collect the subscribers yet, why don’t you give SiteKit a try?
So do you have any other thoughts on email marketing for eCommerce? Is there anything we missed in optimizing this channel? Let us know in the comments below! And share if you find this blog helpful to your business!
Ricardo De Gracia June 17, 2019 - 4:53 pm
Thanks for sharing this information… I will combine what I learned on your post with what I’m learning on this ecommerce book http://bit.ly/2KuglMg to improve my results.
Maggie Klein June 18, 2019 - 2:47 am