An e-commerce website can benefit greatly from a well-planned email marketing strategy. You want to implement a strategy that will drive brand loyalty, new sales, and repeat sales. Implementing these 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce will help you develop an effective email marketing strategy. Here they are
- Testimonial request email series – Ask for reviews – you may have to reach out multiple times
- Curated emails – give them recommendations for products that support your brand
- Abandon Cart Recovery Series – Send a series of 3 emails over a 48hr period
- Bi-Monthly Newsletter – Keep the audience warm and engaged with educational content
- Re-send to non-openers – Increase open and click rates by an additional 8.2% (Active Campaign)
- Refill reminders for consumables – engage them right when they need more of what you provide
- Video Testimonials – Use video testimonials embedded in your sales emails to increase trust
- Segmented Welcome Email Series – One for subscribers and one for customers with specific messaging and CTAs.
- Repeat Purchase Emails. To Get low volume buyers to buy more over time
- New Product Pre-launch announcements – Sell new products to existing customers first
- 1. Testimonial Request Email Series – Asking Customers for Reviews
- 2. Curated Emails – Product Recommendations That Support Your Brand
- 3. Abandon Cart Recovery Series – A series of 3 emails over a 48 hr period
- 4. Bi-Monthly Newsletter – Audience engagement
- 5. Re-send emails to non-openers
- 6. Refill Reminders For Consumable Products
- 7. Video Testimonials
- 8. Segmented Welcome Email Series
- 9. Repeat Purchase Segmentation Emails
- 10. New Product Pre-launch Announcements
- Implement the 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce
Implementing these email marketing ideas for your small business online store can seem challenging. Much of this work can be automated if you are using the right CRM System so you are noting manually sending emails out daily. We will provide additional details about the ideas along with how you can implement the 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce using either MailChimp Or Constant Contact. These are the two CRM tools we use with all of our clients.
1. Testimonial Request Email Series – Asking Customers for Reviews
Testimonials can be the deciding factor for a person to purchase from you. The more you have the better your reputation and the more likely people will finish the buying process. Unfortunately many people don’t often give testimonials without being prompted so you need to ask and remind them to give you the review.
We recommend that a series of 3 automated emails go out to 3 – 4 days apart from each other. It should start when they have reasonable had a chance to use what they purchased. Usually, a few days after the product has arrived.
Start with asking them to email you if they have any questions or concerns. Ensure that the email is a clickable link in the email. Next, if they are happy with their purchase ask them to leave you a review. Insert buttons or icons to where you would like the reviews to be entered. Google reviews are the best but you can also include Facebook or another platform you collect reviews on.
The key is to make it simple for them to leave you a positive review and provide a mechanism for them to reach out to you directly if they have a problem or issue.
Keep the email short and simple so they read it. We have oftentimes seen many of these emails be multiple paragraphs long which defeats the purpose of the emails.
People are busy so the next two emails in the series will be gentle reminders to provide a review. Include the same language and links in the original email. Don’t make them go back and try to find it, they won’t.
Our own research has shown that the majority of the reviews are posted after the 2nd or 3rd emails are sent because often they want to provide the review when the initial email is read but often get busy and forget.
This all can be automated. Here is a quick video of what automation looks like in MailChimp.
2. Curated Emails – Product Recommendations That Support Your Brand
Curated emails are emails that recommend products to your email list. If you sell products that have complementary products from another seller you can send a curated list of these products as a recommendation to your list and let them know what from your online store they work well with.
An example is if you sell bicycles and replacement items for the bicycles. You can send a curated email list of “must-have bike tools” that you think work for your bicycles and note which of your brands they work best with.
This is not a direct selling tactic and because it’s helpful and not sales-driven you will get more open rates. The more emails that your audience opens the more familiar they become with your emails. You want this familiarity so when you do send a sales email directly for your products they are more likely to open it.
3. Abandon Cart Recovery Series – A series of 3 emails over a 48 hr period
With an Abandon Cart Recovery email, many online stores can recover 4% – 5% of their abandoned carts on average (klaviyo) this recovery rate increases if you send multiple recovery emails, not just one. With the series of 3 emails, we see an average recovery rate of 18%.
Here is an example of the frequency and the typical open rates we get with our customers Using Shopify and MailChimp to send the abandoned cart email series.
Email one in the series should be sent an hour after the cart is abandoned. Maybe the person was getting ready to finish but got distracted this is a helpful reminder for them to finish the transaction.
Email two which will come from your CRM system should be sent. 6 hrs after the cart is abandoned. We tend to see a 30% – 75% open rate of this email.
Email three will also come from your CRM system and is sent only if they have not purchased from email number two and it’s sent 24hrs after the cart is abandoned. We see anywhere from a 25% – 67% open rate on this email when sent.
4. Bi-Monthly Newsletter – Audience engagement
An email newsletter is the best way to keep your audience engaged without creating selling fatigue. Your audience is a mix of subscribers who have not purchased from you yet and customers who have. The goal of the newsletter is to have both types of audience members keep opening your emails and educational content in a newsletter is the best way to do this.
We create educational articles for our client’s blogs that are then sent out in newsletters twice a month. We keep the newsletters short and simple so that they are more likely not only to be opened but to be clicked on.
We tested sending one article vs two in a newsletter and found that our click-through rates increased from 3-4% to 4% – 6% on average. We attribute this increase to the email subject and the article subject being closely tied together.
Open and click-through rates are important because they show that the audience is developing habits with the emails. They are familiar with the name and branding which increases the likely hood of them opening and clicking through on a sales email or offer in a newsletter.
We also recommend adding offers to your newsletters.
5. Re-send emails to non-openers
Re-sending emails to non-openers of the original email increase your total open rates on average 8.2%. Constant Contact makes this extremely simple with their one-click button to add an email to send to non-openers when you launch a campaign.
We recommend that you resend all campaign and newsletter emails to non-openers.
6. Refill Reminders For Consumable Products
The best way to increase revenue from existing customers is to send refill reminder emails if you sell consumable items in your online store. Consumable items can be anything that needs to be reordered after it is used up such as:
- Health and beauty products
- Dental hygiene products
- Seasonal products that expire such as suntan lotion
- Long term consumables such as Running shoes and socks
Go through your product inventory and determine how often your consumable products need to be repurchased. It doesn’t necessarily have to be frequent like coffee. Sometimes it may be they need to purchase it annually like sunscreen.
Once you know all the timeframes around your consumable products set up email automation to go out at the correct amount of time after the purchase with a reminder to renew the Item. For example, if it takes about a month to go through a bag of coffee the automation should send the refill reminder a month after the purchase date of the coffee.
If your using Shopify as your online store and have integrated it with either MailChimp or Constant Contact the sales data will automatically be stored in your CRM system so that this automation will work.
We recommend you also show the item they purchase previously with a Buy A Refill button to increase the click-through.
7. Video Testimonials
Testimonials in sales emails increase purchase rates. Video testimonials go a step further by allowing the person watching the video to relate more easily to the person in the video than they could if they were just reading the testimonial. Relatability is the key factor that makes the testimonial work as a sales closer.
Ask long-time loyal customers to create a video testimonial for you about the products they buy. You can ask influencers to do an unboxing video in exchange for free product as well.
8. Segmented Welcome Email Series
Many eCommerce online stores will have a single welcome email for people who sign up for their email list. You can create a better experience for your audience by having separate welcome emails for subscribers vs new customers.
Subscribers will get a series of two emails welcoming them to the newsletter list along with an offer for their first purchase. This could be a discount coupon or free shipping off their first order. The second email is sent a few weeks later with a really loved blog article to get them primed to keep opening your emails.
New Customers will get a series of two emails as well but the content is very different. The first email is thanking them for the purchase and welcomes them to the newsletter list. You can let them know what to expect in the newsletters as they come. If you have consumables, the 2nd email could be that very first refill reminder. If that is not applicable you could show them other products that they might like based on their original purchase.
These emails can be automated in both Constant Contact and MailChimp so you don’t have to think about following up it just happens every day. The emails also get the subscriber used to seeing and opening your emails. 8 out of 10 people will open an eCommerce welcome email (Get Response 2020).
9. Repeat Purchase Segmentation Emails
These emails are different they refill reminders for consumables. It is about moving low volume buyers to medium volume buyers and medium volume buyers to high volume buyers. This is done through audience segmentation and increasing the value of the offer to get them to purchase more.
Try to match the criteria you are segmenting with the offer you are providing. If you want to sell more quantities of the product then make the order volume-driven. If you want higher dollar sales per order then make the offer monetary driven. Here is an example of both.
Low volume buyers – A segment that has purchased less than 4 products in the last 6 months. Give them an offer of buy 2 get the 3rd free. This type of offer gets them to put more products in their cart.
Medium volume buyers – A segment that has purchased more than $200 worth of product in the last 6 months. Give them a 40% off coupon when they spend $200 or more in a single purchase.
You can also learn more about segmentation strategies to get more revenue from existing customers from these two podcast episodes from Inkyma’s Marketing Strategies
- Getting More Revenue From Existing Customers Using A Segmentation Strategy (Part 1)
- Getting More Revenue From Existing Customers Using A Segmentation Strategy (Part 2)
10. New Product Pre-launch Announcements
When an online store adds a new product to its website they often don’t think about selling to their existing audience first before pushing it out to the general public. Just focusing on selling to your existing customers can increase profits by 25% to 95% because you are not paying for the high cost of new customer acquisition when selling to existing customers. (retention science)
We recommend you do a soft launch of a new product line to your existing customers with an announcement they are getting it first along with a customer-only discount that will expire when the product is fully launched to the public.
This creates a win-win scenario for you and your customers. They feel like the brand is rewarding their loyalty and you get a pre-launch sales revenue boost. You can include a special bonus for those customers that will give a product review as well. These testimonials will be great to add to all your campaigns when you launch to the public.
Implement the 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce
There is a lot of work that needs to happen with you implementing the 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Here are your next steps to get you started if you are new to email marketing.
Select the CRM account that you want to use for email marketing. Click on either of these links to purchase Constant Contact or MailChimp. Both CRM systems will allow you to implement all 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce.
Pick one idea to implement and get it up and running. Then move on to the next. Before you know it you will have all 10 must have email marketing ideas for eCommerce implemented as part of your overall marketing strategy
I hope you found this article helpful in securing your business so you can stay focused on your growth goal which always includes marketing. Feel free to reach out via chat if you have any questions. We are always happy to answer questions. If you want our content delivered to your inbox Sign up for our newsletter. You get great content and exclusive offers by being a member.
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