There are a lot of marketing strategies that can help you increase sales, but there is one that will always work as long as you do it the right way.
Email marketing is that way.
Yes, if you do it right, eCommerce email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business consistently and reliably.
But many people either don’t care about email marketing and growing their list, or they know it’s important but don’t know what to do to get the best results.
So, with that in mind, here are 7 easy-to-use eCommerce email marketing strategies that can make a big difference in your bottom line.
The series “Welcome”
When someone joins your email list for the first time, it’s important to send them a series of “Welcome” emails so you can start getting to know them.
Some people also call this first email series a “indoctrination series” because you ask people to do more to build a long-term relationship with you.
For instance, in this set of emails, you might:
- Tell them who you are and/or what you do…
- Ask them to interact with your social media by doing things like liking your Facebook page, following you on Twitter, subscribing to your YouTube channel, listening to your podcast, etc.
- Whitelist your email address and/or move any emails from your Promotional folders into your main inbox…
- Share some of your best content, such as your most popular blog posts, podcasts, emails, and more…
- Make some of your best reports available to them…
- Put them in an email series that works well…
- And a lot more…
- Once they’ve read your best content and, hopefully, followed you on all of your social media platforms, you move them to your main broadcast list.
example of a welcome email
Separate and customize
As you add new email subscribers to your lists, you should be able to divide them into groups based on their interests, purchases, actions, and other factors.
You can do this by adding them to multiple lists as soon as they sign up for your service, or by giving each subscriber a relevant tag based on what they do.
When someone buys something from your store, for example:
- If it’s their first time on your list, add them to your Welcome Email Series. Once the series is over, add them to your broadcast list…
- Add them to your list of buyers…
- Tag them as a Buyer (add more specific tags if it makes sense, like product category if you have a lot of product categories)…
- Tag them with “Welcome Series” so that if they buy from you again, your system will know they’ve already been through the Welcome Series and won’t send it to them again…
- Now, if you offer lead magnets, special discounts for signing up, or other ways to build your email list, you’ll want to put them on a related list or email series first and give them a relevant tag, like Lead Magnet Name, VIP Discount, Coupon, etc., depending on what the optin offer was.
- At the end of the day, the goal is to organize them so that you can easily make special offers or send specific content to the right people on your list, instead of sending every email to everyone on your list.
When you can segment and specialize, you can better connect with your list based on what they are interested in. This can help you get better results and conversions.
Send out sales alerts
Flash Sales are one of the best ways to sell a small number of items all at once.
A Flash Sale is a short sale, usually lasting from a few hours to a few days, but with a bigger discount than usual.
For example, you could have a special Flash Sale over the weekend from Friday morning until Sunday night with a bigger discount than usual to really get people’s attention.
In all, there might be 4 emails in a special series like this:
- Flash sale for 72 hours starting Friday morning
- Saturday morning: There are less than 48 hours to go.
- Sunday morning: This is the last night.
- Sunday night: Less than X hours left
- If the sale is going well, you can send out even more emails or just mail to people who didn’t open them. This is especially true if a certain email is getting a lot of sales.
Flash Sales can boost sales a lot, but you shouldn’t do them too often, or at least not for the same products if you do them more often.
The best way to make them happen more often is to change the products that are on sale. At the end of the day, all you have to do is watch how your list reacts to these sales and change your promotions accordingly.
A Sample Email for a Flash Sale
A Sample Email for a Flash Sale
Give gifts to loyal customers
One great way to get more sales and higher cart values is to run special deals and give your best customers special rewards.
Some great ways to thank customers who stick with you are to:
Access to new products and/or product lines…
There are special deals that regular customers and subscribers can’t get…
Free stuff or other perks that other people don’t get…
In the end, finding creative ways to show extra love to your best customers will make them buy more from you and keep them around for a long time.
Sample Email of a Loyalty Reward
Mobile Responsive Emails
As more and more people do almost everything on their phones, it’s important to send emails that work on both desktops and phones if you want to make the most sales.
The good news is that most email marketing systems have been making their design templates mobile-friendly for a while now.
But you still need to send a test email to make sure that your emails look good on email.
For example, images may look fine on your computer, but when resized for your inbox, they may look stretched or twisted.
You may also find that it’s easier to read on small screens if you use larger fonts, like 16 to 18 point font.
The important thing is to send test emails and make sure they look good on mobile devices, especially for the top 3 email service providers, Gmail (53%), Yahoo (18%), and Outlook (15%), which account for over 85% of all email users.
Sites like Litmus and Email On Acid will show you how your emails look in all kinds of email and desktop browsers, so you can make sure that all of your users have the best email experiences.
Send an abandoned cart series of emails
An Abandoned Cart campaign is one of the most powerful and profitable email campaigns you can send.
Even though more than 95% of customers who visit your site don’t buy anything, studies show that up to 75% of visitors put items in their shopping carts but don’t buy anything.
That’s a lot of money you’re not getting because it’s sitting in shopping carts.
If you run your store on a platform like Shopify, there are a lot of plugins called “Cart Abandon” that make it easy and profitable to follow up and get those “lost” sales back.
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase sales because these people came to your site, added items they liked, and then left without buying for any number of reasons.
When you remind them of the things they liked, they are much more likely to come back and buy them.
So, if you’re not already using a Cast Abandon plugin, make sure to add one right away and start using it.
Add more emails to your list
Even though it’s at the bottom of the list, this is the most important strategy because it can be the most profitable. Because of this, I’m also surprised by how many eCom store owners don’t work on growing their email lists.
So, yes, you should make sure to add every customer to an email list…
…you should also actively add free subscribers to your email list so that you can market to them via email and get sales from them in the future.
There are many ways to get people to give you their email address even if they don’t buy anything. Here are some simple examples:
- Discounts in the store: Send them a coupon for a discount on their first purchase…
- Send them newsletters with news about your store’s theme…
- Free Report: Make a free PDF that they can download and read to learn more about the products you sell…
- Gift Guide: Put together a free gift guide that shows 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 show your offer to.
Build your email list sample
What You Need to Know About Email Marketing for eCommerce
In the end, email marketing is a core strategy that all eCommerce business owners should put a lot of time and effort into because the return on investment (ROI) is so high.
Even better, there are so many email tools, plugins, campaigns, and templates that you can use or learn from that you have no reason not to use email marketing and sell more.