July 18, 2019 6 Ways to Use Email Marketing to Drive Sales for eCommerce Businesses
For the most part, the email vs social media marketing battle has been put to bed…
Yes, there is an important place for both of these channels in an effective digital strategy. But when it comes to driving sales at a low cost-per-acquisition, email marketing still reigns supreme.
Most eCommerce businesses already know this. Which is why lead generation campaigns are so popular. Not only do lead-gen campaigns grow your subscriber lists and reduce long-term acquisition cost, but they also enable you to build trust with your prospective customers.
With an undeniable focus placed on growing a database of leads in the eCommerce industry, how do you then use this list to increase sales? Here are six ways…
#1. Send regular emails
Did you know that over 80% of consumers check their personal email at least once a day? A large portion of this group of individuals is jumping into their inbox even more regularly, with 11% of people checking their email more than 15 times a day.
That is a lot of information being consumed, emails being archived, ignored, or on the odd occasion emails being opene d. If you only send your database an email broadcast once a month, how memorable is that email likely to be? What chance does it have of actually being opened?
A lot of eCommerce businesses don’t send enough emails to their subscribers. They are worried about coming across as ‘spammy’ or too aggressive with their tactics. Yes, there is a balancing act between staying top-of-mind and annoying people, but most businesses could be sending far more emails.
The key is to strike the right balance between promotions and helpful content. You don’t always need to sell something with an email campaign – it’s about being present and building trust with your (potential) customers.
Check out this educational email about hanging art from picture frame retailer Framebridge which keeps them top-of-mind without selling:
#2. Run event-based campaigns
Events throughout the year, such as Valentine’s Day or Halloween, are a great excuse for sending email campaigns to your subscribers with targeted offers. Event-based campaigns are trending and entice people to open, click, and quite often make a purchase.
The cool thing about this style of campaign is that there are events all year round that you can hijack for the purpose of running a promotion. For example, below is an email campaign from Uber Eats which makes the most of St. Patrick’s Day:
#3. Use rolling product launches
A rolling product launch is designed to persuade your customers to take action by using psychological triggers such as urgency and scarcity. Its purpose is to generate a recurring spike in sales for your business by making a product available for a set period of time and then building suspense before, during, and after that period.
Apple is one example of a business who uses this tactic by releasing new versions of their products year-after-year. They could launch a new phone every few years, but instead, they make minor improvements and launch new products all the time to keep people talking about their brand.
Below is another example of a rolling launch from GoPro, with the release of their HERO7 Black:
#4. Offer expiring coupons
Along the same lines as the rolling product launches and event-based campaigns, increasing sales via email marketing is all about generating urgency for people to take action. Another way to do this is by offering coupons that expire at a certain time to your list.
The delivery of these coupons will most likely take the form of a flash sale, where you give subscribers 3-4 days to use a coupon in your store before it becomes unavailable. Of course, you can only run so many flash sales before this tactic becomes tired and ineffective, so don’t overdo it.
Below is an email campaign from Sleep Country who offers a $230 coupon which expires on a certain date:
#5. Automate trigger sequences
The tactics I’ve discussed so far for driving sales with email marketing have been real-time labor-intensive campaigns. Basically, you send an email or a series of emails in a short period of time to entice action from your subscribers. Another way to generate sales from email marketing is to make the most of smart email automation.
With most email marketing software, you can create a sequence of emails which are sent based on behavioral triggers. For example, you may onboard a new subscriber with a set of helpful blog articles and a background story about your business. Based on the actions they take with these emails – the emails they open, links they click, and web pages they visit – you can then trigger emails to be sent which are more personalized and targeted towards the interests of each individual.
Check out this clever use of personalization from travel company Suiteness:
A triggered automation segments your list, which, according to a study by Lyris, increases open rates, provides greater relevance to prospects, and decreases unsubscribe rates.
#6. Test and optimize
Email marketing enables you to test and change campaign elements with accuracy. You can test subject lines, calls-to-action, offers, or any number of other variants to see which one resonates most with your customers.
Whatever test you choose to do, challenging your assumptions is a meaningful way of improving the performance of your email marketing activity and increasing sales.
Does your eCommerce business utilize email marketing to its full potential?
If you feel like you’re leaving some sales opportunities on the table, consider applying the tips from this article:
- Be consistent with your email communication – strike a balance between staying top-of-mind and emailing too much.
- Make the most of popular events throughout the year to grab your audience’s attention.
- Leverage product launches and expiring coupons to create a sense of urgency with your customers so they take action.
- Save time with automation and increase your engagement with personalization.
- Test, analyze, and optimize your campaigns for the best performance.
Since we are stating that email is the driving force of increased sales, should we spin this so it sounds like customers do open emails?