By now, you must have heard a lot about eCommerce email marketing campaigns, but what exactly are they? And are they worth the time and resources? Are they really going to benefit your eCommerce business or is it just another gimmick?
Well, look at it this way. Let’s say you’re planning a get together with your friends and it’s your job to entertain them. You already have a couple of ideas for activities that you know your friends would enjoy, but you just can’t pick one.
Each activity has its own charm and rules of having fun, but one activity by itself might not be enough to keep everyone entertained throughout the whole party.
So, you finally decided to have all your activities at your party. But in order to keep everything organized, you made sure some activities will happen earlier, and other activities will happen later.
Basically, each activity will happen at the appropriate time to maximize the fun.
By the end of the party, you receive praise on throwing probably one of the best parties ever! Why? Because every one of your friends had fun from beginning to end.
So, why are we talking about organizing parties?
Well, it’s because the same concept can be applied to email marketing campaigns.
How so, you ask?
Think of your marketing emails as individual activities, your email marketing campaign as your party, and your customers are your guests.
Each type of marketing email has its own design and purpose, but all of these are geared towards a specific goal—to engage, nurture, convert, and retain your customers.
While that’s good and all, remember this: each email only works under their own conditions and timing.
So, how can you make sure each email does what it does best at the right time?
That’s where email marketing campaigns come in.
What exactly do they do? And how do they work?
First let’s start with a basic eCommerce marketing email. Let’s say it’s a welcome email–the one you would send to your newly subscribed customers.
This email was designed for one specific purpose which is to welcome new subscribers. You can also use it to make a great first impression. Through it, you give your new subscribers warm greetings, a brief introduction about your eCommerce brand, and a quick rundown of what they should expect from your emails.
With that email, you accomplished introducing yourself to your new subscribers, and that’s it. But what if you have a series of different email types put together into a sequence?
What if the aim of that email sequence is to not only introduce yourself, but also guide your subscribers to their next course of action, persuade them to make a purchase, and nurture them after making their purchase?
Basically, an email marketing campaign is a series of emails you send to your customers. Each email is sent according to time-based or action-based triggers.
Each email in the sequence is designed to serve a specific purpose, but the whole campaign is meant to accomplish multiple purposes in one sequence.
Going back to our story about your party with your friends, you’ve scheduled each activity to happen under the right conditions based on your guests’ behavior and moods during the event.
This way, you can make sure that your guests can enjoy each type of activity without feeling too overwhelmed or underwhelmed.
In email marketing terms, it’s like scheduling your welcome emails to send only when a customer subscribes to your email. Or scheduling your transactional emails to send only after your customers made a purchase. You can send a series of emails ensuring each one is sent at the right time and under the right conditions.
Speaking of which, it is that convenience and organization of sending marketing emails to your customers that make email marketing campaigns a huge plus to have.
But aside from having a more organized email marketing strategy, what else can your eCommerce business gain from using email marketing campaigns?
As mentioned earlier, email marketing campaigns give the specific functions of each of your marketing emails synergy. This makes your series of emails work with each other as your customers receive them in their intended sequence and timing.
Aside from the practical benefits, we also have some metrics for the more data-based benefits for you to consider:
Over 75% of your email revenue can be generated from triggered email campaigns. Since triggered campaigns are automated, emails are sent as long as the right conditions are met. These conditions are based on either customer behavior or scheduled timing.
Here are two examples of triggered emails and their conditions:
Email Type: Thank You Email
Trigger: Customer’s recent purchase
Here’s a great example of a triggered email. The trigger was a customer purchasing an item from the online store recently. And a Thank You email was the appropriate email for this condition.
When your customers receive a thank you from you right after they bought something from your store, they will feel valued and they will be more likely to purchase from your brand again in the future.
Email Type: Milestone Email
Trigger: Customers who have reached six months of subscription
One of the best ways to show your customers that you care about them sticking around is by celebrating it with them. A milestone email is great for including your subscribers in your brand’s achievements. And in this case, the achievement of retaining a loyal customer for so long.
This kind of triggered email can be used for celebrating other milestones as well, like your eCommerce brand’s anniversary and even your subscribers’ birthdays.
The bottom line is that a triggered campaign happens whether or not your email marketing team is actively aware of a customer’s specific action. So even if your team might have missed some time conditions or customer actions here and there, the automated program will do it for them.
This results in the maximized profit potential of your emails, meaning higher revenue for your eCommerce business.
Time and time again, you hear about the benefits of segmenting your email list. That’s because focusing your efforts on your true target audience does indeed bring out the full potential of your brand’s marketing emails.
So what happens when you add email marketing campaigns into the mix? Well, for online fashion store Sommer Ray, their segmented email campaigns fetched them a 97% increase in email revenue.
This is because when you center your email campaign around a segmented list, you’re sending a series of marketing emails to the customers who are actually interested in your brand’s products and services.
This would lead to more click-throughs and open rates, which in turn leads to more conversions due to email content that’s relevant to your customers’ interests.
Talk about a fully optimized email marketing strategy, huh?
How would you feel if you were to receive these marketing emails that relate to your interests? Imagine each email building up your interest in a product or service of a brand you subscribed to.
Not just building up your interest, but also retaining it with compelling content through newsletters and special offers. At some point, you are going to feel more than willing to finally click on their CTA.
With optimized email marketing campaigns, you have a 600% higher chance of people clicking the links in your emails.
High click-through rates mean your customers are showing high interest in your eCommerce email marketing campaigns, which means your email campaigns are performing well.
As you can see, eCommerce email marketing campaigns is a popular email marketing strategy for good reasons.
So how do you go about making an email marketing campaign in the first place?
Every architectural wonder was built one brick at a time.
In other words, email marketing campaigns may sound advanced or complicated but once you know the steps you need to take then it’ll be a cakewalk.
Here is the step-by-step process in creating an email marketing campaign:
For your email campaign to work, you’ll need to make sure you’re sending them to the right people.
The right people being the people who find your email content relevant to their lives and interests.
Because no matter how well-thought-out your email marketing campaign is, it cannot convert a customer who is simply not interested in what your eCommerce brand has to offer.
Ways for you to segment your email list can be based on your customers’ place in the email marketing funnel. Are your target recipients new subscribers, converted paying customers, or are they lost customers you wish to win back?
Your segments can also be based on the basic categories of demographics such as your customers’ gender, their location, their interests, etc.
Knowing these details will help you accurately optimize your email campaigns for maximized performance.
Before you start your email campaign, you must know what goal you are trying to accomplish.
Are you welcoming new subscribers?
Are you retaining current customers by boosting engagement?
Are you winning back lost customers?
Because when you know what you need to achieve using your email campaigns, you’ll know how to best optimize your campaigns to effectively achieve those goals.
From the types of emails you’ll use in your campaigns to each email’s trigger condition, setting clear goals for your campaigns is key in creating email campaigns that work.
You should know what tools you have and how each of them works. You can’t just throw in a couple of emails and send them out expecting much.
Studying how each email type works by itself can determine how you can best utilize them in an email campaign.
Welcome emails, thank you emails, milestone emails, transactional emails, abandoned cart emails—knowing how to best utilize each one can help you come up with an email campaign whose emails can work well with each other and improve each one’s effectiveness rather than clash with one another.
This can determine their order, what conditions should trigger each one, and their timing.
A marketer who knows their target market knows what to sell and how to sell it.
Every detail about your target audience matters to bring out the full effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
From basic details like your customers’ demographics and general location of residence to their purchase behavior, you can determine which types of emails to use in the email campaigns you optimized specifically for them.
Even with the advancement of technology, you cannot avoid a little manual labor here and there. And when it comes to email marketing, tasks like designing emails from scratch, integrating automation, segmentation—all still require a great deal of time and effort.
But of course, every growing business is all about efficiency, meaning accomplishing more with less work. So, how can you do this when it comes to your email marketing campaigns?
Simple—use available software.
There is readily available software for you to use when creating email marketing campaigns. Software that can help you save loads of valuable time or bypass learning curves when it comes to creating and designing emails from the ground up.
There are software out there that can provide you templates for quick and easy email design, allow you to create mobile-ready emails, easier scheduling for triggered emails, and many more.
Seal the deal with attractive and customer-friendly opt-ins.
What do we mean by customer-friendly?
Set your opt-ins so they won’t pop into view until after some time has passed of your customers being on your web page.
Or better yet, set your opt-ins to only appear after your customers have scrolled a certain degree through your page.
This way, your customers would have had seen just enough of your web content for them to feel more confident in signing up.
Here are two opt-ins done right:
Again, an email marketing campaign is a series of emails. So you should know the next few emails you’ll be sending throughout the campaign.
So once you already know your target audience, you have a clear overview of the kind of content your emails will have, which types of email can best present the content, and the main objective you need your email campaigns to accomplish—like signing up for your newsletter, visiting your website, buying a product, etc.
Now that you know how to create an eCommerce email marketing campaign, here are some tips on how to improve them along with some examples:
Nothing retains a person’s interest more than a compelling story. Storytelling is an effective way of connecting with your customers at an emotional level.
This way, your customers will feel more engaged with the message of your email campaigns.
In this example from BarkBox, the email content focused more on the emotional connection pet owners have with their pets.
In this manner, the storytelling aspect evokes their customers’ feelings and it’s a great way to indirectly persuade them to avail the product or service offered.
What’s the number one red flag customers look out for from marketers?
It’s when marketers would shove their products all over customers’ faces.
The best way to sell your products is to not make it look like your selling them.
That’s some ninja selling strategy right there, but how exactly do you accomplish that?
In this example from Trello, they used a soft CTA. It’s a CTA that doesn’t directly lead your customers to the primary product or service you’re trying to sell. But rather, it leads to a content page related to what their brand would offer.
This is a great way to expose customers to more content of what your brand offers, passively convincing your customers to actually avail your products and services out of their own will rather than because you directly told them to.
Nothing starts a great relationship better than a good first impression. In email marketing, welcome emails are a great way to give your new subscribers a warm and friendly greeting.
Welcome emails are a great staple to have as a way to introduce your customers to your campaign.
Here’s a welcome email from Ann Handley. Notice how the general purpose of the email is to provide insight to her new subscribers. She already makes it clear to her subscribers what they would expect from her.
Email segmentation is part of both the starting process and the improvement process. You’ll never know when you’ll need to update your segmented list to further optimize it.
This email from Pat Flynn does a great job at getting straight to the point when it comes to asking about his subscribers’ interests.
After all, that’s the information you need to properly segment your email list. So it never hurts to ask your customers directly. In fact, doing so adds a certain value to your interaction and gives a personalized touch to your email.
What better way to improve your email marketing campaigns than by analyzing results? By monitoring the performance of your email campaigns, you can keep an eye out for any necessary improvements to your email campaign strategy.
While it is important to keep in touch with your customers, try not to overdo it. Too much of anything is bad for you, and for customers who feel overwhelmed by all the emails you send them, the best solution to that would be to unsubscribe.
And that’s the last thing you would ever want as feedback from your customers.
A/B testing will never go away. Compare your email marketing campaigns and see which one performs better than the other. Which one fetched more revenue or conversions? Which campaigns were received better by your customers?
Always test which email types work well with the email campaign flow you’re going for.
The power of marketing emails alone is already a force to be reckoned with. So what more when you combine the specialties of different email types into one solid campaign?
With email marketing campaigns, you get an effective email marketing strategy that utilizes the functions of different marketing email types to effectively engage your customers.
What more do you need to know about email marketing? You’ll find there’s still a whole lot more to learn in Digital Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing.
Are you in need of more inspiration? Hubspot has this list of 19 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing Campaigns you can look at and study.
We also have some insightful ebooks for you. Chronos Agency’s books “The Definitive Guide to Email Marketing” and “Everything You Need to Know About Email Marketing Agencies” will give you all the information you need to know about email marketing and who to look for when you need that extra help for creating effective email marketing strategies.