E-commerce brands need to build relationships with their customers to generate sales and nurture them for success in the long term. Your brand should add some value to your customers in order for them to remain your customer and build trust with them.
What better marketing channel than Email to meet your business objectives?
Statistics from various surveys show Email will always provide a higher ROI than any other channel in Marketing. With Email Marketing, you can create promotional offers for your brand to test out a certain demographic market and analyze your results if what you sell is working or not.
By 2021, global Retail E-commerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion.
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With brands like Amazon, Flipkart, Tokopedia, Walmart all leading the line for delightful E-commerce experience, there will always be some room to improve for the other brands which are competing for eyeballs and conversions with their prospective customers.
All the more so in 2020 as Email is undergoing a renaissance like period of continuous evolution and some new technologies like AMP which will be shortly changing Email as you have ever known before.
To not have an email address is the digital equivalent of being homeless. Without it you can’t shop online, bank online or engage with social media. ~ Dela Quist
This Guide will include deﬁnitive strategies to segment your database, what campaigns you should be sending and better conversion tricks to have up your sleeve in order to slay the Email Marketing game. We shall also be talking about new Email technology called AMP for Email plus how to put these to use for converting your customers into conversions.
When we talk about designing an efﬁcient Email Program for the E-commerce and Retail industry we need to take into consideration the user life cycle journey. Your Email Program depends on the customer persona and the relevant content that needs to be targeted to them based on where they belong in the buyer’s life-cycle journey.
There are 3 stages of the customer life cycle on your E-commerce platform that we have identiﬁed and analyzed to provide an invincible Email Program to execute them in chronological order. The stages are:
The priority is ﬁrst to entice new potential customers to your website and reach out to them with information on what you are all about. This stage consists of displaying to your customer, your uniqueness in the industry and something different you are ready to offer to them so that they can stay your customer for the long term. Which brings us to…
Welcome them with an impact
According to a survey done on Welcome Mailers, it was found that 74.4% of customers expect a welcome mailer to sign up.
We recommend that you have an opt-in veriﬁcation for your sign up process on the website. Thus the welcome mailer should ideally have an Email veriﬁcation link to click on and conﬁrm your details or there should be a Google or social signup to your website. Also, it should talk about your brand in a broad way and provide an incentive to the user to click on the content and be directed to your website for a ﬁrst purchase!
Collect the interests and preferences of the users when they are signing up with a preference center for products interested, mailing frequency, etc. This would help you to target the ﬁrst time users with an offer on their product of choice for the ﬁrst purchase in the welcome mailer.
This mailer by Nykaa fashion does a suave welcome mailer.
This mailer talks about what the brand is all about and then provides 10% off offers on select styles of clothes. The overall design is attractive to persuade a new subscriber to at least check out the website and the offer.
In this way, if you display your category of products in the welcome mail, your customers will have them in their minds. The next time they need to shop for a particular product, your online website will be in their search results.
Leverage Website popups
Website Popups offer a creative way of collecting details of website browsers and thus increasing your user base. When a new user enters your website and browses for at least 5 minutes, you can trigger a website popup to collect their details.
Even though they are not yet your subscribers, you can send them a mailer with an offer on your best selling product and ask them to subscribe to your website.
Talk about your product and beneﬁts
The next mailer that you should send to your new subscribers should Fig: contain informative content that provides more insight into your brand values and what you can offer to your users.
Eg: You are a retail brand with a specialty in stocking high-quality jeans. Then your content should talk about Jeans as a selling point.
This can include, how Jeans were discovered, how they came into vogue, what are the different types of jeans available today. A little background on your products will pique that interest in your subscribers.
There should be a concrete offer say 50% off in the mailer to get the customer educated about your brand and then re-direct them to do their ﬁrst purchase with you.
A welcome and educative mailer from Koovs.com ticks all the right boxes. It offers a welcome alongwith a 30% offer on select products with beneﬁts outlined below on what makes Koovs unique from other brands.
That’s a welcome mailer that hits the bull’s eye!
At this stage of the buyer’s life-cycle, either they have already purchased once from your store or they have shown interest in your products.
The further leap now is to get them to transact more often and start engaging them with an eye on retaining them as long term customers. We suggest to create an opportunity, to send targeted communication to your customers, which will keep them coming for more rather than a batch and blast campaign to the whole database.
Don’t make this mistake. Large reach out doesn’t always guarantee large conversions. Instead, once the user has been sent a welcome mail or any purchase order mail, target them with a product that they might like to buy and send a time-sensitive campaign for the same.
This campaign can be sent 2 days before the offer on the product expires. Of course, you will have to target these users with product categories that they have shown an interest in or bought frequently from your online store.
There should be a last mailer sent to these users on the day of the offer expiry to avail the product at a discounted price before it expires.
Segmented campaigns are a winner
You can categorize your campaign calendar based on the user base to be targeted on speciﬁc days and experimenting with the impact on sales with these mailers. Eg: – Sending mailers to Men/Women categories separately. – New subscribers in last 1 month who have visited your online store. – Users who have bought products from a particular category like shoes, dresses, trousers, etc.
Make these campaigns highly personalized with creative subject lines and content.
These campaigns will be a winner in terms of engagement and getting your customers to revisit your store and transact for more products. It’s a sure-shot way of retaining your customers and amazing them with your targeted content.
Design Transactional Campaigns wisely
If you are sending your order conﬁrmation, or your abandon cart mailers, there is a way to introduce some promotional themes in them and boost your sales. User engagement is typically high for your transactional type mailers which often land in primary tab of Gmail . They provide an average of 30-40% of open rates and high click rates of 5% plus.
That means the audience opening these mails is highly engaged and thus can be targeted for a promotional offer as well. Design your trigger campaigns by embedding a discount offer on your best selling product of that period. This will help generate more traction for those products on the website and boost your conversions by an extra 5%. The average cart abandonment rate is 67.91% in the E-commerce industry.
You can make use of the same technique to boost your cart abandoned conversions.
A good discount price can be offered to the customer who has that product in their cart. This will require a segmented trigger campaign that should help to convert the customer to purchase the product.
Send your Best Wishes with an Offer
Collect birth dates of your users to send them a birthday wish mailer with promotional offers exclusively for them in order to make a birthday purchase. Sending our personalized content with positive vibes and wishes will attract the user to your brand and raise the bar for your brand afﬁnity.
Who knows? Maybe the user will buy their birthday surprise from your store. Sending out these feeler emails will deﬁnitely engage your users with your brand.
Product Survey campaigns
Get in touch with your online users. Your brand should care about the expectations and feedback of the customers. Run product survey campaigns after 2 days of shipping the product to the customer.
Run general feedback campaigns on their user experience and website/service experience to the entire user set to know more about how you can improve on your interactions.
This Myntra mailer for product feedback is the perfect way to show you care to your customers:
Bonus points for rating your service from your customers
Reward your frequent shoppers
According to a popular survey 80% sales for Ecommerce are generated by 20% users.
These include your frequently transacting , happy with your brand , loyal shoppers who you should be treating like royalty. These shoppers form 80% of your online revenue and they keep on coming back for more products, thus they need to be provided something special to continue the cycle.
Have exclusive deals designed just for your frequent transactors like Make My Trip has a MMT Black membership for privilege users.
You can also have a special loyalty point program designed for these subscribers who shall be receiving extra discount and offers with your mailer atleast once a week so that they can purchase uninhibitedly and develop trust and a relationship with your brand. Treat them well to keep them happy.
For those customers who have not yet transacted with your brand, the idea should be to send them a mailer with beneﬁts that they receive on buying from your brand. These could range from free shipping , COD option available , less delivery time , extra offers on E-wallet payments , cards etc.
Also there should be some content generated about your brand values and how you stick to them in the larger scheme of Ecommerce.
Eg: You don’t negotiate on your quality instead you use authenticity as a measure for customer success.
We strongly believe that online customers are looking for beneﬁts they can get in sticking with your brand and hence need to be educated on the same on a timely basis.
Weekend Sale offers to boost reach and conversion
Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t reach out to the rest of the user base. Ofcourse, you should. When sale season comes in, you can send your entire mailing list attractive offers on all your products say twice a week and expand the reach of your audience.
You will gain new “openers” of your Email campaign and you can include these users in your stage wise Email Program as mentioned in the above points.
Make sure you are not “over sending” mailers to the entire set of users as majority of them could be inactive. They would require special campaigns to re-activate them, which brings us to the next point.
Community scoring and chat
There can be a scoring system set for your customers where the users will be rated based on the number of purchases , sharing your content on social media or re-tweeting it, will incur some score for the user and the user can use this score to get discounts on future products they wish to share.
The community chat will enable the user to discuss your products and report any changes or improvements to your system rather than just leaving a feedback.
This could also involve discussions on latest trends in fashion and other products they wish to see on your website which you should be stocking up on.
Friend referrals will be rewarded with special offers and discounts.
Promote the app community chat across all channel. A good community outreach program will scale the brownie points on your brand popularity.
There will come a time when a part of your mailing list will stop responding to your offers. They can get cold and stop opening your targeted offer for them. These users need to be re-engaged with the brand.
There are a set of campaigns you can run to re-activate these dormant users. These should be targeted to users who have not opened your Emails for more than 90 days.
An offer just because we miss you
You should up the effort when you are trying to design an Email Re-engagement campaign. It should have a “We have missed you” theme. You need to offer discounts which are bigger than the usual ones like 30-40% off on products so as to entice these users to click on links and get to the website.
This re-engagement mailer from Netﬂix does all the right things on reactivating the unsubscribed user to get them back to Netﬂix and chill:
Why did you stop responding?
You can send a mailer to your dormant users asking them the reason for the dried up interest in your mailers. It will be a simple text mail which can be replied to so as to collect feedback.
This could provide valuable insight into what your users want out of your campaigns.
You have been removed
If the subscribers still fail to respond to the above mailers then it is time to let go of them.
Send them an automated email saying that since they have been “quiet” since last 3 months, they will be removed from the mailing list or they can click on “Don’t Remove me” button to remain a subscriber and receive relevant offers.
New Technologies that are Changing the Email Landscape
It is time to move on from static Email designs which offered very little interactivity to Email users.
AMP is a technology to create a faster and more interactive way of rolling out web pages on mobile devices. AMP for Email – an expansion of the AMP project will include dynamic Emails. It will support useful and interactive content within Email to provide a refreshing and modern experience.
AMP powered Emails will allow “rich engaging Emails, making modern app functionality available within Email.”
Here’s what your users would be able to do with AMP-powered Emails
- scroll image carousels
- add items to the shopping cart
- ﬁll up a form or a questionnaire
- open a product card, choose and buy the products
- participate in surveys or polls right in the inbox
- reply to comments in an Email
AMP for Email will make dynamic content like videos, GIFs, graphics available on your Email client in a moment to browse and interact with! With AMP operational, users can easily RSVP to an event, browse a catalog of an online store, ﬁll out a form without leaving your Email client.
The feature is being rolled out in the Gmail web client and then will be provided on mobile. With time, other ISPs like Yahoo, Outlook, and Mail.ru, etc. will also support it.
Ecommerce will be thus the industry which could beneﬁt the most from AMP with the extent of interaction that the users will get to have on the Email client as stated above.
Thinking of How to Send AMP Emails?
How will AMP Emails beneﬁt Ecommerce Brands
A common notion is often seen and heard and probably questioned that AMP will benefit Ecommerce Brands. But, How? That is a big question!
Let’s have a look on how AMP Emails can benefit Ecommerce Brands.
Dynamic and up-to-date automated and promotional content
With instant call to actions now feasible on AMP, you can get more creative with designing Email triggers ﬁtting in your users in the various stages of the user life cycle journey.
How about reducing that cart abandonment activity and designing your Email in such a way that the user will be inclined to transact from his Email client itself without any fuss?
Better customer experience
The content of the web pages being dynamic & interactive will allure the users to act. The improved user experience would lead to an improved afﬁnity for your brand. This should also reduce the trafﬁc ﬂow on the website which used to drop in terms of transactions/signups as all this can be done easily hereupon in the Email itself.
After implementing AMP, Tokopedia – one of the largest E-commerce brands in Indonesia reached four important mobile milestones: a 5X jump in conversion rates, a 40% increase in organic trafﬁc, 65% faster page load times, and a 60% lower bounce rate, which highlighted better engagement.
Hyper-personalization of content
Now is the era of hyper-personalization in Emails. With AMP for Email, this will be taken to the highest level where your users’ choices can be met in the Email itself. That means, subscribing to a service or agreeing to be part of an event or else choosing a product from a personally curated range of catalog and transacting to secure the delivery.
This will empower Email marketers like you to design creatives in a more personalized way where a user can get everything done easily and quickly.
Better engaging Emails
Till now the content of Emails has stayed static and small changes like introducing GIFs or videos inside the creative content have been limited. With AMP, the bar will be raised high in terms of the aesthetic value of the Email. The website will also need to feature more dynamic and visually actionable content to tempt the users to choose from the products offered.
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Thus, with all the above strategies mentioned it all trickles down to targeting your users based on the customer life cycle stage that they are in at that time.
Email Marketing is just not about batch and blast a campaign to your entire user list and expect your business to grow. It is more about targeting your speciﬁc users with content and offers that they would like. Every campaign of yours should be designed with a goal of providing more value to your customer and letting them choose your brand than anyone else’s for purchase.
Thus the general layout of a good Email Program for Ecommerce websites will be comprised of:
Every stage of this life cycle will require your attention and efforts to build that trust with your subscribers and let your brand speak for itself.
New technology like AMP is going to fuel further demand on Ecommerce brands to ﬂex their muscles in terms of attractive and dynamic content both transactional and promotional to lure their customers. With the advent of AMP , users will start spending more time on Email client and hence will require your campaigns to be innovative enough to hold their attention.
The ability to interact with cart and payment options, or providing a feedback on the mail itself will prove game-changing for an Ecommerce brand as that will mean more conversions and smoother interactions with less drop off points in the attract to purchase journey.
The main principle to follow for any Email Marketer is to send relevant content at right time to right audience. In addition to this, never stop talking about your brand in your Emails and never stop selling!
Love the article? Email Experts of Pepipost did an exclusive Webinar on How to Build an invincible Email Program for eCommerce in 2020!
Replay is available for free – Don’t Miss it!
Thank you for reading, untill next time!