Setting up and running an eCommerce business is a tough job. But what’s tougher in the increasing market competition today, is acquiring new customers. The only thing that actually defines the success of an eCommerce business, is their ability to monetize from their resources.
Now adding a few deals every now and then or running seasonal sales, is bound to increase the sales and revenue for the business. But what happens post the sale?
Businesses that completely rely on sales, offers and discounts, usually notice a dip in their revenue as soon as they stop the campaigns. But there are some eCommerce businesses that continue to generate sustainable sales growth.
In a recent post, we mentioned how email marketing was that one tactic that has lasted the longest in the digital industry. Since it is the only channel available today to make direct contact with existing as well potential customers, business marketers need to adapt the changes and leverage from it effectively.
Here are a few statistics why eCommerce business MUST USE email marketing in their promotion and sales strategies:
- Email is 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than social giants like Facebook or Twitter. (McKinsey)
- About 59% of consumers consider marketing emails as an influence on their buying decisions. (Digital River)
- Email marketing was responsible for over 27% of holiday season sales. (eMarketer)
More such statistics right here: Email Marketing Statistics For 2016 That Every Marketer Needs To Know
While the above statistics might want you to jump into email marketing right away, here’s something you need to know – consumers also do not like being pushed promotions to frequently. They want to be able to see only what they’re interested in and that’s the only way you can increase your sales.
The times of broadcasting or mass mailing daily offers is long gone. If you don’t take into consideration the shopper’s need, your chances of a sales are very low. Hence, here are a few email marketing tactics that have been used by the successful eCommerce businesses in the industry.
eCommerce Email Marketing Tactics To Boost Sales
1. Personalization of emails
In case you have been living in the stone age till now, you would know how people respond to mass broadcast mails – ‘mark spam’ or simply ‘delete’. They no longer want to be given a sales pitch that is ‘general’ in nature.
According to a study by MarketingSherpa, email personalization results in 750% higher CTR and a much greater revenue for an eCommerce business. The reason being that customers today only want to be sold what they’re interested in or might be useful to them.
The very first step to personalization in emails is to ditch the general ‘hello’ and start addressing your audience by their first name. If none of your website processes has been able to collate this data, use a tone that you might use to address a friend instead.
The second step is to personalize the subject line. Emails that incorporate personalization in their subject lines, have a 29% higher open rate and about 41% higher CTR than those that don’t.
2. Cart abandonment emails
According to the Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is about 68.63%. Business Insider even estimated the worth of abandoned merchandise to be $4 trillion. Considering the numbers, that’s losing a lot of sales and revenues for the eCommerce businesses.
Instead of considering cart abandonment as a lost opportunity, use email marketing to bring the online shoppers back to your website. The campaign could simply be around sending out an email to the customer a day later asking why he did not purchase the products or reminding him of what he has left behind.
For example, Kerastase sends a quick email to the online shopper who has abandoned an item in the cart. It simply reminds him of what he has left behind, along with the product specifications.
3. Stock notification emails
An eCommerce business is prone to running out of stock in certain product ranges. Sometimes the products are perishable in nature or have been outsourced from a third party – which means there could be a span that they aren’t available for purchase.
Now there are chances that the customer might want to reorder a specific product after a defined duration. This is where you should leverage from stock notification emails – just let them know how much of a product is left or till when.
These kind of emails show that you care about the consumer’s interests and needs, and want to be able to cater to them at all times.
4. Contextual and engaging content
Sometimes your eCommerce emails need not be pushing products directly into the customer’s face. They could be subtly led to a purchase via contextual and engaging content instead. There are a number of questions or doubts that online shoppers have, and hence there is a vast opportunity that can be tapped into.
For example, seasonal emails like ‘your guide to creating a spring ready home’ will automatically peek the recipient’s interest. The mail will not only get clicked through a lot more, but the chances of them making the purchase also increases.
Shopping guides make for another good resource that helps customers make better purchase decisions, faster.
For example, LimeRoad sends across a hotlist of products that are a must have in the season!
5. Social proof
People trust people. Sometimes consumers just need an assurance to take their final purchase decision. Including social proof on the website as well as your emails, can really boost your eCommerce sales. This proof usually includes the number of people who have already bought a product from you or are using it.
For example, using the email message as a chance to let him know that 1000 people have purchased a deal in just 5 hours, will trigger a sense of urgency and a feeling of losing out on something. This will definitely encourage the recipient to relook the product and consider purchasing it.
6. Optimized transactional emails
According to a report, the open rates for transactional emails are 10 times higher than the open rates of bulk emails sent by businesses. The CTR of these emails are about 17%, which is much higher than the others.
Hence, it is important to optimize your transactional emails and take them as an opportunity to cross sell or up-sell your products. For example, when you send across a confirmation email, you could suggest products that would compliment the purchase in the same. Or when you’re sending an order cancellation email, you could recommend a few other products that you think would suit the needs of the customer better.
7. Customer loyalty programs
The second challenge that eCommerce businesses commonly face today (after customer acquisition), is customer retention. There is always a business who is offering a bigger deal than you are and there is absolutely no way to always stay ahead in that game.
Instead of trying to lower your prices or offer bigger discounts all the time, run customer loyalty programs. Rewarding your loyal customers can increase their purchase frequency and order value, and also boost your brand name in their circles.
Offer them a special discount coupon on a new range of products or create a hamper that is available only to your ‘members’. There are a few eCommerce websites that offer redeemable points of each purchase.
For example, Chumbak gives away different loyalty points on different product ranges to their customers.
And Jabong sends across special discount coupons to those customers who haven’t made a purchase from them again in a while.
Over to you
The eCommerce industry is fast expanding and the only way to not lose business, is to consistently find tactics to engage and re-engage your customers. Engagement rates will now have a direct effect on the conversions on your site.
With emails giving you a direct platform to engage with your customers, businesses should learn how to leverage from it.
What other email marketing tactics have you made use of so far to boost your eCommerce sales?