by Nick Butler from www.learnright.com and www.irelandwebsitedesign.com
The power of email marketing will come as no surprise to many eCommerce businesses. However, what might come as a surprise is just how much more you could be getting from your email marketing with a more strategic approach.
While most email marketers are aware of the short-term benefits of leveraging email lists for promotional activities and campaigns, the ‘long game’ of email marketing can sometimes be overlooked.
Especially when it comes to customer loyalty, email marketing can be a powerful tool in helping your eCommerce brand stand out against increasing competition. Particularly in a post-pandemic era, where more businesses are adapting to the shift towards online shopping, now is the time to cement your position in the hearts of your audience.
With global retail eCommerce sales predicted to exceed $8.1 trillion by 2026 and the overall eCommerce share of retail sales expected to hit 24%, it might appear more difficult than ever to capture your audience’s attention. However, with so many brands vying for a piece of the action, this is what makes it easier to separate the ‘seasoned professionals’ from the ‘opportunists.
With email marketing offering a unique opportunity for your business to cut through the noise and reach your customers directly, successful eCommerce brands will always be the ones who remain composed and continue to engage their customers in the most meaningful ways.
That’s why we’re here to offer our email marketing tips to help boost your customer loyalty and ensure your eCommerce brand doesn’t get lost in the crowd… or worse, in the spam folder!
Let’s get started.
1. Personalize emails
How often have you received an email and felt like another ‘John or Jane Doe’ to that brand?
Even though as digitally conscious consumers, we tend to expect this kind of treatment from large corporations and brands claiming to care about us, an email marketing campaign shouldn’t make us feel like just another name on a list.
As a result, personalizing your email marketing is crucial to engaging customers and making them feel connected to your eCommerce business long-term. Studies have shown that personalized emails have 41% higher open and click-through rates (CTR) than non-personalized ones — a sobering realization for marketers previously taking a generic approach to their email marketing strategy.
Just some ideas for how personalization can be achieved in your email marketing campaigns include:
- Using the recipient’s name
- Segmenting your email list e.g., leveraging demographics and past purchases
- Sending targeted content based on customer interests and preferences
- Celebrating important milestones such as birthdays/anniversaries
- Using trigger emails to nurture leads e.g., based on browsing behavior
- Welcome new subscribers with an offer, but don’t forget to also show gratitude to past customers
- Using a real person’s name for sign-offs to build a connection
- Optimizing your emails for mobile devices
Tip: To speed up getting to know your audience, don’t be afraid to request additional information at sign-up. Just ensure you make this information ‘optional’ to avoid losing out on the sign-up completely!
2. Avoid ‘spammy’ content
Email marketing success can largely depend on the quality of the content you’re sending. This is why to improve customer loyalty through email marketing, it’s vital to create impactful campaigns that resonate with your subscribers and keep them engaged.
From your subject line to your sign-off, every email you send should reflect your brand image in all the best ways. The more ‘seen’ existing customers feel by your content, the more likely they’ll be to prioritize your eCommerce business over others.
However, even with your brand’s voice visible and engaging email messages at play — your marketing efforts can still fall victim to the dreaded spam folder.
To avoid your emails being marked as spam:
- Use a recognizable sender name
- Only use reputable Email Service Providers (ESP)
- Test your emails before sending them
- Avoid using spam trigger words (especially in your subject lines)
- Make sure your emails are compliant with anti-spam laws (always include a clear and visible unsubscribe link in every email)
In short, emails can be valuable marketing copy and should be treated as such. Spammy content will reflect badly on your brand — that is, if it even gets read!
3. Provide something of value
As much as we’d love to tell you that growing your subscriber list is the trickiest part of email marketing, since the advent of the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s become increasingly difficult to stop subscribers clicking on that unsubscribe link.
With even one ill-fitting email being enough to make subscribers want to jump ship, it’s essential for your content to connect.
Instead of solely promoting your products or services, focusing on providing your customers with more valuable content can be a good idea. As an eCommerce business, you want to be seen as an industry leader — not just another place to shop.
Start by creating a content calendar and nailing down your email marketing schedule to ensure you’re not overwhelming your target audience with too many promotional emails. Then, start strategizing more niche topics to fill in the gaps between promotions.
Especially if email subscribers have come to you through a landing page for a specific offer, keeping them engaged after securing what they want will require a well-crafted email sequence. The aim is to showcase your ability to offer value that’s going to be relevant long-term, not just now.
Some ideas include:
- Targeted newsletters
- Trend features (particularly valuable in fashion eCommerce)
- Educational material e.g., about products or your industry
- Exclusive or seasonal offers
- Company announcements
- PR materials e.g., insightful sustainability reports
Tip: For emails targeted specifically at enhancing customer loyalty, it’s always a good idea to track their progress. Treating these emails like you would a promotional campaign, monitor their metrics and ensure you’re giving subscribers something they want to read.
4. Create original content
Following on from the previous point, original content that reflects your brand’s values and personality is critical for successful email marketing. Using your unique voice to create compelling content that resonates, you can more easily remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
To ensure your content is as original as possible:
- Avoid becoming dependent on email templates
- Consider upping your investment in content strategy and great copywriting
- Lean into your brand identity
- Measure analytics and identify what’s working for your audience
- Be aware of social media holidays but don’t allow these occasions to dictate your content — emails celebrating “national pet day” is cute, but it’s also predictable and often, irrelevant to the outcomes you’re trying to achieve
Shoppers also love nothing more than feeling like they’re buying from an established brand they can be proud to connect with. Where possible, leverage social proof in your email content by highlighting real customer reviews or featuring user-generated content to quantify your popularity.
Boost your brand, not just your sales
Email marketing is more than just a sales tool. It can help you cultivate enduring relationships with your customers and foster customer loyalty in a way that distinguishes your brand from competitors.
By concentrating on providing value, personalizing your approach, and creating unique content, your eCommerce business can strengthen its customer base and as a result, its position in the market. Successful email marketing campaigns aren’t just about pushing sales or exercising your ability to email clients — email campaigns can be an integral part of marketing strategies, helping your voice be heard in an increasingly crowded room.
Sound like too much to take on your own shoulders? There’s always the option of employing email marketing services targeted at eCommerce businesses. From increasing user engagement and loyalty to boosting conversions, the right service provider can transform your entire email marketing outlook.
With a team of digital marketers and content strategists leveraging only the best email marketing software and techniques, you can ensure your next email marketing campaign is one to remember.
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