Email and e-commerce are best buds. It’s a fact.

The most popular email programs will have some kind of integration with the most popular e-commerce solutions, and here’s why… With an e-commerce business, there’s so much data you’re gathering, from customer information when people sign up, to purchase history and intent. These layers upon layers of data really help you as an email marketer to shape your email strategy, as you have far more information on your subscribers than just [email protected] Oh, and email automation is pretty much designed for e-commerce.

This post, with the help of some lovely email marketing experts, will help you craft emails that both drive sales AND promote brand loyalty.

Here goes….

MaryAnn Pfeiffer
MaryAnn Pfeiffer Digital Marketing Strategist at 108 Degrees Digital Marketing Contributed to 4 posts

Plan the Work and Work the Plan for Promotions

While you don’t want to only sell on price, if you’re selling a commodity online, pricing is something you can use to your advantage. Companies like the Gap, Olive Garden, and Airbnb send a high frequency of emails and have great success with their programs thanks to carefully planned promotion strategies.

They key to a successful promotion strategy is to plan it in advance and work that plan to see the full results. Avoid off-the-cuff promotions until you know your audience well. Plan regular email campaigns with targeted discounts and coupons. As you learn your audience, their preferences, what they respond to and where your price margins hold the best, you’ll start to find more opportunities. Study the metrics from your campaigns and evaluate the results. In the end, you’ll find that a planned strategy allows you the flexibility for more ad hoc promotions once you’ve established ground rules you can live by.

 

5 Automations that help you to sell more

Automation is a great way to enhance your sales through email; let’s see the most effective automated messages that you can create, in order to make the most of the integration between your e-commerce and your mailer.

1. Welcome series

A nice welcome email or, even better, a welcome series, is a great way to thank your subscribers, let them know what you do, and offer some incentive to try your products. If you send a coupon, let it be valid only for a limited time, and when it’s almost over set up a recall – but only to those who haven’t still used the discount!

2. Follow-up after purchase

Let your transactional emails be nice and well-formatted, graphically aligned with your brand, and coherent with your tone of voice; a few days after the goods have been delivered, send another message asking for feedback, offering advice, and maybe suggesting related products. This follow-up email could be slightly different for first-time buyers and returning customers, that you can gratify with fidelity discounts or advantages.

3. Abandoned cart

Abandoned cart is a classic example of automation that is easy to set up and consistently brings value. It’s better to show at least some of the products that have been left in the cart, and add nice copy to nudge to come back and complete the purchase. Consider also the possibility of building an abandoned cart series, 2 or 3 emails instead of one, if the typical purchase decision takes a long time (expensive products or services).

4. Recall of inactive customers

If your customers typically can buy more than once, try to evaluate the typical interval between purchases and set up an automated email (or email series) to recall those who have purchased in the past but seem to be inactive now. You can use AI features to suggest what to buy now, or you can link your featured or most recent items; you can also offer time-limited discounts to tap on urgency.

5. Birthday and anniversary cards

If the nature of your relationship with your customer allows you to be friendly and personal, you can ask for birthday information; the welcome series is a great occasion to “ask more”, or even the follow-up of the first purchase, or you can use the date of first purchase or subscription and celebrate the anniversary. A Happy birthday / happy anniversary message is welcome when it sounds sincere and personal, not a mere pretext to send a discount code, so remember that even if you don’t add a call to action to buy, the simple act of showing up and saying a nice word may delight your customer and reinforce their affection for your brand.