How to Maximize Ecommerce Sales Using Email Marketing

ecommerce sales

There are many, many, many ways you can go about generating sales for an ecommerce store.

One of the most reliable and profitable methods is email marketing.

Getting email marketing right, though, is hard – especially when it relates to an ecommerce store.

There are so many things that can cause failure.  After giving it a go, you may find yourself quickly giving up on email marketing

Yet, giving up would be a big mistake.

If you know a few things, ahead of time, you shouldn’t find it all that complicated to create a profitable email marketing campaign of your own.

In this article, we’re going to explore what steps you need to take, if you want to get great results when running email marketing campaigns for an ecommerce store.

We’ll go through how you can achieve some quick results, but also how you can develop the skills needed, so that you can consistently create profitable email marketing campaigns.

By the end of this post, you should feel comfortable with creating email marketing campaigns of your own, so that you can drive real profitable results for your ecommerce store in the future.

Let’s begin. 

Getting people onto your list

Email marketing is only going to work if you’ve got people on your list in the first place.

So, the most important question for many is – ’how do I get people onto my list?’

When it comes to marketing an ecommerce store, there are several ways that you can get people to join your list.

Download this quick how to guide to maximize your Ecommerce sales through email marketing.

If your site is already generating sales, then you should already have a list of ‘buyers.’

If you don’t, there are some tactics that you can use to collect emails.

The first method involves creating a ‘pop-up,’ that appears on your site and provides people with a coupon.

What’s important to remember here is that you don’t have to ask for an email address right away, when displaying your pop-up.

If you entice people with discount coupon, they’ll be more willing to buy from you. And, when they buy from you, they’ll provide their email address.

Therefore, this is a good way to generate leads and sales, without seeming overly pushy.

Another method that you can use, is to simply give away free content that relates to your product.  

So, for example, if I have an ecommerce store that sells cooking equipment, I might have some ‘lead magnets,’ such as recipe guides or tips on cleaning cooking equipment.

You can have an opt-in box in your sidebar, or a pop-up, either of which notifies prospective customers that you have an item to give away.

If you have a blog posts that are generating a lot of visitors, then it can also be a good idea to use ‘Content Upgrades,’ in conjunction with such content.

You might even want to consider running a contest.

Competitions can quickly help you to amass a large number of emails.

While competitions are effective at generating sign ups, you also run the risk of generating a lot of irrelevant subscribers to your list, too.

People who aren’t interested in the products that your ecommerce store provides may simply sign up to your list, in order to get whatever is being given away for free.

When you send out email promotions, these individuals may not ever engage with your offers. In any case, you’re free to experiment, to see what kind of results you can generate.

If you’re feeling confident, you may even want to make it so that people have to provide an email address, in order to access your store.

It’s something that you’ll want to experiment with, of course.  But, it seems to be working for Huckberry.

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You might also want to run some ads.

There are a couple of things that you’ll want to keep in mind here.

You can either run ads that are designed to help you sell product – or ads that promote a lead magnet.

Running ads that are designed to sell product can be a good idea, because you’re going to be immediately generating sales and gathering email addresses as you do so.

The sales that you generate can then be used to fund your ad spend. Doing your marketing this way is a good idea, if you’re selling low-cost items.

On the other hand, running ads that promote a lead magnet is often ideal, when you’re trying to sell something with a higher price point.

As you may know, it can be hard to generate sales, right off the bat, if you’re trying to sell something expensive.

If you get people to opt-in to receive a lead magnet, you can then send an autoresponder sequence that helps to build trust and a relationship between customers and your ecommerce store.

Note: Even if you sell high-priced items, you can run tests to see what happens if you sell low-cost items, using ads, in order gather email addresses.

When people buy, they’ll have given you their email address and you can then build a relationship and sell high-priced items later on.

Plus, if you do a good job at delivering the low-cost item, it helps to build trust with your store.

As mentioned, it’s something that you’ll have to try, to see how well it works for your market.

Campaigns that will help drive quick wins

Once you have a list, you then need to get these people to buy.

In order to do that, you’ll need to run some promotional campaigns that engage people and get them buying.

One kind of campaign that you can run, in order to generate sales right away, is the ‘Welcome email’ campaign.

There is evidence to suggest that subscribers read welcome emails 42% more than regular promotional emails.

You should make the most out of this stat, by using your ‘welcome email’ as an opportunity to encourage subscribers to buy something from you or to at least check out what you have to offer.

Here’s an example of a welcome email, from Bonobos, that aims to do just that.

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A welcome email that contains a coupon is an example of how you can influence people to make their first purchase with you.

Another kind of campaign that you can run is a campaign that relates to seasonal events.

Be it Christmas, Valentine’s Day Halloween or anything else – there’s a good chance that you can craft campaigns around these events.

It will take some creativity, but take a moment to question how your products align with certain events.  Then, create marketing campaigns, using that knowledge.

If you need some assistance on how this can be done, create a throwaway email address and then sign up to as many marketing lists as you can.

Over the course of a couple of months, you’ll most likely see some masterful examples as to how the above can be achieved.

Cart abandonment emails are another kind of campaign that you can run.

These campaigns tend to run continuously and rely on segmentation (something we’ll touch on later). But, they can definitely bring some quick wins.

Cart abandonment emails are designed to contact people who signaled an intention to buy something from your site. You contact these people, because they placed items in their ‘basket.’  But then, for some reason, they left the site without purchasing.

When implemented correctly, abandonment emails are powerful and something your store will need, especially when you consult the stats.

68.81% of online shopping carts are abandoned and 29.9% of cart abandonment email clicks tend to lead to a recovered purchase.

So, running continuous cart abandonment campaigns is something to definitely consider.

Here’s a guide that you can use to help create better cart abandonment emails.

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If you want to bolster the results of your cart abandonment emails, consider adding a coupon code or offering free shipping, to encourage people to complete their transactions.

You might also want to send emails to people, notifying them whenever you have some new stock.

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Of course, your ability to achieve quick and sustainable wins from this method will depend on how often your store gets stock and if new stock is something to shout about.

If your store only sells one thing, then new stock isn’t really a big deal.

Segmenting your list

When it comes to email marketing, a ‘buyer’s list,’ is one of the best kinds of lists to have.

When assessing the characteristics of those who belong to your buyer’s list, several insights can be discovered.

One, you know that these people are willing to spend money.

Two, you know that they have experience with your brand and are now going to trust your brand more.

You can see, therefore, why a buyer’s list is so powerful.

However, there is, in fact, a way to make a buyer’s list even more powerful.

And that is by using segmentation.

If you can create a segmented list, based on the interests that people have, the products that they have purchased or the actions that they have taken on your site – you’ll be able to dramatically ramp up ROI.

At the very least, using segmentation will ensure that more people to open your emails.

Why?

For a start, you’ll avoid the issue of sending people emails that aren’t relevant to them.

If you send emails that are based on the past behavior of a subscriber, you’ll be able to increase the odds of only sending relevant emails.

People are tired of receiving irrelevant emails.

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49.1% of people report getting irrelevant emails everyday. And, 31.6% of people flag an email as spam, because they find it irrelevant.

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Being flagged as spam is one of the worst things that can happen to you, as your email deliverability rates can drop.

However, if people only get relevant emails from your brand, as a result of effective segmentation – being flagged as spam is much less of an issue.

If you do this consistently, your long-term open rates will improve. This means that more people can be exposed to your marketing and that can help improve sales.

If you do segmentation properly, people will always find that your emails provide them with offers and content that are tailored to their needs.

By using segmentation, you can hit all three of the top recommendations that are provided by people, when they’re asked ‘how businesses could improve their email efforts.’

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Knowing the above, how can you actually apply segmentation to your efforts?

One way that you can use segmentation is to reward loyal customers and re-engage old customers.

If someone has consistently bought products from you in the past 12 months, you can send them a thank you email and let them know that you are grateful for their business. Alongside this thank you email, you can also provide a gift card.

If you do this, you’re building loyalty, increasing the odds that people continue to buy from you in the future. You’re also encouraging them to make another purchase from you.

On the other hand, if someone has not bought anything from you in the past 12 months, you can email them and provide a gift card that they can also use.

This gift card can be used as an incentive, to get them again interested in your brand.

Howards Storage World is an example of a business that managed to do this well.

They first segmented their customers into two groups – ‘Super Members’ and ‘Semi-dormant.’

Super Members were regular shoppers and Semi-dormant are those that have not bought anything for the past 12 months or more.

The Super Members were sent $20 vouchers.

By sending this voucher to Super Members, the company boosted revenue by $105,000. The Super Members that received vouchers reported feeling ‘surprised’ and ‘delighted.’

Overall, this is a good result that also helped to improve brand perception.

The Semi-dormant group were also sent vouchers.

Interestingly enough, this group had an average spend that was 16% more than the Super Members. This group also produced a revenue contribution of $108,000.

So, in this case, email marketing produced more revenue when old and somewhat inactive customers were enticed with a gift card.

Segmentation that’s based on website behavior is also very powerful. This form of segmentation is similar to a cart abandonment email – but not entirely.

The idea here is that you send emails based on what people were doing on your site, even if they did not add anything to a basket.

If you’ve used Amazon recently, you’ll know that they’re massive fans of this kind of segmentation.  And, you’ve probably bought something, as a result of opening an email of this kind.

Here’s an example of how Amazon sent someone an email, based on their on-site behavior.

Can you guess what they were looking at?

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Such segmentation is powerful, because you’re encouraging people to continue their shopping experience.

In some cases, you can also do some basic segmentation, by asking subscribers, ahead of time, what kind of emails that they’d like to receive.

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Though a basic form of segmentation, this method can be helpful, if you’re trying to get subscribers to directly show you what they expect from your email marketing efforts.

How you set up segmentation in your own email marketing client is going to depend on what email marketing client you use.

It may be worth your time to define how you want to segment your customers.  Then, approach your email marketing support team, to see how you can achieve your desired outcome.

More often than not, after speaking to them, you’ll discover that setting this all up isn’t too hard.

Conclusion

Using email marketing for an ecommerce store is something that you should make a top-level priority.

If you don’t, you’re going to be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Once you have a list of subscribers, you can experiment, by sending them some of the campaigns that you read about above.

If you really want to kick things into overdrive, you’ll want to give segmentation a go.

Start implementing now and you’ll soon see what’s possible, when it comes to combining your ecommerce store with email marketing.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share, in relation to promoting an ecommerce store using email marketing? Please let me know in the comments below!

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