Email marketing is an efficient and cost-effective to engage with existing and potential customers alike. Ready to get started? Here are some pointers to help you design and implement an email marketing plan for your ecommerce business.
- Use an Email Service Provider (ESP) to help get your email delivered. The ESP allows you to upload your list and then easily send targeted, personalized emails to each individual on your list. You can also set up automated emails to run based on specific activities such as viewing a specific page on your site or purchasing a product. Popular ESPs are MailChimp, SendGrid, Constant Contact and GetResponse, with many offering limited free plans.
- Remember that less is more. “Email fatigue” is very real and impacts how users check and use this type of communication. Make sure you watch email open rates. Sending to people who don’t open your email is a sign that you are not providing the appropriate content. Also pay attention to your “unsubscribe” numbers. When a person unsubscribes from your list, they are saying your messaging is no longer beneficial to them. Do a thoughtful job of deciding how much contact is appropriate and, as a seller, effective.
- Stay away from spam red flags. Words like “free” in your subject line, large images (over 100 kilobytes) and form fields may send your email straight to your recipients’ spam folders. Your own junk mail can be a useful tool in figuring out other red flags to avoid. You can also use a free tool like Postmark App where you can paste in your email HTML and see a score that predicts if your email will be pushed into a junk folder.
- Be personal. Include names and other personal information, such as recent purchases, in your emails. If readers sense you’ve taken the time to address them as individuals, they may be less likely to dismiss your emails as junk.
- Mark your calendar. Schedule emails around high-volume sales periods, such as Christmas and Mother’s Day, and combat traditionally slower times of the year with targeted emails designed to drum up sales. Knowing these dates well ahead of time will allow you to plan ahead by getting these messages out at exactly the right times.
- Be mobile-friendly. Think about how your recipients will read their email—studies indicate that 88 percent of millennials check email on their smart phones. Scrolling down a long message or multiple images on a mobile device is frustrating, and chances are your customers will lose interest if your main point is buried a few paragraphs in. To that end, keep your content concise, and be sure your email provider optimizes its design for mobile users.
- Give customers a reason to read with offers. Reward those who read your emails with special offers, such as discounts, reminders, limited-time savings, contests and other incentives. For your most loyal customers who routinely open your emails, bump up those offers even more as a way to thank them for their business.
- Address cart abandonment. It’s possible to recover more than one-quarter of abandoned carts with targeted abandoned-cart messages. Sometimes, shoppers just need a little push via email to complete their sales.
- Consider curated content. Customers want to know about your products, but email allows you to share other items of interest, too. Assemble articles and other links your customers may find interesting to keep them connected to you and your store.