What constitutes a successful email marketing campaign? The goal of email marketing is to engage effectively with the customer at various stages of the buying process. In this article you will read about the best e-mail marketing practices for online shops and how to craft your e-mail marketing strategy. Read on.
A Compelling Subject Line
The subject line is absolutely critical to your e-mail marketing. It should be something that triggers a response, and get the prospect to read the e-mail rather than to chuck it as Spam. A great subject line should be an e-mail marketer’s first priority. Everything else comes later. It should be attractive and create a sense of urgency, by signaling in as few words as possible what’s in it for the customer. Why he or she should open the email.
High Quality Content
Next, once the prospect has opened the email, the content should grab their attention, revealing the benefits and features of the products being sold immediately. The messaging should trigger a sense of urgency and a desire to buy. Nancy Shaver, who works with the Experian Marketing Services says, “Consumers today really want the retailer to ‘get them. They want the sense that they’re recognized and valued. It isn’t very glamorous, but the best retailers pay real close attention to the underpinning that makes the experience authentic and relevant.”
Indeed, the e-mail content should have specific information about the products being marketed, based on the prospect’s browsing history at the website. This is a strategy followed by all top online retailers such as Amazon.com, eBay.com, etsy.com and others.
As Ross Kramer of Listrak says, “A lot of retailers are merchandising their products in an email, but it’s up to the merchant to pick those products. They should be taking a page from the behemoth of the industry, which is Amazon, looking at what products consumers have looked at recently, what categories or brands they’ve looked at, searched, added to the cart or purchased and marry up that behavior with recommended products.”
Follow up after a Cart Abandonment
The online store should not give up after a customer abandons the purchase midway through the process, without going through the final transaction. They should follow up by e-mail and continuously engage with the customer, reminding him or her about the items that are still there in their digital shopping cart.
Jim Davidson, who is a marketing researcher at Bronto says, “That’s a huge missed revenue opportunity if you’re not sending abandon cart reminder emails. They’re very easy for you to set up. If you’re looking for one thing to do that’s really going to benefit your consumers, provide service to them, encourage them to shop and drive sales without doing a lot of heavy lifting, look for ways to enhance and optimize your existing abandon cart email. Launch an abandon cart reminder email if you’re not doing it already.”
How to Build Customer Loyalty through an email marketing campaign?
Ultimately, the biggest reason to have an e-mail marketing campaign is to build customer loyalty. Any email marketing campaign that does not get customers to stick to the online shop for future purchases isn’t doing what it is supposed to. Indeed, gaining customer loyalty is the Holy Grail of email marketing in the online retail industry.
Jeff Hassemer, a senior executive at Experian Marketing Services, concurs: “In retail, loyalty is a lot more difficult to gain, than say, in financial services. You don’t switch your bank or investment company that often. You don’t switch your insurance every month. Your purchase behavior changes quite frequently, and when you shop, it’s not rare to have loyalty to a particular brand, but a lot of times you don’t necessarily shop for your blue shirt at Eddie Bauer every time. You might start with a broader search and then bring that into the purchase to a company that you know.”
What’s next for E-mail marketing for online shops?
Email marketing is something that is here to stay. This is mainly because it is the most cost-effective form of marketing and with Google making many of its services “paid” from “free”, marketers consider e-mail marketing campaigns to be a suitable replacement. 58% of online shops claimed to increase their budgets for e-mail marketing this year, according to a survey by ExactTarget and consider the humble e-mail to be integral to their marketing efforts.
Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak says: “Recently, retailers have started to look at email as a channel to really drive revenue. Within the last few years, they’ve done that for a couple of reasons. Google has been raising prices and some of its free services are now becoming paid, specifically Google Shopping through product listing ads. Where retailers used to get that traffic for free, now they have to pay for it. At the same time, cost-per-click is rising.”
We leave the last word to Ron Cates, who is a director at email marketing firm Constant Contact, who says: “Even conservative estimates put [email marketing] at around $30 per dollar invested, so it’s a win no matter what. It should be the core of most marketing strategies. If I follow you on Facebook or Twitter, you can’t get away with much ‘buy my stuff’ content. We will tolerate almost zero promotional content via social, but we definitely will tolerate some promotional content via email.”
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