Email marketing has become something of a dinosaur in the world of e-commerce, even though the Internet is still in relative infancy, compared to other advertising and sales platforms. With newer options like social media marketing to conquer, many in the fashion industry are content to let email marketing fall by the wayside.
This is a mistake. According to Forbes, an incredible 91% of adults report that they appreciate emails from brands they’ve purchased from in the past, meaning you could be leaving a lot of loot on the table when you fail to keep in touch with past customers via email. The question, of course, is how to make the most of this marketing strategy.
How can you ensure returns in the form of sales when you allocate marketing funds for email campaigns? What steps can you take to see the greatest return on investment? Here are a few great tips to help you maximize the results of your email marketing efforts.
Keep Your Friends Close
How can you determine the best way to market to your audience? First you have to know your audience, and this can be accomplished in a number of ways. Tracking allows you to learn a lot about your customers’ browsing and purchasing habits. This can help you to personalize your email marketing to speak to individual customers.
You might also consider going straight to the source. Sending questionnaires, surveys, and requests for consumer commentary and reviews gives you the opportunity to hear customer opinions from your patrons in their own words. It not only helps you to better understand individual customer wants and needs, but also to get a feel for your consumer base as a whole.
Think Like A Consumer
In addition to working in ecommerce, you are a consumer yourself. Take a look at your inbox, at the emails you receive from other brands. What appeals to you? What turns you off?
Do you like getting daily emails with notices of discounts and deals in all caps in the subject line, or does this gimmick make you race to hit the “unsubscribe” button? Do you appreciate reminders of items abandoned in a cart, or information about new products you might like based on your purchasing and browsing history?
If there are things you don’t like about receiving email marketing as a consumer, for goodness sake, don’t use those tactics in your own marketing campaigns! Consider the content, layout, graphics, and other features that appeal to you and find ways to incorporate them into your own efforts.
Know Your Value
While it’s true that coupons, discounts, and deals may motivate shoppers to open emails, click through, or even complete purchases, you don’t necessarily need to give away products for free in order to make the most of your email marketing campaigns. Instead, consider focusing on the value your brand and your products provide.
When you’re purchasing something from a brand, there are a few things to consider. Sure, price is a big part of it, but knowing the brand values and the quality of the product also has an influence on the purchase. It’s important to sell the brand and the lifestyle, not just the product.
Companies that successful build their brands may not need to give away promotions all the time. Rather than bombarding their customers inboxes with sales, their emails largely pertain to new or featured products that they think customers will enjoy.
Don’t Phone It In
Personalization is the name of the game, and consumers have come to expect this form of engagement. If you’re going to bother to send a communique to a personal email address, you need to make it personal.
While you can certainly send out generic messages to welcome customers to your mailing list, inform them of events (like product launches and sales), or thank them for a purchase, you should always strive to make it meaningful to customers by including their name, details about purchases, information on products they might like based on their history, and so on.
More isn’t always better, and in fact, going overboard with email interactions can have the opposite of your intended effect, alienating patrons to the point of quitting your brand. If you’re sending frequent emails just for the sake of keeping yourself front and center, you’re making a grave mistake.
Quality over quantity is an important concept to understand. The content of your emails is far more important than the frequency with which you send them. If you announce a new sale every week or you send daily emails reminding them of deals rather than providing new and valuable information, it’s only natural that they’d get annoyed. Stop wasting your time and theirs – make every email count.
Get On Board With Remarketing
Oops, a customer abandoned a shopping cart. Oh, well. You lost a sale. Or did you? It turns out that the biggest reason for shopping cart abandonment is not that people aren’t willing to buy, but that they’re simply not ready, with 58.6% of U.S. online shoppers citing this reasoning.
This means you have an opportunity to complete the sale when customers are ready to buy simply by sending a reminder email with what they left behind. Statistics show that of the people who return to complete a purchase, 74% do so within the first 24 hours after abandoning their cart, which means you should send your first remarketing email within this time frame to capitalize. However, 95% complete their purchase within two weeks, so sending just the first email could mean missing out on over 20% of sales.
It can be difficult to be heard when all you send out is sales pitches. Instead, you need to engage with your audience in authentic and unexpected ways. Sharing is a great way to do this, whether you share your own compelling story, like Toms Shoes, or you highlight your community by featuring customer opinions, photos, or even guest blogs.
Email marketing may not be the behemoth it once was, but it hasn’t yet jumped the shark. You simply have to find the best ways to make it work for your e-commerce brand so that you can maximize return on investment.