Email marketing is known to be a valuable marketing tool for any ecommerce business. Large and small companies can benefit from the power of email as a communication, promotional and lead generation tool. In fact, many large B2B and B2C companies are hiring email marketing professionals to make the most of this communication channel.
Here are five steps that can improve your e-mail marketing efforts:
- Build an Opt-in List – Without a good, qualified list, your email campaign will have trouble getting traction with recipients. To build a qualified list you’ll want to collect e-mail addresses with a sign up box, promotion contest, or email addresses can be captured during checkout or on the confirmation page. Many email solution providers give you tools to capture email addresses in a variety of ways with simply copying and pasting a snippet of HTML code.
- Send Relevant Content – A recent article from MediaPost on an email marketing report from Merkle gave some timely information regarding our opt-in lists. The biggest reasons subscribers choose to opt-out of permission email continue to be lack of relevance (cited by 75%). It is easy for merchants to continually send promotional emails over and over again because that is what we think our recipients want. These will work, initially, but over time you’ll watch the number of emails on your list dwindle as recipients become hardened to the lack of seemly relative content. Be mindful of your signal-to-noise ratio as you develop your email marketing plan. Remember, the number one reason people use email is for personal (friends & family) communication, so don’t be afraid to ask what kind of information your recipients would like to receive.
- Create Segmented Messages – Segmentation is about communicating directly to your recipients based on their preferences, previous buying history, location and more. Segmentation allows you to increase your return on investment (ROI) by creating marketing campaigns around targeted groups of recipients. By targeting a certain group, for instance, customers who have purchased dog treats in the past 6 months, you can create a marketing message that is seen by recipients who are more interested in complimentary products, such as dog toys, rather than generic product promotions. In turn, you will see your ROI increase for each email campaign. To get started, sit down and try and write down 5-10 segments that are relevant to your ecommerce business then work with your email marketing service provider to capitalize on those segments.
- Add Personalization – Most email programs will allow you to personalize the subject line and insert a first name. More advanced email marketing solutions allow you to dynamically insert personalization based upon the recipients interests. Make the recipient feel you have more of a one-on-one relationship with them and that your email is targeted directly to them, such as:
Hello (insert name),
Thank you for your recent order of (dynamically insert product). We really value your business and your continued commitment to our company since (dynamically insert first purchase date). Because of this we’d like to offer you (dynamically insert saving offer based on pre-set variables) off your next purchase. Thanks again for your loyalty and happy shopping!
With such a personalized message your recipient’s will know they are important, valued and respected. Wouldn’t you rather receive promotions that benefit you then clogging your inbox with useless offers? This is just another way you can optimize and increase your conversation rates with each email campaign.
- Test, test, test – Testing is a critical tool in maximizing your email marketing campaigns. Many email service providers allow you to test, and track, just about anything. Test your subject lines, test your content writing style, test your coupon offers, test your images, test your design, test your segments, test how you personalize and test your landing page design.
If your email solution provider doesn’t have built-in analytics, use Google Analytics URL Builder to track and analyze the effectiveness of your email campaigns. If one area wasn’t a success, change it, while keeping the positively received areas the same. This process takes time, but the effort you put in will allow you to maximize your returns.
By implementing these five steps into your email marketing campaigns you stand a good chance at improving your open rates, click rates and return on ad spend.