It can be hard to know when and how often to email your subscribers. If you do it too often, you run the risk of becoming annoying, and if you do it too little, you may leave money on the table. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true techniques to follow that can help you make the most of your email marketing campaigns for online stores.
In this article, we’ll look at five examples of email campaigns and how to target specific groups of subscribers that can help boost your sales and conversions. Let’s get to it!
Why Is Email Marketing Important for Online Stores?
Email marketing is one of the most effective advertising methods for online stores. According to some reports, you can make $40 for every $1 spent. That’s better than you’ll often get from SEO, keyword ads, and traditional banner ads.
One reason for this is because emails are more targeted. People on your store’s subscriber list have already expressed an interest in your products, so they’re likely to be receptive to your messaging. You can further segment them to ensure that you’re sending the right messages at the right times, which can help retain customers and build lasting relationships.
Segmentation can be especially effective with email. When you set sending parameters—for example, everyone who has spent $50 in your store during the last six months—all subscribers who meet them will see a message designed specifically for their needs.
You can also set email messages to automatically trigger based on particular events. For instance, you might create a series of welcome emails that’s sent when a person signs up to your list. This provides a customized experience, and saves you and your team a lot of time.
5 Examples of Email Marketing Campaigns for Online Stores
Now that we’ve explored why email marketing is beneficial for online stores, let’s look at some examples of email marketing campaigns you can run.
1. Welcome Series
A welcome series is an automated series of introductory emails, which gives you an opportunity to tell your brand’s story and set expectations for new subscribers. When done well, it can help you establish credibility, move customers down the sales funnel, and build lasting relationships.
Nearly three-quarters of consumers expect at least one welcome email once they’ve joined your list. As such, welcome emails are among the most opened marketing emails, and have one of the highest click-through rates on average when compared to other types of campaigns.
What’s more, these messages set the tone for your relationship with subscribers. They tell the reader what kinds of emails they should expect, or give them the opportunity to opt into different categories. For example, you might ask if they want to receive product recommendations or promotional offers. That way, you can make sure to send them what they want, right from the start.
You can also use a welcome series to nudge new subscribers towards a purchase with product recommendations and incentives. This is the point at which they’re most engaged with your brand, so be sure to take advantage of it.
2. Cross-Sell Products and Services
A cross-selling email pitches items or services that are related to what your customer purchased. For example, if someone orders a pair of pants, a follow-up cross-selling email might offer them a selection of belts. This can lead to repeat buyers and higher earnings.
It’s much easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you, and it pays off. For example, the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that cross-selling techniques led to a 25% increase in conversions and a 20% increase in sales.
What’s more, this kind of personalized attention can lead to higher overall customer satisfaction, engender brand loyalty, and increase word-of-mouth referrals over time.
3. Freebies and Exclusive Offers
Sharing exclusive offers and freebies with your email list is one effective way to drive engagement and repeat sales. This is often done using discount codes and digital products (like a free ebook), but you can use other cultivation techniques as well.
For example, you could offer early access to a sale:
Giving people on your list exclusive incentives makes them feel like they’re being rewarded for subscribing. Just as with cross-selling, this can lead to higher brand loyalty and produce positive word-of-mouth.
For this marketing campaign, you don’t have to—and probably shouldn’t—send to your entire list. You can segment it and only email those with a particular trait or value, such as people who’ve recently made a purchase or have reached a particular spending threshold. That way, you can create a more targeted offer.
4. Abandoned Cart Notifications
Ideally, people would never abandon their carts, but all is not lost if they do. Abandoned cart emails are automated messages sent to visitors who load up their carts but fail to complete their purchases:
This type of email is incredibly effective, boasting open rates of 41% and click-through rates of almost 10%. Moreover, it saves about 3% of sales on average. That recovery rate may not seem like much, but considering that only about three in 10 stocked carts make it through the checkout process, it can add up.
You can send a single email or a series. Often, a series of two to three emails is most effective. Beyond that, you’ll start seeing diminishing returns and run the risk of irritating potential customers.
This type of campaign’s success hinges on timing and personalization. Sending a message as soon as possible after the cart is abandoned is crucial, as you don’t want to lose the momentum you had when your visitor loaded the cart. You can personalize it simply by showing your visitor what they were thinking about buying.
5. Re-Engagement Messages
Email lists naturally lose subscribers at a high rate—over 20% per year on average. A re-engagement campaign, or ‘win-back’ campaign, seeks to stave off this loss through techniques like special offers, surveys, and testimonials.
Given how quickly lists lose subscribers, it’s important to pare them down once in a while in order to maintain their health. This means removing all the bad addresses and taking a hard look at those subscribers who haven’t opened one of your emails in a long time. The latter group is your target in a re-engagement campaign.
You can either send a single email or a series to try and get inactive subscribers to start opening your messages again. Re-engaging your list is important both because it brings people back to your regular promotional messaging, and because it helps you clear out those who’ll never come back.
As long as you have inactive subscribers on your list, your engagement rate will be lower than it should be. You might even be classified as a low-quality sender by internet service providers (ISPs) due to low engagement. You shouldn’t expect a high-percentage return on converting subscribers from inactive to active, but a re-engagement campaign can help nudge things in the right direction.
Email marketing campaigns for online stores can improve your relationship with your customers, boost repeat business, and increase your earnings. Implementing strategies such as a welcome series and abandoned cart emails are well-worn paths to success.
What kind of email marketing campaign are you planning for your online store? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Image credit: Torsten Dettlaff.