Why is email still the second best converting marketing channel after search? Because we process data much better so we can use behavior insights for more effective marketing.
All things optimized, your ecommerce emails are doomed if they don’t drive engagement.
If people don’t open them, don’t read them, don’t click on the CTAs and regularly unsubscribe or move them to the spam folder, your overall rating goes down and you’ll have problems with deliverability and reaching the main inbox folder. It’s a downward spiral from there.That’s why your emails need to be good. Professional, good-looking, well-sounding, relevant, and action-provoking. So people like them and engage with them.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a developer or a designer to do that. You can do it from the same platform that analyzes your ecommerce data and piles up insights to use in your marketing. That way, you’ll be doing behavior-driven marketing, your best bet to break through the promotional clutter of the competition.
Everybody knows you track their movement and behavior on site (and not only) so nobody is really surprised at how you use that info for tailored email marketing. Better that than mass campaigns that don’t go even close to what they care about.
For example, as the Magento blog suggests, if you only promote your newest collection, it may not resonate with many of your customers who like your more classic products. This way, they might even think you don’t carry what they like any more and stop opening your emails altogether.
The trick is to show everybody what they already proved they respond well to. That means you’ll get stable open and click rates and as a result – more sales.
As we’ve warned before, untargeted emails result in more unsubscribers and spam reports because they feel much more generic and salesy (and nobody likes being sold to).
What customers like is feeling in control of the sales process – that you’re not pushing too hard or instilling false needs in them.
When you do behavior-driven email marketing, you’re stepping only on what they did so they can’t turn it down. Yes, they bought that barbecue, sure they’ll need utensils too.
Customers see that you’re not just blasting emails, but taking into consideration their tastes and previous behavior. They understand and appreciate the power of technology to engage them with relevant offers only.
It saves them time to sort through all your products and takes them directly to the categories they’re interested in. They don’t even have to see the rest of it. Behavior marketing is a win-win.
What technical details are influencing your open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, sender reputation and so on? Are you sabotaging your won marketing?
Without segmentation, you’re shouting in the middle of a busy town square and saying nothing in particular to anyone. So you can’t really expect people to pay attention to you.
As mentioned above, we believe the only way to stay relevant is to segment your customers based on their behavior and engage them with different emails.
A good ecommerce CRM like Metrilo tracks all your customers’ behavior and makes it easy to use for segmentation. Actions performed or not completed, numbers of orders, particular product ordered or being idle for over a month – fast and easy, you get the list and can reach out to those people.
The possibilities are almost endless
Some of the basic segments every ecommerce business should regularly engage with are:
Marketing personalization is not just plugging their name at the beginning. To be honest, “you” might even work better than a name.
It’s using the data to deliver the best customer experience possible. Trust customer behavior patterns to guide you what is relevant and interesting to them.
It’s a personal touch to offer brown socks for the brown leather shoes they bought. It’s sweet to keep them updated on new gluten-free snack only if that’s what they prefer and leave out all the others that just don’t fit. It’s awesome and thoughtful to never offer tight exposing dresses when they only shop plus-size covering cardigans.
Behavior segmentation is awesome simply because it can’t lie – they, your customers, did that so it’s like telling you what will work with them.
Frequency is the number 1 reason for unsubscribing. People just say, “I’ve had enough” with a simple click. To avoid losing them off your list forever, pace your emails reasonably. A few things to have in mind:
With behavior-triggered email marketing, it’s harder to go over the top because they and their actions pretty much dictate your moves and interaction is anticipated.
Generally, the two extremes in email design are text-only and HTML templates. Of course, experts can’t agree which is better because:
To strike the balance, you should brand your emails and use visual and other elements elegantly. Luckily, you don’t even have to be a designer or developer to create appealing emails.
Let’s go over the process of creation (using the Metrilo email composer as a tool).
It’s simple. If you or somebody else acts as an influencer and is more popular than the brand itself, use that name to “open the door”. If not, your brand is absolutely ok to use because people will immediately know what the email is about.
Misleading and unclear senders are double trouble – spam filters will penalize them and even if they get through, recipients won’t open them.
The same goes for sending domains. Custom domains look much more professional and secure.
First, it shouldn’t be longer than 50 characters because that’s what people will see in their inbox. Second, you’d better not repeat subject lines in similar email campaigns – you never know if people will filter your messages and bust you.
Since there are so many studies on the best-converting subject lines, we only want to repeat: test what works for you and your brand. Other than that, here are a few very extensive guides:
No need to say that non-branded emails don’t stand out…at all. To create the whole brand experience and seal your spot in your audience’s mind, better use all brand assets you got – visuals, colors, tone of voice, etc.
After you have the target group, what’s your idea for this communication?
Welcome aboard? Recover abandoned carts? Introduce new products? Build a relationship?
We can’t tell you the exact words to put in there, but we have few pieces of advice:
Other than that, creativity is left to you.
Top of mind advice: not long. The whole idea of email marketing is to check in the customer’s mind without interrupting his day too much. You want them to open your email on the bus home, but can’t expect them to spend the whole trip reading only your message.
As with everything, balance is gold.
A study by Boomerang shows that customers react best to emails of 75 – 100 words in length.
This should be enough to spark their interest, but not bore them. The email is where you get them to do something – click, browse, shop, read more, etc. and not where you present your brand’s story, values, political views and Noble Prize Acceptance speech in detail.
In a blog post for Econsultancy, Ornaith Killen reminds us that readers almost never read the full text we so carefully craft. Rather, they scan it for anchors to grasp the meaning.
So give them these anchors that make the marketing experience pleasant. Let them process your message the way they want to – that benefits you in the long run.
The better email marketing tools give a range of elements you can add without any coding.
As we noted, images save you words and help your brand. There are plenty of options where to put them – as a cover image (first to be seen at the top), somewhere in the middle or make one special image to dominate the whole email.
Adding coupons to your ecommerce emails is easy – just type in the code and any additional instructions. You can then track how that coupon performs.
Naturally, you want people to act on your message – read more, shop, enter a contest, etc.
However, plan carefully what most important you want them to do and use CTA buttons sparingly. Too many are more harm than good because they confuse people – what if they want to browse a collection and enter a sweepstake? Better not lose focus and call for one thing at a time.
Break up a discount code in a series of emails…not
You may have come across this strategy of giving away bits of a discount code in a series of emails. While its advocates have their reasons to believe this works, we really doubt it.
Making the recipient wait for your next email only to get the discount code is not better engagement or open rate. On the contrary, additional steps might even annoy people and make them drop the whole thing.
[That’s what I’d do personally. You’re the one who wants me to buy, why make it harder?]
Featuring any product from your store in an email is a great attention-grabber – especially if it’s relevant as we talked.
The Metrilo composer pulls product data automatically so your listing is complete with price and picture.
In email, every inch of space counts so use it to the full. Instead of distracting your reader with additional links in the body of the email, include a useful (but less important) resource or link at the bottom.
Usually, it’s the place for your blog, link to clearance page or terms of shipping – anything that might get a click but does not deserve a separate email.
Before you hit the “Send” button
If you’re into technical details and want to read more on spam, anti-spam legislation, and sender reputation,
Sending effective email campaigns should be a regular marketing effort for your online store. You see, with the right tools, it doesn’t take much time and is data-driven, good-looking and relevant.
Try Metrilo for free with full email functionality
14-day Free Trial
Metrilo’s mission is to help you build your ecommerce brand and win your place in the customer’s heart. We share what we learn from our daily work with product innovators and founders here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the freshest lessons and conquer your niche.