Who wants some ecommerce email marketing tips?
I know I do!
Luckily, my pal Ian has written a great post for us on exactly this topic. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read, and find it useful.
Take it away Ian…
E-commerce shops have tons of tools at their disposal to drive revenue.
Did you know that email is, by far, the most effective tool in an online merchant’s arsenal? In fact, more than 93% of all E-commerce businesses use email marketing as their most important marketing and sales channel.
When you consider the overall effectiveness of email marketing, this really isn’t a surprise. Newsletters can be up to 40 times as effective as Facebook and Twitter marketing.
Email updates and newsletters have long been the preferred information source for online customers. So, to make sure you are getting everything out of your email efforts, here are 10 tips that will help you create awesome newsletters, send them at the right time – to the right people, and ultimately drive revenue.
Tip 1: Choose the Best Subject Lines
The subject line is the first impression that your contacts have of your newsletter. For this reason, you’ll need to make sure that the subject line is creative, appropriate, and conveys the same mood as the rest of your newsletter.
Use the data that you already have from your users to create a personalized, engaging subject line: name, interests, purchase history, or location. Use that information to create a unique subject for every single one of your users.
Subjects should be short and sweet – and precise. It’s best to avoid having more than 50 characters.
Tip 2: Send Relevant Newsletters
Relevance is one of the most important factors for email marketers. Send personalized newsletters by segmenting your email contacts into lists of similar traits, e.g. males vs. females, purchase history, and the like. Studies show that segmenting contacts can lead to a 26% increase in open rates.
Creating different traits will let you send, in theory, a unique email to every single one of your contacts. Everyone will see something different, everyone’s interests will be spoken to, and people will be more likely to open, click, and ultimately make a purchase.
Most email marketing software providers give you the possibility to automatically create group segments based on shared traits. Make sure, though, that the newsletter software that you’re using has this option, and if it does, make sure you’re taking advantage of it!
Tip 3: Design Amazing Newsletters
Make the design of your newsletter work for you. Include a good mix of text and images, and don’t be too afraid of white space. A crowded design will be confusing and impenetrable. Make sure that the width is no wider than 600 pixels.
Put all of your best content “above the fold,” e.g. at the top of the newsletter. That way, people won’t need to scroll down to find the content that you really want them to see.
Tip 4: Mobile is Key
More and more emails are being opened and read on mobile devices, which includes both smart phones and tablets. It is absolutely critical that every newsletter that you send display properly on all devices.
The solution is responsive design. Responsive Design is the technology that automatically adjusts your newsletter to fit the size of the screen on which it’s being displayed. This means that your newsletter will look great on a desktop, mobile and tablet device.
When creating newsletters, make sure that links can easily be clicked with a thumb or finger, and that the font is at least 12pt. Otherwise, even if it’s properly oriented within the newsletter space, it could be more difficult for your mobile readers.
Tip 5: Timing is Everything for Newsletters
Choose the right time to send your newsletters. Email marketing software makes this really easy. Either set up an instantaneous abandoned cart email via your website’s API, or set a daily/weekly/monthly automated series of newsletters that is sent exactly when you want them to.
Tip 6: Get in Touch Early!
Get in touch with your subscribers as soon as they sign up, or just after they’ve bought something. This goes after the principle “striking while the iron is hot.” For subscribers, this means sending them your best offers as soon as they’ve signed up, at a time when you know they’re interested.
For purchasers, the same is true. You know they’re interested in what you have to offer because they just bought something from you. Now, follow up on that success by sending a related product, or something that other people have purchased.
Tip 7: Check Twice, Send Once
Proofread, proofread, proofread. Simple mistakes in spelling and grammar can ruin the effect of your newsletter. Consider sending a test mail to yourself and/or your team to make sure that multiple pairs of eyeballs review the newsletter.
Tip 8: Test Your Email Campaigns
Testing, testing. Use A/B tests to make sure that the best version of your newsletter is sent. Most newsletter software includes an A/B testing function. With some email software, like Newsletter2Go, you can test up to 9 different variants of a newsletter before sending it to your entire contact list.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you want to send an email to 40,000 contacts. Send 500 mails to Test Group A, and 500 to Test Group B. Whichever newsletter performs the best – Test Group B- will be automatically sent to the rest of your 39,000 contacts.
Tip 9: Trusted Senders
Who am I? It’s a small detail, but important nonetheless. The sender name and address of your newsletter is, next to the subject line, the first thing that your contacts see when they log in to their inbox.
There are a few different possibilities here. You can have the newsletter come from you, the CEO, personally, or someone in the customer experience department. Important is that over time, your contacts will start to recognize a name and address and expect to receive your newsletters, even if they don’t always open them.
Tip 10: Don’t Forget to Track
The work doesn’t end once you’ve clicked send. Track your newsletters. Use the insights about KPI’s, including open and click rates, conversions, and click maps, to see what types of newsletters work better than others. Use this information not only to improve your next email campaign, but bring the insights back into your business.
Ian Roderick is Communications Manager for Newsletter2Go, an email marketing firm based in Berlin with a focus on small and medium-sized e-commmerce businesses.