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Ecommerce Email Marketing – 7 Strategies To Supercharge Yours

ecommerce-email-marketing-–-7-strategies-to-supercharge-yours
Ecommerce Email Marketing – 7 Strategies To Supercharge Yours

7 Strategies to Supercharge Your Ecommerce Email Marketing

͏Traditional e-commerce email marketing is not aging well. A focus on list segmentation and email content creatives has passed its prime. The ‘new black' is product-led growth, utilizing insights from online product performance to drive sustainable and profitable growth.

Ecommerce email marketing - best ways to improve

Summary

Traditional tactics in ecommerce email marketing, such as list segmentation and creative content, are becoming less effective. As a result, the future of successful email campaigns lies in embracing product-led growth strategies. By harnessing insights from online product performance, businesses can achieve sustainable and profitable growth in the ever-evolving digital commerce landscape.

The strong case for Ecommerce Email Marketing

Even though it’s one of the oldest forms of ecommerce marketing, ecommerce email marketing still delivers the highest ROI for online store owners that adopt it correctly:

      • Low customer acquisition cost
      • Ability to drive traffic to the online store
      • Increased brand loyalty and repeat sales
      • Connecting with customers on a deeper level
      • Identifying the prospects most likely to convert
      • Delivering personalized messages
      • Gaining further insights into your audience
      • Re-engaging dormant or inactive customers
      • Tracking the results in real-time

Above all, email is an owned media marketing channel where you have control over your list and the content you share. You don’t depend on third-party algorithms to reach your audience, as is the case with organic search, social media, or paid ads.

Unlike Google ads that generate $2 for every $1 spent, companies see an average return of $36 for every dollar spent on email marketing, according to Statista.

 

Email marketing and Google ads spend
Email marketing and Google ads spend
Image Source: Semrush

Ecommerce world is rapidly changing

The entire economy is experiencing a phase shift driven by AI and the widespread availability of data. These rapid changes are reshaping ecommerce email marketing:

      • A new breed of email marketing tools, such as Klaviyo and Braze among many others, is enabling advanced audience segmentation, testing, and ecommerce-specific features.
      • Advanced data analytics are being employed.
      • AI-driven segmentation and personalization algorithms are being developed.
      • Techniques for anonymous visitor identity capture are improving.

These new capabilities are leading to a better customer experience, more engagement, and ultimately, increased sales.

As a result, email marketers must modernize their email marketing setups to fully capitalize on these advancements.

7 Ecommerce Email Marketing strategies

Conventional ecommerce marketing strategies are not aging well, forcing email marketers to rapidly retool their setup and skillset.

To assist with this transition, this blog post introduces a new generation of email marketing strategies aimed at providing a solid foundation for sustainable and profitable revenue growth.

#1: Adopt Product-Led Growth (PLG) model

The existing ecommerce email marketing model can be classified as marketing-led, where the focus is on list segmentation and the creation of promotional content.

While the Marketing-led approach is useful, it represents only one side of the product-market fit equation.

This is where the Product-Led Growth (PLG) model comes in. It uses product usage data to drive success at every stage of the customer life cycle.

PLG was introduced as a go-to-market strategy that has revolutionized the software industry and is now doing the same for ecommerce businesses.

Product-Led Growth - a growth model where product usage drives customer acquisition, retention, and expansion.

Implementing a product-led growth (PLG) strategy brings multiple advantages:

        • Reduced email list churn rate: A PLG approach enhances the relevancy of your emails, lowering the frequency at which recipients unsubscribe or ignore them.
        • More profitable revenue growth: Targeting specific products to the appropriate contacts enhances engagement and revenue performance, resulting in increased repeat visits, higher click-through rates, and improved conversions. This approach reduces the need for continual price discounts.
        • Higher Lifetime Value (LTV): PLG fosters more engaged customers, who tend to have higher Average Order Value (AOV) and Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR), enhancing customer lifetime value.
        • Deeper customer understanding: Adopting a PLG strategy necessitates a deep understanding of your customers, benefiting all business aspects, including fulfillment, customer service, and marketing.
        • Improved team alignment: Teams within a PLG-driven company achieve better alignment and focus compared to those in marketing-led organizations. The result is increased satisfaction and efficiency.

Product-led growth allows you to create a flywheel that positively impacts key metrics across all areas of your organization.

How can a company transition into a product-led growth (PLG) e-commerce company?

While there isn’t a single prescribed path to achieve PLG, we’ve compiled a set of principles to guide online brands navigating this transformation:

Campaign → Product Performance: When formulating a campaign strategy, the use of open or click rate metrics should be replaced with product performance metrics, like the view-to-revenue rate.

Design → Product Discovery: Ensuring that your emails reflect your brand image is important. However, effectively highlighting landing pages and products minimizes shopper clicks, streamlining the process of finding desired products and enhancing user experience.

Conversion → Customer Behavior: Focusing on campaign conversion rates often leads to promoting a limited number of popular and discounted products which can limit revenue growth. By using live customer behavior metrics, you can start promoting a broader range of products, reducing the need for discounts.

Audience → Product Relevance: List segmentation is useful, but presenting the right product to the right buyer is more effective.


You don’t need to adopt all principles into your PLG strategy. Instead, use as many as are applicable to your brand.

Back to Top →

#2: Power email campaigns with actionable ecommerce insights

Marketers know that measuring and tracking email campaigns provides insight into their performance and indicates whether they are meeting their email marketing goals.

Moreover, this analysis reveals areas for improvement in their email marketing strategy.

Key metrics typically include:

        • Open rate
        • Click-through rate
        • Bounce rate
        • Unsubscribe rate
        • Conversion rate
        • Spam complaint rate

For instance, many retailers see an average click-through rate of 1.95%, an average open rate of 31.64%, and an average bounce rate of 3.76%.

While email metrics are valuable, they fall short of offering actionable insights into how shoppers interact with promoted products in the email or on the online store.

Bridging the ecommerce data gap

Unfortunately, the more actionable insights reside on the ecommerce side of the business, deeply hidden in website analytics.

The disconnect in the organization and raw nature of web analytics data pose too big an obstacle for email marketers to overcome on their own.

That’s why a new breed of email analytics tools, like Obviyo’s free Ecommerce Email Score, is so necessary and valuable.

Email Performance Score by Obviyo

Designed for non-analysts, this app instantly generates a score based on multiple key performance indicators:
        • Email Quality: An indicator of the reaction of targeted audiences to the email content.
        • Landing Pages: A measure of the effectiveness of landing pages used in campaigns.
        • Products: Insights into the product needs of online shoppers.
        • Monetization: Identification of untapped revenue growth opportunities.

The score is bolstered by a more detailed analysis of individual email campaigns, using the same key performance indicators (KPIs).

Get your FREE Ecommerce Email Score!

Unlock the hidden revenue potential of your email marketing:

  • Increase email engagement.
  • Use the most effective landing pages.
  • Promote the right products.
  • Fully monetize every store visit.

Request to join the Beta Program.

Email Ecommerce Score by Obviyo

#3: Increase email relevancy

People don’t know what they want until you show it to them,’ Steve Jobs once said.

Likely, he was not referring to the email I recently received announcing a clearance sale on mullet putters. Yet, in an instant, I knew there was nothing I wanted—and, frankly, deserved—as much as a new mullet putter.

This is the magic—or perhaps the audacity—of ecommerce email marketing.

However, this magic only works if the emails highlight products that genuinely appeal to the recipient.

The big challenge is how to tap into what consumers want even before they know they want it.

Starting point: Segmentation

The time-honored method of connecting with buyers is through segmentation.

While there are a near-infinite number of segments you can create based on a customer’s existing behavior, Shopify identifies five essential buckets marketers can start with first when outlining the customer lifecycle:

Segment 1: New subscribers:

The goal with brand new subscribers is to build trust, introduce products, and get them to make their first purchase.

Segment 2: One-time buyers:

Due to high customer acquisition costs, it’s only on repeat purchases that online brands generate profits. Unfortunately, 80% to 90% of a typical brand’s shoppers are single-purchase, marginally profitable customers. One way to make more money is a campaign that delivers an offer on a product related to the product that was just purchased.

Segment 3: VIPs:

Your “whales” are those customers who make large or consistent purchases from you. These customers are worth a lot and, better yet, they rarely require discounts to come back. To keep engaging these customers, brands should run targeted email campaigns that court them and keep them buying.

Segment 4: Defecting customers

While these folks might have been enthusiastic customers at one point, for one reason or another, they aren’t now. When a customer is slipping away, to potentially never purchase again, offering discounts to win them back can make financial sense.

Segment 5: Cart abandoners

Once a cart abandonment campaign is in place, it’s good practice to test a series of emails that goes out over two weeks. Start with gentle reminders, then, if they don’t work, move on to greater incentives, like discounts. You’ll find that many of your recovered carts return before the discounts are even required.

Next Level: Product Recommendations

One of the most challenging aspects of every email campaign is predicting which products or collections will resonate most with the target audience.

With that in mind, email marketers often play it safe by promoting best-selling or most popular products to minimize risk.

This doesn’t help with brand development nor sustainable revenue growth.

The latest generation of web analytics applications, such as Obviyo’s Ecommerce Pulse, addresses this challenge by leveraging AI and metrics on online store product performance.

It automates the data analysis process, identifying improvement opportunities and recommending actionable steps. Additionally, it provides a list of products generated by AI algorithms that optimize multiple performance metrics.

Opportunity

Enhance product selection to increase monthly email revenue.

Actions

How to Fix Email Quality Score

Recommendations

Product recommendations to improve email quality

#4: Maintain cross-channel identity

The modern shopper uses multiple devices and visits various online stores before finalizing a purchase. Ultimately, this fragments the buyer’s journey and results in high abandonment rates at each step.

Not maintaining cross-channel identity fragments the buyer journey.

Ironically, email marketing further fragments an already fragmented buying journey.

Here’s how: After capturing a contact’s email and securing their opt-in, the next step in email marketing is to direct that traffic back to the online store. However, during this process, the user’s identity often gets lost.

As a result, when an email recipient initiates a new online session, they are treated as an unknown visitor and met with a generic store experience. This disconnect can lead to increased store abandonment and, ultimately, higher list churn.

To address this challenge, advanced solutions like Email Genie ensure the user’s identity signal is maintained throughout the entire buyer journey.

#5: Personalize customer lifecycle

It’s human nature: email recipients are more likely to be influenced by messages specifically tailored to them, significantly increasing the likelihood of taking action.

In fact, personalized promotional emails have been shown to boost transaction rates and revenue by up to six times compared to non-personalized emails.

Personalization marketing represents the fastest-growing aspect of email marketing, fueled by the rapid adoption of AI algorithms and the increasing availability of actionable data.

Personalization in marketing typically hinges on three main pillars: context, demographics, and behavior:
        • Context: Personalization leverages indirect data points related to a customer’s position in their buying journey, such as product collections they’re interested in or their product affinity. For instance, it assesses whether a buyer is at the beginning of product discovery or ready to make a purchase.
        • Demographic: Personalization uses demographic data, including age, gender, location, and household income level, to tailor recommendations.
        • Behavior: Personalization involves analyzing buyer actions, like purchases or website activities, including viewed products or abandoned cart items, to inform future marketing efforts.

NOTE: Amazon, which pioneered personalization in ecommerce, discovered that personalized recommendations derived from live visitor actions and context significantly outperform those based on visitor demographics and past activities. This insight led to the development of Amazon Personalize, a personalized product recommendation solution that powers Amazon’s marketplace. This technology is now accessible to online brands using Shopify through Obviyo’s Personalization app.

Here are the most commonly used types of personalized marketing:

Segmentation

Segmentation is a method used by marketers to divide their audience into smaller, more defined groups or segments.

The rationale is clear: if you present products that are more appealing to a specific segment of customers, their likelihood of making a purchase increases. To transcend the basic segments identified by Shopify, it’s crucial to delve into customer data and behaviors across multiple channels.

Determining the optimal way to segment is complex due to the broad array of data points to consider, such as demographics, past purchases, marketing channels, devices used, geographic location, product types, and pricing.

In an effort to address this challenge, email marketing companies like Klaviyo offer AI-powered solutions that help marketers more effectively segment their audience and, in turn, boost sales.

Personalized emails

Email personalization is a marketing strategy that involves customizing email content to the specific preferences, interests, and behaviors of individual recipients.

There is certainly no shortage of things you can personalize in customer emails:

            • Subject lines: Personalize subject lines with the recipient’s name, a reference to their interests, or a recent interaction with your brand.
            • Preview text: This snippet of text appears next to the subject line in your inbox and can be customized to align with the recipient’s preferences or needs.
            • Body content: Include the recipient’s name and tailor the message to their interests, using dynamic content to showcase relevant products based on the customer’s recent shopping history.
            • Images and videos: Tailor the images, videos, and other visual elements in the email to appeal to the recipient’s tastes, preferences, or demographic.
            • Offers: If you are creating personalized emails, include personalized offers with targeted discounts and exclusive deals.
            • Timings: Tailor your sending schedule to personalize delivery times based on each user’s past engagement patterns or time zone.

Personalized product recommendations

This represents the pinnacle of one-to-one personalized marketing, offering product recommendations based on behavioral data and context, tailored to the interests of the individual.

Such a solution necessitates the most advanced product recommendation AI, similar to Amazon Personalize, and seamless integration of the online shopping experience across both email and the online store. This capability is enabled by applications like Obviyo’s Personalize and Email Genie.

#6: Drive ecommerce experiences at all time

Marketers learn that there are three types of marketing emails:

        • Transactional: These are sent during checkout and other purchasing actions. They are functional in nature, providing essential information to individual customers.
        • Promotional: These emails are sent when there is something newsworthy to share. It’s crucial to carefully consider the underlying goal, offer, and target subscriber segment.
        • Lifecycle: Also known as “triggered” emails, these are dispatched based on the actions taken by a shopper and where they are in the customer lifecycle.

The following is a quick compilation of various email marketing strategies for each of the main email types:

Transactional Strategies
Order confirmation – an opportunity to engage with a customer beyond the initial sale.
Shipping confirmation – an underused opportunity to get creative and delight your customers.
Thank you emails – a superb way to inspire customer loyalty.
Check-in emails – many brands neglect customer feedback at their peril.

Promotional Strategies
New products – when launching a product, there’s no better starting point than your email subscribers.
Time sensitive deals – consider offering a discount on items from the same category as those purchased by the customer the previous week.
Subscriber-only discounts – introducing a sense of exclusivity is an effective way to infuse emotion into your marketing efforts.
Seasonal promotion – notify subscribers about special offers tailored to upcoming holidays or seasonal events.
Newsletter – great way to build stronger connections with customers without relying on discounts or promotions.
Updates – content that provides additional context for your new or updated products (e.g., grooming tips for beauty products).
Upsell email – motivates customers to choose an upgraded offering next time, resulting in higher sales and increased average order value.
Cross-sell email – encourages the purchase of related or complementary products to an item they have already bought or shown interest in.

Lifecycle Strategies
Abandoned cart emails – the closest thing there is to a “quick win” in ecommerce.
Welcome emails – the first emails a new subscriber receives after signing up for an online store’s mailing list or making their first purchase.
Second order emails – sent to customers who have made their first purchase, with the aim of encouraging them to make a second purchase.
Win-back emails – marketing messages sent to re-engage customers who have not made a purchase for an extended period.
Referral emails – messages sent to existing customers encouraging them to refer friends, family, or colleagues to the ecommerce store.
Survey emails – messages requesting feedback on various aspects of shopping experience, product satisfaction, or service quality.

These strategies are effective for creating email experiences that help with open and click rates but fall short of maximizing brand value and revenue outcomes.

The new approach to email marketing adopted by leading brands:

Treat email as an extension of the online store. This involves viewing email as a landing page that simultaneously employs a wide range of email marketing strategies.

Email Experience
(single-strategy email marketing)

EXAMPLE: BOGO promotionEmail campaign - BOGO promotion

EXAMPLE: shop the look
Email campaign - shop the look

Ecommerce Experience
(multi-strategy email marketing)

EXAMPLE: multi-strategy email campaign

Included strategies:

      1. Brand spotlight: Birkenstock
      2. Shop the look
      3. New arrivals
      4. Product recommendations 
      5. Specials
      6. Explore more

multi-strategy email campaign: brand spotlight, shop the look, new arrivals, product recommendations, specials, explore more

Staging e-commerce experiences in emails seems like an obvious thing to do. So, why isn’t it being done by all marketers?

The challenge is that existing email solutions require custom coding to build such emails. This is not scalable, and in most cases, the marketing team lacks the necessary skills.

Obviyo’s Email Genie app solves this challenge with a wide range of ready-to-go templates that can be customized via a visual editor and then effortlessly injected into an email with simple copy-paste functionality.

#7: The more data, the better the results

E-commerce email marketing involves numerous components that must be constantly tracked to maximize your return on investment in terms of time, effort, and money.

Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Conventional email analytics

Email marketers rely on analytics provided by their email automation tools designed to automatically track metrics below:

  • Open rate measures the percentage of recipients who opened the email. It provides insights into the effectiveness of the subject line and the sender’s reputation.

  • Click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links. It gauges the email’s effectiveness in directing traffic to your website.

  • Conversion rate denotes the percentage of recipients who took a desired action, such as making a purchase. A higher conversion rate indicates that the email effectively motivated recipients to act.

  • Bounce rate is the percentage of sent emails that failed to reach the recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate can harm the sender’s reputation and may lead to email service providers flagging your emails as spam.

  • Unsubscribe rate measures the percentage of subscribers who opted out of receiving future emails. A rising unsubscribe rate for eCommerce brands indicates a potential disconnect between email content and subscriber interests.

The Need for E-commerce Email Analytics

It is unfortunate, but email marketers are left in the dark regarding how shoppers engage with email content or what actions they take once they reach the e-commerce site.

Email Engagement Metrics: If an email contains more than a few clickable content elements, as in the example above, it is essential to know exactly which element was clicked on. Such tracking is technically possible, but in environments where marketers struggle to properly use basic campaign ‘utm’ tracking parameters, it is rarely implemented, if ever.

Buying Experience Metrics: Once on the e-commerce site, each email shopper follows their own path to discover and purchase a product of interest. Conventional web analytics solutions, like Google Analytics, track such data but fall short in automatically identifying common products of interest. This deficiency prevents email marketers from implementing an e-commerce site-driven improvement loop.

To enable data-driven e-commerce email marketing, Obviyo’s Email Genie enables auto-tagging of email message content components, which generates email engagement metrics. Meanwhile, the Email Pulse analytics application can enrich and process Google Analytics data to automatically generate actionable insights and email-specific product recommendations.

Conclusion: Ecommerce Email Marketing is powerful

Whether your brand is a small startup or a global ecommerce company, email marketing should have a large part to play in your overall marketing strategy.

To recap, the 7 strategies you should implement in your e-commerce email marketing strategy are:

1: Adopt Product-Led Growth (PLG) model
2: Power email campaigns with actionable ecommerce insights
3: Increase email relevancy
4: Maintain cross-channel identity
5: Personalize at every stage of customer lifecycle
6: Present ecommerce experience at all times
7: The more data, the better the results

With these strategies in place, you’ll know that you’re doing everything you can to boost email engagement and sustainable email revenue growth.

Which of the above strategies are you most excited to implement in your email marketing strategy?

The post Ecommerce Email Marketing – 7 Strategies to Supercharge Yours appeared first on Obviyo.

This article originally appeared on Obviyo and is available here for further discovery.
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