How email marketing can elevate your eCommerce business

Email is a powerful marketing tool

Email is sometimes overlooked in favour of its flashier digital marketing cousins (looking at you Facebook ads and Instagram influencers). But with its low cost and easy set-up, there are more than a few reasons you should re-consider this ol’ faithful. In fact, when done well, email boasts the highest return on investment (ROI) of all the digital channels. This is why…

It’s a direct line to your customers

Email marketing starts with a newsletter aka an eDM (electronic direct mail). It’s a super cheap way to let your audience know about new products or sales – no middleman or big budget required. “I love MailChimp for getting small businesses started,” says the efficiency hub email marketing expert Karina. “They have a free option to get you off the ground and more advanced paid options as your subscriber base grows.”

Newsletters have impact because the subscriber already trusts you enough to hand over their email address. But Karina says to remember the Spider-Man rule: with great power comes great responsibility. You’ve been invited into their inbox, so don’t wear out your welcome. Make sure every single eDM gives your customer value. If you don’t have something important to say every day or week, opt for fortnightly or monthly emails. It’s about consistency.

It can remove some of the guesswork

Algorithm” can be a dirty word in digital marketing. Facebook and Instagram are constantly changing it up, leaving you in a spin when last week’s successful campaign is rendered useless today. But with email service providers (ESP), algorithms can be your new best friend. Many ESPs offer send-time optimisation, which is a fancy-pants way to say your email will hit an inbox at the time your subscriber is most likely to open it. How cool is that?!

It creates better customers

Sure, they’ve visited your website and popped in their email address, but does your subscriber “get” you. This is where an automated welcome series can work its magic. “A welcome series is your opportunity to introduce your business,” says Karina. “You can show them your full range, invite them to follow your socials and let them know how you differ from your competitors.” The result is an informed, more engaged customer who understands what makes you awesome. How involved you want your series to be is up to you, but Karina recommends starting with three emails sent over a ten-day period.

It can win back lost customers

A typical abandoned cart rate is 60%-80%. Let that sink in for a second – that’s up to 80% of people who come to your website, find a product they want, put it in their cart, then forget all about you. But just one reminder email sent one to six hours later can win back a sale 10% of the time. “Abandoned cart emails are usually pretty easy to switch on with most web platforms,” says Karina. “I usually wouldn’t recommend a discount in the email. It trains your customer to wait for the offer,” she adds. Instead, she suggests getting creative. You could make it feel like a personal note from a shopping concierge. Or if you’re feeling feistier, try scarcity messaging e.g. ‘this item is selling fast – grab it now!’

It can improve your business

There are a few reasons to send a post-purchase email. You could use it to upsell a matching item or invite customers to share on their social media. “A good follow-up email can turn a one-time purchaser into a loyal customer,” says Karina. This is also the perfect time to ask for a review. Reviews can build trust, improve your SEO and give you insight into pain points, so you can build a better product and experience. But remember the Spider-Man rule! Always give value in return. Karina suggests offering extra tips for using the product or a discount for next time.

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