When it comes to eCommerce marketing tactics, email marketing still reigns supreme, but success in email marketing doesn’t always come easy. These email marketing best practices will help you stand out in full inboxes, engage your customers and generate sales.
eCommerce email best practices for better conversion rates
If you’re looking for more tips, watch our video on becoming an email marketing pro.
1. Build targeted email lists
A targeted email list is essential for effective eCommerce email marketing because it allows you to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Here are some reasons why having a targeted list is so important:
Higher engagement: When you have a targeted list, you are sending emails to people who are interested in your products or services. This means that your subscribers are more likely to engage with your emails, open them, and take action on your calls-to-action.
Increased conversions: When your emails are targeted to a specific audience, they are more likely to convert into sales. This is because the content of the email is relevant to the recipient, which makes them more likely to take action.
Improved reputation: Sending targeted emails can help you build a better reputation with your subscribers. When you send them relevant content, they are more likely to trust you and view your brand in a positive light.
Reduced spam complaints: When you send emails to people who are not interested in your products or services, they are more likely to mark your emails as spam. By having a targeted list, you can reduce the number of spam complaints you receive and improve your email deliverability.
Cost-effective: Targeted email marketing is cost-effective because you are only sending emails to people who are interested in your products or services. This means that you are not wasting resources on sending emails to people who are unlikely to convert.
2. Segment your audience
When you want to stand out in a customer’s inbox, it’s important that your message and content is personalized. One of the best ways to accomplish this is using segmentation.
This allows you to segment your customers and subscribers based on factors such as their demographic data, shopping behavior, or some other criteria and target those groups with specific messages. Segmented emails have a 14% higher open rate compared to non-segmented emails, and segmented emails can result in as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
So, what are some of the best practices for including segmentation in your email marketing strategy?
One effective use of segmentation is practicing the 80/20 rule. This means sending emails to your engaged list 80% of the time and to your unengaged list 20% of the time.
Your engaged list includes subscribers that frequently interact with email campaigns, and your unengaged list is composed of subscribers who may have once been active but no longer engage with your emails.
Typically, a good threshold is that when a customer is unengaged for 3 months they fall into the unengaged segment. The goal is to move your unengaged segment back into the engaged category. This is important since 2-3% of subscribers become unengaged each month.
Some effective subject lines to try to re-engage customers could be “Last chance to hear from us” or “Would you still like our emails?”.
Another effective way to segment is based on average order value or AOV. Customers with higher and lower AOVs have different needs, and customizing messaging based on this is a great way to reach your customers where they are. While customers with a lower AOV are more responsive to a minimum spend for a discount or free shipping, customers with a higher AOV prefer exclusive content, express shipping, or surprises in packages that make them feel valued.
3. Tell a story with value-adding content
If your customers feel a connection with your brand, they’re much more likely to engage. Make sure your emails tell a story and build an emotional connection with your customers.
Try including behind-the-scenes content in your email, adding lifestyle images instead of product images, or including a personal video to create a personal connection in your email. You could even include a photo of the businesses owner or founder with a quote or personal story to make it even more personal.
There are many different tactics to connect with your customers, but creating an emotional connection will make your customers much more likely to engage and make a purchase. Make sure you keep it short and simple!
Customers tend to scan rather than read emails, and too much content will overwhelm mobile viewers.
4. Use effective subject lines
Subject lines are the first part of your email that your customer sees, so it’s crucial that your subject lines are effective.
The best way to test the effectiveness of subject lines is by using A/B testing. A/B testing is a method that allows you to compare two versions of the same content or subject line.
This will show you which approach is more effective. Some things to consider when testing subject lines are including emojis, using the subscriber’s name, including a limited-time offer, or asking a question. Use A/B testing to see what engages your customers the most and to improve your email open rates.
You know how to test your subject lines now, but how about writing them in the first place? Creating email subject lines can be tricky, so here are a few other things to consider.
- If you’re trying to decide whether to put a subject line in all caps, don’t worry about it. The median open rate difference is only 0.15% between subject lines in all caps and those that are not.
- Avoid including a series of punctuation marks, such as multiple exclamation marks. Subject lines, including excess punctuation, perform about 19% worse than those that do not.
- Finally, to engage mobile users, it’s important not to exceed 30-40 characters in your subject line.
We’ve covered some things to avoid, but here’s some inspiration to get you started.
One good practice is to lead with the benefit that your product will provide a customer. For example, if you are selling sleepwear, you could use the subject line “Your best sleep yet.”
Another strong practice for email subject lines is to evoke curiosity by saying something like “How about a new little black dress?”. You can also include a special offer in your subject line, convey a sense of urgency, or reference a brand update.
All of these practices will help you engage customers and increase sales.
5. Be strategic about cadence and send times
Want to make sure you’re sending emails at the best times and cadences for your customers but aren’t sure where to start?
Here are some best practices for email send times and cadences to make sure your customers are engaging.
While email send time is important, the most important aspect of email cadence is consistency. We recommend aiming for between 3 to 6 emails per month, depending on your store and goals. You can also A/B test email frequencies between two groups to see which frequency is more effective, but keep in mind that it will take time to see results.
Studies have found that the best day of the week to send an email is Tuesday, and the best time is 10 a.m.
But don’t worry; the runner-ups are great times to send too!
After Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the next best days. Since people tend to check their emails when they wake up and before they go to bed, 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. are also great times to send. People also tend to check out of work mode or look for distractions in the mid-afternoon, so 2 p.m. is another great time to test. Try out some of these days and times and see what works best for your brand.
6. Use eye-catching visuals
Visuals are an important component of eCommerce email marketing. By including high-quality visuals in your emails, you can create a more engaging and effective email campaign.
Including high-quality images and graphics in promotional emails can help you to:
Grab attention: Visuals are eye-catching and can help you to grab your subscribers' attention. This is especially important in a crowded inbox where your email is competing with dozens of other emails.
Showcase products: Visuals can help you to showcase your products in a more engaging way. By including images of your products, you can give your subscribers a better sense of what you are offering and encourage them to make a purchase.
Enhance branding: Visuals can also help you to enhance your branding. By using consistent colors, fonts, and imagery, you can reinforce your brand identity and create a more memorable experience for your subscribers.
Increase engagement: Visuals can help you to increase engagement with your emails. For example, including a GIF or video can make your email more interactive and encourage subscribers to spend more time with your content.
Improve accessibility: Visuals can also improve the accessibility of your emails. By including alt text for your images, you can ensure that subscribers who use screen readers or have images disabled can still understand the content of your email.
7. Optimize for mobile users
Optimizing for mobile users is crucial for successful eCommerce email marketing.
Mobile usage is growing: More and more people are accessing their email on mobile devices. In fact, over half of all email is now opened on mobile devices. If you're not optimizing for mobile users, you're missing out on a significant portion of your audience.
Improves user experience: When you optimize your emails for mobile users, you are providing a better user experience. This includes using mobile-friendly designs, font sizes, and layouts that make it easy for users to read and interact with your content on a small screen.
Increases engagement: When your emails are optimized for mobile users, they are more likely to engage with your content. This is because mobile-friendly designs make it easier for users to navigate and interact with your email, which can lead to higher click-through rates and conversions.
Improves deliverability: Many email clients prioritize mobile-optimized emails, so optimizing for mobile users can improve your email deliverability. If your emails are not mobile-friendly, they may be marked as spam or go unread, which can hurt your overall email performance.
Supports your brand: Optimizing for mobile users shows that you care about your subscribers' experience and are willing to invest in creating a high-quality email campaign. This can help to support your brand and create a positive impression with your subscribers.
Overall, optimizing for mobile users is crucial for successful eCommerce email marketing. It improves user experience, increases engagement, improves deliverability, and supports your brand. By creating mobile-friendly email campaigns, you can reach a larger audience and drive more conversions.
8. Include a clear call-to-action
Every email should include a clear call to action that tells your subscribers what you want them to do next. It encourages action, drives conversions, sets expectations, improves performance, and provides valuable data. By providing a clear and compelling CTA, you can create a more effective email campaign and drive more business for your brand.
Here’s why a clear CTA is so important.
Encourages action: A clear CTA encourages your subscribers to take action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or following your brand on social media. Without a clear CTA, your subscribers may not know what action to take or may not feel motivated to take action at all.
Drives conversions: A clear CTA can also help to drive conversions. By providing a clear and compelling reason to take action, you can increase the likelihood that your subscribers will make a purchase or engage with your brand.
Sets expectations: A clear CTA sets expectations for your subscribers. They know exactly what action they are expected to take and what they will receive in return. This can help to build trust and improve the user experience.
Improves performance: A clear CTA can also improve the overall performance of your email campaign. By making it easy for subscribers to take action, you can increase your click-through rates and drive more conversions.
Provides data: Finally, a clear CTA can provide valuable data for your email campaign. By tracking clicks and conversions, you can learn more about your subscribers' behavior and preferences, which can help you to optimize your future email campaigns.
9. Test and refine your email campaigns
Continuously test and refine your email campaigns to see what's working and what's not. Use metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and make improvements where needed.
Testing might be the last thing you want to do, but it’s essential for achieving long-term success. Here’s why.
Improves performance: Testing and refining your campaigns can help you to improve their overall performance. By testing different elements of your campaigns, such as subject lines, CTAs, and visuals, you can learn what works best for your audience and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.
Increases engagement: When you refine your email campaigns based on testing data, you can increase engagement with your subscribers. By providing content and offers that resonate with your audience, you can encourage them to open and engage with your emails on a regular basis.
Optimizes ROI: Refining your email campaigns can also help you to optimize your return on investment (ROI). By identifying the elements that are driving the most conversions and revenue, you can focus your resources on the most effective tactics and strategies.
Enhances customer experience: Testing and refining your campaigns can also enhance the overall customer experience. By providing relevant and engaging content, you can create a positive impression with your subscribers and encourage them to stay loyal to your brand.
Keeps campaigns fresh: Finally, testing and refining your campaigns can help to keep them fresh and interesting for your subscribers. By introducing new elements and strategies over time, you can prevent your campaigns from becoming stale or boring and maintain a high level of engagement with your audience.
10. Don’t forget to clean up your list
One of the most important practices for effective email marketing is email list cleanup. For best results, we recommend a quarterly email scrub. Once a customer is unengaged for 6 months, you should remove them as a subscriber.
It may be tempting to keep unengaged subscribers to keep a larger list. However, these contacts make your campaign metrics inaccurate. Also, avoid buying email lists because this will do more harm than good. This often leads to your emails ending up in spam which will hurt your sender reputation and lower your delivery rate.
According to The Wall Street Journal, email is the “only guaranteed delivery option the internet has left.” Email marketing is reliable, cost-effective, and easily personalizable. You control your own list and can easily measure your results. And most importantly, your customers actually want to receive them!
With the Springbot platform, you can easily build and send email campaigns in addition to SMS campaigns.
If you’d like to try our platform out for free, sign up here.