Connecting with your audience can be a challenge as an online seller. Especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar location, communicating with your customers can be difficult. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing. Email marketing is the most trusted form of online communication, with 77% of consumers choosing it over any other means.
Implementing email automation will help alleviate the stress of email marketing. You can build customer trust and loyalty because while creating an experience that feels personalized without writing each email individually. Email automation also helps with customer segmentation, so your messages will reach the right customers at the right time.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with answers to some of the top e-commerce email questions.
What kind of emails should I send?
While most brands send one-off promotional emails, drip campaigns are some of the most important to have in your email marketing strategy. A drip campaign is a set of emails that send on a schedule and help create a path to repeat business for customers. Most email drip campaigns start with a welcome email, which can come after a customer’s first purchase or when they opt-in as an email subscriber. It also is your opportunity to introduce your company to a customer on a more personal level.
Following the welcome email, you’ll guide them down their customer journey. This could include product recommendations, offering coupons to encourage more purchases, introducing any loyalty or referral programs you have, and more. Ideally, by the end of the drip, your customer will have had every opportunity to become a loyal repeat shopper and brand advocate. The best part is these are automated email campaigns.
Whatever emails you decide to send, the templates you use should represent your brand well to create a visual familiarity between you and your customers.
When is the best time to reach out to customers?
None of your customers are the same. They will all open emails at different times, on different devices, in different scenarios. You should always be testing out different send times to see if you can optimize your sends. But more important than the time you schedule email campaigns are emails based on behavioral triggers to feel relevant.
It’s important to thank your customers for their order and give them a heads up that it’s processing. This is pretty straightforward but similar to a welcome email, as it is an opportunity to introduce yourself more to a customer.
Once the order ships, your customers expect an email indicating the item has been shipped. The email should also include the tracking number and company contact information to ensure they can contact you with any questions.
Once the item has been delivered, it’s always a good idea to request feedback on the process of doing business with you and feedback on the product itself. Make sure you give them enough time to evaluate the product to acquire the best responses. This will vary by product, so your best judgment should be used here. Always offer direct links to where feedback can be given to remove friction from the process and encourage more feedback.
Similar to getting feedback on a product, these should be timed out carefully. Buy-it-again emails are a powerful tactic that creates repeat business and makes you look like a wizard to your customers. When timed out properly, they’ll be left saying “How did they know I was almost out?”
Should I email everyone on my list?
Customer segmentation is very important. Your emails should be personalized and relevant to that specific customer. Someone who signs up for your email list may not need the same emails as someone who has already purchased. This is key in nurturing your subscribers and enhancing their experience.
The goal is to create different experiences for your customers. VIP customers who have remained loyal to your brand, and those who have spent the most money, should feel special. They should also receive discounts other customers don’t receive. This is an opportunity to keep them returning to you and become an eventual brand advocate.
Customers who have not connected with the brand in some time should be nurtured with a win-back campaign. Your goal is to bring them back with an incentive they can’t refuse in order to make them an active customer again. This could be through a coupon or exclusive access to something, showing them you value their business.
Segmenting your customers based on their geographic location (if you have a product that works for that region), gender, and spending habits can truly make a difference. It will really make your customers feel like you know them. Some of this information can be garnered from order data, making it super important that your shipping and email marketing platforms communicate with each other—or you can have them in the same platform like ShippingEasy offers.
Campaigns like these may also need to be preceded by other campaigns asking for more information outside of order data. For example, you could ask customers to provide their birthday so you can send them special birthday offers.
The great thing about e-commerce is the ability to service customers all over the world. When sending email to these customers, there are compliance rules that must be followed. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May 2018. You must have proof of opt-in for your email lists. The best way to handle this is to have a subscribe button on your sign-up form, or an email requiring an additional step to opt-in.
Do I have to know how to code to send great emails?
Not at all! The best email service providers will make things easy and effortless with drag-and-drop builders to help your brand remain consistent and aesthetically pleasing. ShippingEasy has a complete library of plug-and-play templates to create coupons, product review requests, feedback requests, address first-time buyers, VIP buyers, and capture Amazon product and seller reviews. Your team will be able to create rules based on your needs and the data you want to capture.
Many customers are visual – they like to see what they are getting. Having the ability to create beautiful emails that create an immersive experience is key.
What if I don’t even know where to begin?
Creating the ultimate email marketing experience for your customers can feel overwhelming. There are numerous resources on the web to teach you how to market your business and create campaigns. But even better than that is having an email marketing expert at your fingertips—which ShippingEasy offers to our customers for free!
Our Email Marketing Expert, Lindsay Lewis, walks our customers through setting up campaign automation, building templates, and creating marketing strategies. She’ll also build a branded template for you to start with, at no added cost to you. Then she’ll help you put your customer data to work in your email marketing efforts. This is just one of the major differentiators available to ShippingEasy customers. And you can take it all for a test drive for 30 days, absolutely free.