For modern consumers, email has become one of the most popular channels of communication and information exchange.
This popularity stems from the fact that emails are easy to create and fast to send, but they cost significantly less compared to other traditional communication channels like SMS.
For this reason, brands have adopted emails to reach their target audience since it gives them a cost-effective solution that can work miracles.
More specifically, when it comes to eCommerce businesses, where competition is huge and brands need to attract more customers, email marketing has proven itself to be a powerful ally to elevate even the smallest business into an eCommerce colossus.
With the number of emails sent and received per day expected to reach over 347 billion in 2023, email marketing will keep reigning supreme as the best and most cost-efficient tactic to expand your audience and increase your sales beyond measure.
Now, you may wonder: what are the benefits of email marketing and marketing automation?
Is there concrete evidence that by using personalized email marketing automation, your e-Commerce business will thrive beyond count?
To answer your question, yes, email marketing can work its magic even when you aren’t fully committed to it!
Welcome new subscribers
According to research, 96% of visitors to your website aren’t yet ready to buy. However, these people have clearly shown interest in what you have to offer and are perfect candidates to continue communicating with to try to get them to buy later on.
A great way to do this is to get them to subscribe to your email list. Subscribing to your list is a much smaller conversion action than handing over money to make a purchase, and therefore people are much more likely to do it.
Once they’ve subscribed, you can then use an automated email campaign to welcome them to your list and offer a special subscriber-only offer that compels them to buy.
Fashion house Kate Spade does this well with their automated welcome email that goes out to new subscribers.
The email is visually appealing, has a prominent call to action and features a subscriber-only offer to get 15% off the next purchase.
This kind of automated welcome email can be set up in just a few minutes. You simply need to add an email subscription box to your website that adds people to a list in your chosen email marketing tool and then set up an automated email to go out whenever someone joins that list.
If your eCommerce platform supports it, you can even generate a discount code and include it in the email. Not only does this provide a great incentive for people to purchase, but it allows you to track the effectiveness of the campaign and see the impact it has on sales.
Increase product usage
Most online applications utilize some sort of free trial period to get potential customers to try the product and ultimately become a paying customer.
Before people will convert into a paying customer though, they need to realize the value of your product during the trial period, otherwise, why would they start paying for it?
At Campaign Monitor, before a person would consider upgrading to a paid account they need to realize the value of the product. This usually means they need to create a campaign, upload their subscriber list, and send it out.
So in order to encourage people to progress through those steps and realize the value of our product, we utilize a series of automatic emails that go out to people when they create an account.
This email goes out to everybody that creates a Campaign Monitor account and contains some basic information about their account they’ll need moving forward, such as their login URL and email address.
As you can see, the email contains a prominent “Next Steps” section that features some links to help documentation and other tools.
These are designed to help the user get started with Campaign Monitor and ultimately progress through to the first step of creating a campaign.
No Campaign Created Email
If a person has signed up for a Campaign Monitor account but not yet created a campaign, we send them an email encouraging them to do so.
The email focuses on how easy it is to use our email builder to create a beautiful email campaign, and has the ultimate goal of getting people to return to the application and create and send a campaign.
No List Uploaded Email
If a person has created a campaign but not yet uploaded and selected a list to send it to, we’ll send them an email prompting them to upload their first email list.
The goal of the email is to get people to go back into the application and finish the process of sending their first campaign. It features a call to action to set up a list as well as an alternative method of sending for those who may not yet have a list built.
These are relatively easy to set up with a little bit of technical knowledge or help from your web developer.
In our case, we started bypassing the details of new signups into a list in our own Campaign Monitor account and then set up the automated welcome email to go out instantly.
Then, once a person has completed a particular event in the application (like creating their first campaign), we use the API to change the ‘Created Campaign’ custom field to ‘Yes’ on their subscriber profile. Finally, we set up a custom segment to get a list of people who meet the criteria ‘Created Campaign=Yes’ and ‘Uploaded List=No’ and then sent them an automated email encouraging them to upload their list and complete the send.
Although they took a little bit of time to set up, these emails continue to be sent to everyone who signs up for a Campaign Monitor account without us having to lift a finger, and they help to grow our business by encouraging people to progress through the various steps they need to go through to become a paying customer.
Gather product feedback
Building a product your customers want is hard, and it’s next to impossible if you don’t have a deep understanding of what your customers actually want.
One of the best ways to get a thorough understanding of your customer’s pain points and needs is by asking them directly.
Campaign Monitor customer Groove does this particularly well using an automated email campaign that goes out to new users when they sign up for a free trial.
This particular email has a 41% response rate and helps Groove automatically collect a massive amount of feedback on what their customers are looking to achieve with the product, why they switched from competitor’s products, and more.
This helps them grow their business in a number of ways. They can prioritize features better because they know what people are using the product for, and they can attract new customers more easily because they know why people dislike competitor’s tools and what the key messages to be putting out there are.
The good news is, this kind of email is super easy to set up and you can start getting quality feedback right away. You simply add new customers or trial signups to a particular list in Campaign Monitor, and then set up an automated welcome email to go out to them when they join the list.
You can then either ask people to reply directly with their feedback (like Groove does), or you can link through to surveys created in tools like GetFeedback to get more structured data.
Inform your customers of upcoming expirations
Losing existing customers can cost your business lots of money. In fact, According to Bain & Co, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
One of the best ways to make sure you don’t lose a customer’s business is to send them email campaigns informing them that their subscription, account, or policy with you is about to run out.
Domain name provider GoDaddy does a great job of this whenever a domain name is about to expire.
They send frequent email campaigns in the lead up to the expiration date reminding customers to renew their domain name, and even provide a discount offer and a simple call to action to entice people to renew straight away.
Believe it or not, these emails are quite easy to set up. You simply pass in the expiration date of the person’s subscription or account, and then set up a series of automatic emails to go out in the days before that date.
These kind of automated email campaigns are extremely effective at getting people to renew their accounts, and can help you grow your business by generating more sales and revenue from your existing customer base.
Offer customers a birthday surprise
Birthday emails are one of the most common types of automated emails you can send, and they can be extremely effective when done right.
This email from Omaha Steaks shows how it should be done. Not only does the email wish the reader a happy birthday and show they care about their customers, but it provides them with a highly -relevant birthday offer that encourages them to make a purchase.
The beautiful imagery and excellent call to action help to drive conversions too.
This kind of email is super easy to set up if you have your customer’s date of birth. You simply set up a recurring email based on a date, and the email will automatically be sent each time that date rolls around.
Pro tip: If you are offering a restaurant voucher or something the recipient might be likely to use on their birthday as part of the celebrations, best to send it a few days earlier so they can adequately plan ahead.