Email marketing, or emarketing, is the process of using email to generate sales. According to ecommerce analytics experts it makes up over 7% of all online transactions and is the second most effective ecommerce marketing channel behind search.
In today’s ecommerce software there are more sophisticated ways to segment and personalise than ever before. Behaviour-triggered automation enables accurate and relevant customer communication, increased campaign effectiveness and a significant boost in revenue.
Email remains well ahead of social media in customer acquisition. Recent changes by Facebook have significantly reduced the number of people who will see a page post. Analysis by social@ogilvy found that organic reach on Facebook has crashed, dropping to only 50% in the last six months. Email is now considered four times more effective as a way to reach an audience.
Even for brands that are actively engaged in managing a Facebook or Twitter account the potential return is minimal compared with that of an opt-in email list. While social media excels at raising brand awareness and engaging new prospects, it is only a stepping-stone to drawing potential customers to sign up.
An email list is the fundamental basis of a customer relationship database. It is the tool by which your brand learns about individual consumer preferences and demographics.
This is proprietary data; an essential means towards building value and engaged relationships with customers. It is the key to increasing customer lifetime value and successfully predicting business trajectory.
When a business uses email to communicate with its customers, it builds a relationship, sharing information, offers and opportunities that are often exclusive to those people on the mailing list.
Customers on the mailing list have already engaged with the brand, they have already made a purchase. Industry benchmarks show that 21% of them will open a marketing email.
Why email beats social media
People do receive a lot of emails, but nowhere near as many as there are tweets and Facebook feed posts. A mailing list focuses the message with fewer competing communications.
Control who sees what
Email campaigns can be very specific in design and content. Automated ecommerce templates like those offered by Rezcomm’s emarketing software enable user-friendly, informative emails which are brand-matched and visually appealing. Segmentation can be highly targeted too, so each customer receives the most relevant message at the right time.
Deepen the connection
Even an automated email is more personal than a tweet or a boosted post. It is possible to address one person or to target people in more general terms. When a customer receives an email they feel it is a personal communication meant specifically for them.
Email is better at Segmentation
A mailing list can be divided into many different segments. Email offers detailed information about a subscriber’s earlier purchases, actions and interactions. Information about which emails they open and which links they click enables very precise segmentation based on behavioural and preference analysis.
While Facebook adverts offer some control in the form of demographic targeting, this is very difficult to track on an individual level. Twitter offers no such targeted viewing.
However, a valuable take-away from social media is the facility to match customer’s social network profiles to mailing list entries. This provides demographic information that can be added to the database.
Why Segmented Targeting Works
By using targeted campaigns it is possible to build conversion rates where previously sales were lost. Important emarketing models include:
Abandoned Cart Emails
For customers who have logged onto the site, added an item to their cart and then left without making a purchase. These emails can recover 15% or more of potential lost sales and have the highest conversion rate of any type of ecommerce communication. Some retailers employ a single abandoned cart email, usually sent one day after the visit; others use a series of emails with a reminder 3-5 days after and a discounted rate for the product.
Up Sell and Cross Sell Emails
According to Bluecore, these campaigns typically have a .55% conversion rate. They are sent to customers who have already made a purchase with the goal of selling additional products or upgrades. They can be triggered as product follow-ups like Amazon’s ‘frequently bought together’, or category follow-ups for example if a customer bought from ‘Gifts for Mum’ they can be tempted with other items from the same or related categories.
Purchase receipt emails have one of the highest open rates. More than 70% of customers will open a receipt. Take advantage of this high open rate to increase customer engagement by including offers or discounts for recommending friends or asking for a product or customer service review. Ensure that the customer has access to your returns and exchanges policy in case of any problems.
Using Social Media to Build Campaigns
While social media does not create the same conversion rates as email it is immensely valuable in growing brand recognition and confidence. Adding social proof elements to emails campaigns can be effective in building trust, showing that other customers are buying and liking a product. This word-of-mouth-type recommendation influences 20-50% of all purchases and 63% of people are more likely to make a purchase if they can see positive reviews.
Customer Loyalty and Re-Engagement Emails
These campaigns focus on building a relationship between brand and customer. While all emails should have an element of a reciprocal exchange, these emails focus on building a stronger bond with a customer and winning back customers who haven’t purchased from your store in a specific timeframe. Offer personalised incentives that will drive deeper engagement such as special discounts for a customer’s birthday, or replenish reminders for a repeat-purchase product like coffee pods, water filters or contact lenses.
**Rezcomm has considerable experience working with brands to design and implement an emarketing strategy. If you would like to know more about how we can help you increase sales, contact us today. **
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