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      Real-Time Personalization

      5 Elements of a Successful E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategy

      By Amelia Woolard

      Sep 15, 2022

      20 min read

      Real-Time Personalization

      5 Elements of a Successful E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategy

      Looking for your next online customer? Check Instagram. Or Google Shopping. Or your e-commerce app. 

      Today, there are multiple ways to shop online, and by extension, multiple ways to get in front of your next customer and hold up the virtual “pick me!” sign. 

      But despite all these options, email still remains one of the best ways to drive real conversions and get serious results. 

      That’s because basically everyone has an email address. As of 2022, there are approximately four billion email subscribers worldwide (that’s higher than Instagram’s global user base!). 

      Not to mention, email has been proven to drive sales. It can even help your business thrive during a recession. Email marketing yields a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. When the purse strings get tighter, email remains a savvy way to reach audiences without spending a lot of money on outreach. 

      Getting your e-commerce email marketing strategy right is critical for your business' success. These five best practices will ensure that you're hitting the right notes.

      Make Sure You’re Reaching the Inbox 

      Ready for an uncomfortable truth? Simply firing off an email does not guarantee that it will reach its final destination. If your email never hits the inbox, it’ll never get read by your end user, and you’ll never meet your engagement and conversion goals.

      The best way to stand up to the spam folder and ensure that your emails reach the inbox is to follow email deliverability standards.

      One easy method of boosting your email deliverability is by employing a double opt-in. You’ll be familiar with double opt-ins if you’ve ever signed up for an email list and then received an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Double opt-in is important because it ensures that the person who provided the email address actually wants to hear from you. 

      To boost the deliverability of your e-commerce email, use double opt-in when someone signs up.

      You should also prioritize regular email list maintenance. To be effective in your emails, you must send them to the right people at the right time. If your email lists aren’t cleaned up periodically, you risk sending emails to inboxes that won’t open, click, or otherwise engage with your message.

      When cleaning up your email lists, pay particular attention to spam email addresses or those that bounce your emails. For inboxes that don’t accept your emails, take note of why those emails are bouncing. Determining whether the email is soft bounced or hard bounced can clue you in as to whether the issue is temporary or permanent:

      • A soft bounce points to a temporary issue with the inbox. Culprits could be a full inbox or a sudden increase in sending volume.

      • A hard bounce is a more permanent problem. Odds are, this inbox does not exist or is otherwise invalid. 

      You should also be sure to filter out any email addresses that are low-performing. Disengaged email addresses can negatively skew email marketing analytics and weigh down your open and click-through rates. 

      If you don't remove these addresses from your send list, they'll continue to receive unwanted emails — which is bad for your brand. Our recommendation? Stop wasting time with low-performing contacts and start reaching out to those who are actually interested. 

      Upon Sign-up, Send Something Awesome 

      The welcome emails you send to a new subscriber say a lot about your brand. The last thing you want to do is bungle the first impressions of your budding relationship by sending a welcome email that misses the mark — or, worse, never arrives at all. 

      More than 80% of people will open a welcome email, giving welcome emails four times more opens and 10 times more clicks than a standard email. You simply can’t pass up the opportunity that an automated welcome series provides. Luckily, you can take advantage of e-commerce marketing automation to send emails based on triggers, such as a list subscription. These welcome emails can introduce your brand and entice your subscriber to call, click, or otherwise interact with you. 

      You can even sweeten the deal with a welcome offer. Everyone loves a coupon code, and few can ignore the temptation to spend more with a welcome offer in hand. 

      A welcome series is a great way to personalize your e-commerce email marketing and drive engagement.

      In fact, online shoppers with a coupon code spend 24% more than customers without a coupon. While you can extend a welcome offer at any time, it’s best to send one within the third welcome email to nudge your customer to take action. 

      Don’t Forget Email Personalization

      Have you ever received an email that seemed like it was meant for someone else? It didn’t sit well, did it? Failing to use email personalization is always a risky move, especially shortly after someone subscribes. 

      Far more than an email marketing buzzword, e-commerce personalization lends a human touch to your outreach efforts. Like opening an email from a friend, customers are more likely to open and click on emails that contain personalized content. 

      Not only is personalization crucial for your business goals, but customers also expect it. 71% of consumers expect personalized experiences from businesses. If you offer anything less, your customers will be disappointed. 

      When it comes to e-commerce email marketing personalization, commerce data is a great place to start. Commerce data is a blend of customer data (e.g., purchase history, personal demographics, etc.) and product data (e.g., the brand, color, or style of an item). 

      Use commerce data to your advantage for e-commerce email campaigns.

      Commerce data provides advanced insights into how your shopper might spend money on your website. Gather this data and harness it well, and you’ll be well on your way to personalized email marketing campaigns that convert and engage. 

      Personalization can even be as simple as sending special offers on birthdays or first purchase anniversaries. Everyone loves a birthday gift, and as mentioned above, online shoppers tend to spend more when they have a coupon code. Remembering first purchase anniversaries can also make your shopper feel special, especially if their first purchase was something sentimental.

      For even deeper personalization, you can also take advantage of first-party and zero-party data. Use a customer’s previous engagement metrics (such as the day and time they tend to open emails and their product preferences) to inform your future communications, or collect data directly from the consumer to create hyper-personalized content. Here, an all-in-one platform that combines customer data and AI-driven marketing automation is a must to effectively personalize your e-commerce email marketing at scale. 

      Keep in Touch With Follow-up Emails 

      You’ve secured your spot in your subscriber’s inbox, deployed an out-of-this-world welcome email series, and personalized every touchpoint along the way. Now what? Is there any way to get back on your customer’s radar without annoying them to the point of hitting “unsubscribe”?  

      The short answer: Of course! These types of emails are known as follow-ups, and they’re the email equivalent of the “just checking in” text. Follow-ups can help you shatter the white noise of the average inbox and get you back in front of your customer with a timely and relevant message.  

      One of the best follow-up emails is the abandoned cart email. That’s because out of every 100 shopping carts, 70 of them are abandoned. That’s a lot of revenue being left in the checkout line, all because your customer decided against purchasing at the last minute. 

      Abandoned cart campaigns remind your shoppers of products they left behind and urge them to purchase them before they disappear. By sending these emails, you tap into shoppers' fear of missing out and encourage sales that combat it. 

      Avoid losing business by sending abandoned cart reminder emails.

      Win-back or reengagement emails offer another smart way to engage with your subscribers. These emails are perfect for your business if it’s been a while since you’ve seen your subscriber take any action on your website, and you want to draw their attention once more. 

      Win-back campaigns can vary. You can entice subscribers to view products similar to those they’ve already browsed, offer an exclusive coupon code, or provide discounted shipping for a limited time. 

      There’s an art to win-back campaigns, which is why you’ll want to make sure you can recommend the right products and automatically determine the best calls to action to boost your odds of success. 

      Finally, feedback surveys and review requests are a great way to solicit feedback from your customers while also reintroducing them to your brand experience. There’s no better person to ask about your brand experience than your customer, and the feedback you’ll receive is bound to improve your business overall. 

      Test, Test, Test 

      Is your target audience more likely to click on a funny subject line or a more serious one? Are they more likely to click on your email during the morning or the afternoon? If you don’t know the answers, then you should A/B test your emails (and if you do know, you should still keep A/B testing them!).

      A/B testing is the unsung hero of awesome emails. With A/B testing, you can test the waters with subject lines, CTAs, graphics, and more to learn what your customers are drawn to. A/B testing is also the perfect medium for play with GIFs, emojis, and puns. When peppered in occasionally, these fun elements can spice up your message and lend it a certain air of relatability. 

      First-party data is the heartbeat of A/B testing. If you've ever added a first name to a subject line, you've worked with first-party data. First-party data can also be used to make informed experimental decisions about CTA buttons and color schemes. 

      When you’re ready to dive deeper into testing, first-party data serves you well in projects like automated email sequences, which can dynamically adjust based on how your customer responds to every touchpoint along the way. Bloomreach can both facilitate these changes and track your customer’s response to them, so your message is even more targeted next time. 

      Make sure to A/B test your e-commerce email marketing campaigns to find winning strategies.

      You can even experiment with your website, app, or landing page’s user experience. Consider displaying unique content on your website’s home page, or swapping out the hero image on a landing page. With an all-in-one platform, you can also ensure your email marketing campaigns are consistent with these experiments. 

      And most importantly, remember to test with purpose. If your testing strategy isn’t leading to meaningful learnings, then you’ll simply spin your wheels without making any progress toward your goals. 

      Bloomreach Simplifies E-Commerce Email Marketing

      Navigating modern email marketing can feel like wading into waist-deep water without a life jacket at the ready. But e-commerce email marketing doesn’t need to be sink or swim. 

      Bloomreach Enagement is an omnichannel marketing solution that makes sense of welcome emails, personalization, A/B testing, and more. Bloomreach Engagement can:

      • Deploy double opt-ins, so your email successfully reaches the inbox 

      • Send a timely and interesting welcome email series shortly after sign-up

      • Segment your contact lists and and personalize your message accordingly

      • Coordinate follow-up emails that keep your brand top-of-mind

      • Facilitate A/B testing and factor results into future campaigns

      Best of all, you can automate all of these processes using an intuitive, omnichannel platform that reduces your reliance on IT teams and empowers your marketing team to drive conversions and engagement like never before. 

      Curious to learn more about how Bloomreach Engagement can help you reach your business goals? Schedule a demo today.

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      Amelia Woolard

      Copywriter

      Amelia is an experienced content developer with a focus on technology trends across domestic and international markets. Drawing from her experience in digital marketing and account management, Amelia produces written copy that informs and engages the B2B industry.

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