Did you know that email is the second most effective customer acquisition channel? That’s right! With email now accounting for more than 7% of e-commerce customer acquisitions behind search (15.9%), email marketing can be a powerful tool to boosting your e-commerce sales.

So while social media tends to take all the headlines when it comes to marketing your business, and driving traffic to your e-commerce website. It’s email which seems to be the forgotten child for communicating with your future and current customers. What’s more is that customers acquired through email have a lifetime value 12% higher than average, compared to Twitter where their value is 23% lower than average.

There’s no doubt email is a powerful tool. And in this post we’ll look at a few email marketing strategies that will bring people back to your e-commerce website and continue purchasing from you.

e-commerce Email Marketing Strategies

1. The ‘We Miss You’ Email

The lifeblood for every successful online business is the percentage of repeat customers they have. The reason being is that attracting new customers is expensive, whereas getting current customers to buy from you again is cheap.

According to the 2015 E-commerce Growth Benchmark report by RJMetrics, the best performing e-commerce businesses gain 57% of their revenue from repeat customers when they’re in the third year of business. Email marketing plays a large part in retaining existing customers as it provides a direct line of communication and helps re-activating idle customers.

Sending out a “We Miss You” is meant to do just that and can be triggered after a certain period of inactivity. Generally this type of email should be sent after a month since their last activity on your online shop and could include the following:

  • Product recommendations based on purchasing history
  • Special discount
  • Most popular products of the month

best ecommerce new vs repeat revenue

2. The Abandonment Email

A massive 68.53% of shopping carts are abandoned based on figures collected by the Baymard Institute, which means over half of your orders are not completed. Earlier this year we compiled a list of statistics that explained why people abandon their shopping carts and we’ve listed the main ones here:

  • 56% abandon shopping carts when presented with unexpected costs
  • 37% are just browsing your online shop
  • Every second a customer has to wait reduces conversion by 7%

Even though website optimisations can certainly help bring down your abandonment rate – what can email marketing do for you?

People have already shown their intent to purchasing by adding items to their checkout but didn’t follow through. This is where sending the abandonment email comes in to remind them to checkout. Based on data from Envelopes.com (case study), they achieved the best results when sending the email after 24 hours which lead to a 65% increase in checkout conversions.

3. The Follow Up Email

While securing a purchase from a new customer is always great news, you’ll want to follow-up with them to increase the likelihood of them returning.

With 61% of online customers reading reviews before making a purchase, this would the perfect opportunity to ask them what they thought of the products they ordered. For a ‘Follow Up’ this should be sent out soon after they received the shipment, roughly after 5 days.

Additionally, you can send out personalised recommendations and special deals enticing them to come back to your online shop.

What’s important to remember with these email marketing strategies, is to keep the contents of your communication relevant to your customers. You’ll want to personalise each email with offers and discounts based on their purchasing behaviour to increase the chance of them coming back to you.

What about you? What e-commerce email marketing strategies are you using? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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Kostas Papageorgiou

Kostas specialises in content marketing and community management, who's focused on helping tech companies increase brand awareness and engagement to boost conversions.