This shows how email marketing can solve the pressing problems of your ecommerce business as it did for Beardbrand. Email marketing can turn your store visitors into loyal customers, improve your conversion rate, and multiply your ROI.
Quick definition: Email marketing is a type of direct marketing where you send emails to your subscribers and customers at specific intervals. You can use it to promote your products or services, increase brand awareness, reduce cart abandonment rates, and build lasting relationships with your customers.
It’s wildly effective for ecommerce brands like yours. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get an average ROI of $42.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is sending commercial emails to your audience (who opt-in for your emails) to meet your business goals, such as creating awareness, driving conversions and sales, and building a community around your brand.
It adds to your existing online marketing strategies, making them even more powerful. For example, you created an informational blog on “How to choose the best headphones?” for your website.
When visitors browse the headphones section on your website, you can have a pop-up to capture their email addresses and promise to provide them with helpful content. What next? Share that blog post.
A word of caution: you can’t be spamming your audience with just promotional emails. That’s how you’ll end up in the spam list and risk getting your domain blacklisted, too.
Use a mix of different types of emails to engage, nurture, and finally drive sales. Here are different types of emails you can use for your store:
1. Promotional emails: Want to motivate customers to purchase your upcoming product or inform them of the limited-time offers you’re running? These are promotional email campaigns, which could be run multiple times over a day (Black Friday) or a few weeks (Christmas).
Here’s an example from J. Crew Factory that mixes humor with their offer:
2. Informational emails: Informational emails revolve around valuable information your audience will be interested in. For example, you could run a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter telling your audience about the benefits of your product ingredients and case studies.
You could also make store announcements such as changes in the delivery service or new product features introduction.
Mint, a personal finance app, hooks the reader with its headline and follows up with value-adding content.
3. Re-engagement emails: With the help of re-engagement emails, you can reconnect with existing customers who haven’t purchased for some time. These emails will help turn them into repeat customers.
You can give special discounts for such customer segments. Pottery Barn hits the nail on getting re-engagement emails right with their email content:
What’s the difference between B2B vs. B2C email marketing campaigns?
The type of emails you send will also depend on your customer type. There are three major differences when it comes to B2B and B2C email marketing campaigns:
1. A difference in buying behavior: As B2B investment is generally higher and made to increase ROI, your email marketing campaign would need to educate the audience and build a story around how your product/service would alleviate their pain points.
On the other hand, if you’re serving a large audience of end customers, the idea is to trigger an emotion that quick-sells your product.
2. Length of buying cycle: B2B clients research more than direct customers. Your email marketing campaign should be built over a period of days for B2B clients to build trust.
In contrast, your email marketing for B2C should be geared towards engagement and building brand awareness.
3. Frequency: B2B clients would demand fewer emails but to-the-point ones. B2C customers, on the other hand, require frequent nudges to push them to drive purchases. Ensure you experiment in both cases to find that sweet spot to get better responses and conversions.
Why email marketing is more important than ever
With changing privacy policies across every social media platform, email marketing has become more important than ever before. Here’s why:
You don’t have to worry about algorithm changes in email marketing. You own your subscriber list. You don’t have to worry about a platform shutting down tomorrow and losing followers. On social media, followers come and go.
You can create different segments and target customers accurately based on their buying behavior. While you have advanced target options on social media, too, it’s only limited to paid ads. According to eMarketer, email is 20% more effective in retaining customers:
The intent of your audience when subscribing to emails is clearer than following you on social media. 60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email list to receive promotional emails, whereas just 20% will follow brands on social media for the same purpose.
Social media has an engagement rate of just 0.58%, whereas email reaches about 85% of the people you send it to, with an open rate of 23%. Even the average click-through rates for email marketing are far higher than social media marketing:
Email marketing: 3.57%
This proves that while social media marketing is an effective tool, it can’t completely replace email marketing.
What Are The Best Apps for Email Marketing?
You can automate every email sequence for your store, meaning it’ll run on its own to meet your business goals. Here are the top four platforms you can make use of for your Shopify store’s email marketing:
1. Email by MESA
Email by MESA automates email sequences for your customers and the internal team by customizing the email’s subject lines, title, and body.
For example, your product went out of stock. You can directly send an email to your logistics team to ensure that the item is restocked. When it’s restocked, an email notification will be sent to your customer informing them about the restock.
- You have access to a lot of ready-made templates to pick from to save time and create uniform email content.
- You can directly integrate workflows into your Shopify store by sending emails to your internal team whenever an issue pops up.
- Doesn’t require another third-party app, Email by MESA comes included in the MESA monthly plan.
- Keeps your team in the loop with internal notifications for fraudulent orders and special notes.
StyleMeGHD, a home decor and furniture shop, uses Email by MESA to automate their entire email process and reduce manual work. For example, instead of manually sending customers the tracking link, they set up workflows to trigger emails.
Here’s a template you can use to automate an email notification when a Shopify order has notes. Being notified about orders who had customers leave special notes is incredibly helpful.
2. SMS By MESA
Along with emails, you can send SMS updates to your customers and team with SMS By MESA. Manually sending individual messages can be a headache, especially when you have hundreds of customers. The app automates this entire process by creating the right workflows for your business.
For example, you can send a text message upon delivery, giving customers real-time product updates and offers.
- Integrate workflows in your Shopify store and notify your team when a product goes out of stock.
- Decrease potential fraud by receiving a message when someone creates a fraudulent order.
- Doesn’t require another third-party app, SMS by MESA comes included in the MESA monthly plan.
Here’s a template you can use to notify your customers if a package is delayed in transit.
Klaviyo helps you deliver personalized messages through targeted email campaigns. You can pull in data like order details, product recommendations, and cart content to create email content that converts.
Here’s a list of campaigns you can run with Klaviyo:
- Cart abandonment
- Welcoming new customers
- Post-purchase upselling campaigns
- Automatically trigger a flow of emails when a customer performs an action. For example, if someone abandoned their cart in the last stage of the buying process, you can trigger an email or a sequence of emails from Klaviyo to motivate conversions.
- Set conditions to make some sections of the email visible to only those customers that meet the requirements.
With Mailchimp, you can build effective email marketing campaigns by having behavior-based automation journeys.
You can send relevant emails based on customer interactions and behavior, leading to higher engagement and better customer experiences. Tracking your campaigns to see where people clicked on your emails is also possible.
- Make use of their Content Optimizer, which recommends suggestions to make your email copy, layout, and imagery more engaging.
- Choose from a variety of drag-and-drop templates or even code your own.
The result: a 238% increase in open rate and a 525% increase in click-through rate. Here’s an example of their abandoned cart email:
How to implement email marketing
Creating effective email marketing campaigns requires experimentation and research about your customer segments. Here are some best practices to implement an email marketing strategy successfully:
Clean your email list regularly
It’s tempting to have thousands of people on your email list. But inactive subscribers can ruin your open rate and make your campaigns look worse.
Apart from regularly cleaning your email list, never hide the “unsubscribe” button in the weeds. If someone wants to unsubscribe, it’s only good for your list.
Never buy contact lists
Buying contact lists means you don’t have the recipient’s consent. This can portray your company as spam and lead to a negative brand image. Since these contacts haven’t voluntarily subscribed to your emails, there’s also a higher chance of low engagement with your campaigns.
Personalize the email greeting
88% of users say that they would be more likely to respond to an email favorably if it’s specifically created for them.
Instead of sending emails that sound like “Dear Subscriber,” personalize the email greeting with the recipient’s name.
With the subject line “The Spookiest Bedtime Story Ever” and a personalized subject line, Tuft & Needle got readers to read the entire email.
Keep call to action above the fold
The above-the-fold area is what the subscribers see first after opening your email. This area will be visible to your recipient without them having to scroll down.
Even if people are more likely to scroll more, having your CTA above the fold is a safer move due to social media and vertical timelines.
Dial-in your subject line
47% of email recipients open an email based solely on the subject line. This makes actionable subject lines a non-negotiable. You could use offers, limited-time deals, or curiosity hooks.
Mixtiles uses a mix of emojis and speaks directly to its target audience with its subject line, “Give your walls a bloomin’ makeover.”
Examples of successful email types
2. Cart abandonment email: Not everyone will complete the entire purchase process. With the subject line, “You should sleep on big decisions,” Tuft & Needle introduces their mattress reimbursement policy and builds trust in the product and brand.
3. Order confirmation email: With an easy returns policy now common for many ecommerce stores, Estrid goes on to make the customer feel good about their buying decision and reduce the chances of return.
4. Post-Purchase Survey email: Post-purchase surveys let you spot friction in the customer experience and get customer data for better targeting and personalization. With just two options and a simple survey, Expedia makes sure that the user can complete the survey in less than a minute.
Automate your email marketing campaigns with MESA
Email marketing campaigns can bring you incredible results like increased brand awareness and a community of loyal fans.
Now that you know the basics of email marketing and the benefits it can bring to your ecommerce business, start with setting up different email sequences and building your email lists.
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