You have a great product, your email marketing campaigns are also in full swing — but you aren’t getting the conversions you expect.
Done right, the emails you send are powerful enough to influence your customers’ purchasing decisions — 59% of your customers believe that.
But to reach there, you’ll have to rely on really good email marketing ideas. No, not the ones done to death by other brands (the ones they’ve overlooked).
All you need is some inspiration to spin yarns of email marketing ideas for your eCommerce store. In this post, we share 7 such email campaign ideas that are not getting the hype they should.
7 Email Marketing Ideas Your Competitors Might Not Have Discovered Yet
1. Everyone stops at basic segmentation. Go deeper. Get more personal.
Your email marketing is not bringing you optimum conversions. Next step — your email marketing team goes after running several iterations of copy and design. The result is still more or less the same — low conversions.
You look towards segmentation of your recipient list, but your team has done it based on superficial data. The personalization from this data is not able to grab your subscriber’s attention.
The major task here is to put personalization in context so that your subscribers relate to it. For instance, if you’re an online food delivery business, your subscribers are more likely to convert if you send them relevant offers around lunchtime.
This will help your emails stay relevant, and — most importantly — out and away from the dreaded spam folder. It’ll also lead to a significant bump in clicks, open-rates, and conversions. Adding a layer of personalization to your segmentation efforts can help in:
a) Getting the right product to the right customer
Let’s say your eCommerce website deals with products for athletes. If a male athlete purchases a pressure swimsuit, it makes sense to send them marketing emails with earplugs or swim paddles.
But, send them an email with the exact same product — in a different color — and they’ll mark your emails spam for good.
This is where good segmentation makes the difference.
Evaluate the list and segment receivers based on their previous purchases and what more they might need based on that.
b) Segment based on data (nail your target personas)
Data-driven segmentation will also help you create more accurate target personas. You can customize your emails for a better-personalized experience.
Let’s assume that you create a Corporate-Cindy persona — women with a 9 to 5 corporate job and having an interest in fragrances. Considering their work schedules, they’ll probably be browsing for perfumes after finishing work.
To validate this persona, you can check how many of your subscribers open your offers-packed emails after their work. Based on the data, you can send targeted emails to this specific list in the evening. You can also craft a personalized copy in the emails for better results. This is because what works for another list at a different part of the day might not work for this list at this specific time of the day.
So what’s the ideal flow? Create a list based on data > Validate > Repeat.
Take a look at this example from Bathing Culture.
The heading says Refilling from Home — a clear reference to the new Work from Home norm during the pandemic. The brand also takes some time to introduce new features of the Abode Kits.
Bathing Culture clearly adapts to the changing times. Imagine getting an email while you work from home, it’s sure to grab your fancy right?
2. Be more human in your emails
Interacting with your friends and winning their trust is much easier compared to complete strangers. That’s why keeping a friendly tone helps is one of the best email marketing ideas that’s rarely going to fail.
But don’t just restrict yourself to experimenting with the tone in your email. Check the ROI of your email marketing campaign idea as well.
Test two types of tones via split testing to check which one of those brings you more engagement. Here are 3 tips to get the tone right and not sound like a bot:
a) Be creative with words
The way in which you address your subscribers is crucial in motivating them to open your emails. Words encourage your subscribers to take action.
A great heading that sounds friendly has more chances of connecting with the subscriber than a one that sounds like a robot.
Make sure that your email copies and CTAs touch your readers and subscribers on a personal level. Use segmentation here wisely to appeal to your wide range of subscribers.
b) Send personalized offers
Take customer relations to the next level by providing personalized offers to specific sets of subscribers. This will instill confidence for your eCommerce brand in the hearts and minds of your customers.
Personalized birthday offers are a great example of this tactic. Getting a warm birthday wish along with an offer from the brand makes the customer feel valued.
You can design offers for your customers that are loyal to your platform for the past X number of years. It’s much easier and economic to retain a previous customer than accumulating new ones.
Sephora, the popular beauty brand, marvels at the art of personalized copy both in terms of the language used and the graphics.
In this example, they reach out to their customers by addressing them by their first name. Yes, it’s still an offer, but seems as if coming from someone you know and can trust.
A great offer — To help you look great on your night out, we are offering 20% off all eye shadow for the next week — is followed by a clear call-to-action right below the text. The tonality is friendly and for the next week slightly accentuates the FOMO factor as well.
So, having revenue is great but you’ve to keep your high-level goals (read brand value and customer engagement) in your sight too. You’ve to make sure that it brings you engagement, helps you build your brand, and connect with your customers.
Apple executed this perfectly with its SE promotional emailer.
You can notice that the copy incorporates words like Love and Less to spend into the graphic. Also, an interesting thing to note is how the technology giant has tried to create buzz around its SE series. The brand has repacked an old product with new technology.
c) Staying true to your brand
Sometimes following the trails of data and figuring it out takes the human element away. Your email marketing campaign ideas might end up sounding salesy. Make sure that your emails always are in line with your long-term brand goals.
Buck Mason showcases this with its Mask for America campaign.
The company donates one mask for every other mask sold. They also send a very elaborate email with the campaign details. It shows empathy and subscribers respect such brands.
3. Revisit your email list every month (don’t stay stagnant)
Having a long list of subscribers is good, but in your quest for boosting conversions, don’t forget to optimize it. Unless you’re taking constant corrective action to update your email list you might lose on achieving better conversions.
The obvious thing to do here is to check if your team is able to meet conversion goals from your email marketing ideas. If that’s not the case, it’s time for letting go of subscribers that are inactive for a long time, addresses that are invalid, and email boxes that directly send your emails to the spam folder.
For the sake of optimum mailing list health, you need to:
- Clean it up at least once a year. Think of this exercise as spring cleaning. You do it every year in your house and cleaning up the email subscribers list is kind of the same.
- Get rid of inactive subscribers. Make sure that the email addresses that your team is reaching out to are actually active. This can be done by checking how often they are being opened.
- Enable uniformity by using segmentation of your email list. This can also help you validate your list for a certain group of subscribers.
For example, put all the 1-year-old subscribers in a group and send a custom-made email to them. See how WEMO does it.
There’s a beautiful greeting followed by an offer. It can uplift your subscribers’ spirit.
4. Obsess over clarity (cut out the jargon)
One of the crucial pillars of email marketing is to ensure that your message is clear. This means that you can’t risk confusing your customers with a cluttered design or too many CTAs.
Your email marketing campaign must have clean actionable text and a short copy. According to HubSpot, emails with words between 50 and 125 words have a 50% response rate.
Good Eggs, an organic grocery delivery service, demonstrates how a no-nonsense email copy looks like.
Check out the huge green-leafy vegetable in the background. Its subscribers will instantly recognize that the email has something to do with groceries. Then comes the bold statement — Meet the freshest groceries you’ve ever tasted. This is followed by a clear CTA along with an offer.
The flow is simple: Introduce with your great product > have a great offer > and a clean and clear CTA.
5. Tell them a story (don’t drop the value bomb in the first email)
We love good stories, don’t we? Well, if we didn’t, Hollywood wouldn’t exist. We’re not asking you to produce a movie, but you can always craft a great story. This can work with one email or can also be carried forward with a drip.
Have your team build email drips that create a storyline, where the hero is the reader and your product is something that enables them to be that hero. Show them the value and see the magic happen.
Your email marketing ideas might be getting too restless about results and missing out on this aspect. Make sure the content in your email has an even flow, look how Brooks, a fitness gear brand, does it.
They start with a humble acknowledgment — This email has taken a little extra time to arrive — inciting curiosity in the reader’s mind. You can then see the transition to the welcome note — But, we want to welcome you to our community.
Another interesting aspect is that Brooks has a very engaging drip campaign running.
This email is just one aspect of it. You can see that the email also refers to something that the subscribers might have expected — apparent from the line This email may have taken a little extra time to arrive.
6. Let design take a backseat sometimes
Design is an essential part of email marketing both in terms of copy and the campaign. But, there are times when you can accomplish a lot with a great copy.
This, however, varies from brand to brand and also the number of elements you want to integrate into your emails. Your unsubscribe email is one of the many places where you can use an impactful copy. It can definitely help you to change your subscribers’ minds.
See how Hulu — the video-on-demand streaming service — does it. Their unsubscribe email has a simple acknowledgment text that the customer has unsubscribed to their service.
Although Hulu’s brand color is very much visible in the email copy, the email is largely dominated by plain text on white background. The email also integrates some emotional aspects in the language. They have made a powerful copy, which shows aspects like empathy and a bit of humor too.
The design is essentially very simple. The email copy is followed by a simple call-to-action that can help subscribers to reactivate the service.
7. Never end a drip. Never.
Your email marketing team’s top priority is to make sure that your email campaign is consistent throughout. Your team is putting a lot of effort in design and executing a drip that’s on par with industry standards.
However, the campaign lacks luster when it comes to being consistent in terms of engagement. This means that the engagement part must not stop once the drip is done.
Your team has to constantly find new ways of driving engagement. Your email drip has to be backed with other channels as well like an extensive active social media campaign. You can help your team integrate your email’s tonality into what the company says on public forums.
There has to be coherency in your email marketing, your paid ad campaign, and your company’s social media.
This emailer from Harley-Davidson is a decent example of an engaging drip. See how the company mentions the 30th Anniversary news in a compelling copy.
There’s a similar YouTube video of the same, which explains the product in more detail.
Run A/B Tests on Everything
A/B testing or split testing is a pretty common practice in eCommerce. It helps you understand how much engagement and conversions different versions of your campaign or copy are bringing you.
For the uninitiated, A/B testing is done by sending different versions of your email to different audiences. You can then choose which one to use in the long term — the one driving more conversions for you.
A simple graphic from Wikipedia explains how the green color of the Learn More button sees 20% more clicks. This is something that can work for your email marketing campaign ideas as well.
Let’s dive deeper into the A/B testing to find what’s in there for your email marketing campaign. A good number of eCommerce websites never A/B test their emails. This fact gives you a clear edge over such brands.
A simple example of real-world A/B testing is to send different versions of email headings to different subscriber segments. You can then measure the open rates on two versions and use the one with higher open rates.
Furthermore, A/B testing helps you get to the details of creating a truly impactful campaign. For example, it can help you find out which one of your CTA is more compelling for users.
The idea is to test small details like copy, design, and even the storyline of your email. For instance, does Buy Now have a higher click rate compared to Find Your Fit?
Or, does the order of words in your email heading make any difference to the open rates? For example, what’s the difference in open rates when we use Good Morning Sam, here’s your holiday-reading fix or Hey Sam, kick start your morning with this holiday-reading list?
It brings us to the question of what are the elements that you should A/B test in your campaign?
- Email title: To find the best performing title create two with your experience and then test them to find the best performing one. The test can be on the parameters of a number of characters, the language used, or tone.
- Content of the email: Once you have tested the most important factor in an email — the heading — you can move to the email body. This includes your copy, any graphics that you incorporated, and your CTA.
The bottom line is — integrate these ideas into your email marketing strategy and measure the results. Little changes make a huge impact on the bigger picture.