Email Marketing

Increasing sales through email marketing: The no-nonsense guide

Focus on these no-nonsense tips to increase sales with email marketing.

Increasing sales through email marketing: The no-nonsense guide

So how do you increase sales with email marketing? Let's take a deep dive.

Imagine you've two choices: buying your favorite products from the store or buying them from home — which one would you go for?

If you’re thinking — duh, the second one, that’s a no-brainer! — you’re right on point.

Well, if it’s something you’d choose, why not give the same option to your customers?

Let’s face it. An eCommerce store can pretty much seem like a physical retail store — attractive products, amazing discounts, tons of options!

And of course — the overwhelming pressure to select, compare, purchase — phew!

The result? Higher bounce rates and cart abandonment rates.

But what if your customers got a customized list of products right into their inbox? Wouldn’t that make their shopping experience and decision-making easy?

For the retail store example — that’s equivalent to keeping everything ready right at the counter so you can just pay and checkout.

Simple, isn’t it?

<drum rolls> Enter email marketing.

How to increase sales with email marketing?

Email marketing can help businesses expand their reach, boost their conversion rates, connect with their audience, and increase sales.

If you’re like 81% of business owners, you may already be using email marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy and reaping the benefits.

In the competitive world of eCommerce, it’s not enough for you to simply utilize email marketing the same way every other business uses this channel.

Want to unleash the full potential of email marketing? You’ve to make sure your email campaigns are effective, efficient, and personalized to help you stand out above your competition.

It’s definitely a challenging task — but not an impossible one.

To make your work easier, we’ve compiled a list of 10 super-actionable tips to help you boost your sales with eCommerce email marketing.

Let’s begin.

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1. Build a Super Relevant List

An email marketing campaign is nothing without a strong email subscriber list. While you may already have a list of emails from people who've bought products from your business, this isn’t enough to help you make the most of email marketing.

You need to build a list of folks who’ll genuinely like to hear from you and offer content, discounts, and news that’ll be incredibly useful to them.

Build an active and engaged email list with these tips:

a. Use segmented pop-ups

Pop-ups are still relevant and useful as long as they’re targeted towards the right audience.

Avoid using the same pop-ups for each of your website visitors by utilizing pop-ups that are triggered by a shopper’s location, browsing habits, or cart size.

Take this example from MeUndies — which is geared towards new customers.

Personalized pop-up example

This pop-up is different from the one they would use for users who have already added at least one item to their online shopping cart and the one for users with repeated visits.

Showing different pop-ups to different consumers can help you build a strong email list. This is because you can then provide the right incentives to the right customers.

A new shopper who puts an item in their shopping cart might be enticed by a pop-up offering an immediate discount whereas a repeat shopper might be more interested in joining a membership or limited edition products.

Pop-up offering membership

Use segmentation with your email pop-ups to further personalize the messaging for your audience and close better sales.

b. Add value to your customer’s purchase with free eBooks and guides

Show consumers your brand cares about adding value from day one by offering a free eBook or guide in exchange for their email address:

ebooks and guides to increase sales through email marketing

When you provide genuinely useful content that has been deeply researched and full of helpful information, you’ll entice folks to engage further with your brand.

Besides, who doesn’t like the word “free”? Offering free products can increase sales by up to 2000 percent. It’ll also leave a positive impression on your consumers, making them more excited to be a part of your email list.

c. Be transparent! Make sure your email subscribers know exactly what they’re signing up for before they share their email address.

Take a page out of A24’s book for example:

Example of  pop-up letting customers know what to expect before signing up

Now, anyone who signs up for their email newsletter knows exactly what they’ll receive.

When they trust you for the information they consume, you can direct them towards a sale easily as well (no sweat!).

d. Be creative

Don’t be boring, that’s all!

There are too many competitors out there writing the same email subject lines and copy, so being original and creative is your best bet to get the most bang out of your buck.

Look at Outrun the Dark for example. They have a compelling feature on their landing page:

Compelling pop-up example

How many of you’ll be able to resist clicking on this? (Not us for sure!)

When shoppers click on the arrow, they see this:

Example of offer-based email signup

Outdoors Tribe also takes their opt-in form to the next level with a Spin-the-Wheel game:

Example of game-based email signup

The more interactive and engaging you make your email messaging to be, the better chance you have at closing a sale.

e. Add options to opt-in to your emails throughout your website

Do you just cross your fingers and pray that your website visitors will scroll through to the bottom of your landing page and see your subscription box?

Don’t leave things to chance, especially not an opportunity to grow your email list.

There are several sections on your website where you can keep a subscribe option handy:

  • Your "About Us" Page: This is typically one of the most frequently visited pages on a business’ website, so it’s a great place to put an opt-in form. Plus — if people already know a bit about you and your business — they’ll be more likely to open your emails. A simple form like the one below at the bottom of your About Us page can be enough to get shoppers to do the honors.
Example of About Us page email form sign-up
  • Your "Blog" Page: If people are already reading and enjoying your blog content, help them keep the good times rolling.

OnYaLife sticks to a simple opt-in form like this at the end of each of their blog posts.

Example of blog page-based email signup
  • Your Header: Make sure that no one misses your opt-in forms by putting them above the fold!

Good Housekeeping includes an opt-in button in their header in addition to the bottom of their landing page.

Email subscribe option on the header

f. Simplify your subscribe box

Make sure people aren’t turned away by the amount of information they have to provide in order to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Do you really need to know your website visitors’ addresses, phone numbers, and ages when they sign up for your email list?

Try a simple form like the one below instead:

Example of a simple email signup form

Using these tips will help you build a relevant list filled with people who will be more likely to open your emails and convert in the future.

2. Use Email Segmentation Best Practices to Increase Sales with Email Marketing

Chances are you’re already using email segmentation to avoid sending the same emails to everyone on your subscription list.

These are some of the metrics you need to take into account:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Interest
  • Spending habits
  • Shopping history
Email segmentation chart

Source

If you want to take your email marketing to the next level, you need to not only stop sending irrelevant email and follow the email segmentation best practices:

a. Test, test, test

The only way to guarantee that your email segmentation is working is to keep testing your emails. Make it a habit to routinely check whether your segmented email campaigns are reaching the right people.

Here are effective ways to test your messages:

  • Solicit feedback from your readers
  • Keep an eye on your open rates and other key metrics
  • Use A/B testing to test different emails on different groups of subscribers and see how each group responds to your messages

b. Use data-driven segmentation

Boys like blue and girls like pink. Older people hate when things are too flashy and young people love it.

If you’re using preconceived notions or stereotypes like these to determine the way you target the people on your email list, you’re not making the most of email segmentation.

Throw assumptions out of the window and let data guide you.

Collect data and use that data to help you form adequate and appropriate segments. For example, if the subject lines “fun for the whole family” and “cozy winter essentials for everyone in the family” perform better with a certain segment of your audience, then you know that group of subscribers may be more interested in family-oriented emails.

With data-driven segmentation, you can guarantee that your emails strike the right notes with your readers.

c. Save your master list

Email segmentation can be problematic if you toss your master list of subscribers in favor of tons of small segmented lists. This will make it difficult for you to create new segments and make changes to your email segmentation in the future.

Remember, your customers’ preferences are not set in stone and the way you need to market to them will shift over time. Make sure you have a master list that you can use to evolve and re-evaluate your segments.

3. Use Automation Wisely

Want to make your eCommerce email marketing life easier? Automation is the way to go!

But use it with caution.

Automation can help send your emails at the perfect time and increase the likelihood that your emails will be opened.

But here are some tips to save you from email automation fails:

a. Don’t spam your subscribers

Email automation is a useful tool because it can help you send high-quality emails without using as much time and energy. But don’t go on an email sending spree — it may do more harm than good.

With email automation, it’s far too easy to send email after email to your list with a click of a button. Consciously avoid sending emails to your subscriber list too frequently and ending up in their spam folders.

Hey, you'll love this: 5 Awesome GDPR Compliant Email Opt-In Ideas

b. Add a human touch

When you’re sending emails with the click of a button, you also run the risk of becoming too formal or robotic. Make sure you’re still coming across as a brand run by humans! Make your copy warm and inviting instead of a copy-paste template coming from an automated machine.

Make it a priority to keep things personal and show the humane side of your brand.

c. Set specific goals

If someone asked for help with their New Year’s Resolution to “be healthy,” what advice would you give them? Do they need assistance with protein-rich meal recipes? Do they need help with preparing an exercise budget and schedule?

There are several ways to approach a problem but unless you’re sure about the specifics, coming up with a specific solution will be challenging.

Similarly, improving your email marketing automation without a specific goal in mind is like expecting to be healthy without a health goal in mind.

Like everything else in your business, you need to make sure that you have a clear objective that you’re aiming towards with your email automation beyond just “finding success!”

Are you trying to increase your open rate? Do you want to step up your customer service? Are you attempting to boost your conversion rate?

When you have a specific goal, you can develop an email automation strategy specifically tailored to achieve it.

4. Switch Things Up

It may be counterintuitive if you’re just sending sales emails to your subscribers.

Mix it up to get the best results.

Here are a few examples of different types of emails you can send to your subscribers:

a. News about cutting edge innovations within your niche or your industry

Is something new or exciting happening within your industry? Keep your subscribers informed with informational emails or emails that link to updates on your blog like WKB:

Example of news-based email

b. Updates about your business

Let your readers know about any new partnerships, major internal changes, and other updates like Preemptive Love Coalition:

Example of business update-based email

c. Discounts, free shipping, and coupon codes

Send personalized discounts or gifts like free shipping. This is how Allbirds does it:

Example of offer-based email

d. Limited edition products

No one likes to feel left out. Use FOMO to your advantage to help people follow your CTA by sending emails about limited edition products.

Here’s another example from Allbirds:

Email example for limited edition products

e. Thank you emails

Let your customers know that you value them and their loyalty like in this example from Red Lobster:

When you switch up the types of emails you send, you keep your subscribers on your toes. This makes them even more likely to open your emails — thereby increasing your chances of a sale.

Thank you email example

5. Use Welcome Emails to Drive Real Sales

Sending welcome emails will help your customers feel connected and valued.

Here are a few best practices for sending effective welcome emails:

  • Send welcome emails immediately - Many businesses make the mistake of sending welcome emails for the day (or even worse, for the week!) at the same time. This is a surefire way to miss out on sales. Send welcome emails immediately while your business is fresh on your new subscriber’s mind.
  • Give them a gift - When people subscribe to your email list, they’re doing you a favor. Show your gratitude by offering a discount code or another useful offer like the NWSL Shop:
Gift-based welcome email
  • Encourage readers to shop. Once subscribers opt-in to your email list, give them a reason to buy from your eCommerce store. FLX Rewards does a great job of this by explaining that subscribers are immediately eligible to start earning redeemable points on their purchases:
Point-based welcome email example
  • Reward customer referrals. Your new email subscriber could easily turn into two. Encourage new subscribers to invite a friend to sign up for your emails in exchange for a free gift or a discount code. Take Atoms for example:
Customer referral-based email example

6. Send Email Receipts

Your subscribers are 4x more likely to open an email receipt than any type of marketing email that you send.

Take advantage of this by:

  • Including discounts and personalized product recommendations in your email receipts
  • Promoting your social media platforms
  • Soliciting feedback through surveys
  • Asking customers to share about their experience with their friends and families

Consider Amazon —which includes an “Items from your list” section at the bottom of their email receipts:

Email receipt example with product recommendation

Button Poetry also uses email receipts effectively, making sure to plug their social media accounts at the bottom of their receipts:

Email receipt example with social media handle

Sending email receipts is a great eCommerce email marketing tactic you can leverage to boost your chances of sales.

7. Create Crisp and Engaging CTAs

You can send the most engaging and enticing email in the world, but it’ll add up to almost nothing if it doesn’t clearly direct the readers to take a certain action.

Make sure your emails have a clear call-to-action (CTA) button that makes it simple for them to perform a desired action. Make sure that your CTAs are compelling and inspiring enough to convert!

MeUndies, for example, likes to incorporate their new products into their CTA buttons:

Engaging CTA example to add to email marketing to increase sales

Preemptive Love Coalition provides another great example of using inspiring copy and collectivism in order to increase conversions:

Email example with conversion oriented CTAs

These are some great examples that can get you on the right path to come up with irresistible CTAs.

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8. Avoid Spam Filters

If your emails are being marked as spam or blocked as spam filters, you’re potentially losing out on thousands of dollars of revenue.

Keep the following best practices in mind to help you avoid the spam folder!

  • Use the double opt-in method
  • Make it easy for users to unsubscribe
  • Send relevant content
  • Avoid “spam-like” words like “please read” and “giveaway”
  • Use personalization
  • Craft strong subject lines for your emails
  • Use call-to-action buttons instead of links or attachments

9. Use a Responsive Design

As per stats, 60% of email opens are from mobile devices.

If your emails are frustrating to read because they aren’t mobile or user friendly, your open rate will plummet, and you won’t be able to get the best out of email marketing.

Here are some tips to help you step up your mobile design:

  • Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly - Your emails shouldn’t require your readers to flip their screen or pinch and zoom to read and they should be designed for a variety of screen sizes. Almost 80% of shoppers will stop engaging with your site if your content doesn’t display well on their devices.
  • Test your color scheme to ensure your CTA buttons stand out - 38% of people will leave your site if the layout and design are unattractive or confusing.
  • Use an appropriate image format - 39% of shoppers will simply leave your site if the images take too long to load.

Remember to follow these best practices so that your mobile readers aren’t left in the dust.

10. Ask for Help

If you want to make sure your email marketing campaigns are bearing fruit — then who better to ask than your target audience?

Solicit feedback and use this information to step up your email marketing.

One of the most effective ways to see whether or not your customers are reacting well to your email marketing is to send them surveys that request feedback.

11. Remember, A/B Testing is Your Friend

One of the best ways to make sure your email campaign is going to work effectively is to test it!

Use A/B testing to see which of your emails will perform best with your target audience.

A/B testing is an optimization tool that you can use to compare different versions of your emails in order to see which one performs best with your target audience. With A/B testing, your brand will be able to test emails on your actual subscribers, giving you accurate data that you can use to inform your email marketing strategy and achieve your desired results.

There are many ways that A/B testing can help you take your email marketing to the next level and accrue sales:

  • Improvement - A/B testing helps you pinpoint specific mistakes in your email campaigns. You may be making the same email marketing mistakes day after day without even knowing it! A/B testing will help you see exactly which features of your email campaigns are not working so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Optimization - Maybe your email marketing strategy is already pretty solid. A/B testing is still helpful because it shows you exactly how you can maximize and optimize your email marketing strategy in order to make your campaigns even more effective. If your conversion rate can increase by 5, 10, or 15% with a simple change, why would you settle for less?
  • Engagement - When your emails are optimized for your target audience, they will become more engaged with your emails. When your readers are more likely to open and engage with your emails, they’re also more likely to convert!

If you want to see the benefits of A/B testing for your email marketing, make sure to keep these best practices in mind:

  • Set a specific goal - You should try to focus on achieving one, specific actionable goal at a time. Make sure your goal can be measured!
  • Think outside the box - You can A/B test any and every component of your emails from your CTA buttons, font sizes to subject lines!
  • Analyze your data - The A/B test doesn’t stop when you’ve created and tested your variants. Make sure to analyze your data and apply it to your email marketing campaigns.

Even if you’re finding a lot of success with your current email marketing strategy, you can always improve. A/B testing is a great place to start.

To help you on your conversion journey, ConvertCart can help you with our unmatched optimization suite of 21 tools. Along with our A/B testing tool, you also get dedicated team support to optimize the tool to boost your homepage conversion rate.

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Learn more about ConvertCart and how we can help you step up your conversion rates when you visit our website.

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