Money making is no rocket science. It is an art and it can be done only when you know your audience inside out.
This post gives you an insight into 17 tactics that are in practice to increase eCommerce revenue.
A welcome email is absolutely essential to be sent after a sign-up to show approval of a new addition to your audience.
Reasons to start a welcome email series
- Generates 320% more revenue per email basis than other promotional emails.
- Confirms the subscription from the retailers’ end so that subscribers are never in doubt.
- Serves as a launchpad to build trust and long-term relationship.
- The subscriber gets a sense of being treated as someone unique, especially with personalization.
- The optimal way to sell immediately after a sign-up.
Take a look at how a welcome email can be portrayed in the example below.
A conversion happens with just a click on the Call-to-Action button. It might seem pretty easy to set up one at the end of your email but there is so much reasoning and logic behind crafting the right CTA button that looks clickable.
Some suggestions to get the perfect CTA
- Color - Use a bright color that contrasts with the written text and background, usually a red, orange, green, yellow, or blue.
- Leave white space around the button.
- Include a CTA copy that does not exceed 60 characters.
- Use actionable words such as ‘Sign’, ‘Shop’, ‘Book’, ‘Subscribe’, and the like.
- Create urgency by including a countdown timer.
- Personalize the CTA.
- Test it out.
Here is an email sent by Storyblocks that urges to grab the deal with the enticing CTA.
A/B testing, also called split or bucket testing is one of the best strategies used to create better emails for your customer base. It is a test that detects the email version, between two types A and B, that has struck the right chord with the audience, so that the entrepreneur can craft and send out the winning version to his customer base to drive sales and increase revenue.
Things to do prior to A/B testing
Divide the existing email list into three - 15% (version ‘A’), 15% (version ‘B’), and 70% (winning version) This categorization is done to ensure that you do not resend the same type of email twice to the same address and it also helps to study your entire customer base.
Decide on why you need to do the testing or the purpose of it. When it comes to email marketing A/B testing, there are various aspects of an email that can be tested. If you feel you need to try out a new subject line, do the testing for that alone.
Adding too many changes at once will not give clear-cut results and so be wise and take one step at a time.
Other than the subject line, the elements of an email that can be put to test are
- Discount offer
- Preview text
- Landing page
- Send time
Considering that the ultimate target is to improve revenue through email marketing, one must keep a close watch on the metrics of conversion rate which determines the percentage of subscribers who have turned into customers.
Dewalt, one of Stanley Black and Decker’s brands, decided to test their product page CTA. Version A had ‘Buy Now’ as CTA and version B was ‘Shop Now’. It turned out that version A outperformed version B with 17% more clicks.
Personalization is one way by which you can make a customer feel special.
And do you think that just using the name of the customer in emails will do the trick?
Never. That is only the baby step of personalization.
The content of the emails must be personalized for better customer engagement and conversions.
Say if there are a set of customers who prefer buying only home decor via your website and are not interested in any other product. It would be of no use if you send them an email containing a list of kitchenware as recommended products.
How to do this? Segmentation is the key to study customers based on preferences and is discussed in the next sub-heading. Categorize your audience based on purchase history, past email engagement, and other similar factors.
Benefits of personalization
- Authenticity is exerted through personalization and the customer reciprocates by purchasing more due to the trust built.
- Possibility of customer retention is higher.
Research says that around 75% of people like it when their emails are personalized and eventually a 10% hike in conversion rate can be witnessed.
Would you even open up an email that is completely irrelevant? I wouldn’t.
This happens when the general ‘batch and blast’ method of dispatching emails is followed. Sorry to say but this will never give you expected results. Put in a little more effort by segmenting your list and see your sales improve.
A study by Mailchimp showed that segmented campaigns have 14.37% higher open rates compared to non-segmented campaigns.
- Purchase frequency
- Amount of purchase
- Customers with multiple orders
- Browse abandonment
This is a pictorial representation of the possible types of segmentation by emailmonday
Some instances when autoresponders are used
- When a new subscriber joins the mailing list
- Based on email campaign activities
- For birthdays and anniversaries
- For a regular dose of informational content series
- On purchasing a product, etc.,
Let us take the first instance when a new subscriber comes in. The following is an example showing a series of emails that can be sent for the autoresponder series to drive sales.
Email 1 - Send a welcome email. Email 2 - Pose an issue that the subscriber faces. Say, if you are a company that sells gardening tools online, talk about a common gardening issue that people face. Email 3 - Delve deep into the problem talking about the causes and the ways to resolve it. Email 4 - Inform the subscriber that you are about to launch a product that can be the solution for the issue. Market it. Email 5 - Launch the product. Email 6 - Send a reminder to purchase. Email 7 - Say that only a few hours are left to complete the purchase with the coupon code. Email 8 - Convey the message that the sale is over.
If everything goes well, the subscriber will take action and get the product after the 5th email. To do this effectively, you must definitely make use of the concepts of segmentation and personalization discussed previously.
Marketing is all about tactics. The best way to entice a person is to play with his psychological construct and FOMO is all about doing the same.
By the way, what does FOMO stand for? Fear Of Missing Out. It can be worded as a play on the emotions of man.
The fear that your subscriber might miss out on an offer is the trump card to increase revenue. Now, what are the ways to generate that curiosity and fear?
- Use a countdown timer in the email
- Set a deadline for a discount purchase
- Display the number of limited stocks available
- Offer incentives and e-vouchers with a time limit
- Show social proof
- Use exit-intent popup
FOMO is one of the surefire ways to get the best out of email marketing.
According to a study by Marketingsherpa, email subject line is the most tested element of any email marketing campaign. The chart below shows the importance of the same.
The subject line is one element that creates the first impression and urges the customer to open up the email. It has a direct impact on the open rates of an email. Open rate is the most important metric that determines the success of an email sent out to the customer base.
Two things to look into when crafting a subject line:
- The words used
- The length
The content of a subject line must be direct and specific. The customer must readily understand the contents of the email by scanning the subject line. When it is an eCommerce email, one can include details like the discount offer and time to create an urgency like this one
Until tomorrow get your GIFT COUPON of $15
This subject line by Meemoza, a clothing brand, saw open rates of 66.42%.
Moving on to the length of the subject line, there is no specific length for any subject line to be written. Here’s why.
A report by Return Path shows the following results as depicted in the chart.
The chart clearly shows that subject lines with 61-70 characters have the highest read rate.
Contrary to this, there are shorter subject lines that have created magic.
Here’s one. ‘LAST CALL!’ was the subject line for one email campaign by LaBellaMafia, a clothing company. You won’t believe that it had an open rate of 69.69%.
In a nutshell, you cannot jump to conclusions. It is better to test a subject line, whether short or long, to know if it works and if it has struck the right chord with the customer base.
People are never tired of incentives be it in the form of gift vouchers or a discount sale. In fact, sales see a rise when incentives are introduced in email marketing campaigns. Here is proof.
Incentives are not just about offering products for a reduced price. Marketers are also ready to give away freebies in the form of products, valuable content like a mini-course, or even free shipping.
It is estimated that a free shipping offer is twice as effective as a discount offer and that companies shell out around $77 billion annually for incentives and promotions.
A report by Yes Lifestyle Marketing based on different types of incentives for retail emails shows the following data.
It can be clearly noted that the conversion rate is highest for incentives based on percentage followed by free shipping.
Here is a discount email with a big 70% off. The words ‘Now or Never’ sends out the message that a similar sale is never going to happen again. So, it is kind of a last chance.
Heart beats faster when the clock ticks down. A sense of urgency is created within a person seeing the time running out and this feeling pushes the person to jump into action. This is the idea behind using a countdown timer in emails.
Countdown timers can be used as a sales driver for discount sales, seasonal sales, free shipping, and many other reasons.
The timer was in real time, simple, bold, and neat for a 24-hour sale. The message sent out to the customer was also very clear indicating a discount with the line ‘ALL ITEMS REDUCED’.
With less clutter, the reception of the email was overwhelming for the store with a 171% higher click-to-open rate.
It is not only for a sale, but a countdown timer can be used to keep a person waiting for a product launch, creating a sense of desperation to grab the offer provided in the initial hours of the launch.
In spite of the success that a countdown timer can give, every eCommerce entrepreneur must be careful about overusing the concept. If done repeatedly, the customers tend to lose the trust that was built and lead to potential alienation.
Getting feedback from your customer base is vital in order to improve your services or even the quality of products that you sell.
Feedbacks can be in the form of product testimonials, reviews, or a survey to get a larger picture.
Of course, your customer will have to spare some time to do it. So, will they do it?
Most people will send a review if the product is super-satisfactory and for the hesitant lot, you have to take the plunge.
Reward your customer with an offer for feedback like in the image shown below. This is a sweet way to push people to buy more.
Holidays and offers go hand in hand. Some even wait for the seasonal offers to make the most out of their purchase. The concept of seasonal email marketing can be used for recognized holidays, annual events, and even non-traditional holidays.
eCommerce retailers never miss out on this opportunity to generate more sales. An example of this is the Christmas season which generates 30% more revenue than any other time of the year.
Ways to make the seasonal sales click
- Keep your audience informed about the seasonal sale at least a week before the actual sale via email. This will help them to decide in advance on what to purchase.
- Highlight the number of days of the sale and the special discounts offered on products.
- Remind the customer about the time left for the sales to end.
The purpose of an eCommerce drip campaign can be to
- Win-back a lost customer
- Promote a product and sell it
- Re-engage with a customer
- Get a product review
- Cart recovery
- Nurture leads, etc.,
Email 1 - sent immediately after abandonment Email 2 - sent 23 hours after abandonment with a 10% discount Email 3 - sent 4 days later with a 20% discount
Result SmilieyCookie recaptured 29% of abandoned carts
Stats that prove the success of a drip campaign
- Open rates are 80% higher than single sends
- Successful drip campaigns generate 80% more sales at 33% lower costs
Why eCommerce drip campaigns work?
- Emails are not generic and are targeted on a specific issue which increases engagement.
- Drip campaigns act as a reminder to finish a purchase.
- Customers get educated about the product.
- Prevents unsubscription to a large extent.
Creating a referral program is one way to increase subscribers and sales eventually.
A referral program with 2-way benefit is more effective than the one with single-sided benefit. The example below shows the same. The person who refers and the new subscriber, both are rewarded for their actions.
Timings are sometimes an underrated factor in sending emails but the scenario is quite different.
Let’s consider that you are late for an interview and you get thrown out citing that reason. You failed to keep up with time and lost the possibility of a good job offer.
Similarly, you will lose a potential customer if you send out emails at inappropriate timings. You cannot take a back seat with the thinking that the email will anyway be delivered to the correct address and so the recipient will read it anyways, maybe even later.
Many studies have been done regarding this and the results vary for all of them.
Let us look at some data from studies conducted to find out the perfect email send time.
|Study conducted by||Best day to send email||Best time to send email|
|Mail Chimp||Thursday||10 AM|
|Experian||Monday||4 AM - 8 AM|
As tabled above, the data shows varying times and days and it is obvious that the companies would have used different emails lists for the study.
One fact that can be concluded is that the best time to send a mail is during the weekdays and probably during office hours.
Irrespective of this, it is always suggested to test your email list and act accordingly because different email lists behave differently.
Studies show that the purchase rate for eCommerce emails with a coupon code is 10% whereas for emails without a coupon code is 3%.
The above email will impact sales positively will see growth in revenue. If this is one way to increase sales, here is another way to do it.
Transactional email is one last chance to engage with the customer after a purchase. Generally, a transactional email contains details about billing and shipping. This is the bare-minimum requirement for a transactional email.
Data shows that the engagement rates are as high as 44.9% (open rate) for transactional emails compared to other marketing emails which have only 20.8%.
The probable reasons for this are
- People value the hard-earned money spent on a purchase and check that everything is correct.
- People open up the transactional emails even two days after purchase to track the shipping.
This concern that people show in engaging with the transactional email must be leveraged by any eCommerce email marketer to increase revenue.
Following are the ways to customize a transactional email
- Include the name of the customer
- Recommend other products to the customer based on purchase history (upsell and cross-sell)
Give offers with a unique coupon code for next purchase. Try Retainful for this.
These 17 are not the only methods to grow your revenue and there are plenty more out there. But for now, implement a couple of these techniques to change the face of your retail business.