B2B Articles - March 20, 2014

Email marketing for eCommerce

Email marketingAn email list is a powerful asset for eCommerce websites if not abused. Email lists can build brand advocacy, drive purchases and keep eCommerce brands in memory.

  • Email has an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association)
  • 80% of people say they receive marketing messages alongside their personal emails on a daily basis. (ChoozOn Blue Kangaroo Survey)

Email list building basics

  • Create an accessible and highly visible email sign-up box that can be seen throughout the eCommerce website
  • What is the benefit for joining the mailing list? What will a customer receive? Benefits of registering for your email program are clearly listed.
  • Build trust in your privacy policy
  • Emails should contain content that is useful, interesting, helpful, entertaining or in some way clearly valuable to your audience

Email marketing benefits

Email can be a powerful tool for customer acquisition, including lead nurturing and repeat purchasing with eCommerce brands.  According to a Custora study that analyzed data from 72 million customers shopping on 86 different retailer sites, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquisition via email to nearly 7 percent.

The study also found that the average customer lifetime value (CLV) of users acquired via email is considerably higher than social media acquisition for eCommerce websites.

Below is a graph from Shopify based on the Custora study that shows email being used for customer acquisition.

Email marketing for customer acquisition

Ideas for building an email subscriber list

  • Clear call-to-action for email subscriptions on the website
  • Accessible email join form with benefits clearly laid out
  • Include incentives: either current incentives or future incentives for joining an email list
  • In-store cashier to request email during purchase
  • In-store iPad kiosk to collect email
  • Guided shopping kiosks or mobile apps to collect emails
  • Create a VIP email list with incentives for great potential customers
  • Pay-per-action advertising
  • Special invitation website pop-up panel to request email sign-ups
  • Special, real-word events

Incentives for building email marketing lists

Ecommerce businesses can use incentives to build email subscribers. Both immediate and future incentives can work to build subscription lists. Besides building subscribers, offering incentives can also increase customer / prospect loyalty.

Immediate incentives

  • Discounts on a purchase
  • Reward points assigned to a future purchase
  • Access to a member's only area
  • Give-aways

Future incentives

  • Previews of future season collections
  • Early shopping on Flash sales
  • Invitations to private events
  • Future prizes
  • Raffles or contests

Tactics for eCommerce email marketing

  • eCommerce Lead Nurturing - Remind and inspire users about your brand by delivering interesting news, content and product updates.
  • Customer happiness emails - Reward and inspire customers with interesting content, contests, coupons and give-aways to drive up happiness and thereby repeat purchases.
  • Automated behavior-based emails - Help users and offer incentives based on triggers or behaviors to increase sales. This could also include emailing coupons for shopping cart abandonment or sharing a product comparison guide based on the interests of a particular customer. Emails can also be triggered by timed workflows to help a customer through a single purchase or during a season.
  • One time email announcements - One time emails are the least effective in converting sales, but they can still be useful (if not abused) as a reengagement strategy.
  • Email-a-friend buttons - Website visitors often wish to share products, content or entire catalogs with friends... Make it easy for them!


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