Email marketing consistently generates the highest measurable ROI of any other marketing channel (to learn how to maximize email ROI, check out this short white paper). In fact, the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) 2012 Client Benchmark Report revealed email marketing offers an ROI of almost $41 for every $1 spent.
If that weren’t enough, according to a recent report from Custora, a marketing data collection company, online retailers have seen the rate of customers acquired through email quadruple to nearly 7 percent in the last four years. These numbers all demonstrate one thing: email marketing should be integrated with ecommerce.
It’s a match made in heaven, really.
More than the numbers, email marketing benefits an ecommerce campaign because it creates customized experiences and assists customers when they need it. The shopping cycle has changed and consumers are making purchasing decisions based on access to information. Emails can provide that information and encourage purchase and interest in the brand by sending customers and potential customers to your social platforms, reviews, or other engaging content. By guiding the consumer through the process, you can offer opportunities to buy at every contact. But that’s not the only way email marketing drives sales and accommodates users.
Let’s break it down. By using email as a marketing tool, ecommerce businesses can:
- Simplify transactional emails while guiding users through every step of the path to purchase.
- Develop fully-automated and smart drip campaigns that provide the right content at the right time automatically (e.g., “we miss you” campaigns).
- Help prevent abandonment issues – if someone left their cart full of products or began filling out a form and forgot about it, an automated email can remind them to go back.
- Include deals with specific lifecycles to push a sense of urgency to the consumer and encourage quick action.
- Increase/improve customer engagement.
- Create dynamic email content on the fly based on a person’s purchase or viewing history.
- Generate fully-integrated demand generation across multiple marketing channels.
- Better understand customer journeys.
- Set filters to determine which people in your database get certain emails.
- Increase the chances of one-off purchasers becoming returning customers.
- Create, develop, deploy and report on customized email landing pages.
- Connect an automation system with a CRM or order history and use for analysis to better target and compose emails.
Sending the emails are only half the battle. Marketing and technology are always changing, so what worked three months ago, may not now. You can’t assume there was no change with customers after a period of time, so run testing during and after campaigns to find out the effectiveness of components such as:
- Subject lines
- Sender names
To sum up, email marketing makes ecommerce more efficient, improves sales, and maybe most importantly, satisfies customers by making them feel well-informed and taken care of.
Keep in mind, however, that email marketing should be part of an integrated strategy, as shoppers will rarely make a purchasing decision based on one piece of information alone. For example, someone may end up on your website through search because you optimized your pages, and then they find your compelling content which gets them to sign up for your email list. In each email they receive, they are prompted to follow your social channels, which means they can also see your ads on Facebook.
All of these pieces work together to create better user experiences, and as a result, happier customers.