Industry research agrees, email marketing is here to stay;
• The number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from 3.3 billion accounts in 2012 to over 4.3 billion by year-end 2016. (Radicati Group, Inc)
• The UK market for email marketing platforms and services grew by an estimated 15.5% year-on-year to a value of £388 million by the end of 2011 (Econsultancy)
• The average email user receives 147 messages every day, deletes 71 emails daily and spends more than 2 hours on email a day (Boomerang)
eCommerce Drip Marketing
eCommerce drip marketing is the practice of sending a series of pre-written emails at set intervals. The main purpose of eCommerce drip marketing is to engage with a prospect over a period of time and in doing so, encourage a prospect to buy a product with email vouchers and discounts. Most email software packages can be programmed to automatically send out several emails over a course of time after the introductory email.
Surprise your existing database with special offers, over stocked item blowouts and newly released products. Send a one off eCommerce email to promote various products or set up a weekly/monthly email campaign showcasing 'Products of the Week/Month'. Direct each product image with an inserted link to its specific product page on your website. This call to action encourages sales by making the buying process as simple as possible - only a few clicks away from email to checkout. Word of warning though; try not to spam your database with special offers until the users hits unsubscribe.
A recent Forrester survey (Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment) indicates 88% of web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction. This is the same percentage as five years ago, suggesting that retailers have yet to address cart abandonment and lost sales. One eCommerce email tactic is to send a series of three emails to re-engage the web buyer. These emails could perhaps include a product the user nearly purchased, a comparison guide with a similar product or invitation to revisit the website and view the product description page.
Also re-engage with existing customers who haven't purchased any of your products in some time. 'Welcome Back' promotional emails offering discount off or 'Customer Survey' emails both work well in these circumstances.
According to The Email Marketing Industry Census by Econsultancy & Adestra, companies who are practising basic segmentation are 95% more likely to rate email ROI as excellent or good compared to those who do not use even basic segmentation, nor have plans to do so.
Segmenting your existing email lists is time consuming but well worth it. For eCommerce lists, organise email addresses into categories based on past purchase history. Create highly targeted email campaigns suitable for each different category.
• Target 'First Time Purchasers' by building awareness; product education and entertainment emails will likely inspire first timers to purchase.
• Offer strong purchase incentives to 'One Time Purchasers'. Low price guarantees, free shipping or a free product will stimulate 'One Time Purchasers' to re-purchase as soon as possible.
• Cross-selling and up-selling tactics will entice 'Multiple Time Purchasers' to re-purchase. Also reward this segment with valuable e-vouchers to thank them for their continued business. Increase the level of targeting and personalisation as the level of loyalty rises.