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Importance Of Email Marketing To eCommerce Brands

Email marketing is one of the most important form of marketing for almost every organization out there, especially for ecommerce businesses.

Here are just a few ways email marketing adds value to your business:

Boost sales – Emails work because they’re personalized, targeted, and automated—and you probably already have customers’ email addresses. Email subscribers tend to open more than half of the emails they receive, which means your customers are opening your emails—which means it’s time to start sending them!

Increase sales with abandoned cart campaigns – If you’ve ever shopped online before, chances are at some point you added something to your cart but never ended up checking out. Even though these shoppers haven’t completed their purchase yet (making them much easier targets), they’re much less likely to come back and find your products again. Email automation gives you the opportunity to reach out to these potential customers before it’s too late, reminding them of what they almost bought and offering discounts/free shipping/etc.

Build customer trust – A study conducted by Epsilon found that email is the #1 preferred channel for companies to communicate with their customers, followed by social media and mobile messaging apps (3:2:1 ratio, respectively). This makes sense–companies can use emails to send newsletters with updates on new products or sales, while also sending transactional messages about purchases and account activity. By utilizing campaigns across multiple channels, brands are able to establish email as a trusted communication tool between themselves and consumers.

Email Marketing Vs Paid Traffic (Paid Search, Paid Social)

Email tends to perform more profitably in many ways when compared with paid advertising channels such as paid search, social media ads, and Facebook retargeting.

One of the reasons why email is so effective for conversions is that your customers have already opted-in to receive emails from you, which means the audience that you are sending targeted messages to you are already warm traffic, which leads to high open rates and click-throughs.

It is much more profitable to advertise to warm traffic as opposed to cold traffic because there is no need to introduce the idea of the product to the customer as the customer ALREADY trusts you.

Additionally, it’s often cheaper than paid advertising for acquiring new leads. In a test comparing Klaviyo with Facebook ads on Black Friday, we found that when looking at the cost per purchase relative to ad spend:

Paid Social Ads (Facebook) = $15 / Conversion    = 33.33% ROI

Email Marketing =  $1 / Conversion    = 80.11% ROI

While Facebook ads and paid traffic are great for reaching a wider audience, email is often better at generating conversions due to its high open rates and click-throughs/conversions.

Paid Traffic Is STILL Needed DESPITE Email

This does not however mean that you should STOP using paid traffic as a company that grows needs to constantly expand its top of funnel to acquire NEW customers and eyeballs.

This does not mean that you should stop running paid advertising campaigns in favor of email marketing.

Instead, it’s best to utilize both in conjunction with each other–by sending emails about upcoming promotions or events alongside retargeting ads with coupons, you can draw back in users who have abandoned their carts or shown interest in your products but never made a purchase.

What Email Marketing Software Should You Use?

Klaviyo is a powerful email marketing software for ecommerce marketers which allows you to send beautifully designed marketing emails with erratic automation.

Drip is another popular email automation tool that is very similar in how it works and also costs $69/month.

Both of these tools are great choices, but there are some differences between the two that you should consider before making your decision:

1.) Ease of use – Klaviyo’s drag-and-drop interface makes it much easier to custom build your campaigns than drip, which requires more coding knowledge.  While both can be time consuming if you don’t know what you’re doing, due to the fact klaviyo is designed specifically for ecommerce businesses it can be more forgiving and easier to use.

2.) Automation – Klaviyo has a lot of powerful automation features that Drip lacks, such as the ability to add customers who purchase a certain product to a specific list or tag, or adding subscribers who open/click your email to a different list than those who don’t. This level of automation can be extremely powerful in helping you target your customers more effectively.

3.) Price – Klaviyo starts at $49/month while Drip starts at $69/month, so if price is a concern then Klaviyo may be the better option.

Both Klaviyo and Drip are great choices for email but in our opinion Klaviyo is the better option. They are more robust at analytics, tracking and their software has been the de facto software provider of the eCommerce industry.

It would be hard pressed to find someone in eCommerce NOT using klaviyo.

We at OXG Media like Klaviyo so much that we ourselves are official klaviyo partners!

Types Of Essential Email Marketing Flows To Setup

Now that you have a basic understanding of email marketing and why it’s so powerful, let’s take a look at some essential flows you should setup in your account:

1.) Welcome Series Email

When someone signs up for your list, they should automatically receive a welcome email which thanks them for subscribing and includes some content or a offer they can’t resist.

What is the purpose of the Welcome Series?

The welcome series is generally the 1st email flow that customers see when they 1st opt into the list. The frame of mind of the customer is that the person is interested enough in your brand that they are willing to give you their contact information.

They are still teetering on the edge of buying from you but have not pulled the trigger. And the reason why people don’t buy from you is because they don’t trust you enough OR that they are not convinced that your product can solve their problem. 

Hence remember to incorporate some of these elements into your flow:

  • Introduction by the founder/CEO/fictional character to make customer comfortable with the brand or associate someone with the brand
  • Discount incentives to quickly drive the 1st purchase and push people to give you money for the 1st time to establish value exchange/relationship
  • Testimonials explaining how said product has helped customer achieve desired result in x amount of time, to convince customer via social proof 

2.) Abandoned Cart Email

A very common flow is an abandoned cart email, which is sent to customers who add products to their cart but do not complete the purchase. This email should include a coupon or discount code to incentivize the purchase.

What is the purpose of the Abandoned Cart Flow?

The abandoned cart flow is the email series that is sent to the customer if they have added to cart, gone through the checkout process but DID NOT purchase in the end. People usually do not make a purchase for a couple of reasons, usually because additional shipping costs could have induced hesitation at the last second, people were busy with other things with too many tabs or they were feeling last minute doubts about your product.

By understanding the human psychology of the purchasers, remember to incorporate some of these elements into your flow:

  • Further User generated content (UGC) content or testimonials overcoming any objections that people may have about the product
  • Testimonials showing that other people have used the product with great success and desired result, usually by video form is most powerful
  • Reintroducing trust badges and money back guarantees to give assurance to the customer about their purchase 

3.) Post-Purchase Email

After someone makes a purchase, send them a post-purchase email containing product recommendations, or coupons for future purchases.

What is the purpose of the Post-Purchase Email?

The post purchase email is generally a series of automated emails that are sent to the customer after they have made a purchase. The goal of this flow is to increase customer loyalty and get customers to buy again from you. People usually do not buy again from you because they think that there are other companies out there which can solve their problem better than you OR that they do not trust you anymore.

The post purchase flow is a misunderstood email flow. Most brands do implement the post purchase flows already but should experiment more on fully utilising a HOT customer who has just bought from you.

Imagine if you just paid someone money, you’re excited about a product arriving at your house, would you feel much better if the company were to delight you even more? That’s where the post purchase flow shines in further engagement after the purchase. 

Remember to include these elements in your flow:

  • A review request for customers to leave feedback about the product and incentive for them to do so (usually a coupon or discount for their next purchase)
  • Asking customers if they want to join your loyalty or rewards program
  • Reminding customers about your money back guarantee and warranty policy
  • Recommending similar or complementary products to what the customer has just purchased
  • Selling the customer MORE things at a discount to encourage further increasing of their cart AOV and LTV with you. They are already in a HOT buying mood, they have already indicated they LIKE spending money with you. It’s ok to sell them more things.
  • Remember to send them reminder emails that inform them about the status of their order. If you could send an email about where their order is located in the delivery process, the customer will appreciate that. Imagine if a company you ordered from sends you updates on where your package is and how long it will take to arrive. You’ll feel great wouldn’t you? That a company would even bother keeping you into the loop. It builds trust and goodwill, something you can’t see in immediate ROI but possibly in the repeat purchase metrics.
  • If possible, make your customer who has JUST bought from you to feel special. If you have a VIP program or even a private facebook group for buyers for example, invite them to the group and make them feel welcome. People buy physical and digital products online, but the strongest bond is when people feel like they belong to the community. 

4) Order Follow Ups

If someone makes a purchase from you, follow up with an automated email after they place their order.

What is the purpose of the Order Follow-up Email?

The purpose of this flow is to reinforce social proof, reassure customer that status update of order was received, secure brand preference over competitors which will drive repeat business/purchases and to increase customer loyalty.

When should you send the Order Follow-up Email?

Generally, order follow-ups are sent 1-3 days after the purchase is made.

Including these elements in your flow:

  • Thanking the customer for their purchase and letting them know that their order has been received
  • Informing the customer about the status of their order
  • Showing the customer that other customers have also purchased from you
  • Including a coupon or discount for their next purchase as an incentive
  • Selling more products to the customer at a discount

5) Delivery Notification

Once your product has shipped, send an automated email notification to your customer with tracking information.

What is the purpose of the Delivery Notification Email?

The purpose of this flow is to reassure customer that the product has shipped, increase customer loyalty and to drive repeat business/purchases.

When should you send the Delivery Notification Email?

Generally, delivery notifications are sent 1-3 days after the product has shipped.

Including these elements in your flow:

  • Thanking the customer for their purchase and letting them know that their order has been shipped
  • Informing the customer about the status of their order
  • Including a coupon or discount for their next purchase as an incentive

6) Browse Abandonment/Site Abandonment Flows

What is the purpose of Site Abandonment/Browse Abandonment?

The abandonment flows are specifically built out to bring more personalisation to the marketing customer journey. These flows are activated usually when a customer has visited a specific page or product page on the site and the marketer can send very specific messaging towards the customer as they have shown interest in a specific product or topic.

For example, if I visited a blog post on ‘The ultimate guide to acne removal’, an abandonment flow could include something of relevance such as sending emails about products that could help the customer remove acne, such as recommending cleanser, foams and other related products.

With a targeted message going to a targeted audience which has exhibited interest in ‘acne removal’ already, you are going to see much higher engagement, CTRs and purchase conversion values for people on your list.

Remember to incorporate some of these elements into your flow:

  • The browsing behavior of people is akin to the window shopper. These people need to have further education on the problem awareness, then presenting the solution before they are convinced.
  • Long form copy or even video tutorials work well in abandonment flows. 

7) Sunset Engaged Flow

What is the purpose of the Sunset Engaged Flow?

Lastly, the sunset engaged flow is meant to help keep your email deliverability intact. So imagine if you had a group of 30,000 people on your list. And 10,000 of them were not active AT ALL. They did not even open or click any of your emails for the past year. So…what do you do with these people? I mean you are paying for them to be on your list.

Instead of immediately deleting them, the sunset engaged flow is created to RE-engage these people in the hopes of bringing them from dead zombies to paying customers. For those who do pay us money, we will keep them on the list. For the rest, we will say bye-bye to them to reduce our software costs.

This act of purifying the list also will help email deliverability and open rates because the ESP (email service providers and spam providers) will see that a higher % of people are interacting with the list, giving us better IP and domain reputation.

Consider incorporating some of these elements into your flow:

  1. Hard discounts, timers and scarcity is the name of the game here. The people here are the bottom barrel, so give them a last chance to stick on the list and give them a strong incentive to buy from you again to convert them. 

Apart from the email flows that will be sent out, the manual broadcast emails are the emails that will be sent out to the list every single month.

These emails are manually created because after sending them one time, you usually do not send them again, which means a team needs to be crafting the copy and designing them on an ongoing basis.

If you need help with your email marketing efforts for your eCommerce store, please head over to the link below, we at OXG Media would love to start helping you generate revenue!

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