It's kind of funny... At SmartMail, we're kind of obsessed with email marketing. And it just so happens that we are all avid music fans. So when we were listening to the Beatles the other day, and started changing the words around to tell of eCommerce business woes and email marketing strategies, we decided to take it a step further... Here it is. 16 email marketing best practices and tips we can learn from the Beatles.
1. “Yesterday” - Send the Same Email Content With a Different Subject Line to Shoppers Who Didn’t Open Yesterday
There's a good chance that some of your shoppers did not open that email you sent yesterday. Did you know that you can send the same email again to those shoppers but use a different subject line that incentivizes them to open even more than yesterday? You can easily create a simple segment like this in most email platforms like MailChimp, Active Campaign, and others. This email marketing tip will help you reach the shoppers who didn’t yet open your emails without annoying the ones who did.
2. “Don’t Let Me Down” - Make Every Email Count with Meaningful, Relevant Content
Before you send your next newsletter, look at your price points, offers, and the products you’re promoting, and give it the “so what” test. If you can say “so what” to any of your email content, then nix it. This email marketing best practice is key because if you've been lucky enough to actually have your shoppers open up your email, in the first place, then make it count! Otherwise, your list will become stale and your open and CTRs will decrease. Remember that great email marketing is about quality, not quantity and volume.
3.“I Want To Hold Your Hand” - Make Shoppers Feel Safe With The Use of Confidence Building Imagery
Always remember, sending emails is an important part of the sales (or re-sale) process, so reinforcing your brand’s value proposition and showcasing why shoppers should feel comfortable with purchasing from you with the use of confidence building imagery will help them feel safe and confident to complete their order, as if you’re holding their hands. Using trust signals, like reviews, in email can increase click-through rates by 25% and, as a result, conversions.
4. “Here Comes The Sun” - Create Irresistible Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates
Use irresistible subject lines so that when your shoppers see an email from you in the inbox they'll get that warm, fuzzy feeling like seeing the beautiful sun on the horizon. This email marketing tip is all about evoking the emotions in your shoppers that will cause them to open up your emails. Looking for ideas of great subject lines? Check out this list of 101 Subject Lines.
5. “Hello Goodbye” - Use Email Retargeting to Say Hello When Shoppers Say Goodbye
Did you know that about 30% of your site traffic hits a category page, 20% will view actual products, and only a mere 5% will add those products to a cart? Use email retargeting campaigns to say hello to your shoppers when they say goodbye. Email retargeting includes the following campaigns:
- Homepage abandonment emails
- Category or brand abandonment emails
- Product page abandonment emails
- Site search abandonment emails
- Cart abandonment emails
Sending campaigns like these can help you convert up to 30x more traffic, or more! They also help with customer engagement and increasing your eCommerce business’ overall revenue. At SmartMail, we help online retailers grow their sales by sending campaigns like these. Click here for more info.
6. “Twist and Shout” - Know When and How to Offer Promotions in Your Emails
The last thing you want to do in your online business is train shoppers to feel like they’ll get coupons whenever they want. When it comes to “twisting,” or in other words, giving away coupons and discounts, twist carefully so you don’t end up “shouting” too much! Idea: When it comes to offering incentives in an automated email series, like cart abandonment, hold off on any incentives until the second or even the third email. Shoppers may likely come back without a discount if you just address other barriers to closing a sale, like customer service issues and product questions. When you do offer incentives, use minimum order requirements and/or running promotions already on your site to help, not hurt, your bottom line.
7. “Revolution” - Don’t Reinvent the Wheel; Emulate the Big Guys
Leave the revolution up to John. For everyone else in the eCommerce space, try to emulate market leading strategies by online retailers like Amazon. Now, to be clear, we are not saying that you should be copying whatever your competitors are doing. This email marketing tip is about identifying intelligent email marketing strategies that are used by successful, larger retailers and then applying those or similar strategies to your own online business. Idea: Sign up for other retailers’ newsletters, abandon products and carts on their sites, take a look at what they’re doing and see how you can do the same thing.
8. “All You Need Is Love” - Adding Social Media Imagery to Your Emails
Social sharing buttons can increase CTRs by 158%, and all it takes is a simple little image placed at the bottom or top of your email (just make sure it doesn’t distract from any other more important, revenue-related calls to action), and then you can just watch the love flow in. Here are some best practices for integrating social media with your email marketing campaigns.
Ok, so there’s no eCommerce email marketing lesson here, but we just love this song so we had to put it in here. What’s your favorite Beatles song? Share it with us in the comments below. (We need a new office playlist, anyway.)
10. “We Can Work It Out” - Always Use Customer Support Callouts
Like we've said before, email is an important part of your sales process. In this email marketing best practice, it’s essential for you to highlight your customer support details within email campaigns so that shoppers feel that you will always be there to help “work it out”. If you make it easy for shoppers to work things out by being in touch, including a phone number, a link to FAQs and contact us forms, you’ll settle the nerves of those undecided shoppers and get them one step closer to completing a purchase.
11. “Here, There, and Everywhere” - Be Here, There, and Everywhere with Mobile-Friendly, Responsive Emails
Nowadays, over 53% of emails are read on a mobile device, and that number is only growing. We can't emphasize how important this email marketing best practice is. Optimize your emails for all devices with a stellar responsive design. Keep in mind that on mobile, large images as the focal point are key, and displaying blocks vertically will work better for mobile than the horizontal design that fits desktop. Remember this email marketing tip so that your email campaigns can always be here, there, and everywhere for your shoppers.
12. "Get Back” - Get Shoppers Back to Where They Once Belonged by Sending Browse Abandonment Emails
Browse abandonment emails point shoppers back to the exact spot in the sales funnel at which they dropped off. The most common form of this email marketing strategy is cart abandonment email campaigns. But what about all the other shoppers who browsed and left before even adding any items to their cart? For example, if a shopper left your site on a category page, send them an email that links them back to that category. Or if a shopper abandoned a specific product, bring them back to that exact product page with the product content populated in the email. Push more of your shoppers to where they once belonged with browse abandonment emails. Campaigns like these tend to yield up to 7x higher conversion rates than any other marketing channel. If you’re wondering how to implement email campaigns like these, SmartMail is an excellent tool to start with.
13. “Magical Mystery Tour” - Take Your Shopper On a Journey To Discover Your Brand With a Magical Welcome Series
There are lots of tips for creating a winning welcome email series, but here are few best practices that especially stand out:
- Send a series of three emails instead of just one welcome email
- Offer an incentive to new subscribers (check out the tip above (song/number) about how to do that without breaking your bottom line)
- Shoppers who are in the process of receiving your welcome series should be kept in a separate silo so that they don’t receive redundant or multiple messages. Instead, only start sending them general promotions after they’ve received your entire welcome series.
14. “In My Life” - Personalize Your Emails to Make Them Relevant to Each Individual Shopper
Amazon generates around one-third of its revenue from personalization efforts, including personalizing the content displayed in the emails they send to shoppers. Remember, personalization goes beyond inserting the shopper’s first name into a subject line or body copy. And your shoppers have a lot going on in their lives. Places, people, faces, friends and lovers. Use personalized product recommendations that suggest products related to a shopper’s browsing behavior on your site to make your emails standing out in your shoppers' lives and relevant to each shopper on a one to one basis.
15. “Can’t Buy Me Love” - Don’t Buy or Rent Email Lists, Build Them Yourself
One of the most common questions online retailers ask is, “How can I grow my email list? Firstly, you should NEVER buy a list of email address. Instead, you can leverage the traffic already on your site to collect more email addresses with popups or lightboxes. This email marketing tip can be so effective that it even helped this company increase their subscribers by 600%. Idea: Use filters and targeting rules to display popups to shoppers based on their on-site behavior. This will ensure that you don’t annoy your shoppers and instead entice shoppers to subscribe.
16. “The Long And Winding Road” - Implement a Full Lifecycle Email Marketing Strategy that Covers the Entire Shopping Journey
From a shopper’s initial visit to your homepage all the way through to post-purchase, the shopping journey is a long and winding road. Email consistently outperforms other marketing channels, 6 to 1, so why not use email to engage with shoppers at every step along the way? Although this song may have been the last number one single from the fab four, taking its message for email marketing to heart by implementing a full lifecycle email marketing strategy will help you increase conversions, customer engagement and AOV.