Email marketing is essential for online businesses looking to bolster their sales, and intelligent email marketing campaigns can be great for achieving specific business goals. It’s a simple concept that can sometimes feel difficult to execute, especially when you don’t know how to appeal to your target audience, or what to do with the data it provides.
We’re going to break down email marketing for online businesses, so you can get the most out of your email marketing campaigns.
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What is email marketing?
Email marketing does exactly what it says – it’s an email to promote your brand, advertise or sell services and products, and build a relationship with customers. Its power lies in being able to craft unique, specific messages and offers that can appeal to a specific audience. Email marketing campaigns also provide an efficient way to measure results, helping you to better plan in the future, or adjust your strategies for selling online.
How email marketing can boost ecommerce sales
One of the key questions when running a business is “how do I entice customers to do business with me?” Marketing is one of the most powerful tools a business can use to answer this, but campaigns can be expensive, and require significant investment in time and money. Email marketing is an easy, accessible, and effective way to tap into the potential of marketing, for businesses of every size.
In fact, email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than something like Facebook or Twitter combined. Purchases are also estimated to be up to 17% higher. It’s also a platform with the largest reach, with 3.8 billion people using email today. With an effective ROI of £35.41 for every pound spent, it boasts some of the best returns and reach out of any marketing channel.
How to incorporate email marketing into your digital strategy
Know your audience
Knowing your audience will lead to higher conversion from your email marketing communications. This is where audience insights can help, and there’s marketing software available to provide this information and help you create customised mailing lists.
You want to provide deals or products that will interest your customers, to create emails
that people will open and engage with. They need to provide value to the people you’re marketing to, or your offers will become spam.
Click-through rates (CTR) determine how effective your email is at influencing your target audience and tell you who clicked on a link in your email for your website.
There are a few reasons why a customer may not click through, such as having an unprofessional looking email. There’s always the worry of scam emails in the back of our minds so crafting something professional removes one barrier to entry. Alongside this, a poorly assembled email with no thought to user experience (UX) could make clicking through dense, or unintuitive, leading to potential loss of business. It’s essential that your email is clean, clear, and easy for the potential customer to access what it is your advertising. This is where a strong call to action (CTA) can help in guiding a prospective purchaser.
Find the right campaign
Campaigns can vary from pushing promotions, to simple welcome or thank you emails. Which one is best depends on what objectives you want to meet and who you want to appeal to. There’s no shortcut, but here’s some styles of email you could consider.
- Welcome Welcome emails are a great way to, you got it, welcome people. But it’s more than that, you can introduce all that your business has to offer, provide exclusive discounts for those who subscribe to email lists, or promote upcoming events.
- Sales or Promotions There’s a lot you can do for promotions, it’s your way to instantly spread the news about any in-store sales or major discounts. Perhaps, you can include coupon codes, or include friend sign-up bonuses. There’s a lot of ways to get creative, but even keeping it simple can really boost your sales.
- Seasonal Akin to promotions, spread the word about any seasonal deals, events, or occasions.
- Newsletters This can be an excellent way to strengthen an existing relationship with existing customers, or bring new ones in. Newsletters can highlight your products or services, or even introduce your social media accounts. Perhaps you’ve recently been involved in a charity drive? This would be a great place to talk about it and boost other channels.
- Informational These are great opportunities to assert authority and trust with your audience. Explain your new products, show off recent case studies, or offer hints and tips for something like Valentine’s Day. You could even introduce the team or provide aftercare information for certain products.
- Events Even if you’re an online business, you may host events online, or at temporary locations. This is an excellent way to send invitations and hype the event.
- Re-engagement The goal of these emails is to draw people back in, whether that’s to spend in your store, or to use their loyalty cards. Take the chance to throw them an offer that may put you back in their thoughts.
Measure your results
When you’re jumping into email marketing, it’s important to write for a person and not a collective. When you think about who you’re marketing towards, you can tailor your email but to know who you’re writing for, you need the information at your disposal. Analytics can help you measure what is and isn’t working, who’s opening your emails and what’s selling in different locations. This can help you create future email marketing campaigns which are more aligned to what your audience wants, thereby boosting engagement.
Email marketing tips to help you sell online
Keep it consistent
It’s easy to lose your tone of voice or key messages when running different campaigns and potentially multiple audiences, but it’s important to stay consistent. Not only does it grow trust and create a recognisable brand, but it lets you express who you are as a company. Who are you? What are your goals? What do you care about as a company? Who are you appealing to? What image do you want to present? This can help you construct emails in the future.
Personalise your messaging
In a recent Forbes article, effective email strategies were stated to be “personal, targeted, and crafted with the customers’ objectives and objections in mind.” And it’s true, simply including your customer’s name in your email marketing can increase open rates by 5.2%, increasing by 11 to 55% with further personalisation, such as birthday offers. Studies also show that nearly 80% of people who receive personalised emails are likely to purchase from a business again.
Offer incentives & promotions
It’s vital to give a subscriber a reason to open your emails. Too many irrelevant emails that do nothing for them and you may quickly find yourself sidelined. Adding value to emails, whether that’s through informational topics of interest, subscriber benefits or promotion of relevant products is essential. Sending emails for the sake of communication isn’t ideal, and only sending generic promotional emails with no benefit or interest for the reader could lead to your emails finding themselves in a junk folder.
Ensure your designs are responsive
Responsive design is essential to converting click-throughs, and with nearly 45% of all email marketing being opened on mobile devices, it’s essential that you get it right for all user bases. Nearly 61% of users won’t return to a mobile site if they had trouble accessing it, and up to 40% may visit a competitor’s site instead. It really is that easy to lose customers just because your email was not device friendly.
Test, test and test again
Consider what works, and what doesn’t. Analytics can help in this regard, but you can also ask for customer feedback. Try sharing between colleagues what works and what doesn’t. Ask important questions and put them to the test. How was personalisation received? How often should you send an email? What tone of voice was received well? What promotions? What do your customers find valuable? Mark Asquith, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Base Media says, “Rather than sending more, test what you already do. Then test frequency. There’s no sense sending more of what doesn’t work, nor less of what does work.”
Square can help you create impactful eCommerce email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is a simple enough concept, but execution counts for a lot. Square can help you craft your next email marketing campaign for your online business by providing insights and analytics, and helping you manage your campaigns. You can easily design custom emails or save time with templates, set up automated campaigns, and create personalised and targeted mailing lists.
With on-demand reports, open rate and click through analytics, as well as sales and discount tracking, you can see what’s working for you and what isn’t. It’s an easy and integrated way to look at all aspects of a campaign.
Look at how Square Marketing can work for you.