Best Practices for Ecommerce and Email Marketing

DD native advertisingopens IMAGE file You have two options in ecommerce: spend all your time and energy selling to one-time customer or establish and nurture relationships that turn visitors to your site into repeat-purchase raving fans.

Obviously, the second option is preferred, so how do you create brand loyalty in a new customer?

Email is still king when it comes to conversions. It’s true. When was the last time you purchased something solely because of a tweet or Google ad?

Email marketing is imperative to your success and we’ve provided five steps to get you started.

  1. Identify Your Goals

You don’t want to start creating opt-in forms, assemble your email marketing strategy or testing tools until you establish your goals. What do you want to get out of email marketing? Sell more products? Encourage previous customers to buy again? Improve communication with your customers?

You’ll have a list of goals, but make sure you have only 1-3 primary goals for your initial strategy. It’s easy to build on already existing platforms. Also, choose goals that can be easily tracked in metrics. Number of sales, amount of monthly traffic, number of reviews, and other actionable steps can help you measure against your original goal set.

2. Pick The Right Tools.

This is where you test and use tools that can help you automate processes. Email automation is the first priority. Whether you use MailChimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, Infusionsoft, or others will depend on your needs vs. your budget.

Once you settle on an email automation system, consider other email tools such as SumoMe or LeadPages for capturing emails on your product pages and website as a whole, ClicktoTweet for creating pre-written tweets in your emails, and WiseStamp for better email signatures.

3. Make Sign-Ups a Breeze

Email marketing can’t work unless you’re actively gathering email addresses from people who view your website. An opt-in form at the footer of your website is no longer enough.

Consider adding opt-in forms in the following places:

  • Within blog posts as content upgrade offers (free printable, bonus lists, additional training, and more that relates specifically to that post).
  • Blog sidebars AND footers
  • Active Product Pages
  • Sold Out Product Pages
  • Pop-Ups and Welcome Mat Screens

You don’t want to overwhelm them with pop-up forms. Instead, you want to provide an exchange of information. If you offer something of value in exchange for their email address, your customers will be more likely to sign up for your mailing list. Keep that in mind when you set up your forms.

To make sure you’re hitting the right points, use SumoMe, LeadPages, or something like Optimizely to keep track of your conversion rates. Google Analytics is still king when it comes to website metrics.

4. Enticement

You now have new email subscribers, but how do you convert them into customers? Through nurturing. An easy and effective way to do so is to entice them with offers.

Here are a few examples: new subscriber coupons, free shipping for return customers, promo codes for those who abandoned their shopping cart before purchasing, seasonal campaigns (like Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or more), limited time offers, and refer-a-friend discounts.

Time-sensitive specials and exclusive promotional campaigns drive customers to act. The fear of missing out is a powerful force. Use it effectively, and most importantly, when you say there’s a time limit, make sure you stick to it.

5. Testing, Optimization, Analyzing Everything

You must test, optimize, and analyze in order to identify new opportunities and retire campaigns that aren’t working. This is the key to your ecommerce success. You must invest the time and money on tools that test everything in your emails. This allows you to target the most effective tactics for converting customers as fast as possible, while enabling you to drive more traffic and conversions in less time than ever before.

You can test how often you email your subscribers, the discounts (and their effectiveness) you share, plain-text vs. photo-heavy email split tests, call-to-action buttons and their effectiveness, and more. When you combine this with tracking, measuring, and analysis of your site (and customer conversions), you can determine solid tactics for future success.

Provide value to your customers and they’ll become raving fans. Buyer’s regret is a real thing, so if you make them feel like a valuable and trusted customer, they are more willing to stay connected. Also, know the difference between being professional and being a robot. It’s okay to talk about who you are as a company, why you do what you do, and how your products can make them better. People buy based on emotions. Make them care by showing them that you care.