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Big List of eCommerce Strategies — Part 2: Emails

We’re back with part two of our Big List of eCommerce Strategies. If you missed our first installment on the topic of paid search, check it out here. Today we’re breaking down email with 8 tips to make the most of your mailing list.

1. Increase your list size with giveaways

Before discussing how to get the most out of an email list, let’s talk about how to build a sizable list to begin with. Increase your list with email-gated giveaways or social media contests. A quick source to put together a social media app is ShortStack, which lets you easily assemble all promotions, entries, and emails that follow. Wary users may want to avoid giving out their email addresses; making email the only way to contact the contest winner helps overcome those concerns.

Short Stack Screen Shot

2. Send content emails to build relationships

Next, you can build the trust of your readers with content emails. Usable, informative content can go a long way in gaining loyalty and turning followers into customers. It also establishes your company as an authority on a given topic. Just like Apple can send follow-up emails showing how to install or set-up your new product, you can send expert tips, industry insights, or how-to’s to optimize your product’s use. And hey, if a product or two sneak in at the end, what’s the harm?

3. Transactional emails can sell

“Your order has shipped!” Transactional emails like sales confirmation, shipping, or order updates receive some of the highest open rates of any email type. So if you’re almost guaranteed to get opens, why not use them to sell? Your customer has already made a commitment to buy, so now’s the chance to plug that extended warranty or those matching accessories. But don’t forget to thank them for their order. Politeness matters.

Macy’s pushes a sale in a side banner of their shipping info email:

Macy's screen shot

4. Re-engage dormant users

Dormant users need some serious prodding to return to your site. Examine your email list and target users who haven’t purchased in 6-12 months and send them a hard offer like free shipping or a 10% off deal. It may depend on your product’s lifecycle (you wouldn’t be pushing pool chlorine in December), but turning dormant users into active ones can be very profitable.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 9.28.04 AM

5. Email recently re-engaged customers

Just as you can see which users have dropped off the face of your site, you can tell which users have been inactive and have suddenly returned. A renewed interest in your products or services is extremely valuable and you should strike while the iron is hot. Send similar enticements you used for dormant users (10% off, free shipping, etc.) to close the deal.

6.  Ask for reviews

It might sound simple, but few eCommerce retailers actually ask customers to review the product they have bought. Asking or getting reviews can re-engage buyers, directing them to new products or services. It can also build site content, which looks great for SEO and provides social proof. Fashion eCommerce retailer ModCloth has a very engaged community that stocks users submitted product pictures for new customers to review. Their reviews inform merchandising and product development, while the pictures offer social proof and real-world samples of the product.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 4.52.50 PM

7.  Promote your referral program

Here’s another chance to hack your email list. Recent buyers are a prime target to make a referral for you because they’ve already made their own commitment. Simply export everyone on your email list whose order has shipped in the past week and upload it to your email sending platform. Then offer a reward for friend referral. Coupons, credit, or gift cards are easy ways to get new customers.

8. Shopping cart abandonment emails

Comparison-shopping, short attention spans, and flashing online distractions make finalizing a sale more difficult. Retargeted email reminders were worth an average of $17.90 per email last year. Setting up an automatic abandonment email is easy and very cost-effective. Check out this infographic for more tips to lower cart abandonment.

Ripen Services:

Make the most of your mailing list with the email marketing services at Ripen. Bring back old buyers and attract new ones through data informed, integrated campaigns and tactics. See more custom eCommerce solutions.