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How to Increase Product Sales with Email Marketing

Posted on 6.23.2016

:: By Neil Berman, Delivra ::

Email marketing campaigns are responsible for more than seven percent of all e-commerce transactions, making it the second most effective e-commerce marketing tool, behind only the online search function, which boasts a 15.8 percent conversion rate. Despite its effectiveness, many online merchants are not using email marketing to its full potential.

The latest technologies allow retailers to target shoppers and track commerce metrics like never before. Merchants have a wide variety of customers, ranging from the most loyal customer to a potential customer, and the key is to engage all, but through personalized, one-to-one email communications.  

Loyal Customers

Many retailers understand the importance of communicating with customers after a purchase, but are unsure of the best follow-up approach to take with customers. Rather than simply sending a purchase confirmation or a ‘thank you’ email, merchants should take it a step further, creating new opportunities to engage with customers and potentially sell more products. 

There are several easy ways to do this:

Suggest items to go along with a recent purchase. 

A great way to follow-up with customers and encourage additional purchases is by sending an email with products that complement a customer’s recent purchase. This can be done by bringing in customers’ order history information and segmenting customers into different groups, depending on what they purchase. This means creating categories and sending targeted emails to customers, depending on what type of product they buy. 

For example, if a customer recently purchased a pair of shoes, send an email with recommendations of handbags to go along. This should be an easy process if your email marketing software provider is integrated with your shopping cart software and has personalization capabilities. 

Encourage customers to write a review

There are countless case studies highlighting the positive impact of product reviews. According to Reevoo stats, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6 percent increase in conversion rates, with reviews producing an average 18 percent lift in sales. While the numbers speak for themselves, gathering reviews from customers can be a challenge. Incentivize customers to write a review by offering a discount on their next purchase or a chance to win a grand prize package. 

The best way to request a product review is to create an automated email that is sent to all customers several days after their most recent purchase. 

Send rewards to loyal customers 

Similar to categorizing customers’ purchases, it’s a good idea to put customers themselves into categories based on their loyalty. You send certain categories emails with coupons and gift card certificates, with the amount correlating with their loyalty category. 

Potential customers 

The term "shopping cart abandonment" refers to shoppers who put items in their online shopping carts, but leave the site before completing a purchase, and it’s one of the biggest challenges online retailers face. The statistics are alarming – 68.63 percent of shoppers abandon shopping carts, according to the Baymard Institute. That means roughly one in four customers actually finish a purchase. While cart abandonment is a pain source for many merchants, it also provides an outreach opportunity to potential customers.

To engage with these finicky shoppers, set up cart abandonment emails to remind them they left items in their shopping cart, and be sure to be as enticing as possible. List out each item that was left in the cart and include pictures and links for each individual product.

The ability to track cart abandonment on different devices is also really important. A shopper may visit a site from their desktop at work and add an item to their cart, then go home and log back in the evening and purchase these items via their mobile device. It’s important an email provider can track these separate but related actions to avoid sending a shopping cart abandonment email when unnecessary. 

Dormant customers 

Similar to engaging with loyal customers, one of the best tactics to re-engage with dormant customers is to send them an email with a gift card or discount coupon. The difference is to set up milestone email campaigns, reaching out to these customers on their birthdays or on an anniversary of the last time they purchased a product. Many dormant customers will find these emails as a pleasant surprise.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for e-commerce merchants and can be used to promote product offerings, improve customer experiences and remarket to consumers. The key is having email marketing software that provides personalized, automated emails and a creative, determined marketing team.

About the Author

Neil Berman is the founder and CEO of Delivra, an email marketing software provider. With nearly 20 years in the software industry, Berman continues to be driven by a passion to find innovative solutions that help clients win in their industries.

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