E-commerce and Inbound Marketing: Email nurturing

Nikita Smits by Nikita Smits   23 Jan


email marketing for ecommerce.png

Emails are an important part of your marketing efforts when you want to encourage recurring business. This is even more so when you have an e-commerce business. And, as an e-commerce business you have one distinct advantage over everyone else: you send transactional emails during purchases. These emails are naturally opened and you have the opportunity to solidify your brand image, offer secondary purchase incentive or simply ask your new customers to become part of your tribe on social media.

Follow-up with great emails

When a customer logs in, creates a cart full of items and eventually purchases an item you need to step up and follow up with a strong nurturing campaign. This is to drive repeat visits, referrals and customer engagement.

First of all, the basics;

  1. Make sure all emails are personalised. Build and maintain customer lists. Segment your customer database by demographics, purchase frequency or interests.
  2. Test campaigns. Use the preview options to see how your emails render on mobile and in various email clients. Send it to a colleague to avoid spelling errors.
  3. Be relevant. If your readers invest time to open and read your emails make sure they are valuable and the content matches their interests.
  4. Consider timing, who are you sending this email to and when are they going to read it? Make sure you build timely delays in your workflows as well. Send timely emails but make sure to never clutter your customers’ inbox.

Leverage your transactional emails.

The first email you send after a purchase will almost always be opened. Make these emails work for you! Just because this email has to contain practical details and is transactional it doesn’t mean that this email has to be boring or that you can’t include a Call To Action.

tank you and referral ecommerce email marketing

If you have secondary incentives to lead to a purchase, add these to your order confirmation email as well as a suggestion to follow your blog or engage with the company on social media. Similar advice works for your shipment notifications. Consider whether you have a referral code for your customer to share. Do you have a blog post offering advice on how to get most out of the product they just purchases such as a smoothy recipe for a blender or styling advice for shoes? Share this content now your customer is very likely to open and read your email.

A timely thank you email can open up the opportunity to ask for a review. Reviews influence both the customer who left it as well as potential new customers. Research on consistency of behaviour shows that you’re more likely to stand behind your vote if you have put your name on something publicly. To new customers, conversion can increase as much as 30% when you add product reviews to a page.

Replacement order

Consider how long your product lasts. When I order food for my pets or a bottle of shampoo there is a clear timeline of when I will run out of that product. Even with products such as running shoes or undershirts you can calculate how long a customer uses them before they should be replaced.

Consider keeping track of when your consistent customers have purchased one of your staples last and when it is time to re-engage them with a replacement email. If you don’t have data on when your customers return for a purchase calculate how long a product should last and base your workflows on this data.

Make sure to complete your replacement emails with related products your customer might have not purchased before but are relevant based on their previous behaviour.

Test, rinse and repeat

It is easy enough to regard your transactional emails as standard emails but that doesn’t mean the work is done once they are set up. You should continuously measure and AB test the effectiveness of all of your  transactional emails as you would do with any other email campaign.

Remember to test one feature at the time. Continuously AB test your email headlines to increase open rates. Adjust your copy and try different Call To Action’s within the email.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

Nikita Smits

Written by Nikita Smits

Marketing strategist and GDPR specialist. Nikita was one of the founding members of BusinessBrew but is currently working as a digital marketing specialist at a Copenhagen startup.