In today’s day and age, with online shopping being more prominent than ever and COVID restrictions reshaping the marketing landscape as we know it, eCommerce is having its moment under the sun.
As you can see in the statistic above, online retail sales surpassed 30% in November 2021, making eCommerce a power to be reckoned with.
eCommerce marketing makes sense in the digital era, both for establishments that utilize brick-and-mortar strategies in tandem with digital solutions and for stores that operate strictly online.
Of course, a niche as profitable doesn’t come with some standard expenses. Therefore, every marketer’s, entrepreneur’s, or solopreneur’s goal is to cover these expenses without using out-of-pocket funds.
This is not possible without a successful digital marketing strategy. But some marketers don’t realize is that digital is not only social media and PPC.
The most profitable way to reach your audience and keep them interested is not an ad or a clever social media post.
It’s email marketing.
Why Email Marketing for eCommerce?
Email marketing is one of the most fruitful channels when it comes to sales and revenue:
This ROI is not something easy to achieve. Given the fact that every person has an email address nowadays, it’s no wonder that this cost-effective channel can bring back a lot of revenue.
Especially when it comes to eCommerce marketing, email marketing is a great tool. Email marketing platforms with robust AI and machine learning tools can be especially beneficial since they allow marketers to connect with their audience more personalized and customized.
Depending on customer data, email marketing for eCommerce can create a stream of communication between brands and prospects that feels personalized and natural. That ranges from a simple confirmation email to an omnichannel approach that can lead to enhanced and memorable customer experiences.
Your eCommerce email marketing approach needs to work in tandem with your marketing goals. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Your eCommerce email marketing campaigns should portray that.
But how will you create such experiences and engage your audiences before your competitors have the chance to? How will you generate more income for your eCommerce store through email marketing?
In a day and age when a prospect’s inbox is full of emails that promote, describe, and sell, it’s not easy. But it’s worth it.
Let’s see how you can achieve your eCommerce email marketing goals in 2022.
Optimize for Mobile and Think Omnichannel
Mobile-first design wasn’t a prerequisite a few years ago, but not prioritizing mobile could cost a lot of conversion in this day and age.
Mobile-friendly websites can lower your bounce rate, while responsive landing pages can boost your lead-generation efforts. Email newsletters with no broken elements on mobile can help your audience get familiar with you and create a unique customer journey.
Consumers are growing more demanding as technology grows more effective. According to Forbes, “Gen Z is using [email] only under duress.” It would help to remember that this is the next generation of consumers.
The increased use of apps for shopping purposes plays a major role. Impulsive purchases are on an all-time high, as well as online shopping experiences. This means that email marketing campaigns need to support this need.
Creating unresponsive email campaigns will cost you a lot in conversion. No user will go back to a promotional email newsletter when they can use their desktop device, only to proceed with a purchase. Not unless this purchase was planned, that is.
Also, remember that omnichannel is the new normal. Your email newsletter needs to be an integral part of the experience, as it’s probably one of the first touchpoints between your brand and your customer.
Therefore, after ensuring that your eCommerce store is SEO optimized so that users can find it quickly and subscribe to your newsletter, send marketing emails that will look like they came from your brand and not a competitor.
The objective here is for the user to be familiar with your brand before accessing your store. This will boost your credibility and authority in your niche.
Use Augmented or Virtual Reality
Augmented and Virtual Reality – or AR and VR for short – are two techniques that will be all the rage in the future. 2022 is not the time when AR and VR technology are perfect; however, the possibilities are limitless.
Sephora was one of the first brands to experiment with AR/VR technology. According to CNN’s article, “Sephora [..] also offers a virtual try-on experience and tutorials through its app.” This technique was engaging enough for users to go for in-store demonstrations.
However, utilizing the power of AR/VR might not be for every marketer at this stage. What matters most, in this case, is how enticing this experience can be. Users can “try” the products online while marketers gather data that will help them with personalization and segmentation down the line.
This could only compare to a gamified email with an interactive experience. Using interactivity in your templates is a fantastic way to have users spend more time with your brand and get to know it better.
Combine this with an AR/VR experience like the one offered by Sephora or, more recently, IKEA, and you’re sure to have a winner.
Bear in mind that interactive content is not just a survey or a spin-the-wheel design with a clever CTA. You can use various content forms that boost engagement and create a fun experience. Don’t shy away from using video in email marketing, for example.
A great workaround if you’re not ready to shift into an AR/VR experience would be to use a weather-based automation sequence. This will allow you to send emails with specific content that works with the user’s actual surroundings. Like so:
This automation will help you create segmented lists and produce an email that will almost look like the user is talking to someone in the exact geographical location. And this can only result in selling the perfect thing at the perfect time.
Personalization in a Text
Segmentation always comes with personalization. In 2022 though, hyper-personalization is a prerequisite when all has been said and done.
This means it needs to go beyond the “Hi, [FirstName]” and into something more tangible.
Using automation can give you great leverage in creating hyper-personalized email marketing campaigns. Automation sequences – like cart abandonment emails or welcome emails – are triggered by specific user actions. This means that said email campaigns feel organic and natural – almost like an expected continuation of the user’s action.
You will need to gather data and use AI and machine learning technologies to achieve that. This will give your eCommerce store an edge. Such tools can help you with list segmentation by analyzing data and finding even the smallest patterns that will correspond with your audience one-on-one.
Aim to boost audience engagement while they sign up. You can create a subscription form asking users to set their preferences themselves. This will boost your segmentation strategy and allow for perfect personalization. But it would be best if you also made users feel like they’re talking to a friend. And here’s where plain text emails come into play.
Incorporate plain text emails into your marketing strategy, especially now, when plain text can surely boost your conversion rate and ROI.
Plain text emails are perfect when your email marketing campaign has a particular message to deliver. Still, there’s another huge benefit in direct text emails that will play an essential role in 2022.
While HTML email marketing campaigns look clean and polished, plain-text emails are that much closer to a friendly text message that someone close to you would send you. It creates a sense of trust and loyalty that even the best design won’t portray.
You can experiment with campaigns that sport beautiful design and plain text and see what converts better in the long run. This will help you enrich the data in your customer database and make educated decisions down the line.
The pandemic brought a massive change in shopping habits that happened almost overnight. Users no longer worry about what brick-and-mortar has to offer and are less wary of making online purchases.
This change was expected, but nobody was prepared for it to happen so soon and on a scale as massive as this one, meaning that marketers need to adjust quickly.
Email marketing for eCommerce has to follow suit, as it’s a medium that evolves quickly while remaining cost-effective. In the future, beyond 2022, we will surely see this medium grow and deliver more relevant experiences, with checkouts integrated into the email itself or even AR and VR options users will be able to experience at the click of the CTA.
One thing is for sure, though: eCommerce email marketing will not lose its edge in the post-pandemic era.
Téa Liarokapi is a Senior Content Writer for Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas – and cats – to play with.