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05.Feb.2018 Aravindhan Anbalagan - Email Personalization
The success of eCommerce businesses largely depends on the effectiveness of email marketing. Determining the correct email template relevant to the target audience will take us halfway through high conversions.
Engaging online customers over a period of time is a major challenge. As per survey results, nearly 44% of marketers recognize engagement rates as their primary challenge in the eCommerce business.
eCommerce emails can be sent on various purposes such as introduction offer for new customers, retention emails to win back customers who have not logged into your eCommerce site for a long time. It can be a campaign mailer during festivals or call-to-action emails for an abandoned cart. It can also be a post-purchase email with a discount on the next purchase and review request emails for enriching customer-driven content on your website.
For every marketing email to be successful, choosing an appropriate email template is a must. ‘One template fits all’ doesn’t bring effective results in the long run. Now, let us explore the primary factors that you need to take into account when designing an email template.
While asking a favor from customers, like rating their current purchase, it is important to make their task as easy as possible. If the way by which you collect feedback is not convenient for them or time-consuming, customers will not be happy to provide feedback or ratings.
Instead of taking the customer to a review section, if there’s a quick review or rating section within the email template, it would help customers provide feedback in less time.
We vouch for the effectiveness of this ‘convenience’ factor because when using an email template with ‘horizontally’ positioned star ratings, 16% more customers were ready to send in their reviews. This is significantly higher when compared to customers who were asked to review through vertically’ positioned star ratings.
Customers tend to read a lot of emails on a daily basis and there’s a little time window for your email to make an impression. According to Experian’s email study, have personalized subject lines with the customer’s name because this increases the open rate by 26%. Also, revenue per email increased by 73% with personalization. Further, more than 74% of customers feel unhappy if you list products that are of no interest to them.
Use compelling headlines and digestible content. Address the customer by their name. Make it more personal with ‘friendly’ words similar to how you would address your colleague.
You can even add a handwritten note among several other customer retention techniques list in our blog. Unless an email template is unique, personalized and ‘catchy’, it will likely be ignored immediately.
Secondly, emails need to be sent only after segmenting customers based on their interests. To execute this, split the customer database into smaller groups and send emails with content that matters the most to them. Divide the email list based on age, gender, location, past purchases, last activity, loyalty, and cart abandoners.
According to Mailchimp’s research, open rates of segmented email campaigns are 14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Also, when sending promotional emails for users segmented based on their geography such as ZIP code, the click rates were 54.79% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Further, unsubscribe rates are down when emails are sent to segmented customers.
Before sending promotional emails, learn the customer’s order history. Then, in the promotional emails, you can list the best selling products from the same category in which the customer made their previous purchases. The more ‘relevant’ the products for your customers, the higher will be the conversion rate.
It is estimated that 61% of online customers read user reviews before making their purchase decision. Further, nearly 71% of customers are likely to purchase from eCommerce sites with user reviews. Therefore, collecting reviews and feedback from emails post-purchase continuously is important and crucial for your eCommerce success.
As a token of appreciation for the customers’ effort to write reviews for you, it is recommended to reward them like providing a discount on the next purchase. It is advisable to make the incentive lucrative when you have received fewer reviews than expected.
As a final step, it is important to monitor your email reputation. Check for spam traps by implementing A/B testing for email campaigns. Ensure that you are not blacklisted, i.e, your marketing emails are not treated as spam. Keep up-to-date with the latest spam filter technologies and be aware of anti-spam law to avoid falling into the spam list.
Have an updated email list of your customers as this will help you avoid hard bounces i.e, emails sent to inactive addresses. Note that ISP (internet service providers) will identify spammers based on hard bounces.
Also, have a cap on the volume and frequency of your marketing emails and whether there are any customer concerns on these aspects. If you find a number of customers unsubscribing to your email list, it could mean you are sending way too many emails.
Study your previous campaigns and find the best time to send emails. Send only one or two focused emails every week for an email campaign which will be good enough to attract significant customers to your website.
Choosing the right email template is one of the many steps we must take to improve conversion rates. It is a continuous process wherein, based on the insights from customer response of previous email templates, we have to tweak or completely revamp the future email templates and keep building the business in a focused manner.
Overall, to improve the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, we need to send the right email at the right time to the right customer.
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Senior Ecommerce Strategist9 Years of Experience Working with Multiple Brands
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