If your customers are online, they want emails from you, especially if those emails contain goodies.
Depending on the study, you’ll find ranges saying people prefer to interact with brands at a level of 60% to 75%. Why? Email lets them interact on their own schedule and makes it easy to return to a deal or offer.
You know that it can be hard to find a tweet or remember that Facebook post you saw as you move from your smartphone to your laptop or desktop. But an email persists across all devices, giving them the control they desire over their interactions.
Most online stores are already using emails to deliver coupons and newsletters, but there are some options that you might not be using that are tied to greater sales and better customer relationship management.
Here are just five of our favorites for you to consider — and they’re favorites because they just plain work when it comes to growing an online business.
1. Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails
Most online retailers are leaking potential sales, and the one spot that happens most is in the shopping cart that gets abandoned. These lonely carts account for a loss of $18 billion in sales each year.
So, you’ve got someone who has clearly expressed interest, but something stopped them from making the purchase. It can be time, the amount of money, the amount of time it’ll take to get the order, or a host of many other factors.
You won’t be able to reach all of these customers, but can you can touch base with many and help them overcome their big objections. So, it’s time to send out an abandoned cart email to anyone who adds products to a curt but doesn’t complete the checkout process.
The good news: about 50% of abandoned cart emails are opened, and roughly 33% of clicks in these emails lead to a purchase. So, people often do want to buy.
To capitalize on this willingness, there are a few things your email needs to have:
- The customer’s name, making them feel catered to on an individual level.
- A reminder of what they left in the cart.
- A scarcity note that says they aren’t too late — or that the items are still on sale.
- Copy that matches your brand and encourages customers to interact with you, whether it’s funny, pain-relieving, looking good, or another core mission.
- A clear button that talks about taking them back to their cart, not pushing the purchase just getting them back to where they were.
And, if you’re worried that price is what’s keeping someone away, this is your chance to offer a discount. With email automation platforms, you can ensure that this email only goes out once to each email address, so you don’t get people repeatedly abandoning carts to get that discount.
Now, if it’s shipping that causes people to abandon your offers, we can definitely help you out by showing you tools to reduce costs or how to work with providers who can make warehouse operations cheaper, allowing you to grow margins or pass savings along to customers.
2. New Stock Deals
Depending on your industry, conventional wisdom will tell you that it costs two to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep your existing customers, making repeat buyers the lifeblood of any online store.
One of the best ways to reach existing customers and get them to make a repeat purchase is to let them know either when your popular goods are back in stock or when you’ve got something new on your digital shelves.
These emails are designed specifically to get your customers back to your online store, so keep emails direct and focused solely on the click-through. Images are a big plus because they get people excited and can feel exclusive when it’s something the customer hasn’t seen before.
This works even in the B2B space when you’re offering a new service. You’re still banking on that existing relationship to establish a new line of revenue with a past customer.
While you should absolutely A/B test all the emails in this article, the new stock or new deals campaigns you use should receive the most testing. The better you perform here, the more reliable your business will become. Focus testing on past purchases as well as demographic data. You may have male customers who respond more positively to one message than your female customers; or, you might see on message perform better for ZIP codes in large cities compared to those for rural counties.
I cannot overstate how important these can be to your business, especially when they’re driving happy, excited traffic that’s ready to open their wallets to you.
3. Write Us a Review
You want reviews on your site because 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, according to BrightLocal’s latest study on consumer reviews. That means each of your products needs a review and you want as many as possible.
The good news is that you can automate the delivery of emails asking for a review a short while after the customer purchased your product. And, the same survey found that about 70% of people are willing to leave a review if you ask them to do so.
Automating the system ensures that you can keep a steady flow of reviews and make sure that these reach out to everyone who makes a purchase, capitalizing on your chance to get a greater number of reviews.
The larger the number of reviews, the more positive your review score, and the more recent the positive review, the more likely a new customer will purchase from you.
You might be wondering why you should automate this process and keep asking new customers after you have a handful of positive reviews under your belt. The answer to that query is simple: people start to ignore reviews once they’re older than three months.
So, a continual stream of reviews about your products is one of the best ways to encourage new visitors to become new customers.
If you need a little extra assurance that people will leave reviews, offer an incentive for clicking through to the review site you have put together. You may get some who click-through to the offer and don’t leave the review, but you’ll also get satisfied customers talking. Either way, the coupon offer means you’ll be earning some repeat business as well.
Interested in what people have to say about Selz? Check out reviews of Selz here.
4. Birthday or Membership Anniversary
If you tell me that you don’t like free stuff, I’m going to think that you’re lying.
Birthdays are already exciting, and you can get in on that excitement with a simple note that says, “Happy Birthday!” and offers a small free gift or a coupon. Birthday emails are incredibly easy to automate, and they go a long way to creating a relationship with loyal customers.
There are two big things that you want to focus on in these automated emails: images and buttons.
The birthday email should have a compelling image that the user likes and feels like it celebrates them. Associate it with your offer as well. So, if you provide weed eaters, try providing a free spool of lone string. Your image could be as simple as the pack of string with a birthday hat on it, but it must be high-quality. If you don’t know the right product or you want to offer something more general, get a nice cupcake and put the coupon value, like “15%”, on the cupcake in candles.
Buttons are just as important because it’s your chance to get the customer to use that coupon or get their freebie. Make buttons big, clear, and direct. You also don’t need to push the sale; you want to promote the customer and celebrate them.
Consider button messages like “Treat Yo’self,” “You Deserve It,” “Get Your Present,” or “Gimmie My Gift!”
Here’s the caveat: you don’t always have to give something away, especially if it’s just a celebration of your working together. Twitter is a master of this with its Twitterversary emails:
Simple, effective, and a nice big button to get you to use their product without ever thinking of it like that.
5. The FYI
You can create a more compelling relationship with your customers by offering them something they don’t have to pay for but can always use: a little knowledge.
Educational emails give them tips, tricks, or industry knowledge that supports your business and products but puts the focus on the customer’s interest. The ultimate goal of these is to share a passion with your customers and not to ask for a sale or purchase.
If you’re a photography business, talk about the benefits of a professional headshot in landing a new job, but put this in the context of something like “7 tips to make your LinkedIn profile standout when looking for work.”
Try to teach your customer something that they can use even if they never buy from you. Makeup tips are easy and effective for selling a product, but a tutorial about how to pick a foundation for your skin type can make the customer feel like you’re on their side to help them look and feel better each day — it’s the same objective as them applying makeup, so you’re creating a strong association even without asking for a purchase.
Keep these emails short and sweet. They’re a great vehicle for blog posts too. So, write up your big tip list on your company blog, then take the most important tip or two and put it in your email. A call-to-action to read more on your blog will drive traffic to your site and make it easier for a purchase to happen naturally, without asking for it outright.
Optional: Reorder Emails
This isn’t for everyone, but if your business sells goods that need parts, replacements, filters, or anything else that to reorder, you should send out an email to remind customers that they can reorder for you.
One of the best opportunities for businesses is when the item takes a while to use up. Think about a filter on your air purifier. That means you’re not likely to buy an extra ahead of time. It may last 3 to 6 months.
When the red light goes on and it’s time to replace your filter, you’ll probably head to whichever store or e-commerce site can get the filter to you the quickest.
The benefit of your store is that you know exactly when the customer bought the air filter and when they received it. Try sending out the reminder email about two weeks before the filter will need to be replaced and say its time is up soon, but they’ve got enough time to order now and have the filter ready when they need it.
If your email automation tools allow it, tell the customer when they purchased the air filter — it can be set up so it’s the same day you apply a “purchased filter” tag in a platform like Infusionsoft — and note that its expiration date is coming up in a specific number of days.
The more data you provide, the more likely they are to believe you and reorder.
For businesses with goods who need replacement parts or resupplies, your revenue really is in creating a long-term relationship with these customers. Just look at the Brita 10-cup grand water pitcher, which costs about $25 on Amazon and has a filter that lasts up to two months. Replacement filters run $5 to $6. So, if the customer uses the unit for one year, they’ve spent more on filters than the entire pitcher.
The more expensive your replacement items, or more often the customer needs to resupply, the better your chance at a profit.
The One Unifying Factor
Those are just a few emails to get you started, and they all have one thing in common: working with and speaking to your customers as individuals.
Communicating with your customers is the best way to overcome objections, establish a deeper relationship, and promote your brand in a way that benefits your customers. The more you communicate, the greater your opportunity to turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.