In topics: Email Marketing
“Ecommerce businesses should concentrate more of their efforts on traditional online marketing tactics like search and e-mail rather than social media,” declared a September Forrester report (“The Purchase Path Of Online Buyers In 2012”), after determining “that less than 1% [of orders] could be traced back to social networks like Facebook or Pinterest.”
Forrester advises: “For repeat shoppers, e-mail is the most effective sales influencer: Nearly a third of purchases from repeat customers initiated with an e-mail. As such, businesses should up their efforts to collect e-mail addresses, and tailor their e-mail marketing messages to each recipient’s device and prior purchase behavior.”
So if you have an ecommerce business ask yourself if you are taking full advantage of e-mail marketing to increase your sales and profits. Admittedly, it takes a bit of time, focus, strategy, and ongoing testing to get the results – but the ROI is clearly there. We know this well from our ecommerce clients, but it’s nice to get it confirmed from a reputable third party like Forrester.
A few common tactics to get the most out of your ecommerce emails:
Don’t Treat Them All the Same
Are you sending “batch-and-blast” type emails where you are treating all of your database the same? When was the last time you segmented out those that did not purchase or engage in the last 6 months or a year? Or sent a different message to those that just purchased? Do it and watch you sales increase!
If you have a typical ecommerce site you are probably experiencing at least a 70% cart abandonment rate. Can you afford to let all those potential buyers disappear? You can capture some of them. With cart abandonment emails you may be able to convert 10-15% of these prospects to clients! The key to cart abandonment is a tight integration with your ecommerce platform and an ability to send real-time emails when someone abandons, and then follow up with 3-4 more reminders.
Use Triggered Emails
In addition to automated cart abandonment triggers you can easily automate a “Welcome Campaign” for new subscribers to your email list, or following a purchase, with an offer to “Like” you on Facebook and receive a discount on your next order. If you sometimes have items out of stock, automate a “back-in-stock” trigger to get those prospects back and purchase. There are numerous other ideas you can explore with automated emails.
The Forrester article mentioned a few other very interesting data points that are not related to email marketing:
Following direct visits to ecommerce web sites, organic search (SEO) and paid search (PPC) were responsible for more than 29% of new customer transactions.
Social media is effective as an engagement platform and an influencer but direct correlation to transactions is still a way off. The study saw less than 1% of transactions linked to social media.
The study focused on larger ecommerce sites and as such small businesses may have different results. Here’s some additional information from a Mashable article discussing this report.
So if you want to maximize your e-commerce sales concentrate your efforts on utilizing search marketing and email marketing advanced features. Give us a holler to set up a cart abandonment program or drive more traffic to your site using SEO and PPC.