Email marketing might be the most important digital marketing channel for eCommerce businesses. Email marketing is hands down the best way for businesses without a physical storefront to connect with customers in a timely and relevant way.
If your email marketing is program is underperforming, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of revenue (even if you do have a physical storefront).
This guide will show you exactly which emails to send and when to send them to maximize your email ROI and ensure that you’re getting as much revenue from your email marketing as possible.
The customer lifecycle simply explains how a customer interacts with your brand at every stage of the buying process. If you understand the customer lifecycle, you can track and anticipate buying behavior and send targeted emails that say exactly what customers need to hear to make a purchase.
The customer lifecycle is sometimes called the customer journey. It traces the customer’s progress from first visiting your site, to the first purchase, then repeat purchases, and finally to becoming a loyal customer.
If your email marketing is well executed, the customer lifecycle can be a true cycle, where customers return to earlier stages in the cycle and make multiple purchases. You achieve that with triggered emails that send automatically, based on key customer buying behaviors.
A complete eCommerce lifecycle email marketing program consists of 8 triggered emails and email series. Each triggered email reaches the customer when they are most likely to convert and increases your customer lifetime value and overall email marketing ROI.
But, before you can use the lifecycle eCommerce email marketing strategy, you need the proper email deliverability infrastructure and behavior tracking mechanisms in place.
The foundation of any email marketing strategy is identifying new customers and collecting email addresses, and spotting existing customers when they return to your site. There are four ways to identify anonymous customers and gather new subscribers:
If someone has purchased from you in the past, they may already have an account with you. Getting returning customers to log in and stay logged in each time they get on your site enables you to identify existing customers and track browsing and buying behavior for better email targeting.
Visitors in the checkout process are invisible until they sign in or submit their information. Pre-submit tracking collects information that’s entered into form fields even if the customer doesn’t click the submit button or complete their sign in. This enables you to identify far more sessions and collect more email addresses.
The Rejoiner email append feature enables you to leverage your existing newsletter sends to identify more customers.
Email capture technology offers multiple ways to capture email addresses on-site and identify visitors (we like JustUno).
But, regardless of which email capture provider you use, there are three email capture methods that offer the best conversion rates:
This builds your email subscriber base and encourages new customers to make that first purchase.
This is presented at the moment a visitor demonstrates intent to leave your site. This also helps you gather more email addresses. But, it can also help reduce browse abandonment and shopping cart abandonment rates.
This method is great because it collects emails at a very low cost per email address (unlike a discount, only one or a few customers win. But, they all enter their email addresses).
All of these methods identify anonymous visitors, so you’re able to send relevant, personalized, and perfectly timed emails and track customer buying behavior sitewide. Tracking customer behavior will generate a ton of data that will help you understand what products a customer is most interested in and what email marketing campaigns will get the sale.
Once you’re collecting email addresses and tracking customer behavior, the next step is to identify which behaviors indicate the best opportunities to increase sales. Then, there’s an eCommerce email campaign specifically designed to capitalize on each conversion opportunity.
We’ve covered a whole bunch of eCommerce marketing emails. You’ve probably noticed some common themes between all of them. So, here’s a quick list of best practices that apply to almost any eCommerce marketing email you send:
There are only a couple of eCommerce email marketing campaigns here that don’t involve at least two emails. And, even the campaigns that work with just one email might work better with two or more. It’s almost always worth testing to find out if sending an additional email will get more sales.
Discounts and offers are usually reliable conversion boosters. But, it’s still best to test and find out which discount or offer works best, and when is the best time to send a discount.
Also, if your email marketing software supports it, use dynamic discount codes. Static discount codes can be shared and abused, which costs you money and makes it more difficult for you to use discounts and offers as a sales tool.
Dynamic discount codes can only be used once. So, they can’t be abused. This enables you to employ discounts wherever it’s best for your business, without the risk of losing profits to leaked discount codes and code sharing.
Many of the email campaigns we’ve covered require you to add a specific product to the email, based on the product page a customer has visited, a previous purchase, or items added to the customer’s shopping cart.
Adding these products and the associated images requires dynamic insertion, where your email marketing software automatically adds the appropriate content to your emails based on data from your analytics software.
If your email marketing software doesn’t offer dynamic insertion, it’s virtually impossible to send automated emails. This makes it difficult to implement other marketing automation, as well. Long story short: make sure your email service provider offers dynamic insertion.
These are the big three things that you should nail down before you start tweaking the tiny details of your email marketing. If you get these things right, your email marketing program will be in good shape, before you even start optimizing.
Lastly, here’s some bonus information to help with your eCommerce email newsletters.
There are a lot of email marketing metrics you can use to evaluate and improve the various aspects of your emails and email marketing campaigns.
However, the ultimate goal of email marketing is to generate revenue. It’s wise to track things like your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. But these metrics give you a very zoomed-in view of specific parts of your email program.
There are a few email marketing metrics that you need to track to evaluate how much revenue your email marketing program is generating on the whole.
Sending out lifecycle email marketing campaigns, optimizing your email newsletter, and measuring performance is really difficult without good email marketing tools. These are the best email marketing tools we know of that will help you follow the advice we’ve given here:
If you want to send all of the email marketing campaigns we outlined in this post, and send more profitable email newsletters, and optimize your marketing emails for conversions, Rejoiner takes care of everything.
Rejoiner is email marketing software that comes with a team of experts that will help you build the best eCommerce email marketing campaigns ever.
MxToolbox offers online diagnostics tools for testing your email authentication infrastructure, IP address reputation, DNS records, and a whole lot more.
If you’re building your email visuals yourself, you can create images for your emails in your browser, for free. Canva is great for making your emails look better on a budget.
JustUno helps you add intelligent email collection pop ups and forms to your website. The software uses AI to help optimize your email collection efforts, so your email lists are as profitable as possible.
Searchbug provides bulk email validation and email list cleaning, which helps optimize your email marketing performance by removing the unusable email addresses from your databases.
This is an obvious choice. But, Google Analytics is one of the best analytics suites on the market when it comes to integration and cost. There are plenty of analytics platforms to choose from. However, Google Analytics is a solid default choice.
It’s not a long list. But, with only these tools, you can build and execute an incredibly profitable eCommerce email marketing strategy based on making the most of the opportunities presented by the customer lifecycle.
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Want to learn how to send the most profitable of these 14 eCommerce email marketing campaigns? Read our abandoned cart email guide.
Book a call with us and see how much revenue you can generate with a lifecycle email marketing campaign powered by Rejoiner.