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There are many tools for building customer relationships in e-commerce. One of the most popular is email marketing. According to the “Email Marketing Benchmarks” report published by GetResponse, in 2020 the rate of online stores in Poland sending emails to customers was as high as 93.5%, while globally it was 89.6%. The same source of information shows that the email open rate was 22.1% and the click-through rate was 2.5% for online stores in this country. Abroad, those figures were 22.3% and 2.3%, accordingly. Effective relationship building in the e-commerce world helps, therefore, in the development of e-business. This article discusses the most important principles of email marketing and tips on how to ensure a positive image through this form of customer contact.
Why is email marketing important in e-commerce?
Are you wondering if email marketing is a good idea for building relationships with your online store’s customers? There are at least a few important reasons why you should engage in such activities:
1. Email marketing allows direct contact with customers, which helps to build strong relationships
Sending personalized e-mails encourages close relationships with customers, as the messages go directly to the e-mail inbox addresses you designate. In the long run, this helps build engagement and brand loyalty. We must remember that the content should be valuable, personalized and encourage the recipient to open more emails.
2. Emails are easy to personalize and customize for individual customers
Personalization of e-mails makes them more customized. As you know – emotions play an important role in purchasing decisions. Our customer can feel special because the message was addressed directly to him. Adapting mailings to the individual needs of customers will therefore allow you to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Tailoring the content to the customer’s needs increases the chance that he or she will be interested in the online store’s offer.
This type of activity requires collecting and then analyzing information about customers. This involves a great deal of responsibility for security and data protection (e.g. RODO). They should be stored appropriately.
3. Email marketing allows you to effectively communicate information about promotions, new products or services
Sending an e-mail is one of the easiest ways to inform customers about upcoming promotions, launches of new products and services, or provide them with important information about the activities carried on by an online store. In caring for a positive image of your brand, also messages containing discount codes and discounts can help. Sending this type of emails is a way to increase interest in the store’s assortment.
Email marketing: how to effectively build relationships with customers?
Here are some important steps to take in order to build strong customer relationships with email marketing:
Provide effective segmentation of the email address database
With effective segmentation, you’ll be able to select the right groups to whom you want to deliver your chosen information. This will help you increase the effectiveness of your marketing activities, as well as reach the right audience. To do this, it is advisable that you focus on a few important points:
- Gather as much information as possible about your online store’s subscribers, e.g. name, gender, place of residence, shopping cart.
- Use tools to segment your address base – it’s offered by many newsletter platforms. Divide your customers into groups based on the information you have. It’s a good idea, also, to group them based on behavior, such as how often they open emails delivered to them.
- Monitor results – regularly track the results of your mailing efforts and measure whether they are effective. For example, open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates all prove helpful. After completed promotional actions, it is worth taking another look at all campaign statistics. You can then see which subscriber base responded best to the messages sent. This information will allow you to improve future email marketing efforts.
Provide valuable and appropriate content to your customers
Make an effort to ensure that the content you provide to your customers is valuable and fits the tastes of your target audience as much as possible. This is the key to attracting the attention of buyers, and therefore a good chance to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Be sure to have a coherent brand image;
- Provide valuable information;
- Ensure personalization of the posted content;
- Tailor content to the stages of the purchase path;
- Learn about the shopping preferences of your target audience;
- Grab the viewer’s attention with a clear and attractive headline.
Use personalization, customize the content of emails to meet individual customer needs
What can help you personalize a message? There are several good ways to customize the content of an email to meet the individual needs of your customers:
- Gather information about customers – it’s a good idea to use the data we have on customers. For example, place of residence, age, gender or shopping preferences are useful.
- Use the name – this is one of the simple psychological procedures. When we see our name in the body of an e-mail it is easier for us to identify with the addressee of the message.
- Remember important dates – send messages that celebrate important dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries of creating an account on a shopping platform.
- Tailor content to shopping preferences – with access to this type of information, you can send offers with suggestions for items similar to ones the customer has previously purchased from your store.
- Use dynamic content – this means content that automatically adjusts to individual preferences and customer behavior, such as emails that encourage the purchase of products viewed by a customer on an online store.
- Tailor content to the stage of the purchase path – be sure that the content of the messages you send relate to the stage of the purchase path that the email receiver is currently in.
What types of messages to use in email marketing?
To build positive relationships with customers, be sure to send different types of emails, depending on the goal you want to achieve.
They are sent automatically in response to specific customer actions, both on the online store’s website and mobile app. These may include:
- Shipping information;
- Payment information;
- Registration confirmations;
- Order placement confirmations;
- Reminders about items in the shopping cart.
Their main goal is to build valuable relationships with customers, based on loyalty to your store. This increases the chance of repeated purchases. Messages of this type include:
- Welcome emails;
- Recommendation emails;
- Notifications about new products;
- Emails for holidays and special events;
- Messages with special treats (e.g., discount codes).
They are sent to customers who have stopped visiting the online store for some reason. The emails are intended to encourage them to use the company’s offer again. However, you should be restrained in sending these types of messages. They may be treated by the receiver as SPAM or discourage them from your brand.
- Special offer email;
- Requests for product feedback;
- Reminders about an unfinished order;
- Encouragements to return to the store’s website.
Email marketing. How to avoid messages from ending up in the SPAM folder?
Sometimes it happens that an e-mail goes to spam, making contact with our customer limited. How to avoid such situations?
Using best practices in email marketing
This includes, for example, opt-in (consent for receiving emails), avoiding excessive use of words that discourage recipients, such as “free offer,” “fast cash.” Content should be personalized, optimized and valuable, and sent at regular intervals. You should, also, remember to use domain authentication (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) and anti-spam protection (content filtering) to avoid sending spam. It is also not advisable to overuse capital letters, punctuation marks and links.
Take care of the quality of the email addresses database by deleting addresses to which you stop receiving replies
Try to keep the address database clean. Regularly delete inactive and invalid emails, using double confirmation verification to do so. Sending messages to such addresses is not only a waste of time, but most importantly, it lowers campaign performance metrics (e.g., open and click-through rates).
Include links to unsubscribe from mailing list in each email
Every recipient has the right to (easily) unsubscribe from the mailing list. It is, also one of the requirements of the law on personal data protection (RODO). This will keep your contact database organized and transparent.
E-mail marketing is one of the most effective tools for building customer relationships in e-commerce. This form of contact has many advantages. It allows direct contact with a given group of customers, as well as the rapid transfer of information, for example, about the latest promotions. In order for your actions to bring the best results, remember to focus on segmenting your e-mail address base, providing valuable content, personalizing your messages and using the right types of e-mails. It is also important to avoid ending up in the SPAM folder by applying best practices in e-mail marketing.
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