An eCommerce business without a robust email marketing strategy is like a defanged python. You simply cannot compete with your competitors if you don’t make email a priority.

Email marketing can seem overwhelming, especially when every marketer is also thinking about social media, SEO and content marketing. I’m not suggesting you drop those things, but I am suggesting that you take a closer look at how email could explode your business. After all, 91 percent of consumers check their email every single day.

Let’s take a look at a few ways email marketing can help any eCommerce business grow.

1. Email can build hype for a new product.

If you are launching a new business, product or service, a squeeze page is a great way to generate interest. For example, you can offer users early access in exchange for an email address. As the business, product or service nears completion, you can build excitement by teasing it with these folks.

Mailbox, the smart app that helps users filter their email, is doing this for their upcoming desktop app.

mailbox-for-mac-email

When I signed up, I immediately received an email with more details and a promise to be in touch soon. When the product is ready, Mailbox will have a list of eager users ready to download it.

2. Email can make customers buy more often.

There are different kinds of eCommerce businesses. Some thrive on subscription models while others are constantly looking for new, first-time buyers. Either way, email can keep those customers coming back for more.

If, for example, I purchase a book on Amazon, they send me follow-up offers for other books I might like based on how similar customers have behaved. How would I know about those other offers if they didn’t let me know via email?

On the other hand, if your business is built on a subscription model, emails can remind users to sign up for another month or year of your service. See how domain management company Hover does it:

hover-renewal-700

3. Email can re-engage past customers.

Let’s say you had a product that went viral and you emptied your inventory. Those customers are happy with their product but haven’t come back for a second purchase. Well, it’s time to get them warmed up!

A cold list can be a powerful when used correctly. It’s very important not to spam these folks as they may not remember your company or the great value they received when they bought your product. Lincoln Murphy from Gainsight offers some great tips for warming up an old list on the excellent Sixteen Ventures blog. He suggests using Facebook ads, retargeting and LinkedIn to remind old customers about your business.

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Even if they don’t click, the image of your face or logo will prep them for the arrival of your email. Read Murphy’s full post for more details on how to do this.

4. Transactional email can be your best friend.

Did you know that transactional emails like receipts, order confirmations, notifications, and reminders are opened at a much higher rate than promotional emails? A study from Experian found that some transactional emails were opened at 8x the rate of promotional emails.

When marketers send promotional emails, they are essentially begging for the recipients attention. But transactional garner tons of opens and clicks and usually have no marketing value. It’s a huge missed opportunity.

We’ve blogged about this a few times in the past, and are still amazed how many marketers don’t optimize for this.

5. Behavioral email can be the future of your business.

What, exactly, is the future of email marketing? The answer is simple: data.

As businesses collect more data about their customers, they can send better, more accurate emails. Data allows marketers to segment their lists, send revealing A/B tests and explode the success of their email marketing.

One of the most excited ways to use data is to track the activity of users on your site and send targeted emails based on what they do. For example, if a returning customer views a product page three times, a triggered email could send them more information about it. Or, if a free trialer is exploring your product, you can automatically send a tutorial about a specific feature. It’s incredibly powerful and it’s the future of email marketing.

Now what?

Hopefully by now you realize how big this opportunity is for your business. Here’s what you should do next:

  • Identify any and every way customers receive communication from you
  • Get data on opens and click-thru rates
  • Start by optimizing colors, logos and copy to be consistent with your brand
  • Find an email provider that will allow you take control of these emails
  • Ensure they are mobile-responsive, functional and beautiful
  • A/B test your transactional emails and make changes based on the results

How is your business killing it with email marketing? Let us know in the comments, we can’t wait to hear about it!