E-commerce

7 Emails to Get Customers to Buy Again

If you want to boost sales and grow your e-commerce business this quarter, invest in email marketing. Email is one of the best and most effective ways to communicate with your customers and prospects.

Consider some of the following statistics about the impact of email marketing versus other online channels:

  • According to Campaign Monitor, you are about 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
  • According to Forrester Research, 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their news feed.
  • According to Monetate, 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something, compared to 2.49% of visitors from search and 0.59% from social media.

It’s clear that email marketing can drive sales, so the question is, what kind of emails should you be sending, and who should you be sending them to?

If you’re not investing much time into email marketing, the best place to start is with the people who have purchased products from you before.

Here are 7 emails you can send to customers to get them to buy again:

1. The Abandoned Cart Email

The abandoned cart email is one of the most effective and revenue-boosting emails you can send to past customers. According to research compiled by Bigcommerce, the average revenue per abandoned cart email is $5.64. That’s compared to $0.02 per promotional email, $0.07 per birthday milestone email, and $0.18 per welcome email.

Surprisingly, many brands are simply not setting up or sending these types of automated emails. It’s a huge miss. According to Shopify, “67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale.” Imagine if you could get back all or even some of that potential revenue!

There are a number of tools you can use to start sending automated abandoned cart emails. Here are a few worth exploring:

There are also a few best practices you should follow when building your cart abandonment email campaigns:

  • Tip #1: Be Specific – Make sure it’s clear to your customers which products you’re reminding them about. Mention the items they left in their cart in your copy, add relevant imagery, and including mention of the product in the subject and CTA text.
  • Tip #2: Be Authentic – This is your opportunity to be a little playful with your copy. Make sure that your brand voice and style shines through in your email. Help your customers remember why they love your brand, and what they are missing out on.
  • Tip #3: Be Generous – If you want to drive customers back to the shopping cart, offer a special time-bound promo code or discount to create a sense of urgency. Give them an incentive they can’t ignore.
  • Tip #4: Be Personal – Address the recipient by their name. This is relatively easy to set up and automate in most cart abandonment software available. Personalization will make your recipient feel like they’re receiving a special email from you, as opposed to a generic message that gets sent to everyone all the time.

A cart abandonment email sent by Made.com

Example from Made and CartStack

A cart reminder email from Neiman Marcus

Example from Neiman Marcus and CartStack

2. The Psychology Email

To persuade customers to return to the shopping cart, you need to present them with strategic, conversion-driven messaging. That’s where the psychology email comes into play. These are emails that include or utilize specific psychological techniques in order to drive action. To implement this strategy for your store, send emails that leverage the following:

  • Social Proof: Statements, testimonials, reviews, photos, and other content about your products from happy customers that will influence people to shop with you again.
  • FOMO: Statements that make customers think that they’ll be missing out if they don’t grab your products while they still can. Examples include limited-time offers, messaging about limited quantities, testimonials from others who are enjoying their products.
  • Scarcity and Urgency: Statements and imagery that lets customers know inventory is limited and time is running out. The goal is to drive them back to your store to purchase before it’s too late. These statements usually reference time (offer ends soon!) or quantity (almost sold out!).
  • Risk Aversion: Statements and imagery that remind customers their is no risk involved in their purchase (examples: free shipping, free returns, money back guarantee, try-before-you-buy, etc.).

An email sent by Kate Spade

Urgency example from Kate Spade

An email playing on risk aversion

Risk aversion example from Teva

Another great way to drive customers to buy from you again is to send emails featuring products you know they’ll love. Customers expect that the brands they support to know what they actually want.

Perhaps made popular first by Amazon, this simple email technique is now used by many e-commerce brands as an effective way to connect with shoppers and drive them back to purchase more products.

Here’s how it works:
Step 1: A shopper comes to your store, views your products, adds some to their cart, and completes their purchase.
Step 2: The software and email tools you use track this purchase, then match it with related products you have in your inventory.
Step 3: You either manually or automatically (based on time or triggers) send an email campaign out to customers featuring these related or “recommended” products, along with compelling CTAs and offers that persuade them to shop with you again.

There are a number of tools you can use to send related product emails. Here are a few worth checking out:

MailChimp's product recommendation builder

Building a Product Recommendations Campaign in Mailchimp

4. The Education Email

The important thing to remember when you’re communicating with your email list is that you can’t just spend all your time sending them deals, coupons, reminders, and other campaigns trying to get them to buy. If you oversell to your customers using email, you’ll risk losing them as subscribers, or worse, as customers all together.

One way to continue nurturing your relationship with your customers without sending promotional emails is by launching an educational drip series. Beardbrand, for example, creates original blog and video content featuring grooming and style tips. They send email updates to subscribers whenever they publish new blog content. The email still includes links to products, but the focus is on providing value instead of sales. By doing this, Beardbrand is able to establish itself as a useful resource to subscribers. Trust leads to loyalty, loyalty leads to more sales.
If you want to launch an educational series for your products or brand, consider the following questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What do they care about?
  • How do they spend their time?
  • Why do they care about your products?
  • How do your products make their lives easier or better?
  • What niche topic can you focus on in your educational series?

Your answers to these questions will help you shape and build a successful and nurture-driven education email series.
An education email sent by Beardbrand

Example from Beardbrand

Screen Shot 2017 03 10 at 6.18.24 PM

Example from Beardbrand

5. The Order Confirmation Upsell Email

One of the biggest and most commonly missed opportunities in e-commerce email marketing relates to order confirmation and receipt emails. Although these emails are typically some of the most successful emails for brands in terms of open rates, they are surprisingly underutilized.

To drive customers to buy from you again, consider turning these transactional emails into sales tools by including recommended product sections. If you use Shopify to manage and host your store for example, Spently is one tool you can leverage to make your order confirmation emails do the selling for you. Spently allows you to customize order confirmation emails with product visuals and CTA links.

If you want to test this tactic out before investing in it, try adding a few lines of text and a CTA link to your order confirmation email template. In order to measure the success of your test, make sure you can track the click-throughs on the link.
Screen Shot 2017 03 10 at 6.49.02 PM

Example from Dollar Shave Club and Blue Stout

6. The Replenish Email

If you sell products that have specific expiration dates (like food) or if you can predict when customers will typically run out of the product they purchase from you (like a bottle of lotion or printer ink cartridges), you should be sending emails that remind them to restock. It’s an easy way to get back on the radar and reconnect with your customers before they go searching for a similar product from a competitor.

You can use most email marketing clients to set automated trigger-based emails like these that follow the lifecycle of your customer. To dive deeper into this tactic, read this great blog post from Jimmy Daly at Vero. It will give you the tips and best practices you need to send effective replenish emails to your customers.
A replenish email sent by Rockin’ Wellness

Example from Rockin’ Wellness

7. The Promotional Email

The final email you should be sending to customers is the classic promotional email. It’s likely that at a minimum you’re already sending these to customers, but if not, try sending emails to customers that celebrate and promote the following:

  • Personal Milestones: Send promo codes or offers to customers on their birthday, on their anniversary of becoming your customer, or on a date that relates to your business (like the anniversary of your grand opening).
  • Holidays: Send special deals and themed-emails that relate to specific holidays throughout the year (like New Year’s, the 4th of July, Christmas, etc.).
  • New Products: Send emails whenever you are launching or have recently launched new products that you want your customers to know about.

A promo email sent by Wet Seal

An Example from Wet Seal

These emails can be fairly effective, but a word of caution: don’t overdo it. These days, it seems like everyday is a holiday (National Cookie Day, National Chocolate Day, etc.)—don’t bombard your customers with promo emails and holiday-themed emails. Be thoughtful and strategic about the promotional emails you send to customers.

Over to You

What other emails are you sending to get customers to buy again? Tell me in the comments below.

Rob Wormley Rob is a Content Marketing & Product Marketing Consultant.

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