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7 Best E-Commerce Email Ideas for Customer Retention

Author Bio: Hugh Beaulac is a content strategist, SMM manager, and guest author who runs MC2 website. With over 6 years of digital marketing experience, he loves writing about social media marketing, e-commerce for SMBs, and email marketing. Follow Hugh on Twitter to stay tuned for more.

Practically every business aims at acquiring new customers. The more potential customers you have, the more products you can sell, right?

At first blush, it makes sense, but customer retention matters.

With the growing number of options on the market, it’s harder for e-commerce brands to cut through the noise and reach out to new customers. Moreover, customers are more likely to buy from brands they know, recognize, and support.

In fact, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.

Image Source

As you can see, investing time and effort into building strong customer relationships pays off. Moreover, there are many customer retention strategies that work well. But If you make the most out of e-commerce email marketing for your business, consider creating customer retention emails.

The Importance of Customer Retention Emails

First things first: Around 61% of customers agree that email is still the preferable way to receive product updates and offers from brands.

When you send customer retention emails, you get an opportunity to:

  • Re-engage existing customers. With the variety of options on the market and the short attention span, customers may lose interest in your products unless you remind them of your quality and service from time to time. Sending the right e-commerce emails, you can re-engage your customers and draw their attention to your business again.
  • Improve email deliverability. When you send emails to existing customers, they expect to receive brand information from you. Moreover, existing customers are more loyal to your brand so they are interested in opening your emails which helps to increase email deliverability.
  • Reduce customer churn rate. Existing customers know firsthand whether they are satisfied with your products or not. When you send customer retention emails, you get an opportunity to understand their customer experience and improve it which also means you can reduce customer churn.
  • Increase brand loyalty and trust. Most businesses forget to communicate with customers after they make the purchase decision. However, people want to feel valued, so they are more likely to trust brands that try to improve post-purchase customer experience.
  • Boost e-commerce sales. It’s no secret that most customers choose reliable brands when it comes to making purchases. When you send customer retention emails, not only do you remind customers about your products, but you also give them a solid reason to choose you over your competitors who don’t bother about customer retention.

For a variety of reasons, customer retention emails can boost your business growth. To inspire your email campaign, here are seven best e-commerce email ideas for customer retention.

Send Thank-You Notes

Good customer experience is a key to business growth and success. One of the best and easiest ways to show customer appreciation is to send thank-you notes to your repeat customers who show interest in your products. When customers visit your online store, it’s easier for marketers to gather information about customer preferences to offer products and therefore increase cross-selling.

Whether you send an abandoned cart email with a thank-you note or show appreciation for completing the purchase, it adds personalization and it helps to build an emotional connection with people. Check out how Reebok did it:

an abandoned cart email sent by Reebok

And here’s another example of a ‘thank-you’ email from Balibody that encourages repeat customers to buy from the company over and over again. Not only did the company thank loyal customers for choosing their products, but it also offered a time-limited unique discount code that motivated customers to make additional purchases.

a thank-you email sent by Balibody

Thank-you emails are not limited to these examples. With the right e-commerce tools, you can automate store-related tasks and therefore get time to do analysis and find different ‘thank you’ e-commerce emails that other companies send.

Promote a Customer Loyalty Program

Most customers want to find the best deals when making the purchase decision. To reward repeat customers for their loyalty, more and more companies set up loyalty programs and it gives results. In fact, 59% of people claim that earning rewards and loyalty points helps to improve shopping experience.

A good customer loyalty program motivates repeat consumers to buy from the same company to get brand incentives like access to the premium content, discounts, brand freebies, etc.

To encourage your customers to buy from you, it’s a good idea to tell about your loyalty program as it can give shoppers a solid reason to choose your brand over your competitors. Here’s an example of a tiered customer loyalty program. The more customers spend, the more prominent benefits and perks they get.

EyeBuyDirect loyalty program

Note: If you choose a tiered loyalty program, get ready to provide seamless customer service as your customers may have questions on how to reach these levels and what prizes or rewards they can get right now.

Incentivize Customers to Refer Friends

Satisfied customers are happy to recommend your product to their friends and family, but just a few of them do it. With a good referral system, both repeat and potential customers can get something beneficial from your brand. As a result, not only do you give your loyal customers a reason to tell their friends about your product, but you also encourage them to purchase more products from you.

Let’s take Fabletics, for example. When loyal customers refer their friends, they get $40 in store credit and the referred friend gets $20 sign up credit and a massive discount on the first order. Check out the email:

An email sent by Fabletics to promote their referral program

Fabletics also uses its customer retention emails to promote its brand hashtag–#MyFabletics–that allows customers to discover more products and also encourage them to upload their outfits for a chance to get featured on the brand’s social media profiles. It serves as social proof and it helps to promote your brand, too.

Tell Customers about Sale

People love deals and offers. When shopping online, most customers do research to find items on sale and save money as 60% of them want to buy products/services at the lowest possible price. To retain customers and increase brand trust, it’s a good idea to tell your customers about sales as it can motivate customers to take action.

It’s no secret that people buy clearance products fast, so giving your repeat customers early access to sales allows them to get benefits from your brand which improves brand loyalty and increases e-commerce sales. Check out how one company did it in the example below:

An email sent by & Other Stories to promote their latest sale

Another proven way to tell your subscribers about the sale is to include discount codes. In fact, 93% of consumers use discounts they receive from brands via email which means you can increase customer retention with ease.

Let’s take a look at the following example. Not only did the company send discount codes to its customer base, but it also used a QR code generator so that interested offline shoppers could redeem them in-store:

Send Special Occasion Vouchers

Customers trust brands that pay close attention to the details. When you know your target audience well, it’s easy for you to understand what plays a key role in their lives. Thus, customers expect brands to congratulate them on their personal events like anniversaries or birthdays and send notes on holidays, so it’s a good idea to send special occasion vouchers that can prove your customers–you put them first.

To understand your target audience better and segment your customers, it’s more likely you collect customer data and therefore you know your customers’ birthday dates. If so, it gives you a great opportunity to send special occasion vouchers that can add personalization and create an emotional bond between your brand and customers.

For example, Shiseido sends a brand freebie with any purchase as a birthday bonus:

Shiseido Birthday Bonus email

To create a similar eye-catching design, you can use a newsletter maker that allows you to choose from the variety of templates and customize them to your needs and wants.

And here’s how Keds rewards its customers with a birthday discount code. Since the discount is valid for one month, customers have enough time to decide on the product and make the purchase:

A birthday email sent by Keds

Share Exclusive Deals and Offers

It’s no secret that customers want to feel special, so sharing exclusive deals and offers is one of the best ways to increase e-commerce conversion rates. As an e-commerce marketer, you can use a variety of perks. One of the simplest ways to retain customers is to give them exclusive discounts:

However, there are several other ideas on deals and offers for e-commerce brands:

  • Discounts
  • Free shipping & returns
  • Premium access to online chats
  • Brand freebies
  • BOGO (buy one get one) offers
  • Extra reward points
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) offers

Include Product Recommendation Quizzes

Most e-commerce brands have a great variety of products to offer. Not only do they reach a wider audience with a product range, but they also upsell or cross-sell their repeat customers. The secret to success is to help your customers discover your products.

With the customer’s order history, it’s easy to tailor product recommendations to each individual. But if you want to spark curiosity and increase interest in your brand, it’s a great idea to create a product recommendation quiz that keeps your customers engaged.

Case in point:

To promote its variety of products and inform customers about the time-limited sales, ValueCity made a one-question quiz and sent it over to its email list:

Subscribers had four options to choose from and they were able to find product recommendations based on their replies when scrolling down the email:

To bring your business to the next level and add personalization to your email campaign, it’s a good idea to segment your repeat customers and create product recommendation videos. Why? According to video marketing statistics, 72% of customers prefer watching a video to learn about a product and viewers retain 95% of information when received through a video.

In a Word

Customers are the lifeblood of every business, so you can’t afford to lose them once you’ve acquired them. Simply put, customer retention plays a key role in your business growth, so it’s important to motivate your existing customers to continue buying products from you.

With so many methods and strategies, you can create various incentives and send them over to your customer base via customer retention emails and make sure you pay close attention to your existing customers. After all, repeat customers are more likely to make additional purchases, recommend your company to their friends and family, and help your revenue grow.

Greg D'Aboville Greg is Head of Growth at WisePops.

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