6 Essential Email Marketing Tips to Boost Sales

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rare.io-smart-ecommerce-email-marketing-author-franco-varriano

Written by Franco Varriano.

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Creating email campaigns can feel overwhelming. With so much information out there and endless possible variations in copy, design, and analytics…where do you start?

After all, you’re not interested in learning email marketing just for the fun of it. You want to run email marketing campaigns that get your store more sales, all without taking away from the time you spend running the rest of your business.

In today’s article, we’re going to cut through the noise and give you the six email marketing tips that will help you start boosting sales today.

Let’s get started!

1. Track Key Statistics

Do you know the open for your last email marketing campaign?

What about the clickthrough rate for links you included in the email?

If you can’t answer these questions, then you need to change your email marketing approach. You need to track these key statistics, or each email you send is just a shot in the dark.

Let’s break down each of these terms:

  • Open rate refers to the percentage of recipients who opened your email. The math is simple (total number of emails sent in campaign/number of emails opened). All email marketing software worth its salt will automatically calculate it for you.
  • Click-through rate refers to the percentage of recipients who clicked one or more links in your email to land on your website. It’s calculated by dividing the number of emails sent by the number of clicks on the link. Your email software will calculate this number for you. This stat is most useful in conjunction with on-site analytics that show where traffic is coming from.

2. Create More Opt-In Opportunities

An “opt-in” refers to when a visitor subscribes to an email list. If you’re like most ecommerce site owners, then you probably have a couple ways for customers and site visitors to join your email list. But we bet you could be doing more. After all, the first step to growing your email list is making sure people know it exists and have a way to easily join it.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to get people to join your list:

1. Within the Checkout Process

When someone is making a purchase from your store, they’ve already indicated they trust and believe in what you’re selling. This is the perfect time to ask for them to join your email list as well.

Many checkout flows use a check box to automatically add a customer to your email list when they hit “Buy”. Adding the checkbox at the end of the form is the most logical place, as it’s simply a matter of clicking it right before the “Buy” button. That being said, you should be careful with this technique, as it could potentially get in the way of a customer making a purchase.

2. Pop-Up Forms

This technique is so common that it hardly needs an introduction, but if you haven’t tested email subscription pop-ups on your site, we recommend it. They are a controversial practice, and could be inappropriate depending on your site’s brand.

However, they can also allow you to get people to subscribe who would otherwise never do so. To make your pop-ups more than an annoyance, include a compelling value offer along with them. For instance, you could offer a discount or free shipping in exchange for a sign-up.

3. Purchase Confirmation Emails

When making a purchase from your site, a customer will already have entered their email address in order to receive a receipt and updates on the progress of their order. In addition to that function, however, you can also use these emails to give customers the chance to subscribe to your email list.

After the receipt part of the email, you can include a short pitch for your email list, offering a discount or free shipping on a future order in return for signing up.

4. Embedded Forms in Blog Posts

We don’t need to tell you that content marketing is a powerful tool for increasing traffic to your site. But don’t let all that traffic which you’ve attracted to your site via content marketing go to waste. While linking directly to relevant products can be the biggest bang for your effort for your ecommerce blog, you can also include an embedded form at the bottom of your posts which invites visitors to sign up for your email list. You can even customize the form, offering a discount on the products you discuss in the article, for instance.

3. Use a Clear Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) is the statement that prompts the reader to take a particular action. This could be clicking a link, making a purchase, sharing something on social media, or any other number of relevant actions.

Unclear calls to action are a killer for your marketing efforts. Nowhere is this truer than in the fast-paced environment of the email inbox. Consider the last time you checked your email: you were likely aiming to get through it as quickly as possible, often by skimming.

When you send emails promoting your products, you need to make the call to action clear and offer a compelling reason to take said action.

Here’s vague vs clear examples:

  • Vague: “Visit this page to get your discount”
  • Clear: “Get 30% off this custom watch before it’s gone”
  • Vague: “Visit our store to see more”
  • Clear: “Shop our full line of dog toothbrushes”

Along with making sure your CTAs are clear, don’t use too many in the same email. Pick the most important action you want a subscriber to take, and cater your CTA to that goal and that goal only.

4. A/B Test Different Subject Lines

Email marketing is a data-driven practice. In order to figure out what is and isn’t working, you need to test different approaches. One aspect of email marketing that especially benefits from this approach is the subject line. Using A/B testing, you can test different subject lines against each other in order to inform your future marketing decisions.

What is A/B testing, exactly? It refers to picking an element of an email, web page, blog post, or whatever you want to optimize, creating a variation of it, and then testing the performance of both versions over a given period of time.

Using your email list software, you can collect data on which email received more opens. This email is the “winner”, leaving you with data that can help you write more effective subject lines in the future. If you’re interested in learning how to create the absolute best email subject lines, check our article about it here and learn more about A/B testing using Rare.

5. Keep It Simple

It’s easy to go overboard with “clever” email copy, fancy design, gifs, and all other manner of distracting elements. While there’s nothing wrong with any of these, don’t lose sight of the goal of email marketing: making more sales for your store.

If you spend too much of your time being clever, it can backfire. You need to use the language that resonates with your customers, not the language that would impress your high school creative writing teacher. Keep the copy straightforward and the design simple, and let the strength of your offer shine through.

6. Don’t Send Too Many Emails

Your store has a lot of amazing products to offer. It’s natural, then, to want to tell your customers about all of them as quickly as possible. Avoid this temptation. If you send too many emails, it can overwhelm your email subscribers. In the worst cases, it can get your emails flagged as spam. At the very least, it can cause people to unsubscribe.

There’s no magic number for how often you should send emails. We’d suggest that you keep it to once a day at the most. As in all things in this article, you can experiment with the frequency and time you send your emails. On the other hand, it can be appropriate and even necessary to send multiple emails per day in certain circumstances, such as a flash sale or new product launch.

Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level

Now that you’ve read this post, you should feel equipped to make the most of your email marketing efforts. Of course, all the best tips in the world are no use without an intelligent email marketing program to help you implement them.

That’s where Rare comes in. Our software offers you the most cutting-edge customer segmentation, product recommendation, and automation features, letting you spend less time on email marketing and more time on your online store.

And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.

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