This week's blog post comes to us from email guru Kevan Lee over at leading email blog Sendsmarter.co. Kevan has seen first hand how effective email is in driving sales, and so we are delighted to have his thoughts on email and e-commerce.
Take a look at your inbox, and you will likely find a trove of e-commerce email, mingling with the newsletters and forwards.
What's the big deal? Isn't email supposed to be a medium for writers and a repository for newsletters? Clearly, there is value for marketers in the inbox, and they are taking advantage. Smart marketers are using email to boost their e-commerce business, and all online shops would be wise to follow. Here are three reasons why.
The 4,400% ROI
With an ROI so high you'd think it were a typo, email carries one of the biggest payoffs for e-commerce marketing efforts. According to the Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get $44.25 in return. That is an incredible investment! Costs are so low and rewards so high for a number of reasons:
- Inexpensive email software that can reach a large number of customers
- Multiple opportunities to follow up with leads and purchasers
- Permission marketing---your subscribers want to hear from you
- Automation of common emails and auto-responders
Take, for example, a shopping cart abandonment email. These triggered campaigns regain 29% of abandoned orders. Now picture the work involved. Sure, the setup will require time, energy, and resources to create the email, mine the data, and get it scheduled, but once the groundwork is laid, the email takes care of itself.
Email has Facebook and Twitter Beat
E-commerce has invested a lot into social media over the past several years, but still, all that hard work has yet to even come close to the stunning growth of email. Consider these stats from customer acquisition site Custora, which analyzed over 72 million shoppers. Over the past four years, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customer acquisition through email. If that doesn't grab you, maybe this chart will.
Twitter and Facebook are blips on the chart. Email is a spike.
What are the reasons? There are likely several, but consider that social media content does not enjoy the guaranteed views of email. Some estimate that only 16 percent of the Facebook content your business posts will be seen by your fans. It is to Facebook and Twitter's advantage to limit views of content in order to promote their business services. There is no such conflict of interest in email. If you send a clean email, your subscribers will find it in their inbox. Guaranteed.
Targeted Customers, Fascinating Stats
E-commerce sites thrive on analytics---knowing who purchased what and how. Information like this can help inform an email marketing campaign and lead to segmented messages, which enjoy an average of 15% greater results both in opens and click-throughs. The Crazy Egg blog explains one M.O.:
After analyzing metrics on your subscriber, you can determine what content they engage with most and which topics or products they prefer. Once you have this information, you can then create customized emails for different groups.
The email campaigns offer analytics of their own, too. Smart companies can use the data on click-throughs, opens, and sales to determine which campaigns were successful and which weren't. The marriage of data and information with email and e-commerce makes both better.
E-commerce and email are a match made in heaven. Sending email simply makes sense for online stores, and the numbers support a huge potential for increased engagement and sales. If you run an e-commerce site and don't have email, make it priority No. 1. If you notice an inbox filled with more and more offers, now you know why.