Advanced Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing Over a quarter of the world’s population are now shopping online. In fact, 900 million more consumers chose to do so in 2021 compared to 2020. And whilst this means some businesses have had to pivot their models to move their presence online. For others, it means they are upping their already established eCommerce game. So for brands and businesses in eCommerce-competitive industries, or for those who have the basics locked down, what’s next? Our advanced guide to eCommerce email marketing will skip over the basics and take marketers through what they should be doing to beat the competition and be the best in their industry. For advanced email marketers, better starts here. Data capture The first step in being able to execute more advanced email strategies is data. Without proper data, it becomes almost impossible to send communications that don’t fall into the one-size-fits-all category that advanced eCommerce marketers will want to avoid. If you are at this stage, you will likely have the basic data on your recipients such as first name, date of birth, and country. But to take this data to the next level, we recommend capturing and utilising: Behavioural data Behavioural data includes the landing pages your consumers frequent, the products and ranges they browse, and the items left in their baskets. Purchase data Purchase data refers to the products an individual purchases, how frequently they purchase, and how much they spend. Location data Many businesses capture the country a recipient is from, but to practice advanced email marketing they need to get more specific with the use of geolocation data to pinpoint where in the world individual recipients are. To capture and action all of this data, we recommend utilising an AI email and web marketing platform that can gather useful data and feed it directly into campaigns. Zero Party data Zero party data was first coined by Forrester and used to describe data that a consumer chooses to share with a business or a brand. It is easily confused with first-party data, which is based on implied preferences such as behavioural or purchase data (as above). It will continue to grow momentum as consumers become more data savvy and demand more control over their data. Dynamic content Before we go onto some of our favourite advanced email techniques, we need to give special mention to dynamic content. With the use of dynamic content, marketers can generate engaging emails, each of which is personalised to the individual recipient. And are up to date every time the email is opened. Countdown timers Countdown timers are one of our favourite uses of dynamic content in email marketing. Not only do they add an additional engaging element to any email. But they also offer a sense of urgency, no matter what the email is promoting. Countdown timers can be used in many different scenarios; to promote sales, limited time offers, product launches, and events. And by using dynamic content, countdown timers will update in real-time whenever the email is refreshed. So the recipient will always have access to the correct amount of time left. Product Recommendations 80% of consumers actually want to receive product recommendations based on their past purchases. That’s because these recommendations cut through the white noise of one-size-fits-all marketing, and offers the consumer useful and relevant promotions. But sending out specific product recommendations to individuals, or even segments, can be time and resource-intensive when it comes to creating multiple emails. With dynamic content, marketers can incorporate product recommendations and images into their emails that are relevant to the individual. With dynamic content blocks doing all the hard work. These blocks utilise the data that marketers have on the recipient to pull through the products that are of most relevance to them based on demographic, behavioural, or purchase data. Pricing and availability When a recipient receives an email promotion for an item they’ve had their eye on, there is nothing more disappointing than realising it’s out of stock or the price has gone up. With dynamic content, marketers can ensure that pricing and availability is automatically kept up to date in their emails, with no manual input. Instead, dynamic content blocks utilise product data to ensure that product information is kept up to date every time an email is opened. Coupons and vouchers Any recipient will appreciate money off their next purchase. But to be an advanced email marketer, vouchers and coupons should be tailored to the individual. Including a specific amount and time frame that is reflective of their activity and purchases. With the use of dynamic content, coupons and vouchers can be tailored to each individual recipient. Including their own expiry date so they won’t be left disappointed. And usefully, once the coupon has expired, dynamic content allows the email to show “Coupon expired” copy. So that the recipient doesn’t have to go through the entire purchase process before finding out. Language and currency For global brands and businesses, the recipient’s specific location can have a huge impact on the language and currency that should be used within an email. With the use of dynamic content, marketers can automatically pull through the correct language and currency within their emails, based on the recipient’s location. This makes for a much better experience for the recipient. And cuts down on unnecessary work for the marketer. Automated sequences When many brands and businesses get started out with email marketing, they will send out campaigns on a fairly ad hoc basis. To take email marketing to the next step, marketers should focus on creating automated sequences of communications that happily run in the background with minimal manual input and intervention. Not only does this ensure that recipients are continuously engaged with, but it also saves the marketer time and resource. Welcome A single welcome email is the perfect way to introduce a recipient to a new brand and can be automated to be sent once a recipient signs up or makes their first purchase. However, a welcome sequence offers the marketers the chance to share more information over a series of emails. This can be less overwhelming for the recipient, whilst also keeping the brand or business at the top of their inbox. This information can include a history of the brand, what they do, and what they believe in. Key contact details and social pages. Most popular products. And even customer reviews and ratings. Nurturing Nurturing sequences continuously engage with a prospect or customer with the aim of keeping them warm to make their first purchase, or to buy more. These emails run in the background, keeping recipients up to date with the latest news, content, products, and promotions from a brand or business. It’s important that nurturing sequences aren’t just focused on product promotions. Instead, they should be used to keep a brand in the recipient’s mind, keep them engaged, and build trust. Post-purchase Once a purchase is made, the communications shouldn’t stop. In fact once the recipient has handed over their money, it can be easy for them to become nervous that their purchase hasn’t gone through, that there will be delivery delays, or they will not be happy with the product or service. Once a purchase is made, marketers can automate post-purchase communications to help put the customer’s mind at ease. This should include purchase confirmation, dispatch and delivery updates, and a request for ratings and feedback to offer the recipient the opportunity to ask any questions or leave a positive review. Behavioural triggers Consumers have a wide variety of behaviours that stretch far beyond making a purchase. All of these behaviours are potential opportunities to engage and move the consumer through the buying cycle. This is why advanced email marketers should be implementing behavioural-based triggered emails to ensure consumers are communicated with at key moments. Basket abandonment Basket abandonment is one of the most recognised behavioural triggered emails, yet surprisingly underutilised by many brands and businesses. But with almost 70% of online baskets being abandoned, this is clearly a tactic that any advanced marketer needs to adapt. There are many reasons for basket abandonment. The consumer may have been distracted, had second thoughts, or found a better offer somewhere else. Basket abandonment emails should address these potential blockers. Offering a reminder in the inbox, key product imagery and information, and maybe even a discount to encourage them to finish their purchase. Browse abandonment Browse abandonment is the lesser-known sibling of basket abandonment. Because it’s not just baskets that are abandoned, consumers can also frequent landing and product pages without taking any action. Whilst they are not adding an item to their basket, this activity shows interest in an item and therefore should be acted upon. Browse abandonment emails should also offer further product information, alongside other related and recommended items which may be more suitable for the recipient. Cross-sell and upsell Once a customer has made a purchase, there is still an opportunity for the advanced email marketer to encourage the recipient to spend a little extra. Based on the purchases they have made, marketers can send customers further product recommendations such as related products and add on-items. For instance, accessories to finish an outfit, or batteries for electronic items. And for industries such as travel, marketers can even upsell post-purchase. For instance, opportunities for the recipient to upgrade their room or flight. Re-engagement Despite sending great emails, offers, and product promotions, sometimes a recipient may simply become disengaged. In these instances, a re-engagement email is needed to recapture these inactive or lapsed customers. These emails should address the potential reasons why a recipient isn’t engaging, and encourage them to come purchase from that brand or business again. They can include an enticing promotion to tempt the customer back, ask if there’s anything the brand or business can help with, or simply let the recipient know they are missed. Social proof 89% of purchasers won’t take action until they read reviews. And in a world increasingly dominated by social networks, social proof is becoming essential. Social proof refers to evidence from other customers that they regularly purchase from a specific brand or business, and are happy with their product and service. For email marketers, social proof can be implemented into emails in numerous ways. Reviews and ratings Marketers can use static imagery of reviews and ratings, or dynamic content to pull through real-time reviews from their website or third party platforms. They can incorporate generic reviews into their email, or if they want to get really smart, include specific ratings for individual products they are promoting. Source – BigCommerce User generated content (UGC) UGC is key to reassuring consumers and showcasing happy customers. This can refer to posts, photos, videos, and any content that is created by an average consumer as opposed to a brand or business. It provides marketers with an endless source of engaging new content. And furthermore, 64% of consumers actively search for UGC before making a decision on a purchase. So it’s very effective too. Marketers can incorporate quotes, images, and links to social media posts from their happy customers that feature their products. And also link to the products the customer is shouting about. Influencers For some brands, influencers are the ultimate social proof. 92% of customers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. And generally, the products that are reviewed well by influencers are favoured by consumers. Whilst influencers are commonly found on social networks, they can also be featured in email campaigns. Whether it be including a post from them, or working with them on an entire campaign. Are you an eCommerce brand looking to advance your email marketing? At Pure360, we are experts in all things eCommerce. Just check out our case studies. Get in touch to learn how our all in one AI email and marketing platform alongside our team of experts can help you take your email marketing to the next level.