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Email marketing for ecommerce brands isn’t exactly a new art; however, it’s one that needs to be addressed, given the sheer number of emails that consumers receive each and every day. Unfortunately, many ecommerce names simply send out pesky ads to all of their customers, with nothing more than “buy now” promotions.

When it comes to email marketing ecommerce ideas, a weekly ad is great. However, you need to keep your readers in mind, and simply sending fliers—such as the following from Jewel Osco—isn’t exactly favorable amongst consumers.

Jewel Osco Weekly Flier

While these sorts of fliers are excellent for printed material and in-store reminders, they don’t make for good ecommerce email marketing. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Viewing this in a web browser is difficult for the reader
  • Images may not load appropriately
  • It’s not tailored to your reader, so the material will be either glazed over or simply trashed
  • There’s little to no relevant content

When coming up with email marketing ecommerce ideas, it’s vital that you keep your consumers in mind.

Not only do 74% of marketers say that targeted personalization helps to increase customer engagement, but studies have shown that personalized emails deliver 6x times higher transaction rates.

When it comes time to either start building and or revamping your ecommerce email marketing strategy, it’s vital that you include varying email marketing campaigns into the mix in order to stay relevant in your customer’s inbox. Before we dive into email marketing ecommerce ideas to help your brand stand out, there’s one topic that many ecommerce brands struggle with that we need to cover: personalization.

Personalization in ecommerce email marketing

Many ecommerce brands have a hard time with email marketing. One reason is that they lack personalization within their email marketing campaigns. Although they could simply slap their reader’s name at the beginning of the email and call it a day, that doesn’t mean their content is relevant to each of the readers who’ve opted in to receiving regular promotions from them.

Let’s take this example from Gerald Nissan of Naperville. While, at first glance, this message seems to be more tailored to the reader, the unfortunate fact is that this receiver doesn’t actually own the car mentioned in the content.

Gerald Nissan of Naperville ecommerce Email

Source: Gerald Nissan of Naperville

The content of the message is excellent, but, again, the receiver of this message didn’t actually own the vehicle that the brand is targeting. It’s clear that Gerald Nissan was making an attempt at personalizing their content to their readers instead of sending out a generic message regarding their maintenance services. However, sending out a message regarding “your Sentra” when the receiver doesn’t own that vehicle can reflect poorly on your brand.

So how does an ecommerce brand create relevant content that’s personalized to each of its readers? Through email list segmentation.

Ecommerce email marketing ideas: email list segmentation

Before you dive into mapping out your ecommerce email marketing ideas, you first need to take some time to get to know your email subscribers. During their initial opt-in process, you should have collected some form of user data that allows you to get to know who your readers are. It’s this user data that’ll help you with your email list segmentation.

One quick reminder for those who need it: email list segmentation is the act of dividing your email subscribers into smaller, more unique segments based on specific criteria. The criteria can be quite literally anything—just remember, you don’t want to pester your readers for too much information in a single sitting, or they’ll quickly decide to opt out of the process.

User data you can collect includes:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Age
  • Geo-location
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Education level
  • Signup source
  • User engagement
  • User Interests/preferences
  • Purchase history
  • Browsing history
  • Purchase amount
  • VIP status and more

Email List Segmentation Examples

Each of these segmentations will help you send the most relevant content to each of your readers. In the case of the earlier Nissan email, if their marketing team had segmented their email list appropriately and sent this message to users who had a purchase history that included the Nissan Sentra, then the message would’ve been sent only to those who found it most relevant.

Putting the time into email list segmentation is vital to the success of your ecommerce email marketing campaigns, so take adequate time to get it right, and you’ll see more positive results down the line.

3 email marketing ecommerce ideas that’ll set you apart from the competition

Understanding how to segment your email lists is only step one. Now it’s time to come up with email marketing ecommerce ideas that’ll not only get your emails seen by subscribers, but get them to take action.

It’s true that you can send out the average ad campaigns pertaining to seasons and new product updates. However, to stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to consider the following three email marketing ecommerce ideas.

Scarcity campaigns

Scarcity campaigns don’t get nearly enough attention when it comes to developing email marketing ecommerce ideas. These campaigns can come in several different formats, and each one can be easily tailored to your readers using email list segmentation.

One of the most common uses of scarcity campaigns is the “act now” campaign.

Rue21 ecommerce email example of scarcity

Source: Rue21

This is an excellent example, from beginning to end. The sense of scarcity begins in the subject line: “This can’t be the end!” Even the use of the ghost emojis helps create a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out. From there, the brand moves on to urge readers to act now, if they want to take advantage of the current deals because they “end tonight.”

Another excellent example of creating a sense of scarcity is through inventory updates, such as this example from Kate Spade.

Kate Spade ecommerce inventory update

Many consumers subscribe to their favorite brand’s email lists so that they can stay up to date on what’s new with the brand and on new releases. One area that many ecommerce emails tend to neglect is the “inventory update” messages. Sending new release messages is common. However, many of your readers are looking for very specific products and, when a specific or trending product goes out of stock, they’d greatly appreciate updates on when new stock is made available.

Not only do these updates help to cut down on customer frustration, but it helps them stay in the loop and save them valuable browsing time. This is a great way to implement browsing or purchase history segmentation because it helps you send information truly relevant to those who are in need.

Cart abandonment campaigns

Cart abandonment campaigns are a necessary part of developing email marketing ecommerce ideas, and, while most brands simply send a message regarding items remaining in your cart, these messages can be better tailored to encourage your readers to act and purchase the items they left in their online shopping carts.

Consider this example from Framebridge. Instead of just regurgitating the items left in their shopper’s cart, they take things to the next step with further personalization.

 Framebridge abandoned cart ecommerce email example

Source: Really Good Emails

They start by complimenting their subscriber’s taste and then offer them an exclusive 10% off their initial purchase as a way of encouraging them to revisit their cart and purchase the items they left in there. From there, they address the possibility of the consumer being torn between a few different products and encourage them to see their designer’s choice to help them pick.

Recommendation campaigns

Product recommendation campaigns are one of the best ways to send the most relevant ecommerce emails to your subscribers. Again, once you’ve segmented your email list, you can send only the most relevant content to each of your readers, and, by using segments such as browsing and purchase history, you can send genuinely relevant recommendations to each person on your list.

Take this example from Adidas. Not only are they utilizing an inventory update for this message, but they’re combining it with a personalized recommendation for their user, in the instance that the reader may need something now, versus waiting for a specific product to come back into stock.

 Adidas ecommerce example of a product recommendation

Source: Really Good Emails

What really works with this email marketing ecommerce idea is that the reader can see that the sender isn’t just looking to make a sale but wants to make sure they’re fulfilling this particular reader’s need. They’ve taken a look at the product that the reader was interested in and made appropriate product recommendations that may suit their needs, should they want to make a purchase now instead of waiting on the out-of-stock product.

Wrap up

When it comes time to develop email marketing ecommerce ideas for your brand, there are many different campaign ideas to help you stay relevant in your subscriber’s inbox.

If you really want to stand out, however, you should consider these three ecommerce email marketing campaigns:

  • Scarcity campaigns
  • Personal recommendations campaigns
  • Card abandonment campaigns

Is your brand in need of an email marketing product for your ecommerce store? Campaign Monitor is excited to announce the launch of its CM Commerce product that works with platforms including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. For more information, check out our CM Commerce page today!

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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