Email marketing remains a vital component of any successful e-commerce strategy, and Shopify merchants can significantly benefit from optimizing their email campaigns. With high ROI potential, email marketing is an effective way to engage customers, drive traffic to your store, and ultimately boost sales. This article will provide Shopify merchants with actionable steps to enhance their email marketing campaigns and maximize ROI.
1. Build an Email List:
The first step in maximizing your email marketing ROI is building a high-quality email list. The email list is an asset that you want to own, and which can continually aid in monetization. Ideally it is built by having people opt in to receiving emails from you because you have won their trust and interest. So collect email addresses from visitors, customers who have made purchases, and people who have expressed interest in your products. It's best to avoid buying email lists as it impacts deliverability and reputation. So here are some ways to build your email list:a) Use signup forms:
Signup forms are a popular way to capture email addresses from website visitors. They can be triggered by specific user actions, such as scrolling or clicking a button. Ideally it should be minimally intrusive and be designed to match the look and feel of your website.
b) Offer incentives:
People respond to incentives. Encourage visitors to sign up by offering incentives like discounts, free shipping, or access to exclusive content.
c) Leverage social media:
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn can be powerful tools for capturing email addresses and building your list. Use social media posts and ads to promote your email list and encourage users to sign up. You can also use social media to run contests or giveaways that require users to provide their email address to enter.
d) Collect emails during checkout:
Include an email opt-in checkbox during the checkout process to capture customer emails. Especially in a GDPR world, not getting your customer’s consent can have legal repercussions.
e) Offer a lead magnet:
A lead magnet is a free item or service given away for the purpose of gathering contact details. These may include free samples, trial subscriptions, consultations or tutorials, or even shopping guides.
2. Segment your audience:
Once you have built your email list, the next step is to segment it based on customer behavior and preferences. This allows you to send targeted and relevant emails to each segment, increasing the likelihood that they will engage with your content and make a purchase. You can use customer data such as purchase history, browsing behavior, geographic and demographic information to segment your audience. You can even segment based on email engagement based on how often they open your emails, what kind of emails they read. As an example you might have different segments for first-time buyers, repeat customers, or customers who haven't made a purchase in a while.
3. Personalize your emails:
Personalization is a crucial element for successful email marketing for Shopify merchants. By personalizing your emails, you can increase the relevance and engagement of your email campaigns, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and revenue. Personalization can take many forms, from using the recipient's name in the email greeting to dynamically displaying content based on criteria such as the recipient's location or purchase history. For instance, you might send product recommendations based on past purchases, or special offers based on a subscriber's location. Here are some ways to do this:
a) Use a personalized greeting:
Use the recipient's name in the greeting or body of your email to make it feel more personal and friendly.
b) Use dynamic content:
This allows you to display different content based on specific criteria, such as the recipient's location, interests, or purchase history. You want to tailor promotions and discounts to individual preferences and interests. Many merchants send product recommendations based on segments created from browsing and purchase history.
c) Celebrate milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, with special offers.
4. Use a clear and compelling subject line:
Your email subject line is the first thing that your subscribers will see when they receive your email. A clear and compelling subject line can encourage them to open your email and engage with your content. A few things to keep in mind:
a) Your subject line should be short (50 characters or less) and to the point, and should accurately reflect the content of your email. Avoid using clickbait or misleading subject lines, as this can harm your brand's reputation have people mark you as spam.
b) See if you can create a sense of urgency. Some examples are: “Limited Offer” or “Black Friday Sales end tonight”.
c) A/B test different subject lines to find what resonates with your audience. For those who don’t know A/B testing means having multiple variants of your email go out to different sub groups to get an idea of what works best. Most email marketing tools support A/B testing although some may be found only on the higher tier plans. As an example you can configure 3 mails each having a different subject line. Your email marketing tool can measure which subject line elicits the greatest open rates. You can then use what you learnt to improve subsequent emails.
5. Use engaging email content:
The content of your email is crucial to its success. This may be the hardest part but if you are focused on delivering value to your subscribers through your products, it increases their likelihood of engaging. A few tips:
a) Be clear about what you are trying to get the customer to do. Do you want them to browse a new collection or check out a new product? Are you trying to upsell them? Are you educating them about how to use a product they just bought? Are you trying to get them to leave a review? The email should be focused on driving the customer towards the goal. As an example if you are focused on a new product launch, you may want to clearly highlight how the product looks, the benefits to the customers, testimonials but at each section make sure you have buttons that can take you to the landing page for the product.
b) Don’t pigeon hole yourself. Feel free to use different types of content in your emails - product recommendations, customer reviews, blog posts, tutorials, videos, even social posts. If it helps you get your point across better, use it.
c) Try to use high-quality images and videos to make your content more engaging and visually appealing.
6. Include clear calls to action:
Your email should have a clear and compelling call to action (CTA) that encourages subscribers to take action. This could be a button that directs them to your website, a discount code to encourage them to make a purchase, or a sign-up form for a newsletter or other marketing materials. Make sure that your CTA is prominently displayed in your email and stands out from the rest of your content.
7. Optimize your email design:
Keep in mind the following:
a. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes:
More than half of all email opens occur on mobile devices, so make sure you focus on how the mobile view looks. Most modern email marketing tools allow you to see how the email will look on various devices. Make sure you use this capability and are happy with how things look before the mails go out.
b. Keep it clean and simple:
Use white space, clear headings and concise text.
8. Use automated email workflows:
Managing and executing email campaigns can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large subscriber list. This is where automated email workflows come in. Here are some ways automated workflows can help a Shopify merchant improve email marketing ROI:
a) Welcome Emails:
Introduce your brand and set expectations for future communications.
b) Abandoned cart emails:
This is a powerful way to recover lost sales and increase revenue. Send personalized abandoned cart emails to customers who have left items in their shopping cart to remind them of what they left behind and encourage them to make a purchase. These emails can include product images, pricing, and links to complete the purchase.
c) Post-purchase follow-ups:
Ask for reviews, offer related product suggestions, or provide a multi-lingual customer support.
d) Re-engagement campaigns:
Target inactive subscribers with special offers or content to win them back.
9. Monitor and Optimize Your Email Campaigns:
Once you have launched your email campaigns, it's essential to monitor their performance and optimize them to maximize your ROI. Here are some steps you can take to monitor and optimize your email campaigns:
a)Set up tracking:
The first step to monitoring your email campaigns is to set up tracking and analytics. Most email marketing platforms offer built-in tracking and analytics features that allow you to track metrics such as-
a) Open rates:
The percentage of subscribers who open your emails. Low open rates may indicate issues with your subject lines or sender name.
b) Click-through rates:
The percentage of subscribers who click on links within your emails. Low CTRs may indicate issues with your email content or design
c) Conversion rates:
The percentage of subscribers who complete a desired action, like making a purchase or signing up for a webinar. Low conversion rates may indicate issues with your landing pages or offers.
d) Unsubscribe rates:
The percentage of subscribers who opt out of your email list. High unsubscribe rates may indicate issues with the frequency or relevancy of your emails.
• Monitor your email deliverability and reputation:
There is no point doing all the work if your customers never get an email from you because your customers email provider sends your email to the spam folder – often due to a poor reputation. Most email marketing tools allow you to monitor your reputation and deliverability. Factors that contribute to reputation are bounce rates, spam complaint rate, and unsubscribe rates. If you notice a decline in reputation, you may need to adjust your email content or your email list.
• Iterate on your email content:
Now that you have the data, keep testing different aspects of your emails – subject lines, preview text, send times, email design, calls to actions, etc.
10. Email marketing FAQs:
I am sure there are lot of questions in your mind by now, so let’s answer a few of them.
a) What is the best email provider for Shopify?
This is subjective, as the right provider depends on your specific needs and budget. So, make sure you thoroughly research your options, paying special attention to their features and pricing, and make your decision from there. We may write a longer article reviewing the most popular providers. Stay tuned. But for now, these are some criteria to keep in mind.
a) Ease of use
b) Features: Make sure that it has at least basic automation flows for triggers like abandoned carts and order confirmation.
d) Customer support
e) Opt-in forms
f) Pre-made templates: This saves you a ton of time if you aren’t the type to want to create and design email layouts from scratch. Most of us aren’t. 😊
g) Shopify store rating:
b) Is Shopify email marketing free?
Shopify’s default email marketing service isn’t completely free: You get 10K emails per month at no cost, but every one [thousand] exceeding that limit will cost you $1.
c) Does a Shopify email marketing tool boost your business?
Yes. Shopify email marketing helps you engage more with your customers, drive sales, and grow your business.
d) Why bother with email marketing if I have social?
Many companies have a social media presence and consider it to be an important channel for their business. However, email marketing is still the preferred method for promotions and has a much higher conversion rate than social media - think something like 6% to 2%. Email also has a more extensive user base when segmented across age groups.
e) What else should I remember?
Don’t forget regulation. Make sure your email marketing campaigns comply with relevant regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States or the GDPR in the European Union. Key considerations include:
a. Obtaining proper consent before sending marketing emails
b. Providing a clear unsubscribe mechanism in every email
c. Including your physical address in the email footer
d. Clearly labeling promotional content
f) What are the most popular email marketing software?
Some of the most popular services for email marketing suggested by Shopify are:
g) How often should I send emails?
Some companies may send emails like once a week, while others, can send daily emails while maintaining high engagement levels. This is going to take some trial and error. So, start slow, and work your way up to more frequent emails, and see how your customers respond.
h) What are the different types of email marketing for ecommerce?
o Transactional emails –These emails inform customers about the status of their orders fright from order confirmation to shipments, including tracking information, expected delivery dates, and any relevant updates, return or refunds.
o Promotional emails- These emails are sent to highlight sales, special offers, discounts, or new product launches. They aim to create a sense of urgency and drive customers to make a purchase.
o Lifecycle emails- These emails include welcome emails, acknowledging the customers birthday and anniversary, or celebrating a significant milestone in the customer's journey, such as reaching a certain number of purchases or loyalty points.
i) What is the best time of day to send emails?
The best time of day to send emails are weekday mornings, between 10 am - 12 noon or try sending it on Sunday night so that your audience sees it first thing Monday morning. However, this is something you want to experiment with to see what resonates with your audience. Again, this is something you want to experiment with to see what resonates with your audience.
l) How long should my emails be?
Make sure your emails are between 25-150 words. Most people will only spend around 15-20 seconds reading an email, so make sure the most information is the first thing see.
m) Should I buy an email database to start with email marketing?
It might be tempting to buy an email database when starting with email marketing. However, it’s a big NO. You can lose the credibility of your brand and company in the eyes of your customers and not to mention also even be violating rules of consent under GDPR.
By following these strategies, Shopify merchants can maximize their email marketing ROI and drive significant revenue growth. Whether you're just starting out with email marketing or looking to improve your existing campaigns, these tactics can help you build strong customer relationships and drive more sales.