Advanced eCommerce Email Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs

Advanced eCommerce Email Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs

Our previous email marketing article on Google discussed some general tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of this powerful marketing tool.

In the post, we brushed over the basics of email marketing and how it can be used to reach and engage customers.

Today, we’ll go a little deeper and look at how entrepreneurs can use email marketing to boost their eCommerce sales.

We’ll also introduce the concept of dynamic email messaging and how it can be used to create truly personalized customer experiences.

Now, without dragging this out any longer, let’s get into it.


1. Resend the Email Messages But with a Different Subject Line

Every time you send out an email newsletter, check to see which one of your contacts opened it and, more importantly, which ones didn’t.

Resending the same message to contacts who didn’t open it the first time but with a different subject line is a great way to increase your open rate.

If your emails are averaging a 30% open rate and your follow-up emails have a 20% open rate, you’d have increased your open rate to 50%.

Here are some tips on how to write great subject lines that will get your emails opened:

  • Use numbers and symbols to stand out in the inbox: E.g., “You won’t believe what happened when I tried this new eCommerce platform.
  • Be personal: E.g., “Thought you’d appreciate this article on email marketing.
  • Be brief: E.g., “3 tips to boost your eCommerce sales.”
  • Use curiosity: E.g., “I didn’t believe this email marketing tactic works, but it does!”

Remember, the goal is to get your email opened. If it fails, give yourself another bite at the apple by resending the message with a different subject line.

Just be sure to exclude people who opened the first email from your second send.

The same rule applies to emails that were opened but not clicked on.

Sending a follow-up email with a different subject line (and maybe even a different message) is a great way to increase your click-through rate.

2. Use Dynamic Email Messaging to Create Personalized Experiences

Dynamic email messaging is a relatively new concept quickly gaining traction in the email marketing world.

So, what is it?

Dynamic email messaging is the process of tailoring the content of your email to each recipient.

Each contact on your list will receive a slightly different version of your email based on their interests, needs, and preferences.

For example, let’s say you have an eCommerce store selling men’s and women’s clothing.

If someone on your list clicks on a link for a women’s dress, you could use dynamic email messaging to send him a follow-up email with other products from your women’s clothing line.

On the other hand, if someone on your list clicks on a link for a men’s shirt, you could use dynamic email messaging to send her a follow-up email with other products from your men’s clothing line.

Dynamic email messaging is about creating personalized experiences for your contacts and giving them the information they need when they need it.

3. Go Beyond “Hello %First_Name%.”

It’s 2022, and people are tired of getting emails that say “Hello %First_Name%.”

People might have been impressed by this level of personalization a few years ago, but now it just comes across as lazy and impersonal.

If you want to stand out in the inbox, you need to go above and beyond simple personalization.

Here are some ideas on how to do just that:

  • Use dynamic content blocks: This means creating different content blocks for different segments of your list. For example, you could have one content block for people who haven’t made a purchase yet and another for those who have.
  • Use Smart Form to Capture more User data: Smart Form is a tool that allows you to capture more data about your contacts without making the sign-up process too long or complicated. This extra data can then be used to create more personalized experiences for your contacts.

For example, you could use Smart Form to ask people for their birthdays and send them a special discount on D-day.

  • Track interest data and use it to segment your list: You can use tools like Google Analytics and Clicky to track the interests of people who visit your website. This data can then be used to segment your email list and send more targeted content.

For example, you could send a follow-up email to someone who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase, offering a discount or free shipping.

4. Send Triggered Emails Based on Google User Behavior

Triggered emails are emails sent automatically based on a specific action or event.

For example, you could send a triggered email whenever someone abandons their shopping cart on your eCommerce store.

The idea is to fire triggered messages to different people at the right time.

There are two main types of triggered emails:

  • Timed Triggers: These emails are sent based on a certain amount of time passing. For example, you could set up a timed trigger to send an email 24 hours after someone signs up for your newsletter.
  • Action Triggers: These emails are sent based on the specific actions the user takes. For example, you could set up an action trigger to send an email when someone abandons their shopping cart on your eCommerce store.

Here are a few examples of triggered emails you can send:

  • Welcome emails: Send a welcome email to new contacts who sign up for your newsletter.
  • Engagement emails: Send an email to contacts who haven’t interacted with you in a while, asking them how they’re doing and what they’re interested in.
  • Drip campaigns: Drip campaigns are a series of timed emails designed to nurture leads and move them through the sales funnel.
  • Reactivation emails: Send an email to contacts who haven’t interacted with you in a while, asking them if they’re still interested in hearing from you.
  • Purchase confirmation emails: Send an email to contacts after they make a purchase, thanking them for their business.
  • Shipping confirmation emails: Send an email to contacts after their purchase has shipped, letting them know it’s on its way.
  • Customer service emails: Send an email to contacts who have contacted customer service, asking them how their experience was and if there’s anything else you can do for them.
  • Abandonment Carts: Abandoned cart emails are sent to contacts who have added items to their shopping cart but haven’t completed the purchase.
  • Product recommendation emails: These are emails that recommend other products to contacts based on what they’ve purchased in the past.
  • Cross-sell emails: These emails promote complementary products to contacts who have already purchased from you.

As you can see, you can send many different types of triggered emails. And the best part is, they’re all automated, so you don’t have to lift a finger.


How to Set Up Triggered Emails

There are two ways you can set up triggered emails:

  • With an Email Service Provider: Most email service providers (ESPs) have built-in functionality for setting up triggered emails. For example, MailChimp has the Automation feature that allows you to set up different triggered emails.
  • With a Marketing Automation Tool: If you’re using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot or Marketo, you can set up triggered emails there.

Both methods have pros and cons, so it’s really up to you which one you want to use.

Setting up triggered emails with your ESP is probably the way to go if you’re starting.

It’s simpler and doesn’t require any additional software.

Once you get more experience with email marketing, you may want to consider using a marketing automation tool to set up your triggered emails.

These tools are more powerful and offer more features than most ESPs.


The “4-hour Action Plan” For Better eCommerce Email Marketing

I believe in starting small and making small wins to grow your business.

In eCommerce email marketing, this means sending regular emails to your list and measuring the results.

This way, you can gradually improve your results without investing much of your time or money.

To help you get started, I’ve put together a 4-hour action plan for better eCommerce email marketing.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose One of the Triggered Emails Above

The first step is to choose one of the triggered emails above and implement it.

Don’t try to do too many things at once. Just focus on one email at a time and ensure it’s effective before moving on to the next.

2. Create a Single Email and Add 2 to 3  Pieces of Personalization

Once you’ve chosen your email, it’s time to create it.

Start by creating a single email and adding 2 to 3 pieces of personalization.

For example, you might personalize the subject line, the opening paragraph, and the CTA.

3. Set a Rule for Sending an Email Twice to Subscribers who Don’t Open it

Next, you need to set a rule for sending an email twice to subscribers who don’t open it.

After you send the initial email, wait 24 to 48 hours. If the subscriber doesn’t open it, send them a second email with the same content.

Tweak the subject line and/or the opening paragraph to improve open rates.

4. Send the Email and Analyze the Results

After you’ve created your email and set up your rule, it’s time to send it out.

Send the email to a small segment of your list first (100 to 200 subscribers). 

That will allow you to test the email and make sure everything is working as it should.

Once you’ve sent the email, analyze the results.

Consider things like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

If you see a significant drop in any of these metrics, take it as an indication that something is wrong with your email.

5. Rinse and Repeat

You want to do this weekly, with a different trigger email each time.

During this time, you want to keep track of your results to see what’s working and what’s not:

Number of Initial Orders Average Order Value Number of Repeat Orders Total Revenue % Increase in  Revenue
No Email Trigger 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0×1.0x1.0 = 1.0 0%
With Abandoned Cart Trigger 1.1 (+10% increase) 1.0 1.0 1.1×1.0x1.0 =1.1 10% increase
With Upsell Email Trigger 1.1 1.1 (+10% increase) 1.0 1.1×1.1×1.0 = 1.21 20% increase
With Email Referral Generating Trigger 1.21 (+10% increase) 1.1 1.0 1.21×1.1×1.0 = 1.33 33% increase
With Customer anniversary email 1.21 1.1 1.1 (+10% increase) 1.21×1.1×1.1 = 1.46 46% increase
With Lost Customer email Trigger 1.21 1.1 1.21 (10% increase) 1.21×1.1×1.21 =1.61 61% increase

What’s the average open rate for your emails?

  • What’s the average click-through rate for your emails?
  • What’s the average unsubscribe rate for your emails?
  • What type of triggered email had the highest results?


1. Start Building an Email List

Google Is Watching: How To Improve Your Link Profile?

If you don’t have an email list, now is the time to build one.

Without building the list, you only have website visitors, social media followers, and existing customers. 

And while they’re all important, an email list is the only way to guarantee that you can reach your audience regularly.

Add an embedded sign-up form to your website: An embedded sign-up form is a form placed on your website’s page.

It’s different from a popup or a sidebar sign-up form because it doesn’t take up as much space and is less intrusive.

Promote Your Newsletter: You can also use your newsletter to build your email list.

To do this, promote your newsletter on your website and social media channels. 

You can also include a link to your newsletter in your email signature.

Run a Giveaway: A giveaway is a great way to grow your email list quickly.

To run a giveaway, offer a prize and require people to sign up for your email list to enter.

That’s an effective strategy because people are more likely to sign up for something if they stand to win something.

Use a Lead Magnet: A lead magnet is an incentive you offer in exchange for someone’s email address.

It can be anything from a free ebook to a discount code.

The key is ensuring your lead magnet is something your target audience will find valuable.

Run a Paid Ad: You can also use paid ads to grow your email list.

To do this, create an ad that promotes your sign-up form or newsletter.

You can then target your ad to people more likely to be interested in your offer.

Run a Referral Program: A referral program is a great way to get people to promote your business for you.

To run a referral program, offer a prize or discount to people who refer others to sign up for your email list.

That is an effective strategy because it allows you to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Pro tip: Use an email marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp to automate your email list building.

This way, you can focus on other aspects of your business while still growing your list.

2. Welcome New Subscribers Automatically

When someone signs up for your email list, you should send them a welcome email.

A welcome email is an email that thanks the subscriber for signing up and gives them a brief overview of what they can expect from your emails. 

A welcome email is the single most important email you can send. It gets new subscribers off on the right foot and sets the tone for your future emails.

Studies show they have an open rate of over 80% and a click-through rate of over 20%.

That makes them one of the most effective emails you can send.

To create a welcome email, write an email thanking the subscriber for signing up and give them a brief overview of what they can expect from your emails.

Make sure to include a call-to-action (CTA), so they know what to do next.

A welcome email is a perfect opportunity to promote your best content and engage new subscribers with your brand.

It can help you out with the following:

  • Make an Excellent First Impression: A welcome email is your chance to make a good first impression. 

It’s also your opportunity to set the tone for your future emails.

  • Promote your Best Content: A welcome email is a perfect opportunity to promote your best content. 

It will help new subscribers engage with your brand from the start.

  • Build Trust: A welcome email helps build trust between you and your subscribers. 

It shows that you’re interested in providing value and not just trying to sell them something.

  • Get feedback: A welcome email is also an excellent opportunity to get feedback from your subscribers. 

You can ask them what they’re looking for from your emails and use this information to improve your future emails.

  • Motivate New Subscribers to Make the First Purchase: Use a discount code or coupon in your welcome email to encourage new subscribers to make their first purchase.
  • Encourage New Subscribers to Follow You on Social Media: Use your welcome email to encourage new subscribers to follow you on social media. You can include links to your social media profiles and ask them to share your content with their followers.
  • Present Your Products and Services in the Best Light: Use your welcome email to present your products and services in the best light. 

Talk about the delivery cost, the quality of the products, and anything else potential customers would find helpful and relevant.

Another key benefit to sending a welcome email is great email deliverability.

Unlike other types of emails, welcome emails are sent to people who have already opted in to receive emails from you. 

That makes them much less likely to be considered spam, which improves your email deliverability.

Example of Welcome Email You can Send to New Subscribers

Hey there!

Welcome to my email list. I’m excited to have you on board.

Here’s what you can expect from my emails:

  • The latest news and updates from my business
  • Tips and advice on running a successful business
  • Exclusive offers and discounts

I’ll be sending you new emails every week, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my blog or follow us on social media.


(Your name)

3. Start Sending Promotional Emails

Once you’ve built a good rapport with your subscribers, you can send them promotional emails.

Promotional emails are emails that promote your products or services. They can include special offers, coupons, discounts, and more.

When sending promotional emails, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Use language that creates a sense of urgency, such as “limited time only,” “while supplies last,” or “ends tonight.” That will encourage your subscribers to take action now rather than wait.
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA): Be sure to include a CTA in your promotional emails, such as “buy now,” “shop today,” or “learn more.” That will give your subscribers a clear action to take.
  • Use High-quality Product images: Images are a great way to make your emails more visually appealing and showcase your products.
  • Include a Discount Code: Including a discount code in your promotional email can encourage subscribers to make a purchase.

4. Segment Your Audience

Google Is Watching: How To Improve Your Link Profile?

As your email list grows, you may find it difficult to send emails that appeal to everyone on your list. 

One way to overcome this challenge is to segment your audience.

Audience segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into smaller groups based on common characteristics.

That allows you to send more targeted and relevant emails to each group. 

As a result, your subscribers will be more likely to engage with your emails.

There are a few different ways you can segment your audience:

  • By Location: If your subscribers are distributed in other countries or regions, you can segment them by location. That way, you can send emails that are relevant to each group.
  • By Demographic: You can segment your audience by age, gender, income, and other demographics. That allows you to create more targeted campaigns.
  • By Interests: If you have subscribers with different interests, you can segment them by those interests. That allows you to send emails that are more likely to be of interest to each group.
  • Lack of Purchase: You can also segment your audience based on whether or not they have purchased from you in the past. 
  • Date of Last Purchase (e.g., within the last 30/60/90 days): You can also segment your audience based on how recently they made a purchase.
  • Product Size: If you sell products of different sizes, you can segment your audience based on the size they purchase. 
  •  Type of Customer (e.g., first-time buyer, loyal customer): You can also segment your audience based on their type of customer.
  •  Preferred Brand/Category: Segment your audience by their preferred brands or categories.

For example, if you sell clothing, you could segment your audience by those who prefer Nike vs. those who prefer Adidas.

  • Seasonality of Purchase: You can segment your audience based on when they tend to make purchases.

Segmenting your audience can be a great way to boost engagement and sales.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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