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Expert Advice
How to succeed in Ecommerce
Our web marketing experts offer tips for effective email marketing
Getting customers to place an order is good, gaining their loyalty is better
Customer retention is key for running a successful ecommerce website and effective communication is essential to make this happen. Emails and newsletters are good ways to keep in contact with customers and here we focus on some aspects to consider.

Sending informative communications to customers is essential for any online retailer that wants to succeed and keep their customers engaged.

Retaining an existing customer is five times cheaper than attracting a new one. So keep in contact with customers or visitors to your website and entice them back by providing information on new products and special offers.
Why email marketing is important?
Email is the most important channel for influencing UK consumers throughout the purchasing journey.* Email marketing is attractive as it is low cost and effective but there are a few golden rules to get right:

  • Collect email addresses by allowing customers to subscribe to your newsletter or other communications
  • Customer contact details change so you need to maintain the data to keep it accurate.
  • Clean your data by removing invalid addresses; for example if you get hard bounces or unsubcribes
  • Segment your data and identify your best customers
  • Target and personalise your mailings so they are relevant to the recipient

What are the benefits?
There are many benefits which are gained by email marketing including:

  • Drive traffic to specific pages on your website with focused themes in your communications
  • Target customers based on products they have purchased previously with complementary items which might be of interest
  • Keep in touch with your customers

Ensure you have access to a reliable service provider, such as Emailvision, the global leader, to effectively manage your email campaigns. You can create your newsletter directly in your admin panel and select the target audience with a few clicks using advanced filters.

Comply with the rules for sending email marketing communications. Always include an unsubscribe option so recipients can select not to receive future communications from you.

Deciding the frequency of your communications is important. Sending a newsletter from time to time is likely to be very ineffective. You need to build a lasting relationship with your customers and prospects, create an expectation that you will regularly communicate with them. Respond quickly and accurately to any question they raise.
Target and personalise your mailings to be relevant to your audience.
Determine a "subject" which will draw them in and entice them to open the communication. Remember that the email title is typically the only element that your recipient will read prior to deciding to open the email or not. If you have a poor title your email will not be opened and could even be delivered to the spam folder. An effective title needs to be short (50 characters including spaces). Highlight the benefits of the email to encourage them to open it. Arousing their curiosity will encourage them to open the message and is more effective than trying to say everything the email contains.
Work the content
Take care with the presentation of your newsletter, organise your paragraphs into topics, include some attractive images and direct links to your website. Readers always want to be directed to specific pages which explain about the subject in more detail so don’t just direct them to your homepage. Always be concise, if you succeed in getting two clear points across which the reader retains from the communication your newsletter will be effective.

Examples topics could include:

  • News, product launches
  • Promotions, flash sales, ...
  • Sales, coupon codes ..
  • Loyalty or referral schemes...

Measure the effectiveness of each campaign through key performance indicators for aspects like delivery rates, opening rates, click through and bounce rates.

Not all indicators need to be followed precisely, only chose ones which relate to your business, especially as your time is precious. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t do any web based marketing without analysing and monitoring it.

Good luck with your ecommerce and join us for our next bulletin when we will explain how SMS marketing is a vital component in your loyalty strategy.
* Source: Lyris, June 2013
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