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Ecommerce-centric email. If you’re not doing it, you should be.

Written by Karen Van Ert
When given focus, email has the opportunity to bring in 20% of your on-line revenue with an extremely efficient ROI.  Plus, if you’re spending time on Paid and Organic search, and not focusing on email, you’re leaving a lot of return visitor revenue on the table. Yes, there’s effort needed from both  development, and strategy to get a good email program up and running, but if you build it right to start with, by developing a solid plan and tying your email service provider directly into your ecommerce system, it’s actually really efficient and won’t take nearly as much human capital to manage as you’d expect once you’ve got the foundation in place.
What do I mean when I refer to ecommerce centric email? Here are a few examples of the types of data you can access from your ecommerce platform that are the foundation for a profitable triggered email program.

Order follow-up with cross-sell – Imagine you’re Home Depot, and someone buys a sink from you on-line, but that’s all they purchase. Using this purchase data, you can automate a follow-up email to go out to all customers from the past week with that same order history showcasing all the great faucets you sell. You can do this directly in the order confirmation email or in a separate email sent a few days after purchase. Data shows that your best chance of converting a one-time shopper into a loyal customer is to get them back for a second purchase within one month of that initial order. Suggesting a relevant cross-sell to their recent purchase is one great way to make that second sale.
Subscription model or service renewal reminder – Now, put yourself in GNC’s shoes, where you sell vitamins and supplements which typically come in a one or three month quantity.  Why not develop a reminder program that will send an email to all purchasers two weeks prior to when they’ll run out of their supply? Not only will this generate repeat business at almost no cost but your customer should find benefit in the service you’re providing.
Cart Abandonment – This is one of the quickest wins for any company selling online. Tracking a potential customer’s product interest on your site gives you the ability to follow-up, giving them one last chance to purchase. For example, a visitor has added a pair of jeans to their cart, but they leave without buying. Follow-up, letting them know why they should pull the trigger today. Is it a highly rated product? Is there low inventory and if they don’t buy now, there won’t be any left? Were they price shopping and a 10% discount will push them over the buying hurdle? You can test different messaging to see what works best.
Purchaser History Programs – Using your ecommerce data, you can see which of your email subscribers have never purchased, which have purchase multiple times, and which used to purchase often, but haven’t in a while. This data is a goldmine when used strategically in an email program. Create a series of triggers attempting to win a first purchase from those who haven’t yet. Create a similar program for those who appear to be “lapsed” doing whatever you can to keep them from losing interest permanently. Create a rewards program for your best buyers to keep them happy.
Most email service providers can be “hooked” into your ecommerce platform, but some have built solid relationships and the integration process is easier, which means less development cost and quicker speed to market.
Give us a shout if you’d like help growing your email program. We can work with you to determine if you’re with the right ESP currently or not, assist with the development of an email program strategy, and take care of any development work needed to get your email program ecommerce-based.

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