It’s 2022, a whole 20 years after the first marketing email went out, and guess what, much against the email naysayers, email is going stronger than ever and raring to go! Don’t believe us? Our clients netted an average of 25% of their overall store revenue from email marketing alone last year, and just for some context, this number was 22% the year before. So email is going nowhere but up, but like any marketing channel, email has evolved, and what works well stays, and other things get evolved and come back better. So, from a combined email wisdom of our email marketing strategists, here’s top email marketing strategies in 2022 that your ecommerce store should start looking into following.
Assuming that your ecommerce store or another online business has a basic email marketing set up in place and all your essential flows are set up, it’s time to amp up your marketing funnel and try more advanced email marketing strategies and hacks to get the most out of your marketing dollar.
1. Build on your existing email flows
Email flows are at the heart of marketing automation. Like clockwork, customised and targeted emails blast out to your list based on certain triggers and actions. Like we’ve mentioned in many previous blog posts, having a few basic email flows like the welcome flow, the abandoned cart flow, the thank you and the re-engagement flow is absolutely crucial for any ecommerce store. But it doesn’t stop there. You can play around with your flows in numerous ways and improvise them endlessly. Even one basic flow like a welcome flow can be optimised to do better, have more complex rules and formulae and have many more email sequences added to it. Another example could be adding segmentation within your flows. For example, you may have a great Cart Abandoned flow set up, but to take it to the next level, you can have different kinds of emails built in for the different kind of cart value items. For example, for users that abandoned a lower value but high repeat purchase item, you could offer a “quantity discount”, but for a high-value item, you could offer a bigger discount number. When it comes to flows, the sky is the limit.
2. Offer value-based marketing
It’s not brand new information, but it has to be reiterated. Now more than ever, marketing has to do more than just posture around selling. Yes, the ultimate goal of all marketing is to sell more. But it’s 2022, and your customers have probably seen it all and already become immune to the hard-sells all around. Content is still the king, and what will differentiate good marketing from average marketing is how well you can offer non-marketing content to perform the role of marketing. Which is to say: can you sell more without even trying to? As an example, this is one of those emails from one of our clients, that ended up generating a revenue of over $8k without even trying to sell.
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3. Focus on customer lifecycle rather than just the top funnel
Traditional marketing wisdom says “sell more.” And which is true for all intents and purposes. But here’s the thing: The sell doesn’t just happen on one platform or at one time typically, when you first gain your first web visit. The customer journey is complex and can span over a long time from the time they come to your website until the time they…well die. Once a customer, always a customer. This is the hypothetical lifecycle of a customer from an email marketing point of view
Customer Comes to Website — Receives a pop- up — Enters an email – leaves website – receives a welcome flow email- goes back to site to check out the products – adds something to cart and leaves the site again — receives an abandoned cart email — goes back and finishes the purchase — receives a thank you email — receives the product – receives the post purchase flows emails — makes a repeat purchase after a certain amount of time — potentially forgets all about you — the whole cycle repeats.
The opportunities for marketing during this entire lifecycle are limitless and so are the email opportunities. Think of all the various kinds of communication that can occur at any of this stage. Just for an example, did you ever think of having a flow email on the lines of “Here’s 10 interesting ways to use your <ordered product>” sent out to a customer on delivery of their product?
4. Extend email to SMS
Just like the customer lifecycle, the customer tech stack too goes beyond just one platform — email. A mobile phone is one device that’s always with the client, and even if an email goes unopened, SMS is still the undisputed king of high open rates. While SMS alone isn’t the best marketing channel given the restrictions with length and format of messaging, when supported with email marketing, the additional push of an SMS at the right time with the right message can get the best out of your email marketing too. This is why for an integrated retention marketing funnel, it’s important to have both Email and SMS marketing flows and campaigns set up for a store.
Did you know we’re now crushing it with SMS marketing too?
Check out this SMS marketing case study for this custom art store that made over 12% of their overall revenue from SMS!
5. Tech it to the next level
Did you know your email can do a lot more now than just present an interplay of text and images in a great way? Like with any design-led channel, the opportunities with email design are endless. We focussed on how to integrate video in email on an earliest post. But throw in a bit of technology, and your emails take a life of their own. Thanks to some serious back-end work by our R&D team, we’re now able to offer Interactive emails to our clients. Which means, we can do emails with surveys, forms, and even shopping functions built in within the email instead of linking it and taking the user to a landing page. The technical term for such emails is AMP and thanks to Klaviyo’s AMP capabilities and some code work, you can make it work. Here’s an example of such an email where a survey can be completed within the email itself.
6. Advanced Segmentation and personalisation in emails
For an established store, having a basic segmentation of your customer list may be second nature but just like email flows, even email list segmentation can vary from basic to advanced. In 2022, the name of the (email) game is going to be hyper personalised marketing communication based on your customer segments, and the more you can drill them down and make neat segments based on behaviour, demographics, and purchase data, the more laser focussed your marketing can get.
Get this. In 2021, we made upto 55 segments for a single store with a list size of around 75,000 customers. One segment was “Users who purchased <Product X> after a 20% discount” and targeted emails with a 20% discount were sent to these when said product was on clearance sale.
7. (How to) optimise emails for mobile
Well it’s 2022 and it doesn’t need to be said anymore. But it’s incredible how many big brands are still so bad at this. Please, optimise your emails for mobile! In 2021, more than half the emails were opened on email. It’s a nobrainer that an email has to look and work well on a mobile screen. Luckily most email marketing platforms like Klaviyo, Omnisend, Mailchimp and others provide the option to adapt your emails fo mobile. However, default mobile optimization doesn’t always work well and given the sheer number of mobile phones and screen sizes/resolutions involved, the results vary. This means that a few rules of thumb should be followed when working on how to optimise emails for Mobile phones:
- Emails should be 600-800 pixels in width.
- Single-column layouts are best suited to predominantly text-based email as they support skim-reading, placing content exactly where the user expects it to be, and it can be scrolled through quickly. Single-column emails also allow for more pronounced headings, which makes your content more easily accessible. (H/t digital marketing institute.)
- The subject line should be 5-6 words max as anything more gets cut off on a mobile screen. (Check out our post on best email subject lines.)
8. Optimise emails for Dark Mode
Just like for mobile, it’s also not uncommon to see many ecommerce stores and otherwise still not optimising their emails for dark mode. Sure, not optimising for dark mode isn’t going to be the difference between a million dollar and 0 dollar campaign, and it’s more of an aesthetic than a functional flaw, but still, given the rising popularity of dark mode, (some surveys say that upto 80% of the mobile users prefer dark mode), it’s a no-brainer that your emails have to be optimised for dark mode. What this essentially means is that the email has to blend on a dark background of the mobile screen, not stick out like a sore thumb. Since most email screens are by default white, they do tend to look odd on a dark mode screen. Case in point below. This email from McDonalds is designed for a default white theme and when viewed on dark mode on mobile, the social media icons, McDonald’s logo and other images with a white background stick out, making for an aesthetic transgression.
9. Rely on unconventional metrics to measure email performance
With loss of cookie tracking on Google, and open rates on iOS, reliance on non vanity metrics like click-through rates, purchase rates and UTM tracking will become more common. Open Rates used to be holy grail of email marketing, but now with that data getting skewed thanks to Apple doing away with it, the success rate of your email will eventually need to reflect in its performance as whole. Of course, clicks to your landing page from the email in GA will be a solid metric. But other unconventional metrics like heat maps, link clicks on different links in the emails, UTM Parameters, and eventually conversions from an email campaign on a whole will define whether your email marketing worked or not.
Email marketing is an incredibly rewarding and ROI-friendly medium and when done professionally and strategically, it can be one of the most fulfilling marketing channels ever. Do your research, follow the top email marketing strategies and test endlessly to see what works best for your store.
Want to hire a professional email marketing agency to not only follow but to figure out and implement the top strategies for your ecommerce store? Give us a call or get in touch.