That's why e-mail marketing is so important for online shopsThe professional usage of newsletters in e-commerce
Online Shops have long surpassed the traditional way of trading. Due to the ever changing trading and purchasing behaviours that got caused by e-commerce, marketing had to reinvent and improve itself dozens of times. Advertising expenditure has shifted, the budget which 20 years ago was mainly spent on offline measures such as advertisements and print campaigns is now mostly being spent on online marketing. Not just the traditional way of buying and selling became more and more digitized, but also the associated marketing.
E-mail marketing has become an indispensable part of modern online marketing. An e-mail address is already necessary to simply register for an online shop. This necessity offers great potential.
Why e-mail marketing?
As mentioned above, as an online retailer you will have an e-mail address of every user of your website. So why shouldn’t you use those promising addresses? More than 50 percent of people in German speaking regions, stated, that writing and reading e-mails is an essential part of their everyday life (study: “E-Mail für dich” by United Internet Media, 2018).
The usage of e-mail marketing in online shops has turned into the standard of communication. For example, 95 percent of online shops offer newsletters. However, this potential is not always exploited, with the exception of double opt-in e-mail and confirmation of registration (study “E-Commerce Market Germany 2018” by EHI Retail Institute), one quarter of online shops did not offer newsletters within three months. The conclusion: use the channel and be better than your competitors.
Registering and logging in for online shops is the most important reason for using e-mail addresses in the German speaking region, accounting for over 80 percent. Those are followed by online auctions, social networks and online banking follow.
Another aspect that speaks in favour of e-mail marketing is that, according to the United Internet Study, advertising content is also shared with others. Around 50 percent, for example, share offers and product recommendations received and around 45 percent even forward the entire newsletter. On top of that, e-mail marketing can achieve an outstanding return on investment (ROI).
An additional important reason in favor of electronic mail is that the costs for e-mail marketing are relatively low. This is due to the fact that nothing but a corresponding e-mail marketing tool is needed, which usually only raises costs for a monthly flat rate and possibly the cost of an individual template. Otherwise, only the labor costs for shipping are added. The postal dispatch, in addition, the placing of an ad are however substantially more expensive. Moreover, in e-commerce in particular, the evaluation and management of user data can lead to a very targeted approach to customers.
E-Mail in the customer journey
Modern marketing is less and less seen as a combination of individual channels, but rather as a whole. There are multiple stages a user goes trough before he’s turned into an acutal customer. This is often referred to as the customer journey. Especially e-mails are perfectly suited to accompany the customer in the customer journey.
A customer journey in e-commerce, for example, could look like this:
- The potential customer becomes aware of the product through a newsletter, a social media article or a web banner and the product arouses the interest of the customer. Said customer follows the link and ends up in your online shop.
- The prospective customer may now use price comparison pages to see what the product costs in other online shops. But in the end he ends up back in your shop, since the price and performance are convincing. Here he registers itself now.
- The potential customer receives a welcome email with a 10 percent discount for the first purchase.
- The user still has a question about the product and contacts you by e-mail. You can answer the question within a few hours.
- The customer is happy and buys the product.
- You confirm the purchase and send him a shipping confirmation briefly afterwards.
- The customer receives the product and is , the best case scenario, satisfied.
- You send him a short survey in which he can rate the product as well as the service.
- As a thank-you for answering the survey, give him a 20 percent voucher for his next purchase.
- After a short time, he will receive the first customer newsletter, in which you point out the existing voucher and submit suitable offers suited for him.
In the ideal case it should run like this and a prospective customer becomes a regular buyer or customer. The complete customer journey can be mapped in email marketing, regardless of whether it is a classic newsletter or transactional email. This scenario can be supplemented at will, e.g. the use of shopping basket reminder, product launch or reactivation mailings is still possible.
The acceptance of e-mail along the customer journey is also particularly high. According to a study by United Internet Media, 92 percent receive newsletters and 75 percent also buy products that were previously advertised by mailing.
Classic newsletter: Generating and pleasing customers
The most difficult thing is to win the customer for yourself or your own online shop. Of course, in purely legal terms you are not allowed to blindly distribute your offers to any e-mail addresses, but first need a double opt-in. That is, you must ensure that this becomes attentive on you. That can be e.g. by announcements, Social Media, the own web page, in addition, the spreading of target group-relevant content. New customer discounts can e.g. offer an incentive.
Once you received the subscription to the newsletter, you can regularly send the customer your latest offers. Here you should pay attention to the frequency. There are prospective customers to whom you can send a newsletter every day and yet there are customers that should not receive a newsletter more than once a week. It is important to provide the recipient with offers that are as suitable as possible. In order to that, you must get to know your customers first. This requires a CRM system and extensive tracking. If, for example, a potential customer visits your website several times and looks at red ski jackets, it makes sense to send him newsletter with different red ski jackets. If he does not react to it, a newsletter with further offers from the category and a voucher or discount can be sent afterwards. This way you can build any extendable campaigns on it. Best case scenario, tracking, CRM and e-mail tool, e.g. the E-Marketing Manager, are so well coordinated with each other that everything runs completely automatically.
Service E-Mails: Daily Business
Customer service is also unthinkable without e-mails. For many customers, e-mail is the preferred medium for making contact. In the past, telecommunications service providers in particular have repeatedly received complaints when they sent out service e-mails but there was no way to reply to them or to contact the provider via another address. The consumer wants personal contact with the company, but also does not want to end up in the telephone waiting loop. Therefore, for many, e-mail is the best choice. This is also proven by the figures. For example, almost 84 percent use e-mail for questions about the product. Almost 90 percent of customer service is contacted by e-mail.
But even automated system e-mails can be important for the customer. Let’s think, for example, of the dispatch confirmation, which in the best case scenario includes the possibility of package tracking. After all, the customer wants to know when his parcel arrives. By the way, over 90 percent of e-commerce customers use parcel tracking.
Of course there are possibilities, especially in the mobile area, to serve customer contact through other channels, but so far the success of chat or SMS has been moderate and e-mail remains the preferred choice. However, other channels should not be abandoned in order to offer the customer a wide range of options.
Generating brand loyals with campaigns: how to keep your customers
Especially for online shops, it is difficult to build strong customer loyalty, since cheap offers lure behind every corner. Therefore, it is important to create a good basis and provide the customer with a positive shopping experience. This starts with a clear and varied product selection, continues with the order and ends with the option for a smooth and simple return.
After the purchase is before the purchase – of course you want your newly won customer to continue using your online shop and not that of the competition. Therefore you should not trust that the customer will come back at some point, but actively do something for the customer loyalty. This starts with a personal and an as individual as possible approach to the customer. For this it is, however, as already mentioned, necessary to possess the appropriate customer data and to also use these purposefully.
Helpful measures can be, for example, campaigns in the form of customer satisfaction surveys, in which the customer can evaluate the product itself, but also the service. Of course, negative evaluations and suggestions for improvement must also be considered, otherwise the customer has the feeling of not being taken seriously in the long run. Feedback to the customer afterwards is also necessary, preferably with a small thank-you.
In addition to the standard offers, loyalty campaigns or personal newsletter campaigns should also be included. Reward the customer after the first purchase with a small voucher or make special and individual offers only registrated and active customers. Birthdays and name day mailings also go down well with customers or thank them for having been loyal to you for three years. There are plenty of occasions from which campaigns for customer loyalty can be knitted. Unfortunately, many companies forget that it is much easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than to win a new one: So take care of your customers. They will surely thank you with an occasional visit to your online shop.
Would you like to learn more about the professional ussage of newsletters? If so, you might also be interested in these blog posts: