It takes more than just offering quality and stylish apparel to earn a customer’s lifetime devotion. You have to put in a little extra effort if you want your customers (and their money) to keep coming back. You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to marketing your ecommerce business online, like content marketing and social media. But if there’s one online channel that continues to be at the top of its game for having personalized sales conversations and driving transactions, it’s email marketing for ecommerce websites. And I’m not just saying that. I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.

Customer Acquisition or Customer Retention

Many ecommerce businesses spend the majority of their time and resources on new customer acquisition. In fact, 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition compared to only 18% that focus on customer retention. Don’t let your ecommerce apparel store fall into the first group. Customer retention is the smarter and more cost-effective marketing approach. New customer acquisition costs 5 times more than customer retention, and selling to a new prospect gives you a slim probability of 5-20% while your probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. And increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your profits anywhere from 25-95%. It’s clear there’s massive opportunity in nurturing and growing engagement with your current customers rather than focusing all your efforts on acquiring new ones. Doing so also helps ensure that when you’ve got a new product or service, you can sell or upsell them with ease.

5 Triggered Email Ideas

Triggered emails are simply automated online marketing messages sent based on a customer’s behavior, and their impact comes from their relevance and timeliness. Hubspot takes it a step further, saying you need relevance plus timeliness plus value to send a powerful email. Triggered emails give you the first two—it’s up to you to add the value. The following are 5 ecommerce email marketing strategies, incorporating relevance, timeliness and value, that are guaranteed to help grow the lifetime value of your customers. 1. Welcome Email 11 Like with any relationship, first impressions matter. Give your new customers a good first impression with a welcome email. It’s your chance to start turning a first-time buyer into a lifelong customer, immediately fostering engagement and building a strong relationship. First off tell your customer thank you, and then let them know what they can expect from your store and the value they’ll receive from continually engaging with your brand. And as an added bonus, give them a special offer or discount code to use on their next purchase. Emails with coupons have a more than 14% open rate, a 34% increase in unique clicks, a 27% increase in transaction completion rate and a 48% boost in revenue per email sent. Start off your new customer relationship on a positive note and keep them engaged after they buy so it’s not just a one-and-done kind of deal. 2. Abandoned Shopping Cart Email We’ve all done it. We go to a website just to do a little online browsing, but we find these pair of shoes that are too perfect to pass up. So we add them to our shopping cart—and then buyer’s guilt kicks in, we hesitate and end up leaving those dreamy shoes in the cart without completing the purchase. When a customer does this on your site, send them a message a few hours later letting them know you’re still holding that item for them. Whether they purposely abandoned their shopping cart or their boss came around the corner and they had to quickly exit out of that tab so they weren’t caught shopping on the clock, you want to let them know their item is still reserved. This email is a friendly reminder, makes life easier for them by including the item and a link to return to their shopping cart and could be the extra nudge they need to rid their guilt and buy those to-die-for shoes. You can also send a second follow-up email if nothing was done after the first one. Send it 24 hours after the cart was abandoned, letting the customer know if they don’t return to their cart then the items in it will be cleared out in 48 hours. 3. Post Purchase Email 12 In this triggered email workflow, you want to send 4 emails.
  1. Order confirmation email—This email should be sent right after their order was placed confirming that your store received their order.
  2. Shipping notification email—Notify your customer that their item has shipped, and provide an estimated delivery date and tracking number.
  3. Delivery notification email—Let the shopper know their item has been delivered by the carrier. If they’re like me and don’t check their mailbox every day or always answer the doorbell when it rings, they may not know they have a package waiting for them. This email is also your best chance to ask the customer to review the product they ordered.
  4. Upsell email—Thank the shopper again for their purchase (and product review if they gave one) and then sneak in a related item they might want to purchase, like a trendy watch that matches that new belt they just bought. And if you want to help get the upsell, try offering a small discount or free shipping if they buy within a certain timeframe.
4. Re-engagement Email 13 Also referred to as a win-back email campaign, this email is for inactive customers. The goal is to get shoppers who haven’t purchased from you in awhile to return or to get an open from someone who hasn’t opened one of your emails in a couple weeks. There are three things to include in this email: a compelling subject line, a sense of urgency from an emotionally-appealing offer and a good deal (because everyone loves a good deal). You know an existing customer likes your clothes because they’ve already bought from you at least once. And a special promotion or discount just for being a customer and re-engaging with your store could be the needed enticement to get them to buy from you again—right now—instead of a few months down the road. Offering this only to your existing customers shows you really do appreciate them and their business. It increases their goodwill toward you, which then increases their loyalty with you and likelihood of purchasing again. 5. After Social Media Mention Email Are you listening to what people are saying about you on social media? If you aren’t, you should be. Social sites are the platforms many consumers go to to tell everyone how they really feel about a brand, the good and the bad. Monitor what customers are saying about you on social media and then follow up with them via a personalized email message. Maybe someone posted a picture on Instagram showing off their new bracelet from your shop or maybe they bought a shirt a week ago, have only worn and washed it once and there’s already a hole so they made a dissatisfied comment about that on Twitter. Whatever they said, it’s good to respond via the social platform, but you can only say so much there. An email gives you more space and allows you to have a more private one-on-one conversation. It also shows that your brand listens and cares about what your customers have to say because you took the time to send them a personalized email to wrong the right or thank them for their shoutout. A customer’s lifetime value is the most important metric for an ecommerce business. It affects each area of business, from marketing to sales. Use these triggered email campaigns to increase the lifetime value of your customers and increase your profits.]]>

Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.