My e-commerce clients have consistently seen 40-50% of sales from their email marketing. This means the analytics contribute that final action-taking step of the marketing journey to email the majority of the time. This does not mean no other marking methods contribute to their customer’s purchase – but it DOES mean that most often, an email pushed that customer over the finish line. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I believe e-commerce sales and email marketing are a no-brainer combination if you’re selling anything online.
In the last four years of being full-time with this digital marketing agency, I’ve had a wide range of small business clients but a large percentage have been e-commerce sellers. From jewelry to clothing to digital downloads, my e-commerce partnerships have even varied a lot in product type and audience. I like it that way, keeps the work fresh 🙂 But when it comes to what’s been most successful in driving their sales, email marketing has been far and above the game changing method every single time.
Every marketing partnership I offer as a virtual CMO (you can get an idea of what these partnerships look like here) has to include multiple services because digital marketing is definitely not a one-and-done type of play. I usually recommend a mix of website management, email marketing, social media marketing and SEO. But in every single instance (e-commerce or not), my partnerships are heavy on emailing. This is especially true for e-commerce clients of mine. And, interestingly enough, email marketing has only increased in value as certain popular social media platforms have become more and more disappointing in effectively reaching audiences. More on that later.
First, let me address a couple of common misconceptions about email marketing.
Misconception: “Email marketing is useless because everyone just deletes or unsubscribes emails these days, I know I do.”
Reality: Yes, people delete and unsubscribe to a lot of emails every day. But not if the email is interesting, valuable or tied to a commitment they have. Are you still getting emails from businesses you like? Or have you ever stayed on a certain retailer’s email list because you genuinely liked their products? Thought so.
Misconception: “Emails aren’t as effective as social media, they don’t seem to do anything for my business.”
Reality: This happens because A) the email list is very poor (probably purchased or stolen), B) the emails suck or C) the business owner hasn’t been tracking data and has no clue what they’re talking about and is probably flat out wrong about both platforms in discussion
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dial in the reasons why email marketing and e-commerce work so well together.
Your e-commerce audience has to be online to find your products and make a purchase, so it’s convenient and logical to ask them to join an email list. In the same way, being on their computer is the same connecting behavior to checking an inbox – meaning there’s the shared requirement of computer use.
Your customers may not be able to physically pick up and look at your products in person, so emails can be tremendously helpful in showing your fans certain features, styling tips and reviews about your products.
Your social posts may not get through to someone every time you post (or even every second or third time you post) but email gets through far more often and consistently.
An email can be filled with direct links that take the reader straight to a product they like or your website which decreases the steps in their journey and increases the speed with which they can make a purchase decision.
Most e-commerce platforms like SquareSpace, Shopify and WordPress can easily be connected to an email marketing platform that supports automated email workflows and gives you a blissfully automated way to drive leads and sales without constant content creation or management.
I love all of these email marketing benefits for e-commerce sellers, but number five is probably my favorite.
If your e-commerce sales are down or you just want to give your business the best possible marketing advantage, I strongly recommend making emailing a priority. For retailers, I like the 2-3 emails a week rhythm but depending on the strength of your email list and other factors, that may not be exactly what I’d recommend for your online business.
If you’re ready to get serious about email marketing and need a virtual marketer’s help (because let’s be honest, the last thing most business owners need is another thing to do), then let’s talk about how my marketing agency can partner with your business. It’s my goal, by-the-way, to relieve a small business owner or e-commerce seller of most or all marketing tasks which may be exactly what your business needs to get to the next sales goal. Together, we could light some dynamite under your website traffic, leads and sales. Email me here to see what could work.