Email marketing is still the marketing channel of choice for eCommerce brands who want to hold sway over their customers. Together with live chat, a solid customer experience strategy can influence customers buying decisions and drive conversions for eCommerce businesses.
Superior products and a captivating brand presence may form the backbone of any eCommerce brand. But what influences a returning customer? The answer is simple: impeccable customer service and glowing experience.
According to McKinsey, email remains 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers as compared to any other marketing channel. Emails may not be as glamorous as the big players of eCommerce marketing strategy like paid ads and social media, but it is still certainly the best performing.
In fact, 59% of B2B marketers have shared that compared to other eCommerce marketing channels, email generates the most ROI for their brand. When done right, you can best expect an average return-on-investment (ROI) $42 for every dollar spent and this is up from $38 in 2018. Now that’s pretty impressive.
Let’s take a dive into how you can strategize and deliver the best customer experience using email marketing and how to take it a step further with more customer experience services you can deploy.
Don’t keep it transactional, start an ongoing conversation
Having an amazing customer experience strategy means leaving a long-lasting impression that makes you stay positively relevant in your customer’s minds. A positive experience with your brand means a positive relationship between you and them.
In this day and age, customers know what they want, and when they want it. So why not meet them at every step of the way?
Here’s a staggering fact: 49% of consumers said that they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
These are some of the email examples that you could use to pave the way:
- Thank you or Welcome emails
- Discount emails or incentives
- Confirmation of purchase
- Reward reminders
- Your Reviews and suggested products
- Feedback and surveys
It has been shown that subscribers were more likely to spend an impressive 138% more on average than non-subscribers. So it’s crucial for brands to understand how to strike a balance between promoting their products and adding value by addressing the needs of their customers in their eCommerce marketing strategy.
Aside from quality content relevant to them, you should understand that how, when, and to whom you send your emails to are equally as important. Here are 3 specific best email sending practices you can use to work towards your goal of designing an epic customer journey to best fit your brand:
1. Hey, automation works. And it works great.
Although the efficacy of emails on eCommerce marketing ROI is indeed impressive, that’s not the best part. Email marketing automation allows you to deliver a seamless customer experience and nurture your leads, without even breaking a sweat. Email automation boasts some staggering results: they capture 157% more click rates compared to individual emails.
Nurturing a lead often takes time and a certain dexterity to balance between hacking your customers’ interest, promoting your products and adding value to your customers. Lucky for us, email marketing automation brings in 451% more efficiency in bringing in qualified leads.
The more qualified leads you have to move along your marketing funnel, the more sales you’ll make at the end of the day. Plus, it has been shown that nurtured leads are 47% more likely to make bigger purchases compared to their non-nurtured counterparts.
Setting up multiple communication touchpoints along every stage of their customer journey has never looked so effortless. But, how do you make sure you’re targeting the right audience, with the right content at the right time?
2. Grow your loyal tribe. Prune your email list
A massive email list doesn’t necessarily mean bigger results. Statistics show that personalized emails provide a 6x boost in transaction rates and yet, 70% of brands still aren’t practicing effective customer segmentation.
Inactive subscribers are a boon to any eCommerce marketing strategy because of these 3 reasons:
- They compromise the deliverability of your email campaigns
- They introduce irregularities in your engagement statistics
- They are costly to any online business
Note: Oftentimes, inactive subscribers present an involuntary churn for your business. If they don’t check their inbox, there is a risk that they will also miss dunning emails you might send them.
Your email list must never be static. It is a moving fabric that changes with the way your customers engage with you and your website. Here are some audience segmentation strategies to better build your customer experience strategy around your brand:
- Browsing behavior
- Interest groups and Purchase history
- Email Engagement
- Price sensitivity
- Customer value
As your business grows, so does your email list and in it, your inactive subscribers. So it’s always important to observe the pattern of your engagement statistics, a sudden dip might denote a bigger underlying issue with your email campaigns— it’s time for a prune!
By further refining your audience list based on these telltale behavioral cues, you can rest assured that the customer insights are always updated and accurate.
A good guideline will simply be to run a clean up to remove inactive subscribers every 3 months. The reason for this is to prevent an accumulation of problems such as low deliverability, hitting spam filters and low open rates.
Once you’ve established who your loyal customers are, email can be the best opportunity to increase your customer’s lifetime value.
3. Optimize for mobile, always
Mobile commerce or mCommerce is on the rise and there’s no stopping it. In the last 4 years alone, the percentage of purchases made on mobile devices has jumped from 3.4% to a whopping 36.7%. This trend prevails during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday madness, where the growth in mobile shoppers in BFCM 2018 rose by 48.1% as compared to yesteryear.
Ultimately, you’ll want to move your customers through your eCommerce marketing funnel until they make a purchase. This way, you can effectively build towards this goal by establishing a constant stream of communication to keep your customers engaged.
Delivering relevant emails is important to transform your eCommerce brand’s sales process into creating that customer journey for your subscribers.
It shouldn’t stop there, continue the conversation with live chat
Customer’s wants and needs are mercurial, to say the least. Their expectations of the last decade can look very different in this one. Engagement may begin at the customer’s inbox but sales are made at the website. What if you could boost your eCommerce conversion rates by up to 11x?
Deploying a proactive live chat could be the conversion and profit booster your eCommerce business needs.
Put yourselves in the shoes of the customer. On a scale of 1 to 10, how frustrated would you be if you were plummeted through the FAQ page to an unresponsive chatbot and finally, to call center? Scarily enough, US businesses have lost an estimated $41 billion as a consequence of poor customer service.
You can now tie-in live chat with your email marketing campaigns to create a seamless customer experience strategy.
The work you’ve put into personalizing your emails through segmenting your audience won’t be for naught. Pick up where your email campaigns left off by creating a personalized customer experience by:
- Guide your website visitors to convert (read: make a purchase) with a proactive live chat on landing pages
- Deliver customized messages tailored to each customer segment
- Optimize for desktop and mobile
- Localize your live chat support by opting for multilingual live chat representatives that can communicate across different native languages.
Accessibility goes a long way in determining how customers perceive the quality of your customer service. You’d want to let your customers talk to you.
I’d like to speak to your manager
It’s pretty simple. Positive customer experience is imperative to building a loyal tribe of returning customers and increased ROI! Take a look at these staggering facts: 63% of customers are more likely to purchase from an eCommerce site based on product reviews and product ratings.
Overall, the role of email marketing for eCommerce brands can’t be denied. The humble email has since evolved into an elegant solution for brands to deliver a positive customer experience that brands can build a sustainable and reliable revenue channel around.
Ultimately, you’d want to leave a good lasting impression on your customers for a good reason. According to Shopify data, 84% of customers between the ages of 18 to 34 years old trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Seeing as how powerful this data could be, you’d want to understand how customers truly feel about your brand through feedback requests and surveys to measure customer sentiment. Go beyond the clicks and opens, you can take a look at these metrics:
- Net promoter score: the percentage of your customers who would refer your brand
- Customer satisfaction: the average score that customers have rated their experience with you
- Customer churn rate: the percentage of customers who don’t make a recurring purchase or cancel their service or subscription.
Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing. And what better way to showcase this than to use deliver these glowing reviews right into your customer’s inboxes!
I want to fully engage my customers
You’ve already had a friendly and proactive live chat to greet your website visitors, now what? Perhaps it’s time to amp up your customer experience strategy now by giving it the upgrade it needs. You can consider optimizing your email marketing strategy that best fits your business and level up your live chat by including a wider suite of linguistic capabilities to drive more conversions and profits.