Melanie Balke is the founder and CEO of The Email Marketers, an outsourced team of email marketers on a mission to work with 1,000 purpose-driven e-commerce brands in order to help them increase revenue and build lasting customer relationships.
Balke took the stage at MailCon’s recent email conference to bring attention to the unspoken rules of email marketing for e-commerce businesses by providing her unique solutions and strategies to email campaign misconceptions.
The following are Balke’s six hacks on running better email campaigns and bringing in higher revenue.
#1 Email Hack: Email Capture
Email capture starts at the very beginning of a lead cycle. Next, most brands leave a lot of money on the table by simply ignoring the optimization potential they get at the early stages of an email’s lifecycle.
Sometimes, instead of A/B testing different aspects of their lead capture forms like pop-up design, offer type and copy, or the offer timing, many companies just jump to buying extensive email lists.
As a result, these marketing efforts result in terrible deliverability and no actual high-intent leads, ultimately losing the investment made on purchasing this email list. To that issue, Balke suggested intelligent A/B testing to identify what works better, cut marketing spend, and generate higher-intent leads and conversions.
That solution lies in the details.
Balke shared an example where changing a percentage offer into a dollar-amount offer made all the difference in conversions. In scenario A, Balke’s team advertised a “10% off” deal, which resulted in a conversion rate of 1.6%. When her team launched the same campaign, only changing the 10% to $10, the conversion rate went up to 8.7%, indicating the involvement of solid buying psychology in this campaign.
Ultimately, this minor tweak generated a 5.4x lift in conversions from this single campaign.
#2 Email Hack: The Abandoned Cart Flash Sale Email
Most brands only think to utilize the concept of sales in email campaigns and not in email flows. As a result, marketers usually see faulty results after sending a second email reminder as part of their “abandoned cart flow” or drip campaign that reminds customers to complete their unfinished purchases on an e-commerce site.
In one real client example, Balke’s team found that between email one and email two in the abandoned cart flow, conversions decreased from 25% to 1.6% — which was a clear indication that something wasn’t working in the campaign.
Balke’s solution was to extend the drip campaign by adding a third email with a one-day-only flash sale on the previously abandoned items in the cart.
According to Balke, the third email should specifically be designed to not look like part of the abandoned cart email flow and should go out after a long wait. This tactic allowed the e-commerce marketer to give the customer some time to decide.
Ultimately, this one-day-only, high-discount flash sale creates urgency amongst buyers and lifts conversions tremendously.
#3 Email Hack: Unsubscribe Page Discount
Just because a consumer is unsubscribing from your email list and not interested in your emails doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested in your product. While this very idea seems counterintuitive, Balke’s team has tested the concept by providing exclusive deals at the unsubscribe link — and it worked.
Through this easy step, you’re once again showing your dedication to your subscribers and clients, and who knows, sometimes customers will rethink your value and decide not to unsubscribe from your list after seeing this discount offer.
#4 Email Hack: The Quiz Email
Quizzes in email are the whole reason companies like Buzzfeed exist. They help reactivate interest in your products or service solutions through gamification; target recent subscribers who haven’t visited your website or haven’t viewed your products yet. According to Balke, these emails are also a great addition to your welcome flow, which work exceptionally well with multi-SKU products that people have difficulty choosing from.
With gamification, you can make the experience as simple and silly as needed or base it on buying psychology and complex logic. This strategy works exceptionally well for brands where customers have a hard time making decisions and fall into analysis paralysis due to many SKUs and buying options.
#5 Email Hack: 12 Days of Christmas (Or Spring, Summer, etc.)
This topic also follows the idea of gamification in email marketing but surrounds the concept of creating and following a predetermined drip campaign. It helps create sales and subscriber engagement through interactive and consistent communication.
This strategy is an excellent way to:
- Keep email subscribers engaged and open your emails while discounting SKUs individually
- Recapture non-purchasers after a big sitewide discount (BFCM)
Implementing this type of engagement strategy means that you’re using your customers’ curiosity to get them to the checkout page faster so that they can find out more about their discount offers.
#6 Email Hack: The Re-Engagement Giveaway
This last strategy is a simple one with one mission: to bring subscribers back from “the dead” by offering them free stuff. This tactic helps solve the problem that many e-commerce businesses have a good chunk of their email subscribers in the “unengaged segment.”
It follows the ideology that if all other re-engage efforts have failed, you can incentivize interactions with these subscribers by offering them free or discounted items. This won’t only get you more email traction but will also help you identify the “really dead” inboxes within your email list.
Bonus Email Hack: 2022 Is BIG For SMS
Now, more than ever, consumers are more likely to respond via text than email because SMS is a very personal channel, and it provides a great way to build relationships with customers and target audiences.
Sending good text messages to your customers that follow email communication is a strategy that will set you up for success in campaigns to come.
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