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Expert Advice
For Success in Ecommerce
  Our team of ecommerce experts outline an effective strategy for increasing and optimising your sales!
As with each of our 7,300 etailers, you want to develop your online shop and increase your turnover. Email marketing should be one of your priority strategies. Nikki McCluny from the site Nod and a Wink testifies:

“Our goal was not only to attract new customers, but also to build relationships that would help transform one-time customers into lasting and loyal ones. Our mailing list grew to 29 times the size within less than a year of the site’s launch!”

That’s where we come in: to help you understand how to optimise your campaigns, boost your traffic, gain new customers, limit the number of customers who abandon purchases, and, ultimately, build loyalty with your existing customers.

Follow our 10 tips to generate up to £3,590 more in turnover per campaign!
Something to think about:
1. 43% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email
2. You can increase your turnover by £3,590 with an email campaign!
3. Personalising your emails can multiply your click and open rates by 4
4. Favour emails with text
5. Avoid terms like “free,” “freebie” and “no charge” that might be considered spam
6. Use A/B testing to help improve your conversion rate
7. Optimise your format: mobile users spend 9 minutes a day reading emails!
8. Try to send emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays (9-10am and/or 2-3pm)
9. Evaluate your campaign performance and draw the necessary conclusions
10. Recontact certain customers depending on events to maintain your customer relations
The 10 commandments for a successful email campaign
01 Find your "voice"
    If we had to isolate the best practice for a good email campaign, it would be to remember that an email is above all a human being addressing another human being. Don’t get caught in the trap of sending out a corporate message in which a company addresses its customer database.
02 Think personal Personnalisation Emailing
Count on personalised messages to help you reach your customers and prospects:

  • Use information linked to customers’ accounts (buying history, number of points earned…)


  • Geolocalisation (postal code): Send your customers offers close to them


  • Interests: Use your collected data to adapt your offers and send customers relevant information

03 Optimise your messages Optimisez vos messages

    Display a clear and personalised sender to reassure the potential opener. The travel site Expedia tested the personalisation of the sender replacing “this Expedia cruise” with the name of the person. The result was a 5.5% increase in the open rate, a 23% increase in the click rate and a decrease in the number of people who unsubscribed.

    Improve the visibility and efficacy of your subject:

    - Customise it with the name of the contact
    - Keep it short to ensure readability no matter what format the contact chooses to read it in
    - Be effective, attract attention and make them want to open the email

    Making an email campaign more personalised (for example using the contact’s name in the subject line) can increase your open rate by 5 times.

    Play on transparency and confidence: Explain to internet users how and why you’re contacting them in the header: “you’re receiving this email as you signed up for…”
    Be clear, concise and motivating: Focus on the essential in the first part of your message, above the status line.

    Give personal, targeted recommendations: Using this strategy in your emails can increase clicks from 25-35% and generate 6 times more transactions and revenue than non-personalised emails (Exact Target, 2014).

    Include a call-to-action. Be explicit! Call to action buttons or text help lead internet users to do what you want them to (usually go to a specific page).

    Good to know: Internet users usually click on links embedded in text and not on adverts or images in your email. So take the time to insert the links you want and remember to track them!

    Make sure you’ve included an “unsubscribe” link: It’s mandatory! By including it you’ll avoid legal problems and unhappy customers.
04 Don’t forget to take care of the sacrosanct “deliverability”

    According to Return Path, 20% of legitimate emails don’t arrive at their destination. You have to optimise your email so that they’ll get around your prospects’ spam filters.

    To achieve this, here are a few simple rules to keep in mind for all of your communication:

    Avoid overdoing it with your subject line: Don’t use capitals or exclamation points and avoid words like "free," "no charge" and “sex” which will automatically be filtered.

    Improve the quality of your email content by resisting the temptation to use image as everything. Your text increases the chances your email will be read.

    Control the frequency of your campaigns. Don’t send out emails more than once a week. Whatever you choose, be consistent. Regular communication solidifies customer relations in the long term, creates habit and makes your readers expect and look forward to your emails. The secret to convincing your customer database: good news and new products!

    Choose your sending time slot carefully: favour Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 and 10 am or between 2 and 3pm to increase your open rate.
 
05 Three basic rules for email campaigns: test, test and test some more… Trouvez la meilleure solution

    It’s always possible to improve and optimise. This is particularly true for email campaigns. Start A/B testing. The idea is simple: create two versions of an email (version A and version B) and send each of the versions to different (and restricted) segments of your database. Let a few hours go by and you’ll be able to judge which email led to better results. Then send out the winner to the rest of your database.

    We recommend you don’t change EVERYTHING, but work instead piece by piece, using subsequent tests over the course of your campaigns: the email subject, the hook image, the colour of your navigation buttons, the size of your text, your call to action, landing page…A/B testing is an iterative process that will lead you to progressively optimise all of your campaign variables and boost your conversion rate.

    The design site Fab tested different combinations of messages and forms of the main call to action button on their site in order to determine which would lead to the most sales. The result: a 49% increase of items added to the shopping cart! (Optimizely.com).
06 Send mobile-compatible emails and use responsive design

    It’s not a secret and you’re probably part of the majority: on average people spend two hours a day using their mobile phone, 9 minutes of which they spend reading emails (Mail Online, May 2013). And once again according to the American company Return Path, 41% of European consumers close or delete emails not optimised for mobiles immediately (when they check their mail on their mobile). Most email marketing solutions out there today offer you an integrated responsive design feature that will adapt the design, images and content to the device being used. Reading and navigating your email are thus simplified, and your conversion click rate will be better.
07 Optimise your landing pages Landing page

    Think of your email as a gateway: it has to lead to your site…on which your readers will land. Hence the term landing pages. These need to be as effective as possible and lead to conversion, which means that most of the time the links you use in your emails shouldn’t lead to your home page.

    Don’t hesitate to create specific pages adapted for your different email campaigns.
08 Keep an eye on your statistics: the indicators to follow Suivi statistique

    As with your ecommerce website, it’s possible to collect statistics for each of your campaigns so that you can evaluate the quality of your campaigns and your customer database. If it’s a campaign you bought or rented address lists for, you can determine the profitability of the exercise. Let’s take a look at the statistics available to you and what they represent:

    Number sent: The number of emails that you sent out.

    Open rate: This is the number of emails opened divided by the number of emails sent. Here we make the distinction between the number of unique openers (even if one person opened the email 4 times it will only count once) and total opens (every open is counted). For an acquisition campaign, the average is around 10%, depending on the quality of your database. For a loyalty building campaign, it’s generally closer to 30% (emailing.com).

    Click rate: This gives you the proportion of people who’ve clicked on one of the links from your email, over the total number of people you sent your email to. Here you’ll need to look at your stats in a high level of granularity in order to understand which links have been clicked, as certain types of emails (for example newsletters) contain several.

    Click through rate: This is the number of people who, upon opening the email, clicked on a link in the email. An acceptable range is between 8% and 15% (Mailchimp, 2013).

    Bounces: This is the number of emails that came back (the email address doesn’t exist anymore, the mailbox is full…). After several bounces the best thing to do is to deactivate the address in question in your database.

    Unsubscribed: This is an important indicator as it lets you know how many people chose to unsubscribe. A normal rate (for a database of customers you’re familiar with) between 0.2% and 0.8% (Mailjet, 2013).
 
09 Think long-term! travaillez dans la durée

    While email campaigns have a very direct and quick impact on your business (you can draw direct correlations between your sales and the number of emails you send), don’t forget that you also have to think long-term and work on qualifying your database. New trends are appearing, like Big Data or behaviour analysis, which allow you to add to your database simply by analysing how your visitors behave on your website…and constantly adapting and personalising your offers and sales.
Tips
Don’t underestimate the number of people who will transfer your email to people they know to share what they’ve found. Don’t hesitate to add a special button to facilitate this transfer.

Sending effective emails that respect mass emailing legislation is exactly what Actinic’s feature allows you to do! And it’s accessible at a great price…
10 Which emails optimise acquisition and customer loyalty? Optimisez vos campagnes emailings

    Emails can vary greatly. Many different formats are available to meet your different goals. Here is an overview of some of the main categories of emails you can send and how to use them to increase your traffic and sales..

    Acquisition:

    Introduce new people to your online shop

    Email is a great tool for acquiring new customers. Whether it’s through the exchange of databases with co-marketing partners or renting or buying address lists from specialised service providers. We suggest before doing this that you optimise your conversion tunnel and ensure that your landing pages are effective.
    Referrals
    Your customers can also bring you new customers if there’s something it for them: discount vouchers, free shipping fees, exclusive offers, price cuts on their first order…make this practice systematic starting after your customers’ second order as chances are if the customer is satisfied enough with your services to order a second time then they’ll be prepared to recommend you to their friends.

    Shopping cart abandonment and email retargeting
    The abandon of a shopping cart is the personal enemy of every etailer: 68% of shoppers abandon their purchases somewhere in the checkout process (baymard.com). Send out a first email 1-2 hours after the abandon of a shopping cart (if you were able to obtain their email address) and a second one the next day. Giving these potential customers a discount could help improve your conversion rate!


    Loyalty Building

    Trigger emails

    These emails aim to lead to action. You’ll need to identify the elements in your customer and prospect relations, then send an email, whether they’ve acted yet or not. Welcome emails or automatic emails after your first order fall under this category. As soon as there’s an opportunity for you to take the floor work on your customer relations, your quality of service and try to subtly sell things and offer specific deals.

    The best customers are recurring customers
    Unlike a bricks and mortar shop, your customers don’t walk by your shop front on a regular basis, so you have to find a way to stand out in their memory. And emails are a great way to do this! Don’t hesitate to suggest they repurchase disposable and consumable items, or simply keep them up to date with your new items that might interest them.

    Wake up the sleepy ones!
    Chances are a good part of your customer database is no longer active. In this case you’ll need to find the right tone and the right opportunity to reach out to them, for example “It’s been a while since we’ve seen you on our site – a lot has changed since the last time you were here…” And, why not send them a specific deal that’s hard to resist?
Tips

Try to ask for your prospects’ emails as early in the process as possible, that way you’ll hold all the cards if they abandon their purchase. Then, adapt your strategy to an ideal level of responsiveness: certain purchases require a longer reflection time than others, which are more urgent or spontaneous.

Being consistent with your emails and staying in regular contact with your customers and prospects so they don’t forget you is a good way to maximise the impact of your campaigns over the long-term. The absolute minimum should be one email a month.

Want to launch your newsletter and transform or reactivate the hundreds of emails not being used in your unexploited customer database? Reread our practical advice and get started in a couple of hours!
  Use our advice to develop your online business and take advantage of a very effective tool: email marketing!