eCommerce Marketing

Email Marketing: How to Increase Ecommerce Customer Retention

January 25, 2024
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Customer retention is a proven formula for business growth. In fact, studies have found that increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits from 25% to a whopping 95%

Luckily, there are a number of different approaches eCommerce businesses can take to keep retention figures high. For example, providing excellent customer service, offering loyalty schemes, increasing brand awareness via social media, and investing in powerful email marketing campaigns. 

In this blog, we look at how your eCommerce brand can increase customer retention and drive sales via powerful email marketing campaigns. But before we go any further, what actually is email marketing and why is it particularly beneficial for eCommerce businesses?

Email Marketing: What Is It?

To put it simply, email marketing is a direct form of digital marketing that involves sending emails to a targeted group of subscribers (usually existing or potential customers) with the intention of promoting products, driving engagement, building relationships and ultimately, increasing conversions.

Although it’s one of the oldest forms of digital communication, it has a user base of over 4.5 billion people and a ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, making it one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there. 

Email marketing is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses due to its ability to effectively boost customer retention and drive direct engagement and sales. 

email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most direct and cost-effective methods of communication between a business and its target audience.

How to Increase Ecommerce Customer Retention & Sales

Here are 6 ways your ecommerce brand can use email marketing to increase customer retention & sales: 

  1. Segment your audience
  2. Personalised promotions & product recommendations
  3. Share educational content 
  4. Loyalty programmes
  5. Automated campaigns
  6. Continuous improvement

1. Segment Your Audience

The key phase of any successful email marketing campaign is carefully segmenting your email list based on things like customer purchasing behaviour, personal preferences or demographics. In fact, segmented emails drive 30% more opens and 50% more click throughs than unsegmented ones.

Segmenting the audience allows you to tailor your email campaigns to relevant audiences, whether it be with personalised promotions (e.g. Birthday or anniversary discounts) or product recommendations (based on previous purchases) for example, increasing the chances of customer engagement and conversions.

This personalisation makes recipients feel valued by the brand, as if the email was crafted just for them, rather than just being part of a mass marketing strategy. Segmentation also leads to improved deliverability and reduced unsubscribe rates, as the content is much more relevant and less likely to be marked as spam.

This leads us nicely onto the next point…

2. Personalised Promotions & Product Recommendations

One of the most successful ways to increase engagement and drive sales via an email campaign is to, as touched on above, leverage customer data and send personalised promotions

These may include exclusive birthday offers, discounts or limited-time sales to create a sense of urgency and drive quick sales. If readers believe they’re getting a ‘too good to miss’ offer that expires, they’re much more likely to make a purchase there and then to avoid disappointment. 

You can also leverage information about your customers’ purchase history, browsing behaviour, and preferences to provide personalised product recommendations and suggestions to enhance their shopping experience and drive conversions.

customer engaged by email marketing
Personalised email content makes your brand's communication much more relevant and engaging for recipients by customising content to their interests, needs, and behaviours.

3. Share Educational Content

Another fantastic and widely used strategy to boost loyalty and retention is to share educational content. This might come in the form of product tutorials, ‘how to’ user guides, styling tips, or any content that enhances their understanding and enjoyment of your products.

There are a number of benefits of sharing educational content for both the recipient and your business, whether it be via email marketing, social media content or blog content

Of course the core benefit is enhancing the user experience by adding value beyond the products offered. By sharing content that helps customers use products correctly and effectively or educating them on related topics, you can enhance the overall customer experience, making it more enjoyable and worthwhile.

Another huge benefit of providing valuable, knowledgeable content is that your ecommerce brand will naturally position itself as an authority in its niche. Whether it's tutorials or industry insights, this expertise will build trust among customers, making them more likely to remain loyal to a brand they see as experts in the industry.

4. Loyalty Programmes

One of the most successful ways to increase retention (& drive sales as a result) is to reward your loyal customers with exclusive VIP offers and early access to sales. You can send regular updates regarding points earned and the rewards and perks available as a result of receiving these points. 

Allowing your loyal customers to feel valued and appreciated helps build a long-term relationship with them, and encourage repeat purchases in the future.

an email marketing loyalty programme
Loyalty programmes are initiatives designed to reward and retain existing customers by offering incentives, exclusive benefits, and personalised offers, as a thank you for supporting the business. 

5. Set Up Automated Campaigns 

Relying solely on manually sending out email campaigns can significantly slow down your marketing efforts and introduce unwanted errors. This is where the magic of email automation comes into play. 

Automation allows you to send targeted and personalised messages to your audience based on specific triggers or actions, and sent with clockwork precision and efficiency. In fact, Campaign Monitor states that, ‘automated emails reap a 320% increase in revenue when compared to non-automated ones’.

Some examples of automated email marketing techniques include:

  • Initial welcome emails - These are emails sent to new subscribers to welcome them, introduce your brand, and provide valuable information about your content or products. Receiving these emails would naturally make the recipient feel valued and part of the brand’s intimate community, increasing loyalty.
  • Abandoned cart emails - These are emails sent to customers who have recently added items to their shopping cart but haven't completed the transaction.. These emails often include a reminder of the abandoned items and a captivating call-to-action to encourage the customer to proceed with the purchase.
  • Post-purchase follow up emails - These are sent to customers after they've made a purchase, and can include order confirmation info, shipping updates, and follow-up emails to gather feedback or invite them to join a loyalty program. 
setting up automated email marketing campaigns
Automated emails reap a 320% increase in revenue when compared to non-automated ones - pretty impressive stats, right?

6. Continuous Improvement

In the age of digital communication, emails have become more than just a method to send a direct message; they represent your brand’s voice, image, and intent with their audience. This is why it’s crucial that you continuously look for ways to improve the look and content of your email campaigns. 

Key components to focus on include:

  • The subject line - Treat the subject line as your email’s core headline, ensuring it’s engaging yet relevant. By simply personalising the subject line of an email, you can increase open rates by up to 29.3%.
  • Email content - It’s crucial that the content maintains a clear, concise, and engaging narrative throughout, ensuring that the recipient remains hooked from the very beginning.

And there we have it! 6 proven ways in which you can improve customer retention and drive sales in your eCommerce email campaigns. 

We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative delivered on a monthly basis.

If you’re ready to scale, schedule a call with a member of our team today. And for more eCommerce top tips from our experts, check out our social media marketing blog

Written by Kate, for Aura Ads.

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