Pareto principle (also known as 80/20 rule) says that for most events roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Numbers can vary, but you’d have a hard time finding an area this rule doesn’t apply to. eCommerce is no exception:
- Majority of your traffic comes from few sources
- Majority of your revenue comes from a few best-selling products
- For most shops, majority of their sales comes from small group of most loyal customers etc.
There’s three key ways you, an eCommerce business owner, can boost sales and increase revenue: by getting more traffic, higher conversion rates or increasing customer lifetime value (by converting them to repeat customers). Improve any one of those metrics and you can’t lose, but study after study after study has shown repeat customers are the holy grail of successful eCommerce business.
The best thing about eCommerce customers is that you already have their emails, making it easy for you to take full advantage of possibly the most powerful marketing channel there is. Here are a few post-sale email marketing campaigns to get you started.
Cross-sells work great as part of your checkout process too, but email marketing is where they truly get a chance to shine. Let’s say you have a customer who bought a brand-new model of a mobile phone from you. It’s safe to assume they still don’t have a protective case for it, right?
There’s many ways you can try to convince you customers to keep their new toy safe. You could offer it in the order confirmation email. Or you could wait for them to receive the phone, have it for a few days and then email them about the case (few things feel as fragile as a new expensive phone).
2. Review request
I’ve seen a lot of large online stores in Sweden do this. The idea is to ask your customer to review the product they bought, after they’ve had a chance to use it for some time. Reviews, if positive, should help you convince more people to buy from you, but no need to stop there. By offering your customer an incentive if they leave the review (store credit, for example), you’ll also increase the chance of converting them to repeat customers.
3. Birthday email
Receiving a happy birthday email from strangers may sound a little bit creepy, but what isn’t in this age of hyper-connectivity? Jokes aside, who doesn’t like a birthday gift? As an eCommerce store owner you can create discount codes for your loyal customers on their special day and increase the chance of them buying from you again.
4. Scarcity discount codes
“If you call in the next 15 minutes, not only will we send you product X, but we’ll also throw in gift Y completely free!”
Remember that cheesy line from infomercials? The thing is, it worked, even though it was a dirty little trick (infomercials are not live TV and they never said you wouldn’t get the gift if you call in an hour, but OMG I have to call right now!).
You can apply this technique (without fooling your customers, of course) in more ways than one. For example, you could email your entire customer base to announce a flash sale that will only last a few hours. Or you could offer a special discount to your customers, valid only for a short time after they have made a purchase. They buy that expensive phone and get the order confirmation email that also tells them they can get the protective case half price, but only if they act within the next hour. You don’t even need to send a separate email for this one, order confirmation email will do just fine.
5. Special offers to dormant customers (Hail Mary campaign)
Dormant customers are the ones who haven’t bought anything from you for a long time. They can be one-time buyers or return customers, but unless you do something, they’re gone. So why not take a chance and email them offering a discount if they return?
As with any other type of marketing, psychology is the key with email marketing campaigns. If you know what to pitch and when, your chances of making the sale go up. Luckily you already have an exclusive peek into your customers’ buying patterns, to help you eliminate most of the guesswork.
Do you use email marketing in your eCommerce business? Plan to start using one or more of these campaigns?
P.S. We’re building a tool that will help WooCommerce store owners automate post-sale email marketing, if you’d like to know more about it keep your eyes on this blog or subscribe to our newsletter.