Chapter 7 Most common tools for ecommerce email marketing

If only one product or tool was enough to satisfy a need, ecommerce wouldn’t be as popular and effective as it is today. Similarly, in marketing strategies and customer interaction, there is no single solution for everything. There are various tools and strategies you should be using in today’s time when it comes to online business of any kind. To name an apt comparison, most businesses don’t only rely on one social media platform, and instead they use multiple. With ecommerce email marketing, you have a vast array of tools and strategies at your disposal and we’ll go over some of the most important ones in this chapter.

Easy designing tools for your emails are extremely useful and cut down the time it takes to create a variety of emails. Most sites made for this purpose grant you access to many email templates you can use to create unique emails quickly. Templates aside, some will offer you designing tool to create an entirely unique template from scratch.

7.1 Canva.com - easy design tool for emails

images is a great option for creating emails with a professional appearance. One general suggestion for these sites, however, would be to try your best to still have a somewhat unique appearance of your emails, even if they have been created based on a template. With many ecommerce sites relying on these templates, they are easily remembered by any recipient and you don’t want to appear identical as your competition. You can switch it up and use different styles of emails to create a unique approach or use a unique template for all emails. We’ve discussed psychology and how the appearance of the email affects the recipient, which is something that can be applied here as well: use the same style for all your nurture emails to get your customers used to that style and that way, they know what to expect. These are of course minor improvements and details, but the general idea is that a designing tool can make the entire emailing process much simpler and faster, which is critical if you’re just starting up.

We mentioned briefly a choice between an image-based email versus an email which is simple black-on-white text. Both options can find a home in your email campaigns, one being more useful for promotional purposes, whilst the other is fairly more useful for simple storytelling. The simpler choice is easy to design visually, but the one packed with images will have you turning to templates, if you wish to save your time. If that is the case, you can use tools like pixlr.com to create photos for your emails. The main advantage of tools like these is that you don’t have to dig through the internet for a great image only to find out that it’s copyrighted or limited in some other form. Pixlr is a designing site for images including various editing tools, but most importantly, it is extremely easy to use for non-professionals. There are certain advanced features available, but as a tool, this site grants you access to easily create images you can use in your email campaigns.

7.2 SimilarWeb - gain insight into your competition

Marketing has a little paradoxical scheme which claims that if a theory is discovered and used by many businesses, it will eventually lose its power. This, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look to the successful businesses every once in awhile. Tools like similarweb.com allow you to look into your competitor’s strategies, and based off that knowledge, you can adjust your own strategies which will guide you to success. This tool permits you to see various sources of traffic for a specific site and see exactly which piece of their strategies is the most effective one. You can also analyse keywords which carry the most impact on a site, or even isolate the most popular page on a site. This tool definitely goes beyond the field of email marketing and can benefit you in more realms than one as it offers various angles of analysis. If anything, this tool grants you a really clear view of the greater picture, allowing you to see the traffic of a website from every possible angle.

7.3 Brand 24 - see where your business is mentioned

As you may observe others, you can use tools which will let you see just who is observing you, in a broader sense of course. Brand24.com is a site which allows you yet another angle into the world of the internet and lets you see where your business is being mentioned. It monitors social media and analytics in real-time and allows you to track online discussions about your business, products and brand (hence the name Brand24). This sort of awareness helps you specify your efforts further and even see how people respond to you. The most cherished feedback for any business is the negative one. You can’t do anything with a “Love the site!” comment. Such comments only serve to confirm you’re on the right path. Meanwhile a “I feel like they’re just too pushy,” response can direct you on the right path if you find you are not on it.

Note how easy it is to observe the competition and everyone outside of your fort’s walls. However, the target you should be observing the most is your own business. Email campaigns greatly depend on the information which comes from your own analytics. What do your customers want? What do they like the most about your website? What would they respond to most? Analyzing your own business answers these questions, and using these answers you can adjust your email campaigns to have the most impact. Based on user’s interactions with your site, you can see what it is that persuades a visitor to convert, or more importantly, what makes them leave. If your analytics confirm that 40% of your customers abandon their carts because they find the checkout process to be too complex, you can easily rectify this and send an email to those users, informing them of a simpler way.

7.4 Kissmetrics - Analyse customer behaviour and analytics

One of the most common tools in the online world is Kissmetrics.com which has been the foundation of many online businesses, granting a clear insight into the most critical points of a business. Picture your business as a frozen lake with treasure beneath the ice. Tools like these permit you to isolate the critical point where you should strike and reach your goal. In light of this metaphor, if you play it by ear and ignore your analytics, you are hammering away at the ice with brute force, and you might even be at a random lake with no treasure. Perspective is a must in every business and you must always be aware of where you stand. Even if your business is failing, you can succeed if you acknowledge your mistakes and correct them.

Every ecommerce business experiences peaks in purchases throughout the year. Those peaks are commonly found on holidays like Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, St Patrick’s Day, Fashion Week, Christmas, New Year and many more. Naturally, these events need planning and you need to build fresh campaigns for each of these events. With so many opportunities throughout the year when people are interested in buying more than usual, you do not want to miss a single date. Depending on your plans and strategies, be sure to establish a detailed yearly calendar for these events. Any calendar will do, and you can even us Google for this planning, but the point is to stay on top of these events and maximize the upcoming peak. If you are just starting, these events are great opportunities to launch your business.

7.5 Facebook - much more than a social media platform

At one point, it was believed that Facebook business campaigns are not the primary step for a business, but when you stop and think, why shouldn’t it be? With so much traffic, it is the perfect location to make an offer. Alongside other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, there are many tools which help you organize your social media campaigns as you would your emails.

7.6 FastTony.es - easy email campaign management

You can schedule your campaigns to be influenced by automated changes on the web. Weather controlled advertisements, for instance, is an option which updates your campaigns and offers products based on weather conditions. Post creation is made easy with many professional templates, photo editors and other tools.

7.7 AdRoll.com or PerfectAudience.com - focusing on retargeting

Both do an excellent job in retargeting, the method of bringing shoppers back to your site so they can make a purchase. These tools mainly work on the principle of offering an individual specific advertisements based on their visits to your site. These ads can appear as the users visit other sites, increasing the chance they will make a purchase. You can use the information gathered about your visitors to create segments and special advertisements. One flaw which can occur is if the advertisement on a product keeps appearing even after the user has bought that product. Upon making a purchase on Amazon, I was faced with the same offer across multiple other sites because the system noticed that I observed many products of a similar style. I will hardly want to buy a product twice, especially if it’s on the more expensive side. The more logical approach are ads which offer products related to the purchased one. For instance, many sites are using the option “Users who bought this item also bought…” This type of content can be included in your retargeting strategy to provoke further purchases.