Email marketing is alive and well for ecommerce brands. Over 60% of ecommerce businesses are planning to use email marketing as their primary method of gaining new business, according to a new survey by Campaigner.
The power of first impressions should not be something that online retail marketers should overlook. This new survey illustrates the importance of a businesses first email message, right after someone provides their email to a brand.
The survey revealed that 39% of marketers send a thank-you-for-subscribing message and 50% of those companies say that 21% of their new subscribers engage with their welcome emails. That’s quite the engagement rate and is reflective of the fact that marketers typically offer enticement deals in these emails such as free shipping, free items with purchase, extra percents off for new customers, etc. These offers almost always are only available for a limited amount of time and are offered on first purchase only. Frequent online shoppers know that providing their email will result in these deals so they are accustomed to subscribing before purchase.
“It takes just seconds within meeting someone to form a lasting impression,” said EJ McGowan, general manager, Campaigner. “Unsurprisingly, first impressions for brands are just as critical and time-sensitive. Marketers who quickly deliver engaging welcome emails to new subscribers will see greater success in conversions, while also building brand reputation.”
Of brands surveyed, 55% offered news and content and their main incentive to entice subscriptions while 49% offered promotions.
It’s also important for brands to send a timely welcome message after a new subscription with 62% reporting they send their welcome emails within 24 hours. In my experience most major brands send their welcome emails immediately while the potential shopper is actively engaged with the brand. It is absolutely a horrible idea to wait as long as 24 hours, so I suspect the survey didn’t offer shorter response times as options. As I indicated above, it is an extremely effective sales strategy to send a welcome email with true and exclusive deals just for the new shopper, but it is also very important to send those while your customer is thinking about you and likely still on your website, in order to maximize their likelihood of becoming a customer.
In general, the survey found that it’s best for retail marketers to send their emails before 2 p.m. and 35% say that between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is ideal in order to generated the best response. Only 25% said that between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. is best. Again, the welcome email should be sent immediately following the subscription, even if it is 3 a.m., or you risk losing a hot prospective customer to your 24 hours a day online retail business.
Interestingly, 60% of marketers reported that they aren’t doing everything they can do to make their welcome emails most effective. The survey asked questions as to what marketers are doing to improve results in their emails:
- Eighty-seven percent of marketers are including images in their welcome emails, while 26 percent are including videos.
- Nearly a third (31 percent) of marketers report that geo-targeting is important for initial emails to contacts.
- Additionally, more than half of the marketers ranked personalization and segmentation as the most successful tactics in driving conversions.
The survey shows that (unfortunately) even though email marketing is still a very powerful platform to gain new customers, it faces the challenge of the spam and clutter folders. Marketers reported that 47% of their emails to their own opt-in customers did not hit the inbox! Wake up Google and Outlook and other email platforms, when people subscribe to something they are expressly saying they WANT TO GET EMAIL, even if, and maybe especially if, they are sent offers and promotions.
Here’s the Infographic on this survey provided by Campaigner: