6 Ways to Increase Sales Through Email Marketing This Holiday Season
The 2014 holiday season is upon us and, as the saying goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. With just over three weeks left in the year, make it count by boosting your email marketing efforts to raise online sales and profits. According to the Direct Marketing Association's National client email report 2014, 77 percent of return on investment comes from segmented, targeted and triggered email marketing campaigns. So despite popular misconceptions, email is — and always has been — the proven workhorse for driving online revenues.
Now is the perfect time to make your list (and check it more than twice) for ways to optimize your email marketing to increase sales. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Expand your base of buying customers. More active customers equal more potential sales. To continue gaining more active customers, incent visitors to your website to sign up for your email newsletter so they can receive exclusive deals and first dibs on new merchandise. The sign-up form should be prominent on your homepage. Or try running a test that serves a popup/lightbox sign-up form as visitors exit the site.
However, don't stop at your website. Any brand asset is a potential farming ground for even more active buyers. Add your email sign-up form to other mediums such as your Facebook page or blog.
2. Integrate your email marketing with an e-commerce platform. As we shared in a recent AWeber blog post, selling products online need not be stressful nor complicated. There are many e-commerce service providers that you can easily integrate into your email marketing campaigns. Popular plugins like @Pay, UltraCart, WooCommerce, Zaxaa and many others yield instant benefits. For instance, by including a customized purchase button in your e-newsletter, readers can purchase a product in a couple simple clicks and be automatically added to your email subscriber list so you can communicate with them based on the types of products they like. Some e-commerce providers also come with tracking and conversion metrics that help you monitor customer purchase patterns even further.
3. Be mobile ready. Record mobile shopping is predicted for the holidays. As consumers become more comfortable making purchases from their mobile devices, be sure to factor the mobile buying experience into your email campaigns. Mobile-responsive templates, one-click purchase functionality and using more visual content are some tactics to consider.
4. Be relevant by segmenting. Send emails to a segment that's been highly engaged and considered "frequent" purchasers of your products or service. Now send them an exclusive offer. Open rates tend to peak early in the morning, during lunch hours or at night. Develop and deliver special "after hours" or "lunchtime only" offers. The urgency and exclusivity of these deals will provide a nice spike in revenues.
5. Be specific with your call to action. Focus on one call to action (CTA) when driving sales. In your email newsletters, for example, be very specific about the value to the subscriber and what they'll experience once clicking on the CTA. "Get my 20 percent Discount Now," "Save 50 percent on Exclusive Jeans," "Get 2-day Shipping Free." Remember to test your CTAs, as even a simple word change can result in double-digit conversion improvements.
6. Provide a remarkable experience. No one wants to sit through countless clicks to buy a single product. When planning your email campaigns, always have the user experience in mind by reducing friction points. Landing page messages and aesthetics should match your email content. Remove irrelevant form fields and navigation elements on your purchase pages. By doing these things, you'll see fewer abandoned carts and more repeat customers.
Now it's time to implement these six ways of increasing online sales through email marketing this holiday season. With email inboxes now acting more like "news feeds," it's important to be relevant, simple and provide value.
How are you integrating email marketing with your holiday sales goals? Share in the Comments section below.
Erik Harbison is the chief marketing officer at AWeber - Email Marketing, an email marketing software provider.