Will your eCommerce email marketing efforts pay off in 2020? Over the next few weeks, email open rates will peak then dramatically decrease. While it’s not a shocker that people open fewer emails during the last week of December, it’s still an ego crusher.
Once the glow of the winter lights fades, the cold hard reality of winter hits in. For some people, that’s a motivation to double down on those new year goals. However, others tighten up their purse strings. For the majority of people, it’s back to business as usual and time to clean out that inbox.
Don’t stress over the final week of December. Instead, review your goals and use these email marketing ideas to exceed January expectations.
Table of Contents
- Email Marketing: 2020 Best Practices
- Goal: Sell More Products
- Goal: Nurture Current Customers
- Goal: Increase Brand Visibility
- Goal: Drive Traffic to Your Website or Social Channels
- Goal: Boost Email Opt-Ins
Email Marketing: 2020 Best Practices
Although every email campaign should start with an objective in mind, the bottom line is that your main goal is to get more emails opened. Before jumping into specific goals, let’s review the essential components of every email marketing campaign.
Optimize Your Emails for Mobile
Smartphones rule when it comes to email with “55% of email opened on mobile devices,” according to Return Path. If you’re not checking your email’s appearance on mobile before sending it, then you’re taking a significant risk with your email marketing campaign.
- Review your email, social media, and website analytics. This data shows the percentage of users per device.
- Devise a campaign with mobile users in mind, including shorter subject lines and paragraphs.
Make Sure Your Email Recipient Knows Who You Are
Boost your email open rate by adding a personal name instead of using your company name. Pinpointe Marketing discovered this could increase open rates by nearly 35%. Plus, ask your email recipients to add you to their address book. Doing so helps your email avoid the spam box.
Develop Click-worthy Email Subject Lines and Preheaders
The optimal length for subject lines isn’t a set number. Instead, it’s about getting your point across using as few words as possible. Retention Science recommends using six to ten words, while CoSchedule says, “the best email subject length is 17-24 characters long.” But, it’s not only about the length.
- If it fits with your brand, use an emoji. Multiple studies report higher open rates with emojis.
- Add a preheader. This excerpt completes the story that your subject line starts.
- Use power words that match your goal. Certain words compel action while others get marked as spam.
Tips for Email Marketing
Your audience insights provide the best look at what recipients want and when they want it. Plus, it’s helpful to stay on top of current email marketing trends for your eCommerce audience. For January, it’s about finding the sweet spot. HubSpot data from 4,513,689 emails finds that roughly four days after the new year, people start opening more emails from their inbox. In 2020, consider starting a new email marking campaign around the 6th or 7th of the month.
Other recommendations for a solid email marketing strategy include:
- Integrate your contests and giveaways with your email list.
- Include a CTA at the top of your email or within a graphic.
- Highlight your freebie. The terms newsletter, PDF, and eBook increase your open rate.
- Segment your list according to your eCommerce audience and goal.
Goal: Sell More Products
Although the months leading up to the holidays include photos of savory foods and budget-busting gifts, once the clock strikes a new year, attitudes shift. Instead of seeking gifts, consumers want items that signify change. That’s why some of the top-selling products include those that help our customers keep their resolutions.
Relevant Prize Ideas
If your goal is to sell more products, then it’s time to dig deep and choose items for your giveaways and contests that suit the current mood. The types of products with the highest interest in January consist of:
- Items to organize and clean homes and offices
- Things that aid with safety or protection
- Anything health-related from fitness to stress relievers
- Tools to help in productivity like tax software and planners
Email Subject Line Ideas
However, it’s not just about the products. To get people to open your emails, you need subject lines that grab their attention and a call-to-action that suits the season and product. In January, people want to save a buck and improve their lives. Consider including these keywords in your email subject lines:
- Clearance sales
- Last chance
Email Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales
Although people don’t like being sold to, they love a deal. That could be why “transactional emails receive eight times as many opens compared to regular marketing emails,” according to Sleeknote. Boost your January sales by sending emails with exclusive offers. Plus, don’t forget to ask for an email address in exchange for an entry into your contest or giveaway.
Goal: Nurture Current Customers
If you already know that your current customers are low on cash, then trying to sell more products won’t help them (or you). Instead, focus on content that instills trust and makes consumers feel warm and fuzzy inside. The best way to do this is by giving your audience a steady stream of social proof, thanking them with coupons, and asking for their opinion or insights.
Email Subject Line Ideas
Campaigns that incorporate and request user-generated content work well for nurturing current eCommerce customers. Get more email opens from your existing clients with subject lines that use words like:
Inside your email, offer up true stories. Share user-generated content, testimonials, and other things that reflect who the recipient is and what their current needs are. The idea is to keep your brand fresh in their minds, so they remember to stop by when their cash flow improves.
Email Marketing Examples for Relationship Building
Help your audience trust you by offering social proof in your email and on your giveaway landing pages. In the example below, the company displays scrolling customer testimonials to boost credibility.
For this campaign, the company helps its audience solve financial problems with a quiz. Every quiz taker gets a chance to win a prize. In return, the user shares their email address.
Goal: Increase Brand Visibility
You’re not the only marketer out there feeling the familiar January slump. With so many people vying for attention, now is the time to go big. Get more eyes on your logo, repeat your messaging, and increase your reach with emails. Promote viral hashtag contests with CTAs to share the joy with a friend or offer free downloads of branded products. Boost brand awareness by adding eye-catching phrases to your email subject lines.
- Refer a Friend and Save Big
- Tell a Friend and Get a Free Product
- Share the Savings With Your Bestie
Each email should include a CTA to an ongoing campaign that increases brand visibility. Examples include hashtag contests, tag-a-friend giveaways, and popular polls that relate directly to your brand’s products and services.
Email Marketing Ideas to Boost Brand Awareness
Sharing a download in exchange for an email is a great way to increase brand awareness. The simple giveaway below uses a one-line form to gather an email address in exchange for a free guide.
Asking for a referral or a social share in the contest guidelines is another excellent way to expand your reach. In the example below, the Bestie Kitchen photo contest lists three steps for entering, including sharing the contest with others.
Goal: Drive Traffic to Your Website or Social Channels
There’s a good chance that you’ve rolled out something new for the year. Perhaps you’ve added more products or updated your social bio. Show off your brand and increase your email click-through rate by giving people a reason to stop by.
Email Subject Line Ideas for More Conversions
Consider how these subject lines direct people to a specific channel:
- New Year, New Look. Exclusive Insider Discounts on our Website
- Time is Running Out, Grab This Inventory Before it’s Gone
- Save the Date! Sign up Now for Alerts on our Next Facebook Contest
Plus, make sure you add a strong CTA linked directly to a landing page that reflects both your brand and email content. If there’s a messaging disconnect between your email content and what’s on your landing page, customers won’t stick around to figure it out.
Email Marketing Ideas to Increase Web or Social Traffic
If your contest requires entry through a social channel, then you’re already directing your audience to those channels. But, there’s no reason to avoid adding a second CTA.
In this example, the user chooses the prize they’d like to win:
However, before picking a prize, they’re directed to learn more about the products.
Once a user clicks on the link, they end up on a specific blog post. This blog post talks about each of the products available in the contest. This CTA increases your web traffic and encourages viewers to take a look around your site.
Goal: Boost Email Opt-Ins
Adding new subscribers to your email list is a surefire way to reach your marketing goals in the new year. For instance, you can reach out to current subscribers and ask them to share your email with a friend, but you can also include enticing offers for current and new email subscribers with a giveaway or contest.
- Embed email signup forms on your social channels, landing pages, and emails
- Encourage email subscribers to forward your email to their friends
- Create a quiz about your brand or products and request an email address before displaying the results
Build Your Subscriber List With These Email Examples
Terms like “newsletter” in the subject line increase email opens. Combine your email marketing with a contest or giveaway for even better results. In the example below, the company gives each new subscriber a chance to win a contest.
You can also add subscribers by hosting an ongoing user-generated photo contest. Create a photo gallery and ask participants to vote on their favorites each week. Entrants and voters must share their email address to participate.
Don’t forget to boost your opt-in rates by including a checkbox on your entry form. You can choose to have the box already checked or allow the user to check the box themselves. Either way, it’s a simple way to collect emails for a mailing list.
Kick-off January with well-defined email marketing goals. Meet those objectives by combining your email campaign with various contests, quizzes, and polls. With creativity and a cohesive strategy, you’ll put your audience in a better mood and see your email click-through rates soar.
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