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Best practices for Optimizing Email marketing for Ecommerce

Author's avatar By Kath Pay 27 Oct, 2016
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Litmus, Liveclicker and Unbounce speak on conversion optimisation for ecommerce

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) can be a very complex creature – particularly when it comes to optimising ecommerce sites and campaigns using Email marketing to engage our audience. The opinions in this article focus on email marketing. A common theme is that during the process of optimisation we need to put our subjective opinions aside, create some robust hypothesis-based upon data and insights and try to start optimising for the biggest wins first – not always an easy task.

So we asked three of our expert speakers from our email marketing summit the following question:

“So many channels, so many aspects of a campaign to test. What’s your key piece of advice that you would provide to increase conversions for an ecommerce site?”

dave-hollandDave Holland, European Regional Director of Liveclicker and expert presenter, gives us his thoughts:

“Marketers have a new opportunity to drive site conversions through contextually relevant off-site messages - email, in particular.  Every marketer knows that personalized email messages convert better than 'batch and blast' messages.  Unfortunately, most e-commerce businesses lack access to the rich store of data that's required to deliver personalization at scale.

To solve for this, marketers should seek to capitalize on each recipient's real-time personal context: geolocation, time, device, weather, etc.  All of this can be done at the moment a recipient opens his email, thereby enabling 1:1 personalization to everyone in the database.”

speaker-justineJustine Jordan, Marketing Director of Litmus, provides us with her advice on the matter:

"While many marketers utilize A/B testing with email, the focus is often on the subject line. To increase ecommerce conversions, incorporate new and varied A/B tests into your email marketing. One of my favorite things to test is preview text—the little bit of copy that follows the subject line in many email programs. Instead of the all-too-common "click here to see images in this email" (or even worse, "having trouble?") copy that is often standard in this space, highlight a promotion, free shipping offer, or other content that will encourage the subscriber to open.

Your call to action (CTA) is arguably the most important part of any ecommerce email and should also be the subject of A/B testing. The possibilities are endless—try testing different language ('shop now' vs. 'buy now' is a personal favorite), adding an arrow, or changing the color. Bulletproof buttons used for CTAs will also display even when images are turned off, which can help increase conversions in otherwise image-heavy emails."

speaker-oliOli Gardner, Co-Founder of Unbounce, provides us with his wisdom on this subject:

“One of the most under-utilized aspects of e-commerce optimization is to create specific experience for each of your most competitive features/benefits and business advantages.

If you have same day delivery, next day delivery, locally sourced ingredients etc. you should be running paid search campaigns to capture those searches, and drive them to landing pages that confirm that your business has this feature before you send them to your site and further down the funnel.

Without this you risk your website not communicating these things in a timely enough manner – especially if you send campaign traffic to your homepage. If you can own these types of search queries you will have a large competitive advantage.”

So, there are some ideas to inform you tests - both of email marketing activities and on-site.

Author's avatar

By Kath Pay

Kath lives and breathes email marketing and devotes her time to developing customer-centric journeys using a holistic, multi-channel approach. Kath is internationally recognized as one the leading email marketing thought leaders and is CEO of Holistic Email Marketing. You can follow Kath on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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