Ecommerce Email Marketing Tips with Marcus Taylor | Webinar
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Ecommerce Email Marketing Tips with Marcus Taylor | Webinar


Alright, welcome everyone thank you so much
for joining us today. My name is Abby and we are so happy to have you. So I’m going
do a quick introduction before I hand it over to Marcus for our very exciting webinar today.
So as you guys probably already know today we have Marcus Taylor. He is the founder and
CEO of Venture Harbor. That is a company that invests in, builds and grows a portfolio of
innovative online businesses. So today he is going to talk to you all about how email
marketing can boost your product sales and how you are going to be able to squeeze the
most out of your eCommerce business using email marketing tactics and we are so thrilled
to have him today and so happy that you guys are joining in. So without any further delay
I’m going to go ahead and pass it on to Marcus. Awesome thank you Abby. Okay so in this webinar
we are going to be talking through ten email marketing tips to increase eCommerce product
sales. So just to give you a quick idea of some of the ideas we are going to be running
through. We are going to be looking at how President Obama some of the different email
tactics he used in the run up to his election and how changing only four words increased
the amount of donations from a single email they sent out from $403,000 up to $2.5-million,
and we’ll be looking at how you can employ the same tactics during email marketing to
increase your eCommerce transaction rates, email marketing engagement rates, etc. We
are going to be looking a little bit at birthday and anniversary emails, some really interesting
research from Experian that’s looked at different kinds of incentives and gifts to send to people
via email on their birthdays and the best combinations of those can lead to eight times
as effective increases in transaction rates. As well, as at least eight different email
marketing tips you can implement to increase your transaction rates by at least 20%. So that has been my kind of idea in terms
of putting this webinar together. I’ve curetted 10 different email marketing tips all kind
of backed up with various different case studies with an aim for each one to be able to be
able to increase transaction rates by at least 20%. Some of them are 200% increases etc.,
but my real aim is that every listening will be able to take by at least one to maybe three
or four different tips, they can go away implement and see at least a 20% increase in transaction
rates. So have a think about what a 20% increase would look like for you and your business
and that’s the kind of a value that I’m hoping everyone listening takes away from the next
45 minutes to an hour. So before we jump in, I’ve structured this
into two parts. So the first part of the webinar we are going to have slightly more accessible
tips. So we are going to be looking at things like making transactional emails, accounts,
getting more value out of them as well as incentivizing product reviews, using kind
of psychological tactics like loss aversion which is kind of a human tendency to over
value things that we already own over things that we are yet to own and using those kind
of tactics to drive impulse purchases, as well as how to react to dormant customers
over email and rewarding loyal customers. So the first tactics are slightly more accessible
there. If you’re new to email marketing these are really valuable tactics that you can implement.
If you have been doing email marketing for maybe four or five years already these are
probably things you might have already done so it might a nice refresher, also so, some
things that you can maybe look over. In the second half of this webinar we are
going to go for some slightly more advance tips so looking at things like automation
sequences. We will look at some of the stuff behind the President Obama election campaign
as I mentioned how they are able to generate an extra $2.1-million just by changing four
words. Looking at birthday, anniversary emails. How to reduce cart abandonment with emails
and how to automate collection feedback as well as a slightly�we are going to end on
a slightly paradoxical point of email marketing beyond the inbox which I will explain in a
little bit more detail when we get there. So just before we jump to the first tip, I
think a good question to ask is why are we talking about email marketing when it comes
to marketing eCcommerce businesses? As eCommerce business owners there is a million different
places we could cut our budget or our time. You know why are we not talking about Facebook
ads or promoted tweets or you know 101 other different options that we could be. So a couple of years ago (00:05:17 inaudible)
ran a really interesting study where they found that 7% of all eCommerce sales were
highly influenced or attributed to email marketing making email marketing the second most influential
digital marketing channel for eCommerce businesses. The most terminal was unsurprisingly search
marketing, but the other thing that’s particularly interesting around email is that email was
first released in 1993, its now 2015, email has stood the test of time, its 22 years old
and yet there is still so many opportunities, so many eCommerce business owners are still
only doing the basics and so that’s what I’m really hoping everyone gets out of this webinar
is you know understanding some of the really interesting advanced ways of extracting more
value out of email marketing. So jumping into our first step, making your
transactional emails count. So when we talk about transactional emails we are referring
to the shipping confirmation emails, receipts that you send to you customers as soon as
they purchase from your site. So typically these emails kind of do what they say on the
tip. Like if you guy a product from an eCommerce website typically you’re going to get an email
saying your order is going to arrive on Wednesday and that’s pretty much it. Well what’s quite
interesting about transactional emails is if you actually look at their engagement rates
they are often very high. I was reading a report a couple of days ago, I’m not sure
how much I believe this statistic, but they concluded that on the average open rates for
their shipping confirmation emails were 90% which is extremely high. I had a look at some
of the open rates for transactional emails, one of the eCommerce sites that we run, they
were about 46% which is still very, very high when compared to standard, branded or promotional
content. So these emails get surprisingly engagement
rates and yet all they really do is tell customers you know that they order is going to arrive
on Wednesday. There is a huge opportunity here to actually use them to drive some extra
value. So one of the most obvious ways of doing that is by impromptu sales and cross
sale recommendations into your transactional emails you know for example someone buys shampoo
on your website in the confirmation email you can up-sell them a bottle of conditioner.
Experian did a report on this and they found that adding cross sale recommendations into
transactional emails increased transaction rates by 20%. Now you don’t necessarily need
to, cross sales are just one of many things that you could add into your transactional
emails to make them more effective. You could for example encourage people to go and join
your social profiles or leave feedback or many different things, but adding cross sales
is a really nice kind of , you know driving more sales back to your eCommerce site. So
really, really powerful tactic and this gets even more powerful when you can combine it
with, you know, if you have the ability to combine your email marketing software with
your shopping cart or CRM data you can personalize those recommendations so that each customer
receives customized cross over recommendations based on their order. You can get really,
really nice high engagement and high transaction rates from that, so that’s tip number one. So tip number two is to incentivize product
reviews. So if you’re running an eCommerce website product reviews are so, so important.
There has been many, many studies that have concluded various different percentage increases
in conversion rates by having reviews. I think there was a study by Revu that suggested that
the presence of reviews on an eCommerce site increased conversion rates on average by 18%.
There was another study that I think iPerceptions did which suggested that 68%. The exact percentage
obviously don’t really matter because frankly you know that percentage is going to vary
from industry to industry, website to website, product to product, but what we can say with
a good certainty is that having product reviews is going to have a positive impact on increasing
your conversion rates. One of the common objections around this is
what if we get negative views, what if people leave you know reviewers saying the products
are awful and that’s a fair objection, but similar studies I think also by Revu actually
suggested that negative reviews increased conversation rates which is quite counter
intuitive, but the reason why negative reviews can increase conversion rates is there are
two reasons. First of all they found that customers were
more likely to trust websites that displayed negative reviews. In other words if a customer
went to an eCommerce website and found that all the reviews were positive they were less
likely to trust that website. So having negative reviews actually increases kind of the weight
that customers have to positive reviews. The other side of it is that negative reviews
tend to just redistribute the products that the customer is looking at. For example I
was buying a case, a tablet case on Amazon last week and I was looking at one product
which was about 8 pounds and it had really, really bad reviews, but on Amazon if you scroll
down on product page there is a section that says other products that customers who were
looking at this went on to buy it, worded slightly more eloquently than that. The gist
is basically people who didn’t buy this went on to buy these products. And so I clicked
through to one of those products and the case I ended up buying was 22 pounds. So instead
of actually like turning me off and making me close Amazon it just meant I went on to
buy a different product on the same website and in fact ended up spending more money because
of the negative reviews, so don’t be worried about negative reviews. So product review is very, very useful, but
typically where it gets difficult is how you actually get them. Product reviews from my
experience are very, very hard to get, unless you’ve got enormous amounts of traffic like
Amazon do and you can rely on not quite 1% of your customers actually going on to leave
the review. Usually what you’re going to have to do is dangle some kind of carrot in front
of your customers and give them a really good reason to actually leave a review. There are
many different ways you can do this. You could offer them a discount on their next purchase.
You could upgrade them to three if your business allows that. You could send them a free product. My favorite way of doing this is by giving
people entry into a competition. I really like the example here by Boden. It’s a beautifully
written campaign. I think it’s got a really nice incentive. The text is quite small, but
basically what they are doing here in return for leaving a review they are giving the customers
a chance to win $200 to spend at Boden and the reason I really like using competition
entries like this is that that $200 prize you could send this email out to say 10,000
customers and that one prize of $200 could enough to incentivize maybe a 1,000 people
to write a product review. And so it works out as a very cost effective way of incentivizing
a large amount of people as opposed to if you have everyone $10 off the next order that
can quickly amount to a large enough study. And using email marketing you can obviously
sort of set up autoresponders if you’re using automation software you can set up those automation
rules so that X-amount of days after purchasing a product you can send an email like this
that incentivizes customers to leave a review, very powerful. So our third tip is to give customers free
store credit. I love this campaign by a company called PetFlow so what they did was they basically
gave all of their customers $4.25 in 24 hours providing they spend at least $17. So this
campaign is really, really interesting from quite a few different angles and what I really
like about it is that it plays on the power of loss aversion. So loss aversion is a proven
idea that we over value the things that we already own and undervalue things that we
are yet to own. So what I mean by this in this context is that by giving customers $4.25,
the customer feels wasted if they don’t use that. Whereas if PetFlow had simply given
their customers say 15% off their next order their customers are less likely to feel wasteful
if they don’t use that discount. So it’s very, very clever by giving people an actual dollar
amount because it kind of triggers that sense of I don’t want to waste money. We’ll talk
about some interesting stuff a little bit later on how using, actually giving people
a dollar amount of is more effective than percentage discounts, but another really powerful
technique, the increase in kind of short term revenue. The only thing that you obviously need to
bear in mind when you do a campaign like this is that you need to get that minimum purchase
amount spot on because if you give people $5 off and they go and spend $6, you’re probably
going to run a loss. So you need to kind of�and that is amount is going to vary from business
to business. You need to kind of make sure that’s all going to make sales. So tip number four, this is kind of a two
part case study. There is a really interesting campaign that was run by an Aussie company
called Howard Storage World. So what this company did was they basically wanted to run
a campaign that rewarded their most loyal customers, but also reactivated their dormant
and inactive customers. So what Howard Storage World did was they basically divided all of
their customers and subscribers into five different buckets based on their loyalty and
engagement. So on one end they have this bucket of their most loyal customers, perhaps people
who had purchased from them a couple of times a year and at the other end they’ve got their
completely inactive customers, people who had perhaps subscribed on their website, but
never purchased a product. So they have these five buckets of customers. So what they decided to do in terms of rewarding
their most loyal customers was they sent all the people in the most loyal bucket a $20
gift card, backed up with an email campaign encouraging them to redeem the gift card just
as a kind of a thank you for being a loyal customer. What they found was � so those
gift cards had a 34% gift redemption rate which is really, really good which for them
generated a $105,000 in extra short term revenue which is pretty good for sending out an email.
So that nice action we will take away is you know can create a nice great gift card campaign,
send it to your loyal customers and it’s probably going to result in uptake in revenue. Where this campaign gets a little bit more
interesting is what they actually did to their inactive and dormant customers. So they ran
a similar kind of email campaigns and sent out gift cards backed up with email campaigns
to the dormant and the inactive and semi-dormant customers, but what they found � so with
the inactive customers they were able to active 10% of those customers which is not bad, but
not going to translate into incredible results either. But what was quite interesting was
that the semi-dormant customers their gift card redemption generated an extra $108,000
in extra short term revenues. So they actually generated more revenue by focusing on their
semi dormant customers than they did by the campaigns that they sent to their most loyal
customers which is very counter intuitive and I’m quite a big fan of the whole kind
of 80/20 rule for retail principal that in the context of marketing dictates that the
majority of your revenue is going to come from a very small number of customers and
usually we are taught that that small number of customers are usually going to be our most
loyal customers. Whereas in this case for Howard Storage World that wasn’t necessarily
true, they actually generated more revenue by focusing on their semi-dormant customers
than they did from their loyal customers. It’s a really fascinating case study and in
total this whole campaign generated quarter of a million dollars in short term revenue
for that. So the bulk of it came from $145,000 which came from focusing on reactivation. So we’ve come to the end of the first half.
So in this first half we’ve learned how to get a bit more value out of our transactional
emails, make them work a little bit harder. We talked about incentivizing product reviews,
how to use loss aversion to drive impulse purchases and finally we talk a little bit
about reactivating dormant customers and rewarding loyal customers to keep them active. So as I mentioned in the beginning this is
where it gets a little bit more interesting. We are going to go through some slightly more
advanced tactics now. Some of this stuff is a little bit tricky and we don’t have time
to kind of go into the mechanics of how it all works. So if anyone does get stuck or
needs help or has any questions with any of this, needs software recommendations or anything
like that I put aside a bit of time after the � I know we’ve got Q&A for a little
bit after the webinar, but I put aside time afterwards anyways. So feel free to drop me
an email if you have any questions the email address is up there, [email protected] So at the beginning of the webinar I mentioned
how President Obama managed to change four words in an email and generate $2.1 million
which is not bad for a day’s work. So if you haven’t guessed already based on the image
he did that through A/B testing. So there is a really, really fascinating article on
Bloomberg which explains all the current information behind how he did this, but basically what
they did was for almost every email that Obama’s email marketing sent out in the campaign they
wrote about 18 different subject lines. For this specific campaign they wrote subject
lines ranging from the one thing that the polls got right to do this for Michele and
their best performing subject line was I will be outspent. Which basically they sent small
amounts of these emails to different portions of their mailing list and then they projected
how much revenue would be if they sent those emails out to their whole list and the email
with the subject line I will be outspent, they projected it would make $2.5 million.
It actually went on to make almost $2.7 million. So it performed better than expected. Just as a kind of interesting side note there
is some other stuff on the whole Obama email marketing campaign I think, there was a really
interesting interview where the person in charge of that email marketing I’m pretty
sure it was this campaign, but he said the best subject line that he had ever written
for Obama was just the word �hey� which is crazy when you sort of think about all
the testing that goes into this and you know to have such a simple subject line perform
so well, but yeah. So in terms of applying to eCommerce websites, the main take away
is basically A/B test everything. In my experience everything gets better when you A/B test it
generally speaking. But with email marketing if you are using a tool like GetResponse I
think a lot of the other email marketing tools now allow A/B testing as well. You can test
things like your subject lines when your emails go out, the from line, the actual content
and even to some extent the subscriber segments that you send your email out to. For example
you can test depending on what information your collecting from your subscribers you
can test a male versus female campaign or you know whatever kind of you know UK versus
US versus Australia, there is so many different segments that you can test and I’ve found
that time and time that the fastest way to make the biggest improvement in email marketing
results is just through A/B testing. I sent out a campaign about two weeks ago
where I only created about I think three different variations of the subject line. The best performing
variant performed 200% better than the worst performed variant. So 200% improvement in
this, that’s a huge improvement for literally writing about six words and so I highly recommend
if you’re not using A/B testing you know start testing this stuff. I know this is an email
marketing webinar, but I’m also a big advocate of A/B testing pretty much everything, from
landing pages to blog post headlines. I learned this lesson last year when I published � well
I spent about 15 hours writing, I was kind of researching how a lot blogs like Mashable,
Problog and KISSmetrics had got to reach millions of readers in a very short space of time.
I’ve watched all the interviews with their founders and called off lots of data to try
and understand how they did it and so I published this post, but after about two days it only
had about 40 shares which when you consider the ratio of hours spent to number of shares
it was a pretty bad ratio, but I knew the content was good. So I installed a WordPress title split testing
project and tested my headlines, created a few different headline variations and it became
apparent that my headline only had a 1.6% click through rate which is pretty bad and
so I created a few variations and one of the variations I had a 10.9% click through rate.
After I set that as the main headline two days later the post went viral, it had 2000
shares. So that taught me you know that first hand lesson that the power and the impact
of A/B testing not just your email marketing campaigns, but everything from your landing
pages to blog post tittles is incredibly valuable. You know if Obama has a team of 20 people
doing this stuff around the clock then it’s probably a good lesson we can take away from
those campaigns. Okay so tip number seven is how to do birthday
emails right. So birthday and anniversary emails. By the way when we are talking about
anniversary emails, I was having chat with a friend about anniversary emails a couple
of days ago and he said Marcus isn’t it a little bit weird to email people on their
wedding anniversary. We are not talking about wedding anniversaries so we are talking about
product anniversaries. So for example one year after someone has bought a product or
for example someone has bought a bottle of shampoo from you they might run out in say
three months time. So anniversary emails are you know timed after purchasing from the store
not actually on their anniversary. So there is two things that we need to know
about birthday emails and anniversary emails from this interesting research that Experian
did. First of all they found that personalizing birthday and anniversary emails generated
between five and six times more conversions and that’s kind of the common sense you know
if you send emails to people on their birthday using the name, recommending products are
actually going to be relevant to them it makes sense that that is going to outperform bulk
emails that have just been sent out to everyone. So that’s kind of common sense. Where this
does get quite interesting is Experian tested different types of gifts and incentives. They
tested sending people gift cards for $10 off versus giving people free shipping on their
birthday versus a percentage off discount versus sending people points that they can
move into actual money, and unsurprisingly the best performing incentive was just giving
people money off. Ultimately people like free money. You give someone $10 off to spend they
are roughly, so from this data they are roughly three times more likely to actually use that
than if they are sent points or percentage for the minimum. What I actually found quite interesting with
this report was the difference between sending someone a dollar amount off, so for example
$20 off the next order versus the same dollar off amount, but with minimum so versus $20
off, but they have to spend at least $40. Just sending them the money off performed
about three times better than sending them the same amount with a minimum amount which
raises some really interesting kind of issues around obviously you have to have a minimum
otherwise you could give people $20 for free and they might spend $21 and that would result
in a loss. But when you get three times the amount of results maybe it is worth not having
that. So that’s obviously going to vary from business to business, but again it’s something
that could be A/B tested and you can kind of figure out what’s going to be best for
your business. Okay so tip number eight is to use email to
reduce cart abandonment. So cart abandonment is a real nightmare for eCommerce just because
you know people have gone to the extent of adding products to their basket, but not actually
paid for them and finished that order. It’s a real shame to lose those customers and email
lends itself really nicely to actually reduce the number of people who are abandoning cart.
One of the websites that I think does this really, really well is a website called Flaviar
and they sell samples of spirits and if you had products into your cart and then you shut
the window you get a really interesting set of emails which are completely personalized.
It’s all using integration with the shopping cart and CRM systems. So you get really nice
kind of personalized emails coming through to you. I’ve put the example here from a website here
called Craghoppers just because I was able to get some data behind it. They found that
by sending these automated emails encouraging potential customers to finish their order
and actually go through the cart, they found that they were able to reactivate 56% of the
registered users which then generated a return on investment of 711%. The actual ROI in this
instant doesn’t really matter because we don’t know how much it cost them. So the ROI is
somewhat meaningless, but I think it’s fair to say you know this is an issue that’s pretty
much every eCommerce site that I’ve seen and worked with all have issues with cart abandonment
and anything you can do to reduce that is enormously valuable, and obviously with this,
the more that you can kind of use automation and actually make these emails personalized
the better they are going to perform. So tip number nine is to automate feedback
collection/net promoter score data. So just to clarify, so net promoter score is this
idea that, it’s a way of collecting data, feedback from customers where if they, you
ask them how likely would you be to recommend our business to your friends and colleagues.
If they put nine or ten then that’s a really good sign that they are likely to spread word
about your business and seven or eight is kind of average. Anything below six is not
very good. Some businesses really like this metric others not so much. We use it for a
few of the websites that we work on at Venture Harbour, but what we’ve done on a few websites
which has worked really well is to automate emails after a customer buys a product from
one of the sites inviting them to kind of leave a score, or just provide feedback on
how we can improve the website, so many businesses under value feedback. It’s incredibly valuable.
It does really so many things where if we didn’t have a method of collecting feedback
from customers you know things that once we’ve gone and corrected and changed have massive
improvements in our conversion rates. So I highly recommend anyone particularly
running eCommerce websites its really valuable to kind of have this feedback loops built
into kind of the customer journey just so you can kind of recycle ideas back into how
you can improve your conversion rates. All things like net promoter score it can be really,
really valuable information to sort of track how good the customer experience is over time,
and again email marketing lends itself really nicely to doing this. So our final tip that I want to end on. As
I mentioned it’s slightly paradoxical this idea of email marketing beyond the inbox.
Paradoxical because what is email marketing if it’s not sending emails to people’s inbox. So what we are talking about here is actually
using email addresses to target people across multiple different panels, the main one being
Facebook. So Salesforce did an interesting report on this. So specifically for eCommerce,
targeting people both by email and using Facebook ads people were 22% more likely to go and
purchase on the eCommerce site if they had been targeted by both as opposed to just being
targeted by email. So kind of combining these different channels can be a really effective
way of actually increasing the likelihood that people buy from the site and there is
two different ways of doing this. One is using Facebook Exchange, I don’t want
to go into too much detail because it’s quite technical, but one way of doing this is using
Facebook Exchange which basically works by as soon as a customer buys on your website
a cookie can be dropped on their computer which means they go to log into Facebook that
cookie tells Facebook to serve up one of your ads which you can then use to have up-sell
cross sell products, whatever you want to promote in the ad. The other way of doing it is using Custom
Audiences, which is another Facebook advertising feature that allows you to actually run ads
to people specifically by their email address. So if you’ve got a list of 10,000 customer
email addresses, instead of running a Facebook ad campaign that targets people by their interest
or location or various demographic, psychographic information you can specifically target people
based on their email address which can be a really good way of reaching your email subscribers
on Facebook. Obviously which one you choose depends on
how instant you want this to be. You want you know for someone to buy a product, buy
a bottle of shampoo on your website and then go to Facebook ten minutes later and be up-sold
a bottle of conditioner you probably want to use Facebook Exchange. If you wanted to
run ads to your whole mailing list then Customer Audiences probably make more sense. Well I
think this is something that’s not used an awful lot and we are going to do more and
more in the next few years. It’s just kind of cross channel marketing particularly around
social advertising email marketing. So for anyone who is kind of interested in testing
this out I think it’s likely to have some really nice results. So that brings us to our last tip. So I’ve
put my email up there if anyone, as I mentioned, if anyone has any questions or needs help
with anything feel free to drop me an email, but I think we’ll do Q&A now. Yeah thank you so Marcus that was awesome.
I think we all got lots of different knowledge out of that of course, and so we will do our
best to approve as many questions they are a lot of you here today, so we are going to
approve the questions as they come in and Marcus we actually added on three questions
while you were talking that were good so we will post them ourselves in the chat pod as
well. So thank you guys again and everyone we will send you a recording, we promise you
on Monday all attendees will be sent an email with the video recording, okay. So thank you
guys again and Marcus will be approving some questions and you can take them as you see
them.

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