It’s easy to overlook the benefits of using email marketing. Many people are so focused on SEO, social media, and link building that they forget about the power of email marketing. Part of the reason is that there are many misconceptions about it. People don’t think email marketing works, or at least, they don’t believe it will work for their industry — when in fact, email marketing is highly effective across a wide variety of industries.

What I often tell clients is that email marketing is a link to both current and future customers. If done correctly, it can quickly bring in sales.

The ROI of email marketing is twice as much as the average of all other online advertising efforts. A VB Insights study found that for every $1 spent on it, $38 was earned, which is a huge return on your investment.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to use email marketing to increase your sales.

Transaction Emails

These emails are the ones that most people receive after purchasing something online. They can be confirmations for orders, a thank you, and/or a notice the order has shipped. Since these emails are of interest to the recipient, they have a high open rate. This high open rate should be utilized as a way to entice the person to make another purchase.

You can entice a buyer to make another purchase in a couple of ways:

  1. Feature items that are often purchased along with the ones the buyer bought.
  2. List items that are similar to the ones the buyers purchased.
  3. Create a special offer or discount for future purchases.

Many times, people will act on impulse when they see something that is related to a previous purchase but that they didn’t think about buying while shopping. This is especially true if a promotion is attached to the purchase, such as “Buy now and save 20%” or “Add this to your order for no additional shipping charge.”


Welcome or Introduction Emails

Some of the biggest brands in the country send welcome or introduction emails when someone signs up to be on their email list. These emails usually thank the person for signing up, and then offer them a percentage off their next purchase.

The percentage off is usually visible in the subject line of the email, which is why there is a high open rate for these emails. The click-through rate is moderately good, especially if the person didn’t make a purchase recently. This is the reason why it’s good to introduce the option to sign-up to join a mailing list soon after someone visits your site. Usually, if they are on the fence about making a purchase and leave the site, the email will bring them back to complete the sale.

For example, let’s imagine you just moved into a new apartment and realized that your dining table doesn’t fit so you’ll need to purchase a new one. You go to a few different websites to do some research but are not quite ready to make a purchase. Then, the next day one of those sites sends you an email with a code for 15% off your first purchase. All of a sudden, purchasing that dining room table becomes a bit more affordable and the welcome email could then make you revisit the site and take action. But, without the welcome email and special offer, you may not have gone back to make a purchase. The welcome email helped to generate a sale by keeping your furniture needs top of mind.


Cart Abandonment Emails

People often browse eCommerce sites, add items to their cart, and then abandon it for one reason or another. They may have looked at the total and decided not to spend the money. They may have thought the shipping was too high. Or, they may have simply got distracted and walked away from their computer before they could make the purchase.

You can bring them back to complete the sale simply with a cart abandonment email. This email reminds people they have items in their cart, and invites them to checkout. To gently nudge people to move forward with their purchase, many companies send a coupon code for a percentage off the order or for free shipping.


Re-Order or Follow-up Emails

Customers love it when companies pay attention to their needs. Emailing past customers to ask if they need a refill of something in their last order can lead to additional sales. This is especially effective for items that people need monthly such as pet food, dietary supplements, or beauty products. Showing an image of the exact item people bought not only sparks people’s memory, but it’s shown to increase click-through rates since people tend to purchase the same items when they are satisfied with them.

This is equally effective for service-based industries where your clients require a follow-up service. For example, if you’re a dentist you could have an email go out 5 or 6 months after each client’s last visit to remind them that they’re due to come back in for their next cleaning. Or, if you’re an accountant you can have a series of reminder emails ready to go out as tax season gets closer.


Limited Promotion Emails

People love sales, and they jump to buy them when time to cash in is limited. We owe that to cognitive psychology — people hate to lose out on something. This is why it’s important to add in an end date or copy with words like “limited time only” to your emails with promotions. This heightens the levels of urgency for people to make a purchase and can cause them to take action more quickly.

These types of emails should be sent periodically rather than multiple times a week. People can become desensitized if they are presented with the stimulus of the sales and urgency if it happens too much.


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