Every now and then, there will be someone who will say that “Email marketing is dead” and that there are alternative ways to score sales. Landing pages, social media sales, and complex CRO techniques are all the rage at the moment.
And although all digital channels are successful enough, and many eCommerce stores have a significant social media presence, email marketing’s ROI is unbeatable:
So, you’ve decided whether Etsy or Shopify is the best platform for your online business, you’ve created your eCommerce store, and you know what your goals and aspirations are.
You made your mood board, created a marketing plan… Now what? Well, now you’re picking the tools that will give you your dream conversion. But why are we focusing on email marketing and marketing automation platforms here?
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Email Marketing: The Use and the Features to Look Out For
When starting an eCommerce business, it’s important to remember the basic principle of email marketing: It’s like a knock on the door, only a little better.
Assuming your email ends up in the recipient’s inbox, every open is a chance at conversion. Let me be a little more specific:
As you can see, abandoned cart emails have the highest click-to-conversion rate. And this is only one of the campaigns you may send to an eCommerce prospect. Generally speaking, the reasons why email marketing is so vital for eCommerce stores can be summed up to the following pointers:
- You’re reaching out to already engaged prospects. Unlike social media, where your ads may be considered “intrusive”, email marketing requires prospects to sign up to your email list willingly.
- It links businesses to customers in a direct and personal way.
- It allows marketers to study data and create tailor-made, targeted messages for specific segments of their audience.
- It’s shareable and measurable. You can urge recipients to share your marketing emails around, perhaps by incentivizing the request and measure your results down to a tee.
- It’s global. No matter where your potential customers reside, you can always reach them.
Of course, none of the above is possible without a proper platform. So, let’s talk about the core features of the best eCommerce email marketing platforms and what you need to look out for.
Every email marketing platform is slightly different from the next, which means that you’ll see many comparison tables explaining the most popular platforms’ pros and cons.
And while comparing popular platforms such as Constant Contact to Mailchimp may be very difficult, and making a decision may seem like a real task, there are some features you can’t pass up:
- Easy and intuitive platform. Don’t go for a tool that will take you forever to learn.
- A/B testing, analytics, and automation recipes to help scale your efforts and engage your audience at the right moment.
- Segmentation and personalization options to entice your eCommerce store’s audience with targeted messages.
- The cost and value. A more expensive platform may have fewer features than a more affordable one. Or, perhaps, you don’t need a more expensive platform or a variety of tools just yet.
- Good deliverability scores. Need I say more?
- Detailed analytics to help you make informed decisions and reach your marketing goals.
- Integrations. If your email marketing platform is not an all-in-one tool, you will need a way to combine, say, your CRM tool’s features with your email marketing tool’s possibilities. If you can integrate the two, it will save you time and the effort of getting the hang of a new CRM tool.
- Ready-made newsletter templates and an easy-to-use email editor. Email marketing is supposed to be easy, low-cost, and fruitful.
Generally speaking, email marketing platforms may be there to help you with one specific task, but that doesn’t mean they have the same approach when it comes to features and tools. This is why some are perfect for eCommerce stores, whereas some are bound to fail.
Email Marketing For eCommerce: The Must-Have Platforms
Now that you know the main eCommerce email marketing characteristics of an email marketing and marketing automation platform, let’s go ahead and talk about the most popular ones.
Moosend is a relatively new email marketing and marketing automation platform that offers all of the features an eCommerce marketer would need.
The platform’s main features include newsletter templates that are free and customizable, and easy drag-and-drop editor that requires zero code knowledge, and marketing automation recipes to utilize every user action to your advantage.
If your eCommerce store needs more leads, Moosend’s platform offers landing pages and subscription form creation tools. That way, even a relatively new eCommerce store can generate and nurture leads.
Lastly, if you don’t want to switch between tools, Moosend’s got more than 80 integrations, including eCommerce, CMS, and CRM, with Salesforce and Zapier being very popular.
All in all, Moosend offers a pretty well-rounded solution with advanced segmentation and personalization features. Finally, A/B testing options, real-time analytics, and data reporting can lead eCommerce marketers to educated decisions.
Pricing: If you’re unsure or have a small audience, Moosend offers a free forever plan that covers up to 1000 unique subscribers. Its prices start at $8 per month.
One of the most popular email marketing platforms, Mailchimp is a very popular option among eCommerce marketers and SMBs.
Mailchimp is one of those internet marketing tools that can really boost visual-first email marketing. Its content studio allows marketers to create beautiful visuals, while the platform’s built-in tools make it easy to handle your social media posts and integrate other tools like Magento.
Another feature that can help eCommerce marketers is Mailchimp’s segmentation and reporting. Its features make it so that marketers can utilize even the most underused segments. What is more, they can always know the best time to deliver their marketing message, as they can use the geo-location targeting features.
Pricing: Mailchimp offers a free plan of up to 2000 contacts subject to additional charges and a sending limit of 10,000 emails/month. Its paid plan starts at 9.99/month and includes 500 contacts.
When it comes to inbound sales and inbound marketing in a more general sense, Hubspot is one of the most popular tools, mainly because it’s a robust option.
Its CRM and marketing automation features are what made Hubspot so popular with marketers; however, the platform’s tools offer a well-rounded solution that includes email marketing and marketing automation options.
The platform offers segmentation and personalization options and free email marketing templates that are fully customizable. With its trigger options, automation features, and zero need for technical knowledge, Hubspot ticks most checkboxes in an eCommerce marketer’s list of requirements.
Pricing: Hubspot offers some free tools, such as email marketing or ad management features. Its marketing hub plans start at $45/month and cover up to 1,000 contacts.
4. Constant Contact
One of the oldest email marketing tools, Constant Contact was founded in 1995. It offers most of the main features a marketer would need.
Through Constant Contact, marketers can not only create email marketing campaigns; they can also integrate their social media and event management tools, making great use of online PR options that can help an eCommerce store grow.
As far as email marketing and marketing automation features are concerned, Constant Contact is famous for its list-building tools and sturdy features that allow marketers to track key metrics like open and click-through rates.
Finally, with an easy dashboard and a lot of training materials, and a customer support team at the ready with an inbound call center, there is no chance that you won’t resolve any issue that may arise.
The impressive – albeit not sought-after – a feature of this platform is that it offers a mobile app to create email marketing campaigns on the go.
Pricing: Constant Contact offers no free plan but a 60-day trial of the platform with zero obligations. Its prices start at $20/month and offer email marketing options only.
5. Campaign Monitor
Another prevalent option, especially in the SMB eCommerce community, Campaign Monitor is an excellent solution for simple, no-fuss eCommerce email marketing campaigns.
Campaign Monitor is one of the tools that offer great features, an easy and intuitive interface, and an editor that can help you either customize ready-made templates or create your own template or email. Of course, custom emails here require some HTML knowledge. However, it’s worth the effort.
Campaign Monitor’s platform is fantastic for eCommerce for two reasons:
First of all, it offers an easy way to keep your campaigns and data in check, as the transition from one point to the next is seamless and logical.
Secondly, Campaign Monitor offers the option of transactional emails, which is a much-needed tool, as it offers a lot of room for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Not to mention the fact that transactional emails are highly anticipated after payment has been made.
Pricing: Campaign Monitor doesn’t offer a free forever or a free trial option. Prices start at $9/month and cover up to 500 subscribers and 2,500 emails.
Email marketing and marketing automation platforms are a very competitive market, and there are new tools constantly popping up, promising to get your eCommerce store’s conversion running.
However, you need to know how to distinguish between a beautiful tool and a tool that can fit your needs without breaking the bank.
Make sure to go for tools that offer a free option first to test the waters, and then make an educated decision that won’t waste any of your marketing budget’s time and money.