Email marketing campaigns should make up a large part of your ecommerce stores’ marketing strategy, and they can be responsible for bringing in a big chunk of additional revenue if done right.

MailChimp is the go to platform for producing targeted and “on brand” campaigns with ease. Despite this, not everyone takes the time to carefully plan their approach.

Simple steps are often overlooked, so we’ve put together a guide to building successful ecommerce marketing emails with MailChimp.

authenticstyle-How to Create successful MailChimp Email Campaigns for your Ecommerce Store

1) Have a real reason to send the campaign

Don’t just spam your subscribers with emails for the sake of  trying to sell more products.

You are much more likely to have audience engagement and keep your subscribers if you are constantly creating helpful and appealing material.

So, rule number one is to produce emails which will somehow benefit your customers – whether it’s details of a competition that they can enter, showcasing a new product line, outlining a discount, industry news or a free guide, etc.

Make sure that at least 40% of your contact via email isn’t blatant selling, but relationship building instead.

2) Carefully consider your email content

Think about who this email is targeting and why, as this will help you to structure it. It helps to have your customer persona(s) at the forefront of your mind when you’re creating your email newsletter content so you can make sure it hits the mark every time.

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It is important to remember that this email is a reflection of your business, so make sure that it’s written in the style / tone of voice your company uses, and that goes for the way it looks too. Design your email so that it’s an extension of the way your website looks as this builds trust.

Our top tip would be to utilise short punchy sentences and paragraphs so that your information is scannable. Breaking it down into readable chunks means that your audience is less likely to get daunted by a huge block of text and give up.

3) Use a custom template

MailChimp offers a variety of pre-designed templates for you to select, so you can start sending out email marketing campaigns right away.

Whilst this is great, we would strongly recommend having your web designer create a bespoke HTML email template for your ecommerce store, as it will be true to your company’s branding. Having a bespoke template also has the added advantage that your readers will instantly recognise your emails and it gives your campaigns visual consistency.

Most of your customers will be viewing your emails on their mobile phones, so ensuring your email is mobile friendly is a must. We’d even go as far as saying you should consider how your email is laid out on mobile first, and then think about how it adjusts when viewed on desktop.

4) Your subject line REALLY matters

Your subject line matters if you want to get as many email opens as possible!

This is what your audience will see when they scan their inbox. Your mission is to make them intrigued enough to see what you have to say.

Most fail at this first hurdle as they are too focused on the main body content of the email and the subject line is very much an afterthought. Don’t make this mistake and use it to your advantage with an eye-catching subject line and watch those fishes bite!

You can even test different subject lines in MailChimp to establish which gets the most opens. You can use MailChimp’s subject line researcher tool which estimates how a particular word or phrase will perform based on previous data. Or, alternatively, you can an A/B test your campaign to actually see if different subject lines affect your open rate.

We also recommend using Emojis in the subject line (if it makes sense) as these can also increase engagements with your campaigns. It adds some character and some visual excitement to your subject lines. This particularly caters for mobile users as it’s becoming more and more trendy to add these sorts of icons. Just remember that different email clients (e.g. Outlook, Yahoo, etc.),  can mean that your Emoji might not always look right, so it’s important to test what they will look like for best impact.

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5) Personalise your emails

Personalising your emails can be a really nice touch and get your ecommerce store more sales.

In its most basic form, MailChimp offers the *|FNAME|* tag which allows you to have the subscribers’ name appear in the body of the email or in the subject line. People enjoy it when material is directed at them, so why not utilise this?

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You can actually take this one step further and segment your MailChimp subscriber list too. By segmenting customers who purchased “clothing”, “footwear”, “suits”, etc. you can create and send targeted content to these individuals which you know will be relevant to them. This will mean that your subscriber list will continue to flourish and your sales increase.

6) Include your contact details

This is such a simple step and one that people so often forget.

Make sure you include your Ecommerce store’s contact details in the header of your email as well as your opening hours, so people can get in touch if they have questions or would prefer to buy over the phone.

7) Do not repeat yourself

Do not send the same email twice.

People are very quick to switch off and unsubscribe if you make the error of sending a duplicate or even a similar email more than once.

As we said above, create different and engaging content. Do not send something for the sake of it as you won’t do yourself any favours.

8) Test your email

Test and test again! We can’t stress this enough.

Test links to make sure that they are directing people to the right place, look at the formatting, check that all of your videos / gifs work, spell check your document – do all the boring stuff so you don’t end up looking silly with a little mistake.

We would also recommend sending the MailChimp campaign to others in your organisation for their opinion too. Test the email on your mobile and also on a variety of emails platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, (the list goes on), as they all have their own quirks when it comes to displaying HTML emails.

Once you think that you’ve finished creating your email, take advantage of MailChimp’s helpful tool of entering the preview mode. This enables you to see how everything will look to your viewers.

Features which work on your screen might look very different in the preview mode, especially when viewing it on Mobile as opposed to Desktop. Over half of all users view your sites and marketing materials on their mobiles so it’s hugely important that you’re catering your email to be compatible on mobile devices.

9) Schedule your emails

Don’t just complete your email and instinctively press send – think strategically about when would suit your customers to scan through your latest line of products and arrange the campaign to send then.

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It is well known that there are peaks and troughs for email activity. Most check their inbox early in the morning, around lunch time and at the end of the day. Why not schedule your email to coincide with these times to optimise your email engagement?

10) Utilise tracking

Don’t just send your emails and hope. Track your opens, link clicks, unsubscribers and more. Using MailChimp’s Status Report, you can accurately see the percentage of people who have opened your email and whether any links within the email were clicked. This gives you a benchmark to work on.

Look at your most successful campaigns – why do you think that they worked best? Look at your least popular campaigns – why do you think that they didn’t work so well? Then, try and replicate the successful campaigns’ format / content without copying it entirely.

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11) If it’s not working, adapt

Along with adapting your campaigns based on the stats provided by MailChimp, you can also see if you are gaining or losing subscribers based on your marketing materials. If you see your subscribers list dropping, this is a huge pointer that you need to do something different.

If this happens, it’s time to experiment! Try something new and see how it is responded to. This is all trial and error but it doesn’t take much to revolutionise your MailChimp email marketing campaigns to be successful.

12) Keep building your list of subscribers

Your “list” is actually a massive asset to your ecommerce business – one of your biggest in fact. It’s something you should be actively trying to grow all the time.

In order to build your list of subscribers, you need to give your visitors browsing your ecommerce store a reason to subscribe to your email newsletter. You need to hook them in. People hate getting loads of emails which aren’t relevant to them so use the FOMO formula (the fear of missing out) to get them to subscribe.

We’d recommend offering a subscription to your newsletter on your website and also encouraging customers to sign up within automated emails from your store itself – e.g. order confirmation or shipping notification emails, etc.

Make these call to actions obvious and have a clear reason for the customer to opt in and this is another great way to grow your list.

So, now’s the time to revolutionise your email marketing strategy with Mailchimp. You’ve got the tools you need, you just need to start implementing them. Good Luck!

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