Once you realize that you should send more email, the next question is “what do I send”? In our experience, the best email marketing campaign ideas come from the customers and the company. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel – we just have to look in the right spot.
Well, dear reader, the easiest way is to get an expert to layout a campaign strategy for you, based on years of experience.
The next easiest way is by reading this blog post, where I’ll show you 29 email ideas you can use today, no matter what you’re selling.
The key to finding a good email idea is to really understand your customer. What are their hopes, dreams, fears and desires?
Those questions can be tough. Here are some that are easier.
Ask Your Customer Support Team
What were the last 3 questions that came in to your customer support team?
Usually they are something like
- How long does shipping take
- What is your guarantee?
- I just got it but I don’t know how to…[get it out of the box, turn it on, use it correctly]
You know if one person asked, 100 people are wondering.
So just send an email answering the question and kill all the birds with one stone.
3 campaign ideas down, 26 to go.
Your Customers Are Literally Feeding You Email Campaign Ideas
Let’s stay on the customer track because since your business is about and for your customers, you really want to make sure you send something that is useful, timely and relevant.
- Have you sent a survey recently? Send one now. If you don’t want to send a BIG survey to everyone, make a segment of customers who bought your best selling product in the last month and ask them specifically what they liked about their order. Use responses to make more emails next month 😉
- Skim through some reviews. Choose an awesome one, and send it out to the list with gratitude for the kind words.
- Keep skimming through the reviews. Find a bad one and turn it around. Don’t believe me? See this example here. Caution, you might need a drink before hitting the send button on this one.
- While we’re on the topic of reviews…are you low on reviews? Send out an email asking for reviews from your top customers.
Why Are You In My Inbox?
Alright, let’s turn our attention inward. Look at your store. Usually when ecommerce owners say they don’t know what to email, what they mean is “I don’t know what to email that isn’t just a discount”.
Translation: I don’t know how to email about my products in a way that makes people care, unless I send a coupon code.
Good news: we agree! There’s a time and a place for discounting but “all day, every day” isn’t it.
You can still email about your products without including a discount. You just have to have a clear “why”.
As in “why” is this in my inbox?
Here are 6 reasons to put your product in my inbox that aren’t because we’re having a sale:
- Something is new in the store. Remember, new is relative. If someone has been on your list for more than a month, there’s a good chance they haven’t been clicking around your store waiting for something new. (Sorry, it’s true.) Even if you put it up within the last month…it’s still “new” for 90% of your list
- You want to tell them about a collection that they might like – related to another collection they already showed interest in.
- You want to highlight an important feature they might not be aware of. This is a great thing to send to people who have shown interest in a product but they haven’t “made the leap”
- You want to compare it to a competitor. Go ahead and go head to head. It shows you’ve got the confidence to face what they’re already thinking.
- Story time. Tell a story about your product. Start with a description of the problem you had, a hurdle you overcame, and the relief you found when you finally found the solution. If it’s not a personal story from you, make it a story from a fan.
- Have you crossed a threshold recently? Maybe you just sold your 1,000th item…maybe your 1,000,000th item. It doesn’t matter…social proof sells. If 1m other people liked something, chances are good that I’m going to like it too.
Commit To Sending At Least Once A Week
Consistency is sexy.
I can’t be the only one who says this, am I?
Your fans will love to hear from you regularly…as long as you’re delivering value. If you’re in their inbox once a week delivering something valuable – you’re building trust.
- [niche] tip of the week – make it a real tip, put the info in the email (not a blog post) and add a link at the bottom to a relevant product. Value – value – value – soft sell. Trust me.
Bonus: Use a different send from name like “niche tip of the week”
Bonus x2: Use alliteration like “wednesday weekly workout tip”, for example
- Reviewer of the month. Make your fans and customers the star. Remember, it’s about the customer, not you.
- Charity of the month. If you have a philanthropic side, you might consider sending some of your proceeds to a charity each month. Or perhaps just for special months like Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Movember
- Blog of the week. I wasn’t sure about including this one because it’s kind of a cop-out. If you’re short on time and didn’t plan an email schedule…chances are you also didn’t plan a blog schedule. Regardless, you can email old blog posts. You can even link to blog posts that don’t belong to you. Same goes for youtube videos. The important thing is that you send it weekly and send things you think your audience will click and like.
We’re more than half way there and I think it’s time that our emails turned a little self-serving.
Email is the fastest, easiest, free-est way to connect with your customers. Because of that it can be a great way to solve your business problems.
So I invite you to look inward.
The Most Effective Email Marketing Campaigns Solve A Problem
What’s a problem that your customers can solve for you, today?
What else is going on in your business that can be supported by email?
- Overstock? Send a sale (oh, come on, there had to be a sale in here somewhere). Just send it to a small segment of people you know were already interested… so you don’t give off that stench of desperation
- End of season clearance?
- Need more engagement on instagram to get to 10k followers so you can get the swipe up? There’s an email for that.
- Trying to decide on colors or styles for next season? Email and ask!
- Need some selfie videos to use in upcoming ad campaigns? Email and ask!
- Wondering if people will pay more for faster shipping? Email and ask!
- Wondering what charity you should support? *ahem* Email and bloody ask.
- Need some more people in your list? Ask everyone to refer to a friend who would love your stuff as much as they do!
- Crazy high abandoned cart rate got you down? Email people who abandoned carts this month and….well….ask them why.
Your customers will love to give their opinion and bonus it will help them feel even more affinity with your brand. Just make sure you’re asking the right question to the right people.
For my next trick in email marketing campaign ideas, we’re getting back to basics. Not only that…but this is a 3 in 1.
The “Not A Sale” GLF Promotion.
This is a 3 email sequence that was popularized by Digital Marketer. It’s foundational to making sales, even when there’s no “sale”.
Yep, no discount. Just good, old fashioned psychological persuasion.
It’s so successful because it appeals to the most common emotional triggers that can lead a person to finally making the sale.
Personal gain, because everyone is self-interested and we all want to know what’s in it for me?
Logic, because after they know they emotionally want it…they use logic to justify it to themselves
Fear, because the fear of what will happen if they don’t cop your item is worse than the fear of spending the money.
You know what the best part is?.
Once you have these three emails dialed in, you can set it to automatic and profit from it daily. Just set it to trigger when someone views or abandons the specific product.
So there you go.
29 email marketing campaign ideas and not one of em is “send a discount code”. (Alright, maybe one is.)
My advice to you?
Just pick one and get started. Emailing consistently and keeping your list warm is more important than getting it perfect right out of the gate.