ESP manages and helps deliver email marketing communications. Usually hosted on servers and also operate the necessary hardware and/or software to deliver bulk emails.
The scope of an ESP although broad, is that it fundamentally allows for maintenance and management of email lists for opt-in users. Additional capabilities include the capacity to segment email contact lists, build email templates, as well as analyze and track email campaign performance.
An Email Service Provider is necessary for any retailer looking to successfully implement a comprehensive email marketing program, but there are also additional tools and technologies which can be used in collation with an ESP to improve the efforts of email marketing. These tools allow you to use dynamic content to automatically deliver relevant communications to each recipient, insert personalized content and product recommendations, obtain more advanced data and analytics, and more.
Best Practices to optimize ecommerce email marketing with ESPs:
- Plan, Target and Achieve Goals:
Setting and Reviewing goals is advised to structure email campaigns in line with the size of the organization. This enables a simpler and more effective decision making for the team.
2. Automate Workflows:
Workflow automation paves way for the possibility of more effective segmentation by the retailer while being able to offer personalization to their products and offerings with ease. Automation enables scalability of the ecommerce website, especially from an email perspective.
3. Email Sender Reputation:
Deliverability of emails is determined by the reputation of the sender, which decides where the email lands for the receiver.
4. List Organization and Hygiene:
Broken down mainly into Email acquisition strategy and ongoing list maintenance
Email acquisition strategy: It is not recommended to purchase an email list! Rather it is advised to consider gathering email addresses through inbound marketing, after being verified using a confirmation email. This is a legitimate way of avoiding hard bounces and spam traps
Ongoing List Maintenance: While a good marketing automation platform should make it easy to automatically clear bouncing emails from your list, subscribers that never engage with your messages can be equally dangerous. It is a bad sign for email service providers if the ecommerce mail sender sends an email to the same unresponsive addresses. At least twice a year cleaning is advised for the list of non-responsive addresses
5. Respect the Audience:
It is advised to avoid sending irrelevant marketing emails to an audience which does not show interest to that area. This will lower the quality of engagement and reputation of the sender while affecting the revenue potential of the overall email program.
Many marketing automation platforms let you preview how your email will look in different browsers, screen sizes and on mobile devices. It is advised to ensure that all templates, banners, websites and email content spread and fit well even on mobile platforms. Testing CTA’s is also advised to ensure minimal friction to optimise conversions.
7. Building better Cart Abandonment Series:
According to Shopify “67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale. That implies that your sales numbers may only be one-third of what they could potentially be.”
A good abandoned cart series should bring back 10% to 15% of customers and the difference will come down to how well your series is optimized. Initially, a 5% improvement may not seem that significant, but realize going from 10% to 15% is a 50% improvement that will continue to pay dividends over time.
8. Review and Improve:
The most important practice to a successful ecommerce email program is to review and improve continuously. Creating new content, trying new software and building new workflows is exciting, but often the easiest improvements come from tweaking your existing workflows and email templates. High performing series may become weak with optimization over time.