Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools an eCommerce business can use to generate revenue, build customer loyalty and increase purchase frequency. If your eCommerce shop’s email marketing campaigns are firing on all cylinders, they are leaving your customers wanting more. Remember the Lay advertisements?
If your email campaigns were a Lays potato chip, would they want more than one? If so, let’s consider this the “Lay Effect,” but for most customers, the answer is probably no. This could be due to a few things like emailing for the sake of email. We’ve talked about why that isn’t good here and here.
Remember, your emails should have a specific call-to-action. Pushing customers to read a blog article or buying something on sale or use a coupon are specific calls-to-action. An email filled with multiple call-to-actions will just confuse and likely annoy your customer.
If your emails are relevant, have great information and offering an incentive, your customers will open, click and then make a purchase. Now that we have the ground rules laid out, let’s talk numbers. So you want to increase purchase frequency, right?
How to find purchase frequency
First things first, let’s find your purchase frequency. Calculating your shop’s average purchase frequency is easy – just add up the number of purchases made over a time period, and divide them by the number of customers you had during that period.
# of purchases / # of customers
Let’s say that you have 30,000 purchases and 5,000 customers. Using the formula above, the purchase frequency is six.
Whether your purchase frequency is .25 or 11, here are three basic email marketing methods that any store can use to increase purchase frequency. We recommend a tool like Remarkety which can make it easy to automate emails and track success. Learn more about how Remarkety works here.
1. Consistent and frequent communication
Pretty obvious, no? The first and easiest method is to increase the communication frequency with your customers.
Just because someone has bought from you once or twice is no guarantee that they will buy from you again, right?
Make sure you are not “spamming” your customers with irrelevant emails which will only hurt your reputation.
As a small business you need to build an ongoing relationship with your customers and show that you care, thus raising the awareness of your brand.
Use email to tell your customers about other products and services they might not know about, send targeted emails offering related purchase ideas based on their previous buys. Create a regular calendar for your email marketing and stay consistent.
Ask your customers for feedback on your brand. Find out what other brands your customers like. Look at how your competitors and other brands are sending emails. Then
steal borrow your favorite ideas or email campaigns.
2. Create special offers or limited-time coupons
The most successful special offers tend to be those that stimulate urgency through limited availability or the “fear of missing out.”
This can mean a limited time frame, such as ‘today only’, or ‘only one hundred available.’ It’s vital you stick to your claims though, or you lose credibility.
There are so many ways to create a special offer. They can be for everyone, like a seasonal sale or introductory offers for new products.
They can also be targeted, birthday offers, offers for your 100th or 1,000th customer. You could also offer a promotion immediately after the point of purchase that discounts their next order for a limited time.
As with all of these special offers, send a reminder emails before they expire and track the coupons usage to gauge success.
3. Develop loyalty and reward programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to increase purchase frequency as customers are rewarded for every purchase that they make. Popular reward programs leverage a point system and can be instrumental in creating that “Lay Effect.”
As points accrue, they get closer to the ewards and become more likely to choose your brand over the competition.
Studies found if customers are given a high number of points for each purchase (100 points versus $1), they were more excited by the offer. The more exciting the offer, the more likely they would tell other people about it.
Here’s a great article about loyalty and reward programs to consider implementing at your shop. That being said, the quality and desirability of the rewards offered determine the success of the program.
So it’s really a question of what kinds of perks you’re willing to “give away” in return for increasing that purchase rate. And most importantly, are the perks you’re giving away interesting enough to cause the “Lay Effect?”