Do you know when your online customers are most ready and willing to make a purchase? It’s at times when they are the most engaged with you and brand, like:

  • Right after signing up for your newsletter
  • While looking through your web page
  • Just after making a purchase

Take a look at how to prepare emails that help you use these moments to drive sales and profits in your online store. 

Moment 1: Right after signing up for a newsletter 

The most common reason for signing up to a newsletter, according to research from GetApp, is the as part of setting up an account in an online service or store.

The next two most frequently cited reasons for joining a mailing list are: 

  • To get access to special offers unavailable elsewhere,
  • To receive news and information about the brand.

It’s interesting to note that, among women, the top response was to get discounts and special offers whereas men most often decided to subscribe to get product information.

Why is this a good time to make a sale? 

The fact that a new subscriber chose to share his email address with you means that there’s something in your offer that was interesting enough to persuade him to stay in touch with you without know exactly what your newsletter looks like or contains.

Why do people subscribe to email #newsletter? #emailmarketing Click to Tweet

As the GetApp research shows, it’s likely that this new subscriber is very open to the idea of buying something from you.

The interest he or she shows in a green light for a more focused message and another step towards a conversion.

If you let this moment slip away, he might forget about you and the offer that got him interested in the first place.  

How to take advantage of this moment

Lots of online stores offer things like free delivery or discounts on your first purchase - a “lead magnet” - which is aimed at getting customers to share their email addresses.

This strategy works well but there’s a high probability that you won’t create a long-term customer with lead magnets, just a one-time purchase from a customer you won’t see again.

Of course, even this single purchase is still something you want but you still need to do everything you can to increase the chances that they will come back.

Use dedicated discounts for new customers with this specific goal in mind.

1. You don’t have to mention that you have a special offer for new customers during the sign-up process.

You can instead make it clear that it’s worth subscriber to your newsletter purely for the benefits it offers, like access to new products, information about your brand and trends. Look at this example from navabi.

Sign-up form: navabi

This is how you can attract customers who are interested in your brand generally and want to hear from you.

2. Include information about special discounts, free delivery or other incentives in your welcome messages that new subscribers get right after signing up.

It’s easy to set up an autoresponder to send this automatic message as soon as someone is added to your mailing list. Each new subscriber will get the same message.

Newsletter: navabi

Moment 2: When looking at products in your store

According to HubSpot, 98% of new visitors to your site aren’t ready to buy anything.

Building your own mailing list let you maintain communication with subscribers while presenting new products and monitoring their reactions to your newsletters.  

Dedicated rebates and other presents you offer encourage them to make purchases when they are ready.

98% of new visitors to your site aren’t ready to buy anything #ecommerce Click to Tweet

Why is this a good time to make a sale?

According to Google, 69% of respondents say that messages that are personalised and adapted to their needs and preferences have a greater influence on how they perceive a brand. 

Furthermore, thanks to newsletters, your brand becomes more familiar to subscribers which in turn increases chances that they will make a purchase.

How to take advantage of this moment

Use tracking codes to match the content of your message to your subscribers.

With tracking codes, all subscribers who visit your page and complete certain goals that you set will get an autoresponder that you prepare to address their specific interests.

This is how you can follow up with subscribers who follow a link from your newsletter to your site and spend time looking at a particular product but don’t make a purchase.

You can set up autoresponders to send personalised content based on what the subscriber was interested in. It could be a discount, additional information about the product or reviews from other customers.

These kinds of customised messages can be highly effective since they are based on information that you already have about your subscribers. There is, however, one thing to bear in mind about a trap you need to avoid. 

Sending a discount to someone who has already bought a product is just asking for trouble. That’s why you need to make sure that you have placed last tracking code on you "thank you" page, that displays when customer make a purchase. 

Moment 3: After you make a sale - upselling i cross-selling

The chances of a completely new subscriber buying something from you are around 20%On the other hand, the number of subscribers who have been with you for longer is around 70%.

The process of upselling and cross-selling starts with the first purchase.

The goal of upselling is increase the value of a shopping cart.

Cross-selling is about offering additional products that are often sold together, like accessories that match a more expensive product. 

How to use upselling to increase sales in #ecommerce Click to Tweet

Why is this a good time to make a sale? 

Lots of studies have concentrated on this question but here’s one from an experiment done in 2007 by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Standford universities.

They showed that, at the moment we see an attractive product, our brains release dopamine, which is felt as a sudden flow of energy and good feeling.

As long as the price doesn’t scare us away, the nice feeling lasts until after we’ve made a purchase. This satisfaction causes us to associate buying products with that feeling and we go back for more.

How to take advantage of this moment

The moment after that conversion, provides the perfect opportunity to up-sell products. This tactic was used by Pottery Barn in their transactional emails.

Transactional emails are messages sent to confirm purchase details.

They perform better against non-transactional emails and they reflect the actions your customers have taken on your website, therefore customers openthese messages more often.

Transactional email: pottery barn

A lot of customers expect transactional emails to confirm that the purchase went okay and when they can expect an order to be delivered.

Pottery Barn is using an order confirmation email to showcase additional products.

We recommend you follow the Pareto rule when it comes to additional content in your transactional email. 20% of your content should be sales content and 80% should focus around the purpose of the transactional email.

You can also leverage transactional emails in a different ways:

1. Add a discount code

Send a discount code with your transactional message to encourage their next purchase.

A good idea is to limit the time of your offer, for example to one month. You will create a sense of urgency and make people act quickly. As humans we tend to think too hard and wait too long so following the urgency principle is an effective marketing move.

Difficulty: low

You do not need additional software, just create a transactional message with the appropriate content.

Effectiveness: 3/5

It is likely that, until the customer decides to buy something again, they will find a better deal with your competition.

2. Additional product for lower price - cross-selling

Suggest products related to your customer’s last purchase. Adding free delivery will make a stronger impression and might be a more tempting deal for your customer.

Difficulty: low

You do not need additional software, just create a transactional message with the appropriate content. Link products together by the same colour, or by following the rule: people who buy this also buy that.

Effectiveness: 4/5

The customer is already in a buying mood and the additional discount can be a great deal to save them some money.

3. Loyalty program

Create a dedicated loyalty program in which customers will earn points for purchased products. They can exchange them for other products or benefits like free delivery.

Difficulty: high

You will need an additional software to manage your loyalty program and that requires time and money. Such tools track transactions and assign points to each customer.

Effectiveness: 5/5

Your customers gain benefits with every single transaction. This is a great way to turn a one-time customer into a regular customer.

Email marketing is responsible for 19% of transactions made in ecommerce. This is far more than traffic from social media and other online advertising.

If you use the full email marketing potential you can build an effective platform which can drive sales.

I hope your ecommerce can benefit from the examples mentioned above. Do you have any of your own tips to share? Please post them in the comments and feel free to ask any questions you have!

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