Tools To Enhance Your eCommerce Store, Part 1 - Your Email Platform
Email forms a big part of running and managing an eCommerce business. Effectively communicating with both existing and potential customers can make a big difference to the success of your online store.
So what should eCommerce businesses be looking for in an email service provider?
Tag people based on what they’ve done, where they came from, what they bought etc. This allows you to customise your communications to them so you’re not treating everyone in exactly the same way.
What smart automation allows you to do is to build campaigns based on certain events. eg if a certain tag is added to a customer then you want them to be added to a specific email sequence. If a customer performs some action (eg clicks on a link in an email) they can be added to a different sequence, and so on.
When sending emails it’s very important to be able to test headlines to see which ones perform the best. You might want to test different complete emails within the same sequence. Constantly working to improve how well your emails do in getting your customers to respond is key to improving your conversion rates.
This allows you to design and build emails so they fit in with your brand and provide a consistent experience for your users.
While most platforms offer comprehensive FAQs or knowledgebases as well as an email ticketing support system, it’s also nice to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone right away.
eCommerce Data Integration
This is a key element of your email tool. Having effective data integration means you can pass information into your email platform such as what they bought, when they bought it, how much they spent, how often they buy from you etc. Knowing this lets you communicate with them based on what kind of customer they are – are they a super-fan? a one-off buyer? do they usually place large orders? what have they bought?
Help Desk Integration
We want to be able to see when a customer opens a ticket and how they’re interfacing with customer support. Integrating your help desk with your email service provider lets you see all of this information inside your customer’s contact information.
Smart Send Options
What this does is allow you to specify when an email is sent. More specifically, you can tell the system that the email should go at 9am in the customer’s time zone, or on a certain day of the week the follows an event like signing up or placing an order. Being able to customise your email delivery for your customers’ locale is very valuable.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Whichever email service provider you choose, it needs to become the central contact record for each individual prospect or customer. Everything they’ve ever done in relationship to your business should be there. At any time, you should be able to open a contact record and see:
- where they came from
- who they are
- what they’ve done
- what they’ve bought
- what questions they’ve asked
- when they’ve called you
- and more...
so that you can personalise your communications with them in a way that builds a better relationship.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some of the more popular and well-known platforms you can choose from:
- Constant Contact
- Active Campaign
- Get Response
First choice – Klaviyo (https://www.klaviyo.com/)
Built for eCommerce businesses with excellent integration with all the major eCommerce platforms. There’s even a free plan for up to 250 contacts so a great option if you’re just starting out.
Second Choice – ActiveCampaign (https://www.activecampaign.com/)
Very powerful platform for any business, but with fewer integrations for eCommerce. Starting at $15 per month for 500 contacts.