I visited 32, top rated, eCommerce stores in an attempt to enter their email marketing campaigns ... these are my findings.
The reason this all started is because I've been working with a few eCommerce stores in regards to their email marketing campaigns and I've seen quite a few similarities in regards to how eCommerce businesses are "using" their email marketing platforms.
Most suck at it.
In this post, I will take you through what I found vs what I expected.
Had Optin Present
While I believe ALL eCommerce stores need to have an optin, only about two-thirds of this sample actually did.
Email marketing is used to build relationships, turn potential customers into actual customers, and keep actual customers coming back again, and again, and again.
By not having an email optin form on your site, you're hurting your business.
Of the stores that had optin forms, I took a few minutes to note their Lead Magnet. If you're unfamiliar with that term, a Lead Magnet is an offer that helps persuade individuals to join your email list - like a discount, a checklist, an eBook, a video, etc.
80% were offering a "Newsletter." While most stated that they would send discounts and promotions, it was unclear as to when I would receive anything.
As a visitor to your eCommerce store, I want instant gratification - which is what a Lead Magnet should provide. Having to sit around, waiting for my discount ... that's no fun ... and spurs no action.
10% offered entry into a monthly contest for either a free product or a gift card. This isn't too bad, at least once a month I have a chance to win something!
5% offered nothing. Their optin form was literally a text box that said "Enter your email here" and a button that said "Subscribe". I don't know about you, but normally I don't just pass my email address around for no apparent reason!
5% wanted me to "Join The Movement". Whoa! I'm just shopping here ... not signing up for a revolution. Tone it down, make it clear as to what I'm about to receive.
Double optin is where an individual inputs their email address, then has to go check their email and click a link in order to confirm their subscription. So, there are two steps - input email address, confirm email address (double).
While I personally do not like double optin forms, I get it ... especially for eCommerce stores that get a lot of low quality subscribers and also take a lot of heat themselves as users report them as sending spam more frequently than most businesses.
Ultimately, in regards to eCommerce, I think double optin is the way to go in order to ensure higher quality subscribers and less spam reports.
This is what really surprised me.
Only 20% of the businesses I gave my contact information actually said "Thank You".
The other 80% - I don't even know if they got my information. It's just floating out there and if I get an email from one of those businesses, I'll probably forget that I gave them my information and report it as spam. Sad. (I won't really do this)
A Welcome Email is absolutely critical.
You need to thank people for giving you their contact information. You need to welcome people to your email list and your business. You need to set expectations. You need to start building that relationship and give people a reason to buy from you.
Not having a welcome email is severely disappointing.
If you don't have one - go write on now ... or scroll to the end of this post.
Email Service Used
MailChimp was the "top dog" at 55%. And, I kind of expected this. MailChimp is a quality email autoresponder service that interacts well with eCommerce.
For 35% of the eCommerce stores, I couldn't tell what service they were using. They may have been "in-house" services or something else. Either way, I couldn't identify them.
5% were using CreateSend.
And the remaining 5% were using Klaviyo. I've been hearing a lot of good stuff about Klaviyo recently in regards to how well they work with eCommerce stores. I haven't personally got my hands on it yet; however, it may be worth checking out!
Where To Go From Here
For those eCommerce stores that lack an optin and email marketing in general - here's a short video tutorial on how to get started:
For those that lack a Welcome Email ... well, I'm going to give you one: