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What We Can Learn From E-Commerce Emails, Part 1: Welcome Campaigns

Back in February, we released our first User Engagement Top 100 Report to examine how the leading e-retailers are implementing their email marketing campaigns.

We also published a three-part blog post series to introduce the industry statistics of how businesses are welcoming new users, recovering abandoned carts and sending engaging blasts.

To dive deeper into the email strategies of America’s top retailers, today we are launching another three-part blog series to demonstrate who is winning and losing at email marketing with real-life examples.

We begin with welcome campaigns. Sending new users a series of well-built welcome emails is a great way to leave a warm first impression, but doing this successfully might not be that easy.

According to our findings, Tory Burch set a lofty example with a total of five onboarding emails, the most sent by any of the top 100 retailers we researched, as seen in the featured image above.

Tory Burch first offered a 10 percent-off promo code, followed by an introduction to the company’s founder. It then encouraged users to stay in touch on Twitter, informed them of its complimentary services and shared information about stores closest to the user’s location.

The high-end fashion retailer highlighted its visual aesthetic with eye-catching photography. With this welcome series that combines form and function, it’s probably safe to say that Tory Burch is right on track to increasing its user engagement.

Unfortunately, not all e-commerce emails are as effective. Electronics company Newegg demonstrates that one of the common trends among online retailers is a disjointedness between transactional account confirmations (Fig. 2) and more vibrant triggered onboarding emails (Fig. 3). With the right growth marketing platform, these messages could be easily combined.

Fig. 2: Nothing inviting about this transactional welcome email from Newegg.

 

Fig. 3: Newegg’s much warmer welcome.

Another issue that might push new customers away is an immediate ask, such as pressuring new users to complete their profiles, as seen in the first email sent by Sears (Fig. 4).

If a user really likes your company, then they will provide their demographic information when making a purchase. Patience is a virtue, so focus on delivering relevant content before demanding another form fill.

Fig. 4: Slow down, Sears. No one wants to think of tests when receiving welcome emails.

To sum up, here are a few recommendations to optimize your email marketing strategy.
  1. Build rapport with a multi-touch welcome series. A popular workflow might include a promo code off a user’s next purchase, then follow-up emails to invite users to download a mobile app and connect on social media.
  2. Be consistent and considerate. Your first onboarding email can both thank a user for creating an account and offer a warm welcome, so there’s no need for redundant sends from your marketing and transactional email systems.
  3. Less is more. Avoid overwhelming new users with complicated actions, such as filling out a profile form. More data certainly helps you understand your customers, but that information will come when the user makes a purchase.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this blog series, where we will discuss what makes an effective shopping cart abandonment email.

To see more case studies from leading e-retailers, download our User Engagement Top 100 Report on email marketing in e-commerce.

Iterable

Iterable is the growth marketing platform that enables brands to create, execute and optimize campaigns to power world-class customer engagement across email, push, SMS, in-app and more with unparalleled data flexibility. An integrated, cross-channel solution—built for marketers, trusted by engineers, designed with intelligence.

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