People generally confuse promotional emails with product recommendation emails, not realizing how different both are. A product recommendation email combines two effective marketing methods that are email marketing and retargeting for higher conversions.
The strategy behind the product recommendation emails is to share recommendations and offers on relevant products. These recommendations are personalized based on the customers' browsing habits, prior purchases, and abandoned shopping carts.
Product recommendation emails are useful in cross-selling and upselling. The purpose behind them is not only to increase sales but also to retain customers, so they are not tempted to go to some other e-commerce website.
What Is The Importance of a Product Recommendation Email?
Product recommendation emails are more effective in getting customers to make a purchase due to the personalization. They are like a retail assistant who knows exactly the kind of product you are looking for or were previously eyeing. Seeing what you like or wanted is too tempting to not fall for. Many times, we plan to buy a product from an e-commerce site but end up not making the purchase due to budgetary constraints, and end up forgetting it.
Product recommendation emails remind you of that.
Cart abandonment is a prevalent issue. More than 75% of sales of e-commerce stores are lost due to cart abandonment. However, stores can use the customer data available to retarget them through product recommendation emails instead of succumbing to the market conditions.
According to the 2013 Email Market Study by Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates. Despite this, only 39% of retailers and e-commerce businesses send personalized product recommendations through email, if we believe Certona. More e-commerce stores and online businesses need to add product recommendation emails in their email marketing strategies to increase their sales.
Also, according to SmartMail, personalized product recommendations sent via email can boost the CTR by 300% or even more, which makes it a great way to retarget previous customers.
How to Create an Effective Product Recommendation Email
What is the use of sending out product recommendation emails as part of the email marketing strategy when you fail to hit the mark? The purpose of product recommendation emails is to show people what they want or would like, so they make a purchase. Yet, not all emails succeed in converting potential customers. Many just end up as spam. There are several reasons for this, including the email marketing blunders that marketers make.
There are certain pointers that e-commerce businesses and online retailers should focus on to create an effective product recommendation email. We have covered all of these below.
Potential and existing customers are more swayed towards conversion through personalized emails compared to generic ones. Therefore, focusing on this factor is imperative. However, personalization requires you to collect and input the correct information. Narrowing down the products to add in your recommendations is the hardest part of personalization.
Creating personalized emails for hundreds of potential and existing customers is no piece of cake. You have to collect and tally data from your website to find the searches, viewed products, and previous purchases, to personalize the recommendations.
Use the right recommender system, product recommendation engine, or algorithm to use the compiled information to come up with product recommendations. Many platforms use recommendation tools, including Netflix. Recommending the right products improves the click-through rate and conversions. Therefore, it is important to use a tool that analyzes user data to come up with the most accurate recommendations.
Maximize your CTA to get more users to click on it, so they can be transferred to the product page. The more users visit the product page, the higher the chances of conversions are. To optimize your CTA for a high click-through rate, you need to:
- Use the right colors: Ensuring that your CTA is in contrast with the rest of your text and the webpage will increase the visibility of the CTA. Here are best and worst CTA button colors:
- Leave white space around the CTA: Remove all clutter from around the CTA, so it is more visible and prominent.
- Insert a CTA button instead of opting for simple anchor text: According to Campaign Monitor, a call-to-action button has a 28% more click-throughs than text links. Buttons have greater visibility than simple text, which can easily be missed while scrolling through the product recommendation email.
- Size is important: A CTA that is too small to be noticed or so big that it becomes gaudy, both kill conversions. Therefore, make sure that your CTA is prominent and visible without appearing unpleasing.
- Select the text carefully: According to Unbounce, using the first-person pronoun in your button text can increase in the click-through rate by 90%.
Above-the-line and Below-the-line
The above the fold and below the fold concepts emerged from newspaper stands that exhibited the folded portion with the attention-grabbing headlines and exclusive images on top to make it visible to pedestrians. Websites are taking advantage of the same idea. Place the attention-grabbing content or important information to pique people's interest on top (above the line or above the fold). The rest of the content will be visible if you scroll down (below the line or below the fold).
According to a study by Barillance, posting recommendations above the line proved to be more effective by 1.7 times than those inserted below the line.
The subject line is the first thing that any user sees in an email, even before the above the line content.
“A subject line needs to be an immediate attention-getter, so users are intrigued to go through the entire email” – Dana Shaw (Editorial Assistant, Academist Help)
According to CoSchedule, 35% of people only open emails depending on their subject line. Also, 69% of people mark emails as spam based solely on the subject line. In other words, the subject line of the email is what users base their decision on whether or not they will open an email.
Another important tip when creating the subject line is to keep it short and sweet. The subject line should be below 50 characters because, according to Hubspot, 77% of all emails are opened on mobile phones. Thus, a subject line that is optimized for mobile phones will appear above the fold on the screen.
Images cannot be excluded from a product recommendations email. Images, in this case, will reel in leads for conversion. Use images with good product photography and natural-looking editing that perfectly showcase the product. The right images have the power to increase conversions by a good margin. However, don't go overboard with images. According to Constant Contact research, “Click-through rates are highest in emails with three or fewer images.”
Eye-tracking studies show that visitors do not read the full text on a page. They scan it in F or Z pattern. Therefore, instead of stuffing the page with content, add important content on the specified areas of the page to maximize their scanability.
Avoid using an overly salesy tone. Opt for an informal tone with a professional manner to show the personalization. Address the customer in the email with their first name. It is personalization in email marketing 101.
Keep the email short and relevant. No one in today's world has the time or patience to go through lengthy emails. Attention spans have shortened to the point where people skip most of the matter. Therefore, you need to keep the matter short and divide it into smaller chunks instead of adding a big paragraph to increase its readability. If a user sees that there is a lot of content, they get intimidated, resulting in a high bounce rate. Also, more content means more scrolling, so users will abandon the email halfway. Thus, if you want more click-throughs, conversions, and thereby sales, you need to optimize all your content.
“Majority of the users today check emails on mobile phones, which means smaller screens. Smaller screens double the scrolling required, so you can be sure that no one will read all the way to the end. So keep your emails short.” – Shawn Paxton (Digital Trends Writer for assignment service namedCrowdWriter)
Leverage white space or negative space wisely. Having white space surrounding your CTA and important content emphasizes their importance and improves readability. Furthermore, an uncluttered layout will increase the appeal of an email to increase conversions and sales.
Follow these tips and tricks to create effective product recommendation emails, which are an efficient retargeting method. Retargeting old leads and customers is necessary to maintain a steady flow of sales. After all, sales are essential to maintain a profitable bottom line and keep the company afloat.