Turn Browsers Into Buyers

3 personalized email campaigns that leverage social proof to increase conversions

Thursday, March 15, 2018
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Personalization is a hot topic in eCommerce. How can you better personalize your emails and convert more shoppers this year? Here are 3 email campaigns that leverage both personalization and social proof to convert more sales for your online business.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The secret to using data-driven personalization strategies used by large online retailers like Amazon
  • The key to unlocking higher click-through rates and conversions in your email campaigns
  • 3 personalized email campaigns you can send to your shoppers
  • Proven strategies to personalize the shopping experience on your site and convert more window shoppers into paying customers

As the eCommerce space has become oversaturated with buying options for shoppers, you might be wondering what you can do stand out against your competition.

Since most eCommerce traffic will not convert on its first visit (traffic that you likely paid for in some way through PPC, SEO efforts, social media marketing, and other traffic driving strategies), you need to leverage that traffic and turn as much of it as possible into conversions...somehow.

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The question is...how?

You might already know that email consistently comes out as a top converting marketing channel for online retailers, which makes sense, given its exceptionally high ROI and the fact that online shoppers tend to prefer receiving personalized email campaigns over any other marketing and engagement attempts.

So then how can you better harness the power of email marketing to convert more of that traffic for your eCommerce business?

Enter personalization.

Way back when, in the early 2000s, Amazon changed the way we shop online by providing us with a highly personalized experience, both on-site and off-site through email.

At one point or another, we’ve all received that Amazon email with personalized product recommendations. Do you remember the first time you saw that? Did you think to yourself, “How did they do that?” I know I did.

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By the way, did you know that Amazon reportedly generates around one-third of their revenue through personalization efforts alone?

Now, nearly 20 years later, the Amazon isn’t the only company that can wow their shoppers with data-driven personalization. It’s also been proven that social proof is effective at winning over window shoppers, converting them into paying customers.

You can use social proof, just like product recommendations, in various ways both on-site and off-site to gain the trust of your shoppers. If you want to send highly personalized email campaigns just like Amazon, there’s no reason not to take advantage of social proof to improve your campaign’s performance and generate more online revenue.

First, I’m going to show you why personalized email campaigns convert better, and then I’ll show you 3 personalized email campaigns you can send to your shoppers this year.

Making sure personalized email campaigns convert

When you send smart email campaigns to your potential shoppers you can potentially generate new streams of revenue. Make those campaigns utilize data-driven, personalized content for each individual shopper, and you just might even recapture lost traffic.

The key to bringing shoppers back to your site with email is nailing a high click-through rate. And the only way to do that is by populating your email campaigns with relevant, personalized content that makes shoppers want to come back.

When you’re creating email campaigns, ask yourself:

  • “Is this email message relevant to each individual shopper?”
  • “Is this email covering a broad audience or a specific audience based on data-driven segmentation?”
  • “Do my emails match the behavior of shoppers?”
  • “Does the content in my emails provide shoppers with multiple opportunities that entice them to click back to my site?”

Personalized email campaigns containing product recommendations outperform every other marketing channel

Example #1: Increase in click-through rate

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Here, this merchant’s product browse abandonment emails had a 17% click through rate when they displayed no product recommendations. The addition of personalized recommendations to the email content drove the CTR up to 29%.

Example #2: Increase in revenue

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Personalized emails significantly outperformed the more generic email campaigns. The email containing 12 personalized recommendations generated the most revenue.

The secret to increasing sales through sending personalized emails

While there are so many email marketing best practices to keep in mind for your business’ campaign strategy, the secret to sending emails that actually convert is in the way you personalize them. Personalization is not just about populating the shopper’s name into the subject line and salutation, it’s about giving your shoppers interesting and relevant options to come back to your site that simultaneously building trust on a one to one level. The email campaigns that do this best are browse abandonment emails.

To compliment your personalization efforts, leverage the social proof you already have on your site and populate your emails with trust signals like ratings and reviews to really seal the deal.

Here are 3 emails that you can send to shoppers on your site to bring them back and increase conversions. Each email can be personalized to where each shopper dropped off in the shopping funnel, pushing shoppers back to where they left off.

Personalized Email #1: Category browse campaign

Send these emails to: The shoppers that click on and view a specific category, brand, or department but never actually view specific, individual products.

Display product recommendations containing: Products from category the shopper was browsing, taking into account the best sellers within that category.

Use trust signals including: general site rating and a support and/or general product-related testimonial.

Campaign Best Practices:

  • Push shoppers back to the category they viewed on your site and best-selling products within that category and related categories
  • Use straight-forward messaging with little text and more images
  • Encourage shoppers to come back with a call to action that leads them to the next step in the shopping funnel

Subject Line Examples:

  • “View our (category title) selection”
  • “Our latest products in (category title)”
  • “Our (category title) are selling fast”

Average open rate: 42%

Average CTR: 27%

Average revenue per mail sent: $1.71

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Personalized Email #2: Product browse campaign

Send these emails to: The shoppers who have viewed specific, individual products on your site but did not actually add any of those products to their carts.

Display product recommendations containing: The exact product that the shopper viewed and a mix of product-related best sellers and category-related best sellers.

Use trust signals including: general site rating and a support and/or product-specific testimonial.

Campaign Best Practices:

  • Use a large image for the product that was viewed and make it front and center
  • Copy should be brief with a soft call to action
  • Customer service-related messaging
  • Include large, high quality images and titles

Subject Line Examples:

  • “A quick reminder…”
  • “Hurry, this item is nearly sold out”
  • “Take another look…”

Average open rate: 52%

Average CTR: 26%

Average revenue per mail sent: $3.42

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Personalized Email #3: Homepage abandonment campaign

Send these emails to: Shoppers who scanned your homepage but didn’t get any further onto your site.

Display product recommendations containing: site-wide top sellers.

Use trust signals including: general site rating and the number of site reviews.

Campaign Best Practices:

  • Point shoppers back to homepage and various options including top sellers
  • Messaging should be customer service-oriented and friendly

Subject Line Examples:

  • “Thanks for stopping by”
  • “This week’s top 15 sellers”
  • “We picked these items just for you!”

Average open rate: 22%

Average CTR: 16%

Average revenue per mail sent: $0.61

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Best practice checklist for sending personalized emails to your shoppers

  • Make sure product recommendations are responsive, mobile-friendly, and optimized for on all devices.
  • When inserting product recommendations into your emails, make sure that they display properly for both desktop and mobile versions (i.e. horizontal display for desktop and vertical display for mobile rendering).
  • Include large, high quality images for each product to get shoppers to come back for another view.
  • By using a different algorithm for each user segment based on where shoppers get up to in the funnel, your product recommendations will remain relevant to your shoppers.
  • Use multiple recommendation algorithms inside one email for increased CTR (i.e. display a row of top sellers + a row of related products).
  • Implement suppression logic and frequency caps to ensure that you send only one email to each shopper matching the furthest point they reached in the shopping funnel.

Increase online sales for your store with personalized email campaigns that leverage social proof

Advanced personalization isn’t just for the big players like Amazon. You can also send highly personalized email campaigns to your shoppers to increase sales for your online store with these 3 email campaigns. Make 2017 the most profitable year yet with these strategies and you’re sure to win.

Download SmartMail’s 4 highest converting email templates to help jumpstart your eCommerce email marketing program.

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