The average email open rate is 17.8%, and the average click-through rate is just 2.6%. That means if you send out an exciting new product release or sale to 1,000 people, you’ll get just 178 opens and 26 clicks.
Email marketing statistics are plummeting due to overcrowded inboxes, over-protective spam filters, and collective inbox exhaustion.
If email isn’t working for your eCommerce store or service, or you just want some stacked results. here are 3 alternative marketing channels you can try out.
The importance of multi-channel eCommerce marketing
Email marketing has some lackluster statistics compared to 10 years ago, but it’s still a powerful channel for sending purchase confirmations, cart abandonment messages, and newsletter content.
Email marketing isn’t dead, but single-channel marketing is.
Shopify’s statistics show that multi-channel marketing increases eCommerce revenue by 38%, 120%, and 190% with each additional channel.
Customers use multiple communication channels in their everyday life. They might check their emails at work, go on Facebook at lunch, text their partner on a commute, and post on Reddit in the evening.
Implementing a multi-channel eCommerce marketing strategy allows you to benefit from this multi-channel approach to life by increasing visibility, empowering choice, and building relationships.
1) Increase visibility
The more places you reach out to your customers, the more chance you have of your message being seen and acted on.
2) Provide choice
The more channels you market on, the more control you give you customers over where and when they engage with your message.
3) Build relationships
By adopting multiple marketing channels, you can find the best channels for building long-term relationships with your customers.
However, the common alternative channels to email marketing are getting old and rusty. Google Ads can get competitive and expensive, social media is already crowded, and marketplace ads require a hefty budget.
Here are 3 options to help you stand out and generate results.
3 Alternative eCommerce marketing channels
1) SMS marketing
An SMS is a 160 alpha-numeric message exchanged between mobile devices over a cellular network. You probably refer to them as texts or text messages.
SMS marketing is great for eCommerce sellers, because:
- People spend an average of four hours per day on their mobile phones, so you’re more likely to catch your audience when they’re actively engaged.
- SMS messages come with their own alert system, which is why 90% of messages are opened within just three minutes of receipt.
- The SMS inbox is seen as a personal space, reserved for one-to-one conversations with family and friends, making it easier to establish trust and build a connection.
- Text messages are short and to-the-point, allowing you to clearly communicate your CTA. Texts have a CTR of 19%.
- Online shoppers love text messages. 75% of people say they’re happy to receive marketing offers via SMS.
2) Push or in-app notifications
Push notifications are messages that appear within a website or app, and can show up in a phone or browser even after someone has left your site. You’ve probably seen them before, where you’re asked whether you want to allow or deny alerts.
Push notifications are a highly effective marketing channel for eCommerce sellers because:
- They appear on the screen regardless of what your audience is doing or what website they are on (if they’ve agreed to get notifications), attracting immediate attention.
- They can be timed to appear at relevant points throughout the day. For example, when someone is likely to be shopping online at lunch, or scrolling on their phone in the evenings.
- Your audience has to click to dismiss a push notification, meaning they’re always seen, regardless of whether a CTA is followed.
- You can use images and links to tailor push notification content to your audience and their previous activity on your webstore, increasing their effectiveness.
3) Facebook Messenger marketing
Facebook Messenger is a messaging app available through web browsers and smartphone apps, operating in a similar way to WhatsApp.
Facebook Messenger is a popular eCommerce marketing tool because:
- The average adult spends 64.5 minutes a day on Facebook, increasing your chances of reaching an active audience.
- People tend to browse Facebook in their downtime when they’ve got time to read messages and click links. Facebook Messenger boasts an impressive 98% open rate and 44% click-through rate.
- Facebook is a place for people to connect with brands they love, allowing you to establish immediate familiarity and trust.
- Facebook messages appear away from the regular feed, giving your message more chances of being seen and acted upon.
Best practices for SMS, push/in-app notification, and Messenger marketing
As with any marketing campaign, you shouldn’t just jump in and hope for results. It’s important to keep your messaging relevant, concise, and useful.
1) Personalize your messaging
84% of customers feel that personalization is crucial for winning their business, so it’s essential to inject personalization into your campaigns.
- Use custom fields in your SMS messages and push notifications to insert a visitor’s name and any relevant information.
- Add personalized product recommendations with a product recommendation tool or website visitor tracking software.
- Segment your audience into marketing campaigns appropriate to their interests, previous purchases, or behavior on your website.
2) Send engaging content
You don’t have many words to work with on these communication channels, so your content is even more important. Aim to capture attention and ignite emotions immediately.
- Use your brand logo in push notifications and as your Messenger profile picture, so that customers can immediately recognize and trust you
- Insert images of products that the person bought, looked at, or might be interested in to incite emotions of want, need, and excitement.
- Use friendly and conversational copy to make your message feel more less like a mass-email campaign and more like a personal note.
3) Plan your timing
Timing is crucial for these communication channels, because they’re easily dismissed and forgotten about if they appear at the wrong time. They can also be seen as a nuisance when you send them out too frequently.
As a very broad rule of thumb:
- SMS messages should be sent when your audience is likely to be on their phone and in a position to visit your website. For example, on the daily commute or early evening.
- Push notifications perform best when your audience is at their computer. For example, during the day or lunch.
- Messenger messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon when your audience has some free time, such as in the evenings or on weekends.
Test out different message timing and see which works best. Just be sure not to overdo it at first while you’re figuring things out.
Email marketing isn’t dead, but it isn’t exactly outperforming either. A multi-channel marketing strategy connects you with your eCommerce customers away from the inbox, increasing the chances of your message being seen, read, and acted upon.
These three simple but highly effective email alternatives are great to get started with and to engage with your audience on a level more personal than ads.