Email & SMS Marketing for eCommerce Brands

Are you ready to maximize your customer acquisition?


As an eCommerce business owner, you regularly invest money to drive potential customers to your store through a paid ads system, influencer network, or some other customer acquisition system. In order to maximize this investment, you have to create a personal touch strategy for your shoppers and paying customers.

This week we have Blake Puryear, a senior product manager from Drip to discuss how eComm brands can maximize their customer acquisition with Email and SMS, otherwise known as Direct Response Marketing.

What is direct response marketing (DRM)?

If you’ve paid money through Facebook or Tiktok which drove customers to your store, you will want to extend their customer journey and create high Lifetime Value without relying solely on paid ads.

DRM leverages email and SMS to communicate with people who you’ve already acquired as a shopper on to your site.

Whether they have engaged with a welcome message or abandoned their cart, it’s the follow-up communication once you’ve got someone to your store, and building a personal relationship with your customers is one of the single most powerful ways you can scale your brand.

If you think customer acquisition is only through paid ads and are focused on only on Return On Ad Spend, then you’re missing huge opportunities.

Why do I need DRM if I pay for retargeting?

A lot of people think it’s one or the other. You pay for cold targets and you pay for re-targets so why do you need DRM? There’s actually a synergy with using both strategies.

Say you’ve paid for a campaign and you have a form or pop-up to gather email. You’ve collected a list of emails and a small percentage of the visitors have bought something from you. You now have some key information about the people who converted from visitors to customers.

Email and SMS marketing will keep the relationship with these shoppers more personal while your paid ads will create influence. The synergy effect is huge!

You can also leverage specific actions that your shoppers have taken in Email and SMS with your paid ads by feeding that data back to Facebook and segmenting your audience and serving them ads relevant to where they are in their customer journey. This creates a personal selling dynamic online and is super powerful.

What’s the influence of DRM on customers?

It takes time to build up. If you’re doing a welcome series to a new visitor who doesn’t know anything about your brand, over a couple of weeks you are building brand and product awareness. Maybe something will catch their eye and lead them to purchase, but DRM isn’t like a product ad.

Don’t obsess over ‘last touch attribution’. A customer may only have clicked on a product ad because they’d become familiar with your brand through email. If you try to cut pieces of your strategy out because you think the piece isn’t converting to sales, you might cut out the very thing that actually did.

Brand awareness strategies are important because you’re not always asking people to buy from you, and that builds trust and authority. Paid ads create influence and action, while Email and SMS can build a personal relationship with customers.

It all fits together to form your sales funnel. Remember, the funnel fits together with your marketing mix, and you don’t want to scale with leaks in your funnel.

How should DRM fit with other strategies?

Running parallel strategies is key to appearing consistent and trustworthy. If your email branding is different from your paid ad brands, people can feel misled or even wonder if it’s the same brand. Keeping consistency, even down to the copy, builds trust and familiarity.

Think of it as “keeping the scent”.

You should always make sure that if you’re moving people from a Facebook ad to a landing page or from an email to another part of the website, everything has the same scent.

People tend to want to make everything look different in case it makes them look lazy, but if every interaction is different you can’t harness the power of synergy or benefit from building trust and authority.

How can DRM work for me in Q1 & Q4?

Typically, DRM is the main strategy in Q4. With holiday shopping and Black Friday sales, our inboxes are full of emails enticing us to buy, and it works really well. Abandoned cart emails and countdown emails all create a sense of urgency. Your target audience is already looking to buy so you want to be in their inbox or feed.

Q1 is the time to start acquiring new customers. Utilize a higher paid ads budget to build your audience and your DRM lists.

What’s the difference between SMS and email automation?

SMS should be short, direct, and to the point because you’re taking up space that’s more personal. Use SMS for order confirmations, promotional offers, abandoned carts messages, and ‘last day to buy’ communications.

An email can be longer because people are expecting brand information, so your brand messaging should only be through email.

How does SMS in direct response marketing work?

SMS has a 95-99% open rate and a 30-40% click-through rate. That’s huge. Ask yourself what that 30-40% have in common. Did they come through the same campaign or are they on your VIP list? Then you can begin to tune who you send SMS to and start to send fewer messages, smarter, to the right people.

If you haven’t started collecting phone numbers, start now by offering the option on your site (for compliance reasons you can’t just take existing customer phone numbers without their consent). When you’re ready to start using SMS you will already have an audience built up.

We highly recommend using SMS to build review ratings. Hundreds of positive star ratings build trust with new customers so use text messaging as an easy way for past customers to rate your products. Another benefit for you is being able to segment audiences from those positive reviews and target your marketing to similar people.

Ready to scale your customer acquisition funnel?