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Ecommerce Email Marketing In India: Customer Expectations Vs Reality

Ecommerce Email Marketing In India: Customer Expectations Vs Reality

While building a new state of the art email marketing platform – Snowflake, we tried to answer questions that plague each marketing manager –

  • How many emails should I send each week?
  • What is the best time to send emails?
  • What kind of emails should one send to get maximum RoI?

In this article, we try to compare customer preference vs what ecommerce companies are currently doing.

Email Marketing has been the favoured medium for ecommerce marketing experts across the globe. Emails are going strong and are here to stay. Since ROI from email is extremely high, about $40 for every $1 spent on emails (Direct Marketing Association), marketers are willing to spend more and more on emails. However, conventional email marketing techniques are no longer going to work. Marketers need to invest in highly specialized email marketing systems. In this article, we will analyze email marketing strategies used by Indian ecommerce companies.

Companies Analyzed For This Article:

1. Amazon

2. Snapdeal

3. Flipkart

4. Jabong

5. Shopclues

6. Babyoye

7. FabFurnish

8. Fernsnpetals

9. Hopscotch

10. Pepperfry

11. Bluestone

12. Lenskart

13. Zivame

#1 Number Of Emails In A Week

Everyone’s inbox is flooded with emails daily. We did a survey and asked consumers how many emails per week they would want to receive from ecommerce companies. A whopping 83% customers wanted less than 2 emails per week. The average was around 1.72 emails per week per company.

Number Of Emails In A Week

In contrast, 13 of the biggest ecommerce companies in India send on an average 6 emails per week to each customer. While Bluestone, Lenskart, and Snapdeal send around 3 emails per week, Jabong and Pepperfry send 12 and 11 emails per week, respectively. Flipkart the biggest name in the industry sent us 9 emails in a week.

Here’s a detailed chart:


Where To Draw The Line?

Clearly, ecommerce players are sending way more emails than necessary. Given the low cost of sending emails, there is an urge to keep sending more and more emails. Each category manager would want to send out more emails to meet his targets. But somewhere, we need to draw a line. Remember, when it comes to email marketing it’s not HOW MANY that matters, it’s the WHO, the WHEN & the WHAT.

#2 Content Of Emails

Inbox is a private space of a customer and it’s a very personal mode of communication. You must make sure that every email you send is highly relevant and personalized to the consumer. However, 69% of customers said that emails they receive from ecommerce companies were mass marketing emails and they ignored such mails. 23% customers said that they find marketing emails irritating and mark such emails as spam. A very small proportion (8%) of customers felt that the emails were personalized to their taste.


We categorized emails and found that most of them still rely on sending out generic mails to their customers and hardly use any personalization. Sending Deals/Vouchers/Discounts seems to be the most favoured option. 64% of all email communications from the ecommerce companies were about Deals and Vouchers. None of the e-mails had any personalization other than <first_name>. Same messaging was pushed to all users. Sending the same email to entire cohort/ segment is archaic and customers now demand personal attention.


What Should You Do?

Treat each customer as an individual and invest in a system that will send unique hyper-personalized emails to customers. Each email will have different content tailor-made to the customer’s taste. Instead of just relying on Deals and Discounts, focus should be on engaging the customers through various triggered and targeted emails such asAbandoned Cart Emails, Recommendations based on products viewed etc.

#3 Timing Of Emails

Each of the customers has their own schedules. Some of us are night-owls who tend to personal mails and shop online late in the night. On the other hand, some of us are morning people who like to read our mails after our morning jog.

Our survey found that customers were well spread across the 24 hours for their preferred time to receive emails. However, we found little evidence that eCommerce companies currently keep in mind the time preference of the customers. None of the players sent emails between 11PM and 7AM, possibly so as not to disturb the customers in night. And yet, around 20% of customers actually wanted to get mails late in the night.


What’s The Right Time To Send Emails?

There are three crucial things you should keep in mind when deciding the time to send emails:

  1. Time of the day customer reads his email
  2. Time of the day he generally visits your Webstore
  3. Day of the week and week of the month that customers shop

Studying these can give you a fair idea of when is the right time to communicate with a customer.

To download the complete email marketing research report by TargetingMantra – click here

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Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.