Crafting the Perfect Product View Email

Posted on May 1, 2017

Email flows are arguably the most complicated and easy-to-mess-up components of your combined marketing efforts. Everyone already knows that abandoned cart emails, when done right, are some of the best revenue generating emails you can send.

But what if you take a step up your conversion funnel and send an email earlier than everyone else? This is the product view email. If you’ve cookie’d a user shopping on your site and aren’t sending product view emails, you’re missing out on revenue.

By adding a new email one step up the funnel from your abandoned carts emails, you can generate revenue off of a customer who is just looking at your products!

Product retargeting emails should be an essential part of your marketing email flow, but many companies fall short and simply send you a “You looked at Blue Shoes!” email. That’s not enough anymore.

How many retargeting emails have you gotten that you’ve thought were really good? Now, think again about how many stuck out that were really bad or just flat our boring. I’m going to show you the essential components to creating a great product view email that is memorable, “sticky” and high converting.

Shoppers are picky about what lands in their inbox and when you contact them too frequently or not enough, they fall off and lose interest. Combine that with bad imagery or a poorly laid out email and you’ve lost a customer for good.

So how do you keep someone interested in what you’re selling over the course of two or three emails? That challenge can be met by starting with a good baseline and A/B testing into the preferences of your exact audience.

Let’s walk through what makes a good baseline product targeting email. There are four main components to a product view email.

1. Subject Line:

Your subject line is the most powerful lever you have to drive open rates on a product view email. It needs to be something that grips the reader from the first word. You’ve got the width of the subject line preview on your customer’s email notification, so you’ve got to be brief.

You’ve got to communicate your point in a single sentence. So, how do you grab their attention?

Communicate the offer, offer a quirky joke or present the targeted product in a way the encourages the recipient to open the email and read more. Show them you have something they don’t.

Encourage them to open the email to complete the loop of learning about what you’ve got to sell.

Humor works quite well for product email subject lines and as cliche as it may be, tossing in a relevant emoji can be known to boost open rates.

2. Body Content:

Your first sentence of body content should be focused on conveying as much information as possible to the reader. In most email clients, you get a few sentences of preview before you get cut off. Leverage this to provide more detail to your subject. Mention the targeted product or product category.

In the body of the email, don’t be overly wordy. Briefly, summarize your offer and be on-brand with your voice. Finally, ensure that your email stands alone without images. While photos are extremely important, don’t rely on them to tell your story. Use your words!

3. Imagery:

Good imagery leads to higher click through rates. But what exactly makes a good product image?

Let’s talk about composition and the action going on in the product image. This can vary wildly from industry to industry, but the basics are just the same.

Your product should be the focal point of the image. Especially if the email you’re sending is about a specific product. The example above is a great example of a targeted product image. The product being sold is the clear focus and the item is being shown in use. Obviously, the shopper viewed a v-neck scrub top and then later received this email with a pleasant description next to it.

You’ll also notice there’s a clear call to action. Let’s talk about that next.

4. Call to Action:

Your call to action should be the highest-clicked item in your email. The CTA needs large enough to tap on mobile (see: tap target sizes) with a direct call to the shopper. I could probably write an entire post on CTAs but for this post, let’s talk about the size of the CTA and what copy you can use to drive clicks.

Your call to action button needs to be large enough to be tappable on mobile as well visually different from the rest of your copy. You don’t want people missing your button because it looks like underlined text.

This CTA from Huckberry is excellent. It’s obviously a button, moved away from the rest enough to be clickable and has a direct call to do something.

Your CTA can also be included in an entire image if preferred. This second example from Huckberry is a single large image with a call to action on it. The entire image is clickable. That’s important as it’s pretty hard to miss tapping or clicking on the whole image.

The text of your CTA should encourage the shopper to do something. Not necessarily ‘Buy’ (as that can sometimes introduce friction) but to ‘Shop’ or ‘Explore’ or ‘Discover’ your product offering. Depending on your brand calls to action that are either highly specific “Shop this Eyewear Look” or “Shop Now” may perform better. That’s something you can learn through focused A/B testing.

Improving Your Emails and Next Steps

Now, once you’ve got these basics down…How do you continue to improve?

There’s where the almighty A/B test comes in. The most popular ways to test email open rate performance is either by testing two subject lines against one another, testing imagery and content within the email or testing a staggered send to see when your audience is opening their emails. We will be writing more on A/B testing soon.

Start your tests wide and then digging into specifics or testing minor changes after achieving statistical significance. Don’t declare your winners early.

A single product view email is just one part of a successful e-commerce email marketing strategy and is usually just the start of a drip of a combination of content, targeted product emails and offers that will introduce a new customer to your brand and bring them into your sales funnel.

Email marketing grows increasingly complex as you scale and add products and that’s exactly why we’re building Engine. An eCommerce platform built for the future that combines marketing, customer acquisition, social retargeting and a cart platform into a single stack that your company can grow with.

With Engine, we’re building these email components into our automated marketing drip creator. Want to get exclusive first access to our next generation eCommerce platform? Sign up for our newsletter or email me, Blake at blake [at] engineinsights [dot] com to talk about getting your company early access to the Engine platform.