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Jun 21, 20216 min read

5 ways to improve your email marketing and boost sales.

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by Klarna

Klarna is a big business. But we’re powered by hundreds of thousands of small businesses all around the world—and we’re committed to helping these businesses thrive. This spring we kicked off a five-part Small Business Summer Series, featuring industry leaders, to give growing businesses actionable insights to increase sales and enhance the customer experience.

For the most recent Small Business Summer Series session, we spoke with Taylor Clark, Growth Success Manager at Klaviyo, and Erica Liu Williams, Founder and CEO at gr8nola about email marketing strategies.

From the first automated welcome form to your regular newsletters, every touchpoint is a chance to connect with your customers and create lasting loyalty to your brand. After all, as Williams points out: “Something brought these people to your site already, so this is the first step in building that relationship.”

Maximize each opportunity with these 5 tips below. For more insights from the conversation, check out the full recording.

1. Timing is everything.

Every audience is different; to best reach your customers, pay attention to the metrics surrounding your email marketing messages. Think about how often someone actually buys your products—is it once a month or once a year? That cadence makes a major difference in how you want to reach out and what you say.

While discounts are one valuable way to reach your customers, spacing them out is important and they can’t be the only time you message. For Erica Liu Williams, she doesn’t want customers waiting just for sales to buy, so she spaces out actual discounts to once every other month in her mailings. Her other emails share recipes, user-generated content, and founder’s messages, and highlight individual or new products.

2. Keep an eye on the competition

It’s not enough to just send your emails out to your list and assume all is going well. Paying attention to what your competitors are doing will help you generate ideas for future email campaigns, and will help you gauge where you are right now. Is your closest competitor’s welcome form flow more engaging than yours? Are they offering more than your 10% off? Do they follow-up on abandoned shopping carts?

Knowing the competition’s moves now ensures you stay ahead of them in the future. And it helps identify weak points in your own marketing funnels by identifying which tactics are effective or not.

3. Test, evaluate, and test again.

There are lots of variables when email marketing, like which day of the week to send and at what time; subject lines with or without emojis; or playing around with the wording (for example, “20% for July 4th,” or “This July 4th, get 20% off”). You can’t know what’s best until you try out multiple tactics. Whether your email list is 50 people or 50,000, experimenting with different options maximizes your future marketing efforts. A/B testing is also hugely valuable as a data point, ensuring you see what is and is not working. Will those same click-rates happen on 5% off versus 10%? Find out.


From top left: Hans Peter Godiksen, Senior Commercial Manager at Klarna, Erica Liu Williams, Founder and CEO at gr8nola, and Taylor Clark, Growth Success Manager at Klaviyo.

From top left: Hans Peter Godiksen, Senior Commercial Manager at Klarna, Erica Liu Williams, Founder and CEO at gr8nola, and Taylor Clark, Growth Success Manager at Klaviyo.

4. Recycle and reuse.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each email you send out. Especially for small businesses without a lot of time, there’s nothing wrong with reusing successful emails. Remember you’re (hopefully!) regularly adding new subscribers to your lists, so the recycled content is new to them. It’s important to space out any reused content though, to ensure you don’t spam loyal followers with content they’ve already seen.

And, if a subject line or a particular content item you sent out performed exceptionally well, find more ways to utilize it elsewhere—it doesn’t have to be a one-off. Consider, for instance, if it could be a part of your welcome series or other automated flows.

5. Collect actionable material for the future.

Think carefully about the information you collect when customers join your mailing list. Sure, the discount in a welcome form might have been the initial draw, but if you gather information such as their birthday now, you have an opportunity to create an automated flow to reengage that customer at a later date. Same too with phone numbers—you might not have an SMS marketing strategy right now, but having the data on hand gives you a leg up when you do want to take it on. Don’t over-ask your customers for too much, but consider what information might be useful for you.


And for more actionable insights, check out the recap of our first Summer Series event, How to build a stellar online shopping experience, featuring maude, Juiced Bikes, and Maison Kitsuné.

Could your sales be stronger?

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