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20 Best WooCommerce Plugins For Your Online Store (2021)

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20-best-woocommerce-plugins-for-your-online-store-(2021)

39.5% of all websites are powered by WordPress.

WordPress was launched back in 2003 and since then, it has come a long way. It was launched with an intent to offer a Content Management System, a platform for bloggers to showcase their work. However, today it isn’t restricted to blogging websites only. Rather, many eCommerce websites are also into WordPress today.

WordPress was nowhere close to an eCommerce platform from its initial launch like Shopify or BigCommerce, etc. But it was always open to fulfilling its customers’ requirements. To accomplish one such major requirement, WooCommerce and WordPress came together. WooCommerce gave WordPress extended support to stay in the run and compete along with the top eCommerce platforms.

Well, it isn’t anything new that people aren’t aware of. But, to help our new readers who are still not aware of WooCommerce, We’ll like to discuss it in a brief overview before we proceed ahead with the best WooCommerce plugins in 2021.

What is WooCommerce & Why Do You Need It?

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that extends the functionality of your WordPress website following the eCommerce industry.

You might already have a WordPress website offering great content, but what about expanding the limits of your website and start selling goods/services?

WooCommerce transforms your traditional website into a fully-functional online store with a complete shopping cart experience similar to any other reputable online checkout process. The default functionality of the plugin allows you to design a great checkout process, list products & collections, track sales, add categories and tags, etc.

Source

Almost 26% of all online businesses are powered by WooCommerce. And more than 6000+ plugins for WooCommerce are available to expand the functionality and flexibility of any type of online business.

I understand that searching out for the most suited plugin from the pool of 6k+ plugins is very hard and often we all choose the wrong one in a jiffy. Well, learning from my own experiences from the past, I have curated a list of the best 20 plugins from 3 major categories, i.e.,

  • Store Development Support
  • Customer Experience
  • Marketing

Let’s start with learning about each of these plugins and how it can be beneficial for your store.

9 Best WooCommerce Plugins For Store Development

Store development is the major concern for online business owners, expanding online market trends have leveled up the competition in the online industry as well. However, you can still take advantage of being a newcomer in the industry by outlining and showcasing the best in you from that of your competitors.

And you can do so simply by developing your store well equipped with everything that your customers might need or prefer.

Starting with the list of WooCommerce plugins for store development, let’s see what’s the best in-store.

1. Product Variation Swatches For WooCommerce

Customers prefer shopping from those who provide the flexibility to choose their favorable variation of the product like colors, sizes, quantity, etc.

This plugin helps you to add product variations to your online store. Earlier, there used to be a dropdown menu where the available options were listed. Product Variation Swatches for WooCommerce has given a breakthrough to the traditional dropdown menu by replacing it with swatches. These swatches can be circular or square and you might have often seen them on popular shopping websites like Amazon.

Benefits of Product Variation Swatches For WooCommerce

  • An easy and convenient way to showcase product variations to customers.
  • Smartly re-design your storefront.
  • Build confidence among customers for the product with multiple gallery images.
  • Display single attributes on category/shop pages too.

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Add|modify|customize variation swatches(color, text, and image)
  • Show/hide variation swatches on related products
  • Add/Import multiple gallery images for a single variation
  • Add image gallery slider
  • Display “out of stock” or “unavailable” variations with a cross mark
  • Show/hide term label for different variations

And more…

Pricing: $45 for a single site

Explore PluginView Live Demo

2. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist

I’m not sure if you do it as well but browsing through products and not immediately purchasing them is a common practice. I do the same too(I’m no different when it comes to looking for the best option).

However, the drawback for the customers here is that to save their choice from getting lost, they either add it to the cart and get poked to complete the checkout, or they just simply save the link which doesn’t guarantee the product availability at the later stage.

Hence, you can save your customers from this situation by offering them a different space to save the items that they wish to buy later. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist is your solution.

With this plugin, the customer can simply create a separate list of all the products that they wish to buy in the near time or the future as well.

Benefits of YITH WooCommerce Wishlist

  • Save your favorite items/products for a later purchase
  • Share your wishlist with your relatives, friends, and family to enjoy shopping together

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Show/hide the “Add to Wishlist” button on your shop page
  • Show/hide the “Remove from Wishlist” button for the products existing in the wishlist
  • Customize your wish list table columns
  • Add your favorite product variation to the wishlist with product variation support
  • Add products to the cart directly from the wishlist, etc.

And more…

Pricing: $94.99 for a single site

Explore Plugin – View Live Demo

3. Checkout Field Editor (Checkout Manager) For WooCommerce

Checkout is the most critical stage for any online transaction. The checkout process holds the potential to make or break your customers. If you remember, earlier when the concept of the online market was initiated, the checkout process used to be very lengthy. A long-form with many fields used to appear including various options for billing, shipping, contact details, etc. However, the checkout process in recent years has witnessed a great custom trim in the fields of the checkout form when compared with earlier ones.

This custom trim of checkout fields motivates your customers because you’re only taking information from them which is crucial to complete the checkout process.

This plugin, Checkout Field Editor for WooCommerce integrates well with WooCommerce. Further, it offers a great variation in options of the checkout fields that you wish to add/remove/modify from your existing checkout process.

Benefits of Checkout Field Editor For WooCommerce

  • The custom checkout process is more conventional and convenient for customers.
  • Even for business owners and marketers, a customized checkout process will help to deal with each client differently, focusing more on their needs like different information is needed for different types of orders. A B2C customer needs to provide basic shipping and contact details in most cases while a B2B client needs to share a few more information than just shipping and contact information.

Key Features of this Plugin

  • 17 custom Checkout field templates to serve every business differently.
  • Different display formats for address
  • Conditional display for fields, validations, and sections
  • WPML compatibility and Zapier support
  • Single click default reset option to undo changes in settings

And more…

Pricing: $39 for a single site

Explore Plugin

4. Save Cart Later

Although, the wishlist is a preferred functionality added by almost every online seller yet a major section of the audience still prefers to add favorable products to the cart before they look for the competent variants of the same product or a better deal.

Adding products to a cart isn’t an issue until the customer decides to complete the transaction. However, in case they don’t return to complete the transaction, the items in the cart are left abandoned.

To overcome this situation, the concept of “Save your cart for later” came into existence. This plugin provides the same functionality to the customers where they can save their carts with all the added products and can complete the purchase later whenever they wish to.

Benefits of Save Cart Later

  • Retains your customers’ hard searched product variants
  • Minimizes the rate of cart abandonment
  • Enhances the customer satisfaction rate
  • An opportunity to convert guest users into customers by letting them save their products in the cart as guest users only

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Both guest-users and registered customers are open to the “Save Cart for Later” option
  • Restricted access to save the cart for the guest users as the duration is specified by the admin
  • Admin has the authority to select/remove the Save cart option from any individual product or category
  • Customizable button for “save cart”
  • Product vendor compatibility

And more…

Pricing: $49

Explore PluginView Live Demo

5. Enhanced WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

For any online store selling physical products, shipping is yet another crucial point of consideration. This shipping-based plugin allows the online vendor to integrate with multiple shipping companies from a single WooCommerce store and sync all the related data to provide an easy and convenient shipment tracking environment to your customers.

Benefits of Enhanced WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

  • Integration with different shipping companies to track orders from the store’s website itself
  • Smoothes the customer experience while shipment is in traverse
  • 24/7 order tracking available

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Track orders from the initial stage until the delivery
  • Sync your WooCommerce store with partner shipping companies
  • Initiate custom shipping URL for different shipping companies
  • Email notification to customers for order status updates

And more…

Pricing: $40 for a single site

Explore PluginView Documentation

6. WooCommerce One Click Upsell Funnel Pro

Upsell and Downsell are often used as marketing hacks to promote sales for any online store. You might have come across many such deals like “people buying product x also but product y” or “upgrade your purchase to make it a combo” and more.

Upselling is a most tested promotional hack to boost sales rate immediately. WooCommerce One-click Upsell Funnel Pro is an indefinite plugin when it comes to functionalities it offers. It helps the admin to run post-purchase offers that customers can add to their shopping bags with just one-click rather than going through all the pages and processes.

Benefits of WooCommerce One Click Upsell Funnel Pro

  • Significantly boosts your customer’s lifetime value
  • Ensures exposure to products with high-profit margins and best-seller ranks
  • Provides best upsell strategy
  • Increase your revenue exponentially
  • Exciting upsell, down-sell offers makes your customers feel more special and connected

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Design upsell strategy with unlimited funnels and number of offers
  • Combined orders for actual and upsell products
  • Trigger upsell offers on specific product categories
  • Multiple secured payment gateways support to accept payments from
  • Responsive upsell, down-sell offer pages
  • Upsell reporting and tracking
  • Special one-time post-purchase offers, etc.

And more…

Pricing: $75 for a single site

Explore Plugin – View Live Demo

7. WooCommerce Multi-Currency

The most common issue that global vendors experience is the currency translation before making the purchase. Not many global sellers offer currency support and therefore, either they lose a potential customer or they witness a higher rate of refund queries.

So if you’re planning to go global with your WooCommerce store, make sure to ease your customers with the product prices per their regional currency.

WooCommerce Multi-currency plugin does the currency translation for your users in a jiffy. Although this plugin doesn’t hold too many features, yet it can be a crucial one for global aimers and achievers.

Benefits of WooCommerce Multi-Currency

  • Eases out the shopping experience for customers on the global platform

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Admin can select the currencies from the in-built list keeping the base prices of the product in the store’s default currency
  • Customer can choose the currency of their will from the sidebar widget
  • Prices are automatically recalculated after the currency is selected by the customer and is displayed on the product/shop page.

And more…

Pricing: $99

Explore Plugin

8. WooCommerce RMA for Return Refund & Exchange

I don’t think that there is any need to tell the importance of these features for any online store. Return, refund, and exchange are mostly considered as a bane for a business. However, I believe if such an opportunity is utilized well, the customers with return/refund requests can be the most profitable customers for any business.

WooCommerce RMA for Return, refund, and exchange plugin provides a simple and convenient interface to the admin to process the requests received. Also, it provides an option to the admin to restrict the invalid requests. The intelligent technology to use the same payment gateway or an e-wallet for the refund request is the major attraction of this plugin.

Benefits of WooCommerce RMA for Return Refund and Exchange

  • Motivates business to focus on selling more and not returns
  • Maintains cash-flow cycle for the businesses
  • Improves customer satisfaction with speedy processes
  • Minimized manual labor cost with automated return/refund processes

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Easy stock management post-return/refund requests
  • Email notifications to customers on request status updates
  • Admin has the authority to retain coupon amount availed during the purchase while accepting the return/refund queries
  • Customizable refund/order button
  • Advanced e-wallet system
  • Partial order refund/return/exchange/cancel

And more…

Pricing: $79 for a single site

Explore Plugin – View Live Demo

9. ATUM Inventory Management For WooCommerce

Running a large store efficiently means regular dealing with dispatching ordered products and receiving the returned orders. Since the online market is accessed by multiple users at the same time, keeping track of product inventory gets a little difficult.

The ATUM Inventory Management for WooCommerce plugin is an advanced solution to this hectic issue of maintaining bulk edit updates and product stock inventory reports. The plugin also adds to your convenience by offering various stock filters and extended inventory monitoring features.

Benefits of ATUM Inventory Management For WooCommerce

  • Automatic inventory management system
  • Saves time, energy, and resources
  • Eliminates manual stock reportings and monitoring

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Stock-central statistics dashboard
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Manage stock by levels
  • Sync stock from different warehouses
  • Export/import inventory records data with XML, CSV, or JSON

And more…

Pricing: Available Free with Premium Add-ons (Individual Pricing)

Explore Plugin – View Demo

6 Best WooCommerce Plugins To Boost Customer Experience

A business cannot survive without its customers. It’s true that customers are considered as kings and are to be served with utmost sincerity and generosity. Making your WooCommerce website customer-friendly is a great approach to make them feel satisfied and more connected with your brand. This will eventually boost your sales and revenue growth rates exponentially.

Many agencies and IT techs came forward with various solutions to help online businesses in improving their customer’s experience. The few most preferred WooCommerce plugins from this genre are listed below.

Let’s check them out!

10. LiveChat for WooCommerce

It was always easy to connect and communicate with customers on a physical store than online stores. Reason being that you can simply see them face-to-face and understand what they want to share more with their expressions instead of words.

However, this is a major setback for online businesses. Anyhow, face-to-face communication isn’t a feasible option for online businesses, yet providing LIVE chat support and ensuring them 24/7 availability fills in the gap.

LiveChat for WooCommerce plugin is a very simple yet intuitive tool. It’s easy to use. All you need to do is install the plugin, configure the basic settings and wait for your customers to communicate with them.

Benefits of LiveChat

  • Engage with multiple customers at the same time
  • Increases customer satisfaction rate
  • Easier to get feedbacks
  • Improves sales and revenue

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Connect with your customers in real-time with the WooCommerce Live chat module
  • Monitor your customer’s cart while chatting with tracking settings
  • Admin can hold multiple chat sessions

Pricing: Free

Explore PluginView Live Demo

11. WooCommerce Multilingual

Serving a global audience needs you to be able to serve them in their local language for a better understanding of the products. Now this applies to all from the product description to inventory tracking, and throughout the checkout process as well.

This plugin easily translates your website to the local language selected by your customer. And with website here I mean to signify everything present on your website.

Benefits of WooCommerce Multilingual

  • Offers multiple language choices for your customers
  • Local language support means a better customer engagement rate
  • Attract more traffic to your website

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Automatically translate products (grouped or single), categories, attributes
  • Translate the checkout process in the selected language as well
  • Allows you to run your WooCommerce store with multiple languages and currencies based on customer’s location
  • Send email to customers in the selected language, etc.

Pricing: Free

Explore PluginView Documentation

12. Ultimate WooCommerce Gift Cards

“Gift Cards” – this term in itself is full of joy and happiness. The increasing online purchase trends have also given a boost to digital gifting.

Gift cards are very popular these days. They are being used not only as special occasional giftings, rather they have become increasingly popular in corporate giftings as well.

This gift card plugin, Ultimate WooCommerce Gift Cards allows the admin to create and sell gift cards on its WooCommerce stores as a separate product. The customizable template, multiple delivery options, and balance update after each transaction are the major highlights of this plugin. It also allows the customers to share gift certificates on WhatsApp and SMS notifications on Twilio.

Benefits of Ultimate WooCommerce Gift Cards

  • Improves brand image and brand loyalty
  • Attracts potential customers
  • Engage and communicate with new customers
  • Increases sales
  • The better customer satisfaction rate
  • Amplify revenue and growth opportunities

Key Features of this Plugin

  • 20+ pre-defined gift card templates
  • Create, sell digital gift cards
  • Personalize gift cards with easy customization and messaging options
  • Different pricing options available
  • Schedule delivery date for gift cards
  • Automatic balance updates
  • Offline gift cards with PDF support
  • Import/export gift card coupons, etc.

Pricing: $92 for a single site

Explore PluginView Live Demo

13. WooCommerce Social Login

A checkout process with long forms can be a real turn off for your customers. Hence, allowing your customers to create an account without taking much of their time as it was for forms was the real idea behind the concept of providing social logins.

WooCommerce Social Login plugin simply allows the users to sign up and create an account on your website with their social accounts in just one-click.

Benefits of WooCommerce Social Login

  • Social sign-ins increase the rate of conversion
  • Let your users connect with you through Facebook, Google, PayPal, etc.
  • Provides a secure and personalized environment to customers

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Link user accounts with social accounts
  • Offer account management tools and peripherals
  • Track social logins for your website, etc.

Pricing: $79

Explore Plugin – View Live Demo

14. Points And Rewards For WooCommerce

Building a customer loyalty program may sound as easy but trust me it isn’t. We often talk about customer loyalty programs and how it works wonders for any business in building a community of loyal customers.

To help you set up your Points-based program, Points And Rewards For WooCommerce is a great choice to go with. This plugin allows you to enable giving points to your customers for their various activities along with options for them to redeem and track the earned points.

Benefits of Points And Rewards For WooCommerce

  • Builds brand loyalty
  • Increase repeat purchase rate
  • Increases customer conversion rate
  • Improves Average Order Value of your products
  • Free marketing with Word-of-Mouth(Referral marketing)

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Assign points to customers on various activities like sign up, referral, etc
  • Admin can set points for different products
  • Admin can allow points to customers on each $ spend with per currency points feature
  • Automatic points adjustment over refund/return/cancel queries
  • Email notification to users sharing their points balance and expiration period
  • Set points expiration period

Pricing: $99 for a single site

Explore Plugin – View Live Demo

15. WooCommerce Memberships

Member’s community showcases the brand’s power in building its loyal customer base and satisfying them to the fullest.

WooCommerce Memberships plugin does the same for you. It helps you to design a membership program for your loyal customers while entertaining them with various “only-members” activities and offers.

Benefits of WooCommerce Memberships

  • Attracts more loyal and dedicated customers
  • Enhances the brand image

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Admin can sell or assign memberships
  • Schedule content access to members strategically
  • Restrict product viewing, purchasing like activities for members only on specific products and offers
  • Better shipping variants for members

Pricing: $199

Explore Plugin – View Documentation

5 Best WooCommerce Marketing Plugins For 2021

Marketing Plugins for WooCommerce allows the admin and the marketers to keep track of their multiple marketing activities from their WooCommerce store itself. Since managing and tracking the performance of running email campaigns, ad campaigns, etc. can be hard when done from different platforms.

16. HubSpot WooCommerce Integration

Marketers often prefer to use marketing automation platforms and HubSpot is one of them. It is considered the best inbound marketing automation platform for WooCommerce with ample functionalities.

HubSpot WooCommerce Integration is a ready-to-use software that allows the WooCommerce store owners to sync their store’s real-time data with their HubSpot CRM.

Benefits of HubSpot WooCommerce Integration

  • Sync orders, customers, and products
  • Creates workflows and pipelines to track customers
  • Recover abandoned carts with automated workflows and deals
  • Eases out follow-ups and feedback process
  • Improves customer satisfaction rate
  • Reduces manual labor costs with automated workflows

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Connect and sync all your data in one place
  • eCommerce reporting enables you to track all your products, customers, and orders in one single dashboard. Hence better-selling opportunities
  • RFM analysis to create customer segments
  • HubSpot deals to manage various pipelines
  • Map and sync HubSpot contact fields with WordPress users

Pricing: Free

Explore Integration – View Documentation

17. Mautic WooCommerce Integration

Mautic is yet another platform that offers a marketing automation environment. This plugin by MakeWebBetter offers a simple integration to sync your eCommerce data with Mautic in real-time. This integration also offers many functionalities like syncing products, orders, tracking contacts, and create personalized email campaigns.

Benefits of Mautic WooCommerce Integration

  • Reduces cart abandonment
  • Improves customer conversion rates
  • Personalized automations reduces manual costs
  • Easy customer segmentation with RFM analysis
  • Real-time data syncing helps you to stay updated

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Sync your eCommerce store’s data over Mautic in real-time
  • Pre-defined segments for customer segmentation with Mautic
  • Mautic custom fields to track customers and orders
  • Dynamic coupon codes and field-to-field sync
  • Mautic website tracking and reporting, etc.

Pricing: $130 for a single site

Explore Plugin – View Documentation

18. MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress

MailChimp is a popular newsletter service. It provides you with a convenient environment to run email campaigns and can hold up to 2000 subscribers in a free list. Hence it is the most preferred choice for online businesses offering newsletters or a similar service to run email marketing campaigns.

Benefits of MailChimp For WordPress

  • Easy subscription process for customers
  • Time-saver and cost-friendly

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Easy installation and account sync with MailChimp
  • Mobile-friendly and optimized sign-up forms
  • Compatible integration with top plugins like WooCommerce, WPForms, Ninja Forms 3, etc.
  • Advanced eCommerce integration
  • Email notifications to customers
  • Details reports & statistics, etc.

Pricing: Free

Explore PluginView Documentation

19. Actionable Google Analytics for WooCommerce

Google Analytics is a wide platform to track and monitor regularly. It beholds all your eCommerce data from your audience behavior to your campaign’s performances.

This plugin just needs 15 minutes to integrate your WooCommerce store with your Google Analytics account. And the major attraction here is that no coding is required at all. The plugin takes care of the integration process. Thereafter, you may see all your 9 enhanced eCommerce reports that are available in the Google Analytics dashboard on your WooCommerce dashboard.

These 9 reports record the most critical information for any business to grow and flourish with utmost smoothness if analyzed properly.

Benefits of Actionable Google Analytics for WooCommerce

  • Easy installation and configuration
  • Access to enhanced eCommerce reports from Google Analytics
  • Track most common devices your major customers prefer to use
  • Improve conversion via tracking most preferred discounts and payment methods
  • IP anonymization for EU countries, etc.

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Sync all 9 enhanced eCommerce Google Analytics Reports to your WooCommerce dashboard
  • Track Google Ads conversion
  • Track audience, behavior, and conversions in Google Analytics
  • Content grouping
  • Track user id, client id, form fields, product refunds, etc.

Pricing: $135

Explore Plugin

20. Google Ads & Marketing by Kliken

Google Ads is a popular platform to run online Ad campaigns especially exposing your products on various google platforms like YouTube, Gmail, Google shopping tab, etc.

This plugin by Kliken is the easiest way to promote your products. Just install and sig-up with the plugin to your Merchant account. And you’re done. The rest will be handled by them. They also tend to manage data from your multiple accounts and optimize the accounts for better performance.

Benefits of Google Ads & Marketing by Kliken

  • Expand your audience reach
  • Increases sales
  • Monitor your marketing campaigns performance

Key Features of this Plugin

  • Easy link to your Google Merchant Center Account
  • Daily inventory sync helps you to easily optimize smart product feeds
  • Access free listings on the Google Shopping tab and surfaces across Google
  • Smart Shopping Campaigns over various channels and display networks, etc.

Pricing: Free

Explore Plugin – View Documentation

Are You All Set To Soar High?

Well, if you’re new to the online business and WooCommerce store, you might not need all the plugins listed here from the very start of your online store. However, with time you’ll need to extend your store’s functionality and then you’ll need some or all of these listed plugins with time.

Not taking more of your precious time, I would like to take this opportunity to request you as well that since this list was limited, I know that there may be many more plugins that you might have been using earlier or came across while searching for related functionality. Please drop your mentions in the comments below and let’s extend a helping hand towards all those who require it.


Author: Himanshu Rauthan

Himanshu Rauthan is an entrepreneur, Co-Founder at MakeWebBetter, BotMyWork, and the Director of CEDCOSS Technologies.

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MARKETING

3 email marketing shifts to make in 2023

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3 email marketing shifts to make in 2023

Whew! We made it to 2023! As we closed in on the end of the year in December, the finish line seemed awfully far away. Many marketers told me they were busier than ever. 

I myself was fielding calls for strategy help, working on business deals and managing the chaos all the way to the eve of Christmas Eve, something that rarely happens in my 20-plus-year career. 

Look back and celebrate, then move on

The first business for 2023 will be to step back, clear your head and take stock of all the great things you accomplished in 2022 despite the odds (i.e., coming out of COVID, going into a rebound and COVID round 2, moving into supply-chain shortages and other hiccups, facing down a potential recession) and how they affected the work you did to succeed.

And now it’s 2023. I hope you got your budget request approved and you’re ready to move ahead with a clean slate and new KPIs to hit. You’re probably wondering, “What can I do now to grow my program?

3 directional changes to grow your email program

Naturally, every marketer’s goals will be unique. We have different audiences, challenges, resources and goals. But I’m focusing on three major directional changes with my clients this year. Which of these could help you succeed this year?

1. Stop sending so many emails

Yeah, I know. That sounds strange coming from somebody who believes wholeheartedly in email and its power to build your business. But even I have my limits!

Email during this last holiday shopping season was insane. In my 20+ years in the email industry, I cannot remember a time, even during the lockdown days of COVID-19, when my inbox was so full. 

I’m not the only one who noticed. Your customers also perceived that their inboxes were getting blasted to the North Pole. And they complained about it, as the Washington Post reported (“Retailers fire off more emails than ever trying to get you to shop“).

I didn’t run any numbers to measure volume, isolate cadences or track frequency curves. But every time I turned around, I saw emails pouring into my inbox. 

My advice for everyone on frequency: If you throttled up during the holiday, now it’s time to throttle back.

This should be a regularly scheduled move. But it’s important to make sure your executives understand that higher email frequency, volume and cadence aren’t the new email norm. 

If you commit to this heavier schedule, you’ll drive yourself crazy and push your audience away, to other brands or social media.

If you did increase cadence, what did it do for you? You might have hit your numbers, but consider the long-term costs: 

  • More unsubscribes.
  • More spam complaints.
  • Deliverability problems.
  • Lower revenue per email. 

Take what you learned from your holiday cadence as an opportunity to discover whether it’s a workable strategy or only as a “break glass in case of emergency” move.

My advice? Slow down. Return to your regular volume, frequency and cadence. Think of your customers and their reactions to being inundated with emails over 60 days.

2. Stop spamming

In that Washington Post article I mentioned earlier, I was encouraged that it cited one of my email gripes — visiting websites and then getting emails without granting permission first. 

I could have given the Post a salty quote about my experiences with SafeOpt and predatory email experiences (“Business stress is no excuse to spam“) for visitors to its clients’ websites. 

Successful email marketers believe in the sanctity of permission. That permission-based practice is what you want to be involved in. Buying a list means you don’t hire a company to sell you one, whether it’s a data broker or a tech provider like SafeOpt. 

Spamming people doesn’t work in the long term. Sure, I’ve heard stories from people who say they use purchased lists or companies like SafeOpt and it makes them money. But that’s a singular view of the impact. 

Email is the only marketing channel where you can do it wrong but still make money. But does that make it right? 

The problem with the “it made us money” argument is that there’s nowhere to go after that. Are you measuring how many customers you lost because you spammed them or the hits your sender reputation took? 

You might hit a short-term goal but lose the long-term battle. When you become known as an unreliable sender, you risk losing access to your customers’ inboxes.

Aside from the permission violation, emailing visitors after they leave your site is a wasted effort for three reasons:

  • A visit is not the same as intent. You don’t know why they landed on your site. Maybe they typed your URL as a mistake or discovered immediately that your brand wasn’t what they wanted. Chasing them with emails won’t bring them back.
  • You aren’t measuring interest. Did they visit multiple pages or check out your “About” or FAQ pages? As with intent, just landing on a page doesn’t signal interest.
  • They didn’t give you their email address. If they had interest or intent, they would want to connect with your brand. No email address, no permission.

Good email practice holds that email performs best when it’s permission-based. Most ESPs and ISPs operate on that principle, as do many email laws and regulations.

But even in the U.S., where opt-out email is still legal, that doesn’t mean you should send an email without permission just because somebody landed on your website.

3. Do one new thing

Many email marketers will start the year with a list of 15 things they want to do over the next two months. I try to temper those exuberant visions by focusing on achievable goals with this question: 

“What one thing could you do this year that could make a great difference in your email program’s success?”

When I started a job as head of strategy for Acxiom, I wanted to come up with a long list of goals to impress my new boss. I showed it to my mentor, the great David Baker and he said, “Can you guarantee that you can do all of these things and not just do them but hit them out of the park?”

Hmmmm…

“That’s why you don’t put down that many goals,” he said. “Go in with just one. When that one is done, come up with the next one. Then do another. If you propose five projects, your boss will assume you will do five projects. If you don’t, it just means you didn’t get it done.”

That was some of the best advice I’ve ever received and I pass it on to you. 

Come up with one goal, project or change that will drive your program forward. Take it to your boss and say, “Here’s what I’m going to do this year.”

To find that one project, look at your martech and then review MarTech’s six most popular articles from 2022 for expert advice.

You’ll find plenty of ideas and tips to help you nail down your one big idea to drive growth and bring success. But be realistic. You don’t know what events could affect your operations. 

Drive your email program forward in 2023

The new year has barely begun, but I had a little trouble getting motivated to take on what’s shaping up to be a beast of a year. You, too?

I enjoyed my time off over the holidays. Got in some golf with my dad and his buddies, ate great food and took time to step back and appreciate the phenomenal people I work with and our amazing industry. 

What gets me going at last? Reaching out to my team, friends and you. Much of my motivation comes from fellow marketers — what you need, what you worry about and what I can do to help you succeed. 

If you’re on the struggle bus with me, borrow some motivation from your coworkers and teammates, so we can gather together 12 months from now and toast each other for making it through another year. 

It’s time to strap on your marketer helmet and hit the starter. Here’s to another great year together. Let’s get the job done!


Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.



Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About the author

Ryan Phelan

As the co-founder of RPEOrigin.com, Ryan Phelan’s two decades of global marketing leadership has resulted in innovative strategies for high-growth SaaS and Fortune 250 companies. His experience and history in digital marketing have shaped his perspective on creating innovative orchestrations of data, technology and customer activation for Adestra, Acxiom, Responsys, Sears & Kmart, BlueHornet and infoUSA. Working with peers to advance digital marketing and mentoring young marketers and entrepreneurs are two of Ryan’s passions. Ryan is the Chairman Emeritus of the Email Experience Council Advisory Board and a member of numerous business community groups. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and thought leader on digital marketing.

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Promote | DigitalMarketer

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Promote | DigitalMarketer

Up until now, any “promotion” your customers have done has been passive. But in the promotion stage, your customers actively spread the word about your brands, products, and services. They tell stories, make recommendations, and share your offers because they truly believe in them.

Active promotion may be an affiliate or commission relationship—or just a free offer for sending some new customers your way. The point is, it’s a win-win for both of you.

One thing worth mentioning before we dive in; Happy customers don’t promote, SUCCESSFUL customers do. 

Our biggest question in the Promote stage is: How are you going to turn your BEST customers into your marketing partners? 

If you don’t have a referral program, an affiliate program, or a valued reseller program … who is willing to drive your message to the organization you need to build out these programs? This is word of mouth marketing, and it is very important so start thinking about how you want to build this. 

Look to your most successful customers, they’re going to be the people who actively promote for you. But then, let’s think about our customers who already have our prospects but are offering a different product or service. 

At DigitalMarketer we are a training and certification company, we are not a services based company. What that means is we don’t compete with agencies or consultants. This also means that there is an opportunity for us to work with agencies and consultants. 

When we realized this we decided to launch our Certified Partner Program, which you can learn more about at DigitalMarketer.Com/Partner. This program lets us work with the largest segments of our customer base, who have customers that we want but they’re providing a solution that we’re not providing. 

When we train our customers, they are able to use our company frameworks to work with their clients. If their clients want to learn to do their marketing themselves? We’re the first education company they see.

So who is that for you? Remember, it’s not the happy clients that refer, it’s the successful clients. If you want to create more promoters, make sure that you’re doing everything that you can as a marketer to ensure that you’re marketing great products so you can see great results. 

How can our example companies accomplish this?

For Hazel & Hems, they can add an ambassador program to grow their instagram following and increase credibility with viral posts. 

Ambassadors can earn affiliate commissions, additional boutique reward points, and get the chance to build a greater following by leveraging the Hazel & Hems brand.

For Cyrus & Clark, they can offer discounted rates to their existing clients if those clients are willing to refer them to their strategic partners. 

For construction companies, this could be a home builder recommending Cyrus & Clark services to the landscapers, real estate developers, and interior designers that they work with to serve their customers.



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11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue

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11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue

When you think about what factors and processes are needed to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you might consider these first: more sophisticated personalization, leveraging first-party data more effectively, or more precise targeting and timing. 

While those are all important, there’s another more fundamental aspect of email marketing that’s just as critical to success: email design. 

With more than 333 billion emails sent and received every day, and adults logging more screen time than ever before, it’s never been more crucial to have well-designed emails that can quickly cut through the overflowing inbox clutter, capture recipients’ attention and compel them to take the desired action. 

Whether you’re looking to supercharge your email newsletter or inject new life into your lifecycle email campaign strategy, here are 11 email design tips and examples that can drive site traffic, purchase intent, conversions and revenue.

“All aspects of email design – including accessibility, readability, layout and responsiveness – have a huge impact on open rates and conversions. In reality, email marketing design is the gatekeeper to campaign success.”

Samantha McGrady, Tinuiti Strategist, Lifecycle Marketing

 

Essential Elements of an Email

 
You might not consider all these quote-unquote “design” components, but they all play a central role in how an email is perceived and consumed. 

  • Subject line
  • Pre-header text
  • Header/headline
  • Logo
  • Color scheme
  • Images
  • Body copy
  • CTA(s)
  • Signature and footer
  • Unsubscribe button

 

The Eleven Keys to Effective Email Design

 
All elements of an email come together to create an overall design. Whether that design is cohesive or advances the objectives of the email depends on how well the individual elements are executed. Here are 11 tips for making email design work for you.
 

1. Responsive Designs Pay Off

 
Mobile-friendly email design is a must. While the exact percentage of emails opened on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets vary by source, it’s estimated that over half of all emails are accessed on mobile. That means ensuring an email displays correctly and can be read easily across devices, screens and resolutions are essential. If an email displays poorly, it’s likely to be deleted in under three seconds

Utilizing a responsive email template will automatically adjust your email to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Most drag-and-drop email builders feature built-in responsive design templates, but you’ll also want to keep mobile formatting in mind when considering image size and the length of copy blocks within the email.  
 

2. Keep Accessibility Top-of-Mind

 
One key aspect of email design that goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness is accessibility. Accessibility refers to an email’s ability to be received and understood by persons with disabilities or using assistive devices. So just as responsive design ensures that emails can be accessed across device formats, good accessibility practices preserve an email’s usability regardless of the recipient’s circumstances.

An accessible email will have a logical flow and high readability in terms of descriptive subject lines, links and headers, and larger and well-spaced typefaces. It will also use high color contrast and utilize alt-text liberally. Perhaps most importantly, an accessible email will not lean too heavily on visuals or hide information in images, as adaptive tools like screen readers can struggle to convert them.  

Keeping accessibility top-of-mind is important for reaching the maximum percentage of your subscribers or target audiences and contributes to good overall email marketing usability.
 

3. Customize Your Pre-Header Text

 
Pre-header text used to be an afterthought, and many marketers defaulted to the first few words of email body copy. Now, because of the way emails are displayed in mobile and desktop inboxes, pre-headers are widely recognized as the second-most important text element after the subject line. Pre-header text indicates to the reader what the email is about; it’s essentially a visible meta-description of the email. 

As such, the pre-header text should complement the subject line and reinforce the critical call-to-action within the email. It should, like the subject line, entice the recipient to open the email and keep reading while also reading while offering an informative preview of the email itself. And it needs to accomplish all of this concisely in an abbreviated space. 

Crafting a compelling subject and pre-header pair can feel like writing poetry, but getting it right can significantly impact open rates and conversions. 
 

4. Use an Effective Layout

 
The layout is the most recognizable aspect of email design and likely what most people think of first when considering the design elements of an email. Layout determines the flow of your content and the order in which your readers consume information. The most basic principles of email layout are maintaining organization and logical consistency, capturing attention through aesthetics, and manipulating the recipient’s eye where you want it to go.

  • Organization: In essence, this means establishing a clear visual hierarchy. Try to display the most important information and convey essential details early on (higher) in the email.
  • Aesthetics: incorporate white space to give your content breathing room and lend a more elevated look. Clutter and “walls” of text are difficult to read and lead to email abandonment. Instead, utilize negative space to accentuate key points and keep the recipient reading. 
  • Guiding the eye: Use directional cues to draw attention to the most essential part of your email. Effective layout templates leverage natural reading and eye movement patterns to focus the recipient on desired email elements. 

 
Many email templates use the following common layout patterns, each of which guides the reader’s attention in specific ways:

  • Z-pattern layouts place a zig-zag of content within the reader’s typical sight line, starting at the upper left corner. 
  • F-pattern layouts emphasize the left side of the email, inviting readers to return their eyes to that side for most information. 
  • Inverted pyramid layouts, perhaps the most familiar layout, load critical information at the top and create a visual funnel toward a CTA at the bottom.

 
These principles are laid out in the following two wireframe examples of common email layouts. Notice how both lean on the reading path of the human eye while maintaining a recognizable hierarchy and putting vital information up top:

two examples of email design template wireframes

Remember to rotate your design layout to avoid using the same framework repeatedly – otherwise, your emails will be perceived as stale by your subscribers.

 

5. Choose Colors Strategically

 
Color scheme is an essential element in any design, and emails are no exception. The right combination of colors – or the strategic limitation of a color palette – can elicit emotion, direct attention to important content, reinforce brand image or distinguish a single email from a series or campaign. 

There is plenty of room for experimentation with color in email marketing. Still, good general rules of thumb are to avoid clashing colors or using too wide a variety of colors, use bright colors sparingly, and stay consistent with color usage across branded marketing assets. And as with accessibility and responsiveness, it’s also important to consider how an email is being viewed; for example, if being read on a mobile device in “dark” mode, pure black text can appear illegible. 

It’s important to remember that color isn’t limited to graphical elements or iconography in the email; the text color used and dominant color in embedded images or photographs should also be considered. These colors should work in harmony to support your content, brand and the purpose of the email.
 

6. Use Clean and Clear Text

 
An organized layout and strategic use of color will go a long way toward making an email readable and effective. Ultimately, though, the information you want to communicate stems from the email copy itself. One hard and fast rule for text in an email is to be clear and concise

Remember the 333 billion emails sent and received last year? Your target audience received some of those, and they almost certainly didn’t read every word of every email they received. So many of those emails were probably never opened, thanks to poor subject lines.

Emails should draw the eye with an attractive design but be easy to skim. Get to the point quickly, or risk ending up in the trash.

 

example of clear and concise email marketing design from Hyperikon

 

When in doubt, follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain a good text-to-image ratio
  • Keep the headline to two lines or less
  • Keep text on a simple background so that it’s easy to read
  • Bold or highlight keywords or phrases

 

“Reduce the cognitive load. We really want to create our emails to be clean and concise.”

Sammi Nutsongtat, Klaviyo Design Specialist

Portrait of Sammi Nutsongtat
 

7. Treat Email as a Brand Opportunity

 
Of all the potential touchpoints a recipient might have with your brand, the email you just sent them is unlikely to be their first. That makes it very important to keep email design consistent with your overall brand design. 

Incorporating strong branding – not just a logo or a tagline, but brand-specific colors, imagery, typography and content tone – helps email recipients identify the message’s source and provides a more cohesive experience from the inbox to the landing page. That can reduce your bounce rate as users interact with your brand across different channels.

A good branding evaluation question to ask: If I removed our logo from these email designs, would our subscribers identify our company?

 

example of good branding in email design from Bryan Anthonys and Diff

 

Your brand’s identity tells your story, so it’s important to be conscious of your email branding. Branding should remain consistent across all channels, whether email-to-email or email-to-website. 
 

8. Your Typography Style Matters

 
Using a consistent typeface in email design can reinforce your brand image and identity, though, like color, there is some opportunity for experimentation. The most important thing to remember about typography is that it should be easy to read at a skimming pace and shouldn’t detract or add confusion to the message.

Emails can also contain more than one kind of typeface, for example, one font that looks better at a larger size for headers and another that looks cleaner for entire sentences of body copy. That said, too many different fonts in an email can make it hard to read. A limit of three fonts per email is a good common-sense rule. Again, a drag-and-drop email builder usually has several typeface options and suggestions for specific email elements or sections. 
 

9. Personalize Elements of Your Emails

 
Personalization is one of the dominant themes across the marketing and advertising industries right now, as technological advancements and the rise in importance of zero- and first-party customer data have made true one-to-one, brand-to-customer engagement possible. Email marketing, which was perhaps the first marketing vector to make widespread use of basic personalization (think mail merge and auto-filled salutation lines), can also incorporate more sophisticated personalization techniques – and should. 

The goal of personalization should be to make an email meaningful and valuable to the recipient. That means incorporating bespoke, custom content blocks based on customer data, including insights like purchase history or position in the customer lifecycle or buying journey. Narrow segmentation can help target specific customers, and personal touches like incorporating profile information or preferences can help humanize your brand and create stronger relationships.

In short, you should seize every opportunity to include more personalized elements in your emails.
 

10. Always Use a CTA

 
This might seem like email marketing 101, but no list of email marketing optimization tips would be complete without addressing calls to action or CTAs. Usually rendered graphically as a button, a good CTA should concisely describe the exact action the email reader can expect upon clicking and be placed at a point in the layout where the next step is logically implied. 

Effective CTAs typically appear at the bottom of a section in a contrasting color to the email’s overall color scheme. Multiple CTAs can be used – some research suggests that having more than one CTA increases click-through rates – but only where the natural progression of the content suggests they appear. As with many of the design tips presented here, CTAs should be used in a cohesive, consistent manner. 
 

11. Avoid Abrupt Design Changes

 
Consistency isn’t just important within an email; it’s also important across campaigns. Design shock, or suddenly presenting drastically different creative to an existing audience like your subscriber base, can impact the success of an individual email or an entire campaign.

When updating your email designs, consider rolling out the changes in an iterative fashion or testing the new creative out on a small group of subscribers before rolling it out to your entire audience.

 

example of avoiding email design shock from Ritual

 

As the example above illustrates, gradually transitioning to a new layout while keeping many other design elements consistent helps minimize the effect of design shock. Keep this in mind as you embark on new email campaigns or make universal changes to your email marketing approach.
 

How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Email Design

 
 You can put as much thought and preparation into email design as possible, and the email might still fall short of performance expectations. The only way to ensure a successful campaign and maximize conversions is to engage in A/B testing by sending slightly different versions of an email to distinct segments of your audience. It’s a straightforward process that many email platforms support, but sadly, nearly  42.9% of marketers don’t know what to test.

When assessing an email design’s impact on an audience, there are various things you can test to help drive higher clicks, conversions, or overall performance. These include:

  • Call to action button styling
  • Overall layout
  • Number of products featured
  • Lifestyle vs. product imagery
  • Cheeky vs. simple copy
  • Animation vs. static

 

Once you know what to test for and have identified what you’re trying to prove, run a few test emails to sample groups, isolating one variable at a time over a series of weeks. Evaluate which works best for reaching, resonating with, and converting the most recipients, and you’ll gradually improve your conversion rates.
 

Resources & Tools to Improve Your Email Design Game

 
There is no shortage of email design tools available to help you get the most out of your email marketing strategy. Some are full-service email-building platforms, while others are helpful stock image sites or graphics libraries. Here are a few of our favorites:
 

Klaviyo 

 
Klayvio is a well-established, full-service email marketing platform optimized for ecommerce and featuring sophisticated personalization tools. Klaviyo’s robust library of customizable, responsive templates, support for A/B testing, and dynamic content capabilities can help users of all levels put email design optimization tips into action.
 

Tinuiti Performance Creative 

 
Need a more comprehensive and data-driven approach to email and lifecycle marketing? Our own Performance Creative offering is based on moments that matter and features integration with multiple channels and touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
 

Adobe Stock

 
It’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the biggest names in design software also has one of the most robust stock image catalogs available. Adobe Stock allows users to search for specific image types or browse by category, ensuring you’ll find the perfect photos or images for your email campaign.
 

Figma

 
Any design process – including email design – can be collaborative. Figma provides a platform to facilitate that collaboration that includes several email-specific features, including a library of visual assets teams can build themselves.
 

Final Thoughts

 
Design is a central aspect of email marketing performance, and getting it right can be the difference between a positive ROI campaign and a forgettable brand encounter. You can probably think of several marketing emails in your inbox that slapped a basic template together with uninspiring (and uninspired!) copy and called it a day. Or maybe not, because you deleted them without getting past the subject line. 

Your email campaigns can help solidify customer relationships and prospects through accessible designs that embrace solid layout principles, on-brand typography and images, a concise and catchy subject and pre-header, logical CTAs and compelling copy.  You’ll ultimately generate more opens, leads, conversions and revenue for your company, too.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in August 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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