Email Marketing in E-Commerce: Beginners 101
Email marketing is one of the most important disciplines in e-commerce. Online shops, that don't use the email medium outside of order and shipping confirmation throw away a huge potential to gain new customers, bind existing customers, and increase their turnover. But even if you don't use newsletters or other email campaigns yet - it's never too late to discover the email channel. With our all-round overview, you'll learn how to set up your email contact list and campaigns, and how to get maximum use out of them.
The Advantages of Email MarketingWhich sources does your shop draw its traffic from? Which channel gets you the most turnover? Shrinking range in social networks, rising click prices in AdWords, and the effects of Google algorithms tend to cause unpredictable visitor and revenue numbers. With an own email list, you're mostly independent of Google and social media, while giving you another channel that generates revenue. A larger channel diversity lowers your risk and makes you more flexible in your marketing measures. With the help of regularly sent out email, you'll return to your customers' minds on a regular basis, building a personal connection to them. Helpful or entertaining content will make you an expert to your clients, create an added value, as well as build trust - a decisive factor in the buying decision. You can also your email channel as a tool for customer communication and interaction: ask your clients for feedback, invite them to surveys, advertise giveaways, events, or campaigns. By informing the recipients about new products and sales, you can directly increase your turnover. In contrast to other channels, email marketing gives you the option to address customers with personalized offers and content. With the help of A/B tests and regular evaluation of your campaigns, you'll optimize the performance of your emails. Professional providers also have a variety of detailed statistics available.
In Advance: What do You Want Your Emails to Accomplish?Although you have a general idea of how valuable the email channel can be for your business, and online shop, you should still think about your goals at the beginning. Do you want to bind existing and potential customers, build trust, present yourself as an expert on the topic? Or is the primary goal of your email campaigns to increase revenue by informing your customers about new products, and special offers? Maybe you want to provide a better experience to your customers, by giving them important information on a product after the purchase, or you use email as a tool to ask clients for their opinion or rating. By the way: you don't need to decide on a single goal. Depending on the resources available to you, it can make sense to define one or two primary goals. This is especially helpful when you just started out with email marketing, and feel overwhelmed due to the variety of options this channel provides. The strategy for your email marketing measures should always be the first step when it comes to setting up campaigns and planning resources to do so. For editorial content, for instance, you, or an editor in your team, needs to have enough time to create it on a regular basis. Even a personal introduction in every product newsletter means effort. It's best to plan in advance how often, and in which form, you'd like to send out emails.
The First Steps: Create Your Email ListIf you don't send out newsletters or other campaigns yet, the first step is always the creation of a contact list. First, decide on a provider and a package. You can choose a free version for a limited amount of emails a month and limited features, and upgrade to a more professional version with more features later on. Compare the different providers and their offers, with your strategy in mind. For example, if you want to send out a series of welcome emails, you'll generally only find that function in charged packages. Pay attention to the given options of template creation. If you don't have the technological expertise and want to keep the design effort at a minimum, predefined templates, or editors, help you create a sign-up widget that is displayed optimally on all devices while considering your corporate design. Once you've selected a provider and booked a package, it's time to set up your first list. After giving it a meaningful name, you can create the sign-up widget. For a faster entry, there are ready-made templates that you can adjust to your brand with little effort. If you want to make sure that your design is displayed the way you imagined, send a test email to yourself, and test the way it is displayed on multiple devices.
How to Gain Your First SubscribersWhat's the point of an email list with the perfect template if there are no recipients to read your emails? There are plenty of strategies to advertise your newsletter or campaign and gain your first subscribers. To do so, use all available channels to communicate with your target group and customers. Add a link to the signup page, and a short call to action that makes the benefits of your list clear, to your email signature in all business emails. If you still don't have any email signature, you can use Free Email Signature Editor from Newoldstamp to create one. Use social media channels to inform your fans and followers that they can sign up for your emails. Use the shop to generate sign ups. Ideally, visitors should find a way to sign up on every page. To do that, you could use the sidebar, the footer or header, or elements like layers and pop-ups. This works best if you give the users a reason to sign up. A gift code as thanks for the sign up could be an effective incentive. Be creative, think about what could be an added value to your target group. Here are a few examples for inspiration purposes:
- A shop that sells cooking equipment, seasoning, or delicacies could offer the sign up for a cookbook.
- A shop for software could provide a library with tutorials, exclusively for subscribers.
- An online bookstore could provide a list of recommended books from each genre, or an eZine with author interviews, book presentations, and reports from events.
- A shop for outdoor equipment could have events with travel reports, exclusively for subscribers, or grant them free entry.
Great article and very well written, with immense insight on email marketing for eCommerce. I have applied a similar approach in 1 of my landing page in AWK Solutions. In a matter of 2 weeks I could see some notable impact on my online reputation and improvement in MOZ and Majestic.