Email marketing has been proven to be a successful way to grow sales. Not only are newsletters a cost effective and efficient way to keep customers looped in to promotions, but they’re a great way to promote new and upcoming products you’ll be carrying. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about email marketing, and we'd like to share some tips with you to help you create more effective newsletters.
One Newsletter Doesn’t Work for Everyone
As a small business owner, something to ask yourself is are you trying to engage with returning customers or create new customers? It's very common to receive newsletters from companies that you've previously purchased from that offer ‘$25 off your first purchase!’, or something similar. Well, that’s great if you are a new customer, but if you aren't, that email will go straight to the trash folder. Differentiating your newsletters for each group of customers is a more effective way to capture your audience’s attention. Whether you’re trying to cross-sell a returning customer or gain new customers with timely incentives, targeting the right newsletters to the right audience can also help increase customer loyalty.
Personalization and Segmentation
Oftentimes, people will receive newsletters and immediately delete them because they aren’t geared towards their interests, or they’re spammy. This recent article about email marketing facts and stats states that personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. The good news is that most newsletter platforms allow you to create groups, so it’s easy to fine-tune your audience and tailor each newsletter to a specific interest(s). Knowing your audience is essential, so when segmenting your customers, several things to consider are their age, gender, location, interests, past purchases, etc. Another thing to consider is seasonality.
Offering timed coupons or discounts can be what persuades your customers to purchase sooner rather than later. For example, stating that you have a 48 hour sale creates a sense of urgency for people to act quickly - otherwise they’ll lose out on a sweet deal. Another idea is to reward your customers with a small free gift with purchase or perhaps an in-store credit for their birthday. Keep in mind that this also helps with customer loyalty, so that’s definitely a plus. If you’re trying to reel in a new customer, you can always entice them with something like a ‘$20 off of your first order’ incentive, but be sure to set and end date on that as well.Speaking of new customers,
Speaking of new customers, according to E-consultancy, a survey by Bizrate Insights found that 23% of potential online buyers abandon their shopping carts on purpose in order to receive coupons that sellers send to try and close the sale. Luckily, if an abandoned cart is associated with an existing customer account, you can send a follow-up email via our software since it's a built-in feature.
Now that we've shared some email marketing tips, here are some quick best practices to exercise when putting together your next newsletter.
Don’t bombard customers with emails
There isn’t a magic number as to how many to send and how often. The trick is to make sure you’re sending a healthy balance of emails that bring some sort of value to your customers. The last thing you want to do is burn out and annoy them. Creating an email schedule works for most businesses, so you may want to give that a try to keep things consistent.
Get creative with your email subject
You literally have just seconds to capture someone’s attention, and if your subject isn’t engaging, customers will scroll right past it. Need some help crafting it up? Check out our quick video to help you learn more about how to write effective email subject lines.
State what you’re promoting first and foremost to spark interest
Aside from generating interest, you need to be sure you get your message across quickly and effectively. Be sure to include all essential information first in a clear and eye-catching way.
Be engaging, but also short and sweet
Try to make it a quick read, but be sure that what you’re wanting to communicate gets across. No one wants to read through a wall of text to get the main idea.
Add a call to action
You want to make sure that customers have a way to easily get to whatever it is you’re promoting, so remember to add a call to action that is easy to see. Provide links or buttons to your home page or a category page that highlights your special promotion, for example.
Don’t sound too salesy
This can be difficult, but you want to make sure to keep your tone in check. A typical email inbox can get flooded with trash messages, and people aren't afraid to click that 'mark as spam' link with impunity. To make sure you aren't coming across as annoying, it can be helpful to invite some of your friends or neighbors to look over your messaging first, before you send it out to the masses. Let them tell you how they feel about it, and be open to criticism.
Good news! Each Volusion store comes with a built-in newsletter feature that’s simple to use, and it’s available on most of our hosting plans. A feature that many people like is having the option to segment subscribers by specific interests. You’re also able to track the effectiveness of each newsletter by installing an ROI tracking code. If you need a more specialized and heartier newsletter platform, we recommend to check out our email marketing partners such as, MailChimp and Constant Contact. Both offer a free trial before purchasing, so there’s no pressure for you to commit if you find that our built-in newsletter feature meets your needs.
There are some pretty eye-popping statistics with email marketing. According to Mailigen, relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails, and marketers who segmented email lists experienced 34% greater email relevance, 39% increased open rates, and 28% lower unsubscribe rates. These numbers show that, when done correctly, email marketing can be a great way to help increase revenue for your store, and shouldn't be overlooked. Do you have any questions or comments about your own experiences with email marketing? Let us know in the comments below!