If you read my first two articles in this series, you’ll know I started out by crushing all your eCommerce merchant excuses for not using email marketing to grow your business. Then, I gave you 10 proven techniques for building your email list, and in this final part of the series, I’m going to share 11 ways you can take that list you’ve worked so hard to build, and turn it into money in the bank. Let’s. Go!
11 ways to supercharge your profits with eCommerce email marketing (it’s easier than you think)
1.Welcome your subscribers, and stop being so damn rude!
I see so many eCommerce business owners making this rookie mistake. You take the time to build your list, but when people sign up…all they hear is crickets. It’s rude. Think of it like inviting someone round to your house for dinner, they turn up…and then you just ignore them. No “hi there, can I get you a drink?”. Nothing. Your welcome email is supposed to do the same as a host greeting guests to an exclusive party – set the tone and get them ready to party, or in your case…spend money! Atterley road do a incredible job of making their welcome email an event designed to make you comfortable… and get you shopping.
2. Segment your list – Sending the right message at the right time = more sales.
I’ve lost count of the hours I’ve spent trying to convince clients why segmenting their list is practically a licence to print money, and not just a waste of time. The rationale is simple. The better you get at sending targeted offers to the people most likely to appreciate and want them, the more likely you are to actually make sales, and the less likely you are to have people unsubscribing en-masse. It’s not exactly rocket science. If it was, you wouldn’t hear it from me. I suck at rocket science. Couverture do a great job of asking some simple questions during their opt-in, that make sure they are sending out the right messages to the right people.
3. Email at least once per week – train customers to expect you in their inbox
Our inboxes are noisy, busy places. But have you noticed that despite all the traffic, you rarely miss an email from your best friend, your lover, or your boss? That’s because your eyes are trained to look for their communication, and your subconscious is used to opening it. Irregular email is just as detrimental to your email marketing campaign as emailing too much, or the biggest eCommerce sin…not emailing at all. if you’re wandering what you’d have to email your customers about every week, keep reading.
4. Don’t just sell or promote your stuff – promote and expose stuff your customers are interested in
Some eCommerce merchants just see email marketing as yet another channel to do their own personal brand of intrusive selling – much like they do on social media. It doesn’t work. The numbers prove it. You know what does work? Being useful, interesting, and showing you care and connect with your audience. Think about the content, products, ideas, and experiences that connect your target audience?
If you’re not sure about who your ideal customer or target audience is, you should probably stop reading this and watch my 6 minute video training on creating the ultimate customer avatar. Like, seriously. Follow the 80/20 Pareto principle. Promote other interesting products and content 20% of the time, and promote your brand and products and expertise, 80% of the time. Doing this helps your brand become synonymous with surprise, innovation and not the same old boring sales messages.
5. Use it to get feedback – make adjustments based on the response
Don’t be one of those eCommerce merchants who thinks the only purpose of email marketing is to sell sell sell. Done correctly, email can be your perfect opportunity to get feedback on your product, copy, offer, even the best email publishing times.
Let’s not forget that is also fairly easy to setup a autoresponder sequence when someone buys your product, that first attempts to answer any questions or queries your customer might have on receiving their item, with the next step being to ask them to give a testimonial or review. Email marketing can and should be used to improve your product offering, fine tune the overall presentation of your marketing strategy, and make it easier to provide social proof via customer endorsements.
6. Get visual. Optimise for the mobile experience, but focus on the message.
The signs of an excellent mobile UI/EX interface, is that a brand will reduce its messaging and visuals down to the bare minimum to make the mobile experience cluttered and intuitive. Your emails, especially if they feature graphics and are heavily customised, need to be optimised to be read easily on mobile devices. Failing to do this maybe an oversight, but it will be a very costly oversight. Optimising for mobile will greatly increase the likelihood of mobile sales, or have them heading over to your main site to make a purchase there.
7. Make offers time sensitive. Ask subscribers to share them on their social media page
If you remember the above Atterley road example, not only did they welcome their email subscribers graciously, they made the offer presented to them within their welcome email time sensitive. Why does this work so well? Well, if a prospect has already resonated enough with your brand to give you their email, when you show up in their inbox welcoming them with a great *time limited* offer, quite often fear of missing out on a saving or bargain on something we desire, will lead us to make impulsive purchases.
I take it a step further for my email marketing clients. When we send an offer, we ask all those who took advantage of it to share it on their social media profiles. And what do you think happens then? An increase in sales as their friends see the great product they got at a great price, and start wanting one for themselves – we call this growth hacking, Brazen style! This hack works especially well for products and items under $100, which are generally easier to justify. Plumo, featured below, do a fantastic job of making their welcome email a massive call to action to start shopping NOW!
8. Get them out of their inbox and on to your website
Most sales won’t take place directly within a prospects inbox. In order to make your shopping cart ring, you need to get prospects out of their inbox and over on to your website. How do you do that? Well…ask them. All emails sent to your subscribers should end with a single, clear call to action, even if that call to action (CTA) is not: buy now. Just as bloggers often won’t put the full content of their latest post in their email, many eCommerce merchants are finding that teaser content, where the rest of the content can be found over on their eCommerce site or social platforms, does a great job in driving targeted traffic to their sites. The napkin maths still make sense. More targeted traffic = more sales.
9. Be prepared for major holidays…and when it doubt…think something up
“I don’t email my customers because I don’t have a reason to”. Would you believe me if I told you my consulting clients give me this response on a disconcertingly frequent basis? My response is always. “Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Eid, Martin Luther King day, My aunties sister’s uncle’s having his bunion removed today, day!”.
My point is, there are enough public holidays and celebrations throughout the year that you always have a reason to send email, especially in a lead up to a holiday known for gift giving or bargain hunting like Mothers day, or Black Friday. With a little creativity and a good copywriter on board, you can send email, ‘just because’ – and surprisingly enough, these emails are often just as profitable.
10. Make sure each email has a clear call to action – and keep it simple
We discussed this briefly in point 8 – but this is where I see many eCommerce merchants sabotaging their own email marketing efforts. They take the time to create a great offer, write great copy, design great visuals, then they stop short of asking their reader to do or buy anything! That’s kinda like eyeing up some hottie at a bar all night, plying them with alcoholic lubrication, then forgetting to ask for their phone number (we know you’re classy and don’t do that whole casual hooking up thing – much). So for love of all things Louboutin, close the deal already.
Make sure before you sit down to craft your campaign, you are crystal clear about what your most wanted action is from your reader.
11. Test headlines and message length. Email marketing is ALL about testing, darlin’!
The great thing about email marketing, especially if you segment your list like we spoke about in point 2, is that you don’t have to play guessing games for long. I never recommend that clients send out a message to their entire list at one time. Why? What if you spot an error in the copy, forget to add a link, write a sucky headline then realise you can make it 100% better? Well it’s too bloody late, that’s what!
The beauty of segmenting your list means, you can take micro segments and test headlines, offers, and messaging, analysing your results to see which got the best response, before mailing to your larger list. Every client who I’ve worked with who has started to split test headlines, message length, and different offers, has seen a significant uplift in sales, and a reduction in the unsubscribe rate to their list.
We’ve come to the end of our 3 part Email Marketing First Aid Kit for eCommerce business owners. If you missed any of the other two parts in the series you can find them here. Part 1. Part 2. Got questions? Yeah, I thought you might! Feel free to ask them in the comments, and if you’ve found any or all of the articles in this series helpful, please help me get the word out and share it with others. Share buttons on your left.
Finally, I gotta say…not everyone is born a copywriter, equipped with the skill of extracting money from wallets with the written word alone. If you can’t put your hand on your heart and say you got all dat goin’ on, and then some…get in touch today and let us help you. We specialise in crafting customised email marketing campaigns that let you turn on profit in your business like a faucet. Got the traffic and the email addresses? We’ll help you turn that into cold hard cash in the bank.