These days building a business is all about building a brand and investing in high-quality email marketing is an amazing place to start. A well-executed email strategy can help you boost your brand and product awareness as well as cultivate authentic relationships with your customers.
The key here is a well-executed strategy. If you’re new to the world of eCommerce and lack experience with email marketing, chances are you won’t know how to go about it or even where to get started.
That’s where we come in.
In this beginner’s guide to driving more sales with email, we’ll share viable tips as well as real-life examples that you can use to help build an effective and profitable email marketing strategy.
Why Use Email Marketing?
So, why should you invest in an email strategy? Why not a social media frenzy or a huge billboard?
Well, there isn’t a simple answer to that. Marketing involves a host of different techniques and methods that are aimed at promoting your brand and product. The method you choose depends on what you want to achieve.
For example, social media campaigns are a great way to reach thousands of new customers without many upfront costs. Running numerous social media accounts is also a great way to connect to your customers and add a personal touch to your content.
However, if you want to cultivate a personal, meaningful relationship with your target audience, sending emails is the way to go.
Despite the wide range of applications and reach that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have, emails remain the most effective ways of personally communicating with your audience.
By now you must’ve heard about mailing lists and newsletters but you might not have thought much of them. Well, it’s time to give them a closer look.
There is a reason why many small businesses and eCommerce owners invest so much time and money in email marketing. Here are a few reasons why investing in email marketing is essential for any business:
- The level of personalization that emails offer can cultivate a relationship between seller and customer, which can lead to an increase in sales. Around 53% of marketers swear that ongoing, personalized communication can have a significant impact on your revenue – Source: DemandGen & Campaign Monitor
- Customers are more willing to click on promotions and products when it appears in an email than when seeing them on social media – Source: Experian & Campaign Monitor
- Younger target audiences also prefer engagement. Studies have shown that 73% of Millenials prefer emails for business communication – Source: WordStream
Investing in an effective email marketing strategy can potentially generate huge amounts of sales each month and, once you get the hang of it, setting up an email strategy becomes a breeze.
Building an Email Strategy in 8 Steps
So, how does a newbie build a successful email strategy that suits both your business and your target audience? What magic formula can you implement to tempt your customers into opening your emails, engaging in your campaigns, and participating in your sales?
Before we dive into the how-to of building an effective email strategy, there’s one thing you need to remember. The main aim of implementing an email strategy is to develop a personal connection to your target audience.
Your email strategy will be one of the main ways that you connect to your audience. You’ll want to cultivate a connection that feels authentic and meaningful. Your emails will represent you and you’ll want it to be a true reflection of your style and brand.
And, here’s how you do it.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
The most important part of any marketing strategy is to know your audience. If you’ve started an eCommerce business there’s a very good chance that you already know them and what they like.
After all, they’re your customers. They like your products and the brand you’ve managed to build.
Still, it’s nice to have a clear idea about what your audience wants. It is also important to know where your audience comes from. A great way to get to know your audience and figure out what they’d like is by hosting internet polls.
If you already have a social media presence, this shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Chances are you already have a relationship with your audience and that your personal brand has already made itself known.
The problem arises if you have yet to build your brand. If you have a product you want to sell and have some idea of your target audience, try to flesh out what you know about them. Try and figure out the age range, socio-economic class, and anything else you think is important.
If you want to sell something, knowing your audience is vital.
Step 2: Know Your Brand
Now, this step is harder than the first but just as necessary. Think of your brand like your fingerprint. Perfectly unique to you. So, think about what makes your brand special. Ask yourself the simple question, why did you start your business? And what do you hope to achieve?
Think about what your product and what your brand brings to the market. How do you want your brand and your products to make people think? What impression do you want to make?
Is your brand fun and flirty, or more dark academia? Food for thought.
Step 3: Know What You Want
Now that you have a clear idea of who your target audience is and what your brand is all about, it is time to think about what you want. And no, we’re not talking about your business goals. We’re talking about your marketing goals.
What are your goals when it comes to investing in email marketing? What do you want to achieve by implementing an email strategy?
There are many answers to these questions. You could want to boost traffic to your website or store, you probably want to increase brand awareness, and the most common reason of all, you want to boost your revenue.
Knowing the reason why you want to implement an email strategy can help you customize the email campaign to suit your goals. This can help with figuring out the resources you’ll need, how much time you have to spend on the emails, how regularly you want to send them out, and what you want them to contain.
Being able to answer these questions will help you begin to shape the basis of your email strategy.
Step 4: Decide On The Kinds Of Emails You’d Like To Send Out
Once you’ve figured out the answers to the questions posed above, it’s time to test out your plan. Here is where surveys and customer reviews and opinions really come into play.
Depending on both your goals and customer feedback, you can choose the kind of emails you want to send out and how often you’d like to send them out. Depending on how complicated of a strategy you decide on, you can send out emails weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
In addition to figuring out how regularly you’d like to send out emails, you’ll have to figure out what kind of emails your audience would respond to best.
Here are a few kinds of emails you can choose from.
- The Welcome Series Emails
The Welcome Series of emails are a great starting point for any business owner. These are emails that you can send to people who have subscribed to a mailing list, or who have opted to receive updates, offers, and blog content.
The main aim of welcome emails is to help you develop your brand and create the right first impression. They’re also great for establishing and cultivating a relationship with prospective customers.
These emails are generally a combination of educational content, product highlights, and personal stories about your brand.
- Seasonal and Holiday-Themed Emails
While, as the business owner, you have complete creative freedom and control, you’d be remiss to forgo seasonal and holiday-themed emails.
Promoting certain products or producing holiday-themed products during the holidays is a great way of catering to your audience, remaining relevant, and keeping your email and product line fresh.
A good way to really capitalize on seasonal and holiday-themed emails is to choose the holidays that closely align with your products and brand.
For example, if you sell chocolates, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to send targeted email campaigns to boost sales.
- Customer Delights
Customer delights are one of our favorite email campaigns because they subvert expectations. Think about it, your customers and subscribers don’t expect to receive anything from you for free.
With customer delights, you’re able to surprise your loyal customers with little gifts or offer them incentives for being subscribed.
As the name implies, the goal here is to delight your customers and boost loyalty with little rewards. This can be special discount codes, free items at their next check out, or exclusive subscriber-only products.
If you really want to make a success of your email strategy, we would advise you to use a combination of different email types as the need arises.
For example, during holiday times you could focus on holiday-themed emails, the welcome emails can be more of a regular occurrence, and you could implement customer delights when promoting a new product or when you’ve reached a new milestone.
Step 5: Ready The Cavalry
Now that you have the groundwork laid out, it’s time to put your plans in motion. The first thing you’ll want to do is invest in software that you can use to automate your email marketing tasks. Having the right automation software can save you both time and money.
It is possible that your business management platform might already offer these tools. For example, working through Shopify will give you access to thousands of apps that you can use to automate tasks for running your business.
Once you’ve figured out how to automate your emails, you’ll also want to nail down a schedule. This includes dates, times, and themes. Now is a good idea to begin seriously planning the layout and content of your emails.
Our advice is to plan out your emails according to any large product releases, events, or holidays and go from there.
Step 6: Growing Your List
Something you should keep in mind is that subscribers don’t necessarily equal customers or sales. What we mean here is that just because you’ve accumulated a ton of subscribers doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily generate a ton of sales.
So, you’ll need to figure out how to turn your subscribers into loyal customers. A great way to do this is by growing your email list and offering incentives.
For example, you could launch a viral contest that your subscribers, and people visiting your website, can enter to win a prize or a product.
You could also launch giveaways and promote them on your social media to boost brand awareness.
Step 7: Go Live
Now that you have everything set up and have figured out various email layouts, types, and have come up with a schedule, it’s time to go live.
Going live can be a very stressful experience but, if you’ve planned everything out carefully, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you want to get the most ROI for your efforts, we recommend you set up A/B tests.
For example, you could set up tests for different subject lines, graphics, copy, and CTA buttons for every email you send. This will teach you so much about your customers and how they respond to different messages.
These tests are also great for evaluating the performance of your emails.
Step 8: Evaluate Your Performance
Once your emails are live, it is important to track your performance. As mentioned in the previous step, a great way to do this is to use ROI and set up A/B tests.
The information you get from these tests can help you figure out which types of emails, and which layouts and content generate more sales and customer interaction, and which emails perform poorly.
This allows you to slowly customize and cater your emails to your audience, thus generating more sales.
Starting an email campaign can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to social media and aren’t exactly sure how to build your brand.
The tips and tricks mentioned in this article are a great starting point for newbies and should help you craft an email campaign that not only generates buzz but also increases sales.