I got my first glasses at the age of four. And what I distinctly remember- besides being bullied and called a nerd in middle school- is how every year on my birthday I’d unfailingly receive a greetings card from the owner of the spectacles shop.
And later when my computer-crazy brothers couldn’t read the sign boards at distance, and much later when my parents got age-related myopia we’d all trot to the same spectacle shop to get our glasses.
The success of any business depends not on getting a large numberof new customers, but retaining the loyal ones. Plus as low as a 5% increase in customer retention can maximize profits by 100% or more.
E-Commerce businesses in particular need to focus on creating stalwart customers because of the mammoth competition available today. You might stock on the best quality products and offer great customer service but unless you are connecting with them regularly, they are going to forget about you. Which only means more business for your competitions.
And Email Marketing in the form of newsletters are the greetings card that you send- just not only on birthdays.
Email marketing for e-commerce specifically are a comparatively inexpensive way to connect with your targeted customers or deliver a certain message. Like the birthday card that arrived every year, your period newsletter will be the nudge that customers need to be reminded of you.
So how do Email Marketing work?
Just to clarify, a newsletter is not your typical blog post. It could be a gist of what’s on your blog or it could highlight one of the points in the blog. But when writing newslettersfor an e-commerce business, the focus should be more on communication than selling.
Get new customers- Maybe your primary targeted readers are your existing customers but consider this- a new customer chanced upon your website selling store fixtures and subscribed to get that free ebook on ‘How to organize to de-clutter your office space’. And then you start sending newsletters on ‘other uses of a 4-way chrome connector’ ‘how to build your own deck’ and other topics.
Gradually, the customer starts trusting you. His mindset changes from neutral to positive and eventually he’s going to be more receptive to buying products from your website.
Come across as an expert- If your newsletters are educating the customers, are of certain value to them, they are going to soon see you an expert of your niche. Most e-commerce businesses don’t get that information is king, people make up their mind to buy or not to buy a certain product based on the information online.
Information about the products, its uses, and how can it be a benefit to your targeted readers is an excellent way to put yourself at the pole position in the industry.
If you’re not out of sight, you’re not out of mind- Customers are busier than we think. From juggling work, life and everything in between they are not going to daydream about what a fantastic company yours is. An email from your company reminds them of you, a quality newsletter will keep you on top of their mind (for certain products and services of course).
Leads who trust become customers– As already established, newsletters are a great tool to build trust. And when your leads start vesting their trust in your knowledge and your products, they are ready to turn to customers. Give them that last push through discounts and offers.
But what should I write in my newsletters?
If there’s one thing your newsletter should not be is the digital version of the pushy car salesman. Forget hard selling, even those highlighted ‘Offer valid only for NOW’ sentences should be plucked and thrown away.
Typically, your newsletter should be educative and informative. How tos, and tips and tricks are great for building trust. When the reader realizes that this isn’t some bait e-mail but genuine quality information, they are more likely to read it through the end.
Important industry or specific business news- If it shouldbe of interest to your customers then why not tell them? But keep it short and personalized. Here is an example
This is big news and I’m really excited to share this with you. We’ve expanded.
Yoohoo! You know us mainly for print work and we’ve worked together before as well but now we’ve also expanded to video and content marketing.
And it’s growing like crazy. So I just wanted to share our big news with you and send you a big thank you for being such an awesome customer.
Industry Trends- people find it hard to keep up with the ever-changing industry trends. Send across nuggets of information that you think benefits them and can influence their decisionto do business with you. A detailed research of a particular trend, what are some problems that need to be addressed and the solutions for the same, such detailed information will immediately place you as a trusted source.
Customer testimonials- Worked with an important customer who left a stellar feedback? Share them with your customers. Not only it adds credibility to your work, but as humans we are a little weird – we panic when we see our competition doing something that we aren’t already doing. If you drop in customer’s name, especially if they happen to be competition, you are indirectly egging them to take the same action because they think otherwise they are going to lose out.
Sales and Discount offers- But wait, you just said no discount offers! While newsletters aren’t typically your medium to announce discounts and offers, it can be an additional secondary medium.
After you’ve sent the first email centered on the discount, you can remind your customer of the discount by subtly mentioning it in the newsletter. Or a simple- not-highlighted, not-emboldened, not-italicized- sentence with hyperlinks.
A few considerations:
Personalize your newsletters. Most people read your mail on their Smartphone, so you need to grab their attention. Your subject line is important, get creativeand come up with something that demands the mail to be opened. Also the first 60 characters appear beneath the subject line, make sure it’s to be hard-hitting.
There’s no need to send a newsletter every day. Twice or thrice a week works perfectly well.
Make your content engaging and entertaining. Add a dash of humor and do not repeat information.
You can use Mailchimp to send out newsletters to a list of subscribers and keep track of the click-through rate.