If this ‘beer flu’ has taught us one thing it is that we need a plan B or something to keep those sales coming in and the business moving forward.
In my my, that plan B is email marketing.
Imagine if you suddenly had no money to spend on ads.
Or if Facebook / Instagram changed the algorithm again to 100% pay-to-play.
Or if you lost all your organic traffic.
What would you do?
What is your plan?
Most Stores Ignore REAL Email Marketing
One thing I commonly see across e-commerce stores, especially Shopify ones (because they are so easy for people to set them up) is a real lack of focus on customer loyalty and email collection.
Yes, I know we have pop-ups and get the 10% off but this isn’t really a focus on loyalty. It’s just chucking people on an email list and giving them a discount. The chances are, they won’t buy again.
Your plan B is your email list and you must be obsessed with growing it, because this is the future growth of your business.
If you lose your Google rankings, access to your social accounts and have no money to spend on ads, you can always fall back on your email list. Email is also very powerful and has a massively better return on investment than any of those other channels.
It is also the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to drive visitors to your online store.
As a store owner, your 1st focus is sales. Your 2nd focus should be capturing an email address from every visitor, wherever possible.
With 97 in every 100 people leaving your sites without buying, you are wasting valuable opportunities to continue the conversation with people.
Remember, people don’t just impulse buy products. They need warming up and it can take up to 10 touches with a customer before they commit to a sale. The only way you can truly ensure that is for them to receive your emails.
Yes, this may all sound very fluffy but if you want to build a solid business that will stand the test of time you need to invest in your brand. You can’t rely on ads alone because it will all end in tears when the cash runs dry.
Getting people to sign up to your email list
You need to give people a reason to join ‘your community’. 10% off your first order isn’t enough. You want to give them something of value that incentivises them to join you and become super-fans.
You need to give people something that is exclusive to your brand and something that ads value to only the people who love what you sell. Offering a discount is likely cheap bribery that doesn’t really bring in qualified people who will do business with you in the future.
Look at the larger fashion brands. They provider Insider content, Lookbooks, Exclusive product Launches, Early Sale Alerts, Interviews, etc. They make it worthwhile for the person signing up. They wet their appetite and get them interested from the ‘get-go’.
This needs to be an offer you can’t get anywhere else. An exclusive!
Email Marketing The Right Way: Your Welcome Series
Now, once you have crafted your exclusive offer that they love and they have signed up, you need to introduce them to your brand. You need to ‘on-board’ them in the right way and show them what you are all about.
Most e-commerce stores just provide a ‘welcome to xxx’ email with a discount code. The next email a customer receives is a mass broadcast with random offers. Nothing unique or special. It’s a bit of a letdown.
At the start of the relationship, you must treat these people in a special way. Think of it like dating. You put all the hard-graft in at the start and you need to get the person to like you before they will commit to anything else.
Customers are the same. You can’t rush the sale. You can’t force them to buy. You must work up to it.
0-60 Days Is When You Create Super-Fans
A very smart guy called John Jantsch (of Duct Tape Marketing) once told me that you have 60 days from the point of signing someone up to turn them into a super-fan of your business or product. This is when they are most engaged and will listen to you.
If you fail to do this, they will leave and never come back. But, if you treat them like royalty, make them feel special and show them some love, they will become loyal fans, sing your praises and tell their friends.
And the way to do this is?
Create an email welcome series that takes them on a journey about your brand and gradually warms them up to fall in love with it.
The objective is to not overtly sell. It is to capture their interest and create engagement so they see you as part of their lives, not ‘just another shop’.
There is a huge difference between a brand and just a shop. Most stores are just shops.
My suggestion for your email welcome series would be a set of 12-15 emails that are delivered over the 60 days. Examples would be.
- Intro email with video (check out the brilliant app Bonjoro)
- An intro people to your brand and your mission
- Show them how your business started
- Introduce them to the people behind the brand
- Let people into how you design and develop your products (the process)
- Introduce them to your social channels
- Shares customer stores
- Add valuable content that is genuinely helpful (how-tos, topics related to your niche, etc)
- Share charities or causes you are involved in
- Offers exclusive information about products
- Asks for feedback or something that enables you to understand them in some way
- Showcases your products and how they will improve their life
- A couple of light product offers (maybe a value add bundle)
There is much more you can include but that’s a taster. Including video is the most engaging way to do this.
Email Marketing = Sales on Autopilot
You can set all these emails up to be time-triggered on almost any email platform. It’s very simple.
Now, I’m not saying this will all take 5 minutes to do because you need to think about how people should perceive your business. You may need to get the help of a copywriter but it is 100% worth it and will pay off.
You are effectively giving your customers a little nudge every-so-often. You can obviously still include some products offers and the best part is that you will be generating sales on ‘autopilot’!
A great example of this is the company Beardbrand (no affiliation). They have a great welcome series that adds ‘real value’ and makes you feel part of the Beardbrand community.
Worth checking out.
I’m, here to help you grow your business
If you need some help setting up your marketing, advice on email marketing strategy and e-commerce advice then feel free to get in touch. Alternatively, you can check out my e-commerce course which is packed full of proven strategies to grow your online sales.