“You’ve got mail!”
A sentence that let many a women miss a heartbeat back in the day when love letters were send via post. Even though we don’t quite have that emotional reaction to email anymore, it is still one of the most effective ways to engage potential and actual customers.
What is Email Marketing and Why Should I do it?
Email marketing is exactly that - using email to stay in contact with subscribers. The goal of email marketing depends on your business and business objectives. For Shopify store owners and ecommerce businesses the objectives often include: increasing awareness and brand loyalty, moving customers through the sales funnel, re-engage existing customers, and boosting social media presence.
And it has proven incredibly effective. Whilst the popularity of social media marketing has increased, Email still dominates the digital marketing world. With an ROI of almost 4000% and a click through rate that is higher than that of a twitter post, Email rightly holds the title of Mother of all Lists.
Sending an email basically gets you into your subscribers’ house - or at least into their screen. With our eyes and thumbs being (almost) constantly attached to a smartphone or tablet, the little email pop-up symbolising the “You’ve got mail” feeling is a great way to capture someone's’ attention. With minimal costs being involved, and almost immediate results, email marketing is one of the most popular strategies for customer engagement in the ecommerce world.
Successfully Capture Emails on your Shopify Website
There is a variety of easy ways you can capture emails on your Shopify website. From Pop-ups to slide-ins to headers and sidebars - you can pick and choose which design and message suits your business best. To learn how to capture emails in 5 easy ways on your website, check out our previous article.
Use Emails to Achieve your Marketing Strategy Goals
Before you start sending out emails to your subscribers, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve. Just sending out random emails will not bring you the desired results. In order to create valuable content and motivate people to engage with your brand and ultimately buy your product, you need to know exactly what you want and how you are going to achieve it.
It is therefore crucial that you set up an Email Marketing Strategy and establish your goals.
- Do you want people to purchase your product?
- Do you want people to share your brand on social media?
- Do you want people to trust you?
- Do you want to build brand awareness?
There are many different goals you can achieve through email marketing, and the specifics will depend on you and your Shopify store. Common benefits of email marketing include turning passive visitors into active buyers, staying in contact with subscribers and building brand awareness, establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and boosting social media presence.
From Cold to Hot: Move People Along the Sales Funnel
Email marketing can help you in convincing people to buy your product. Whether it is an easier and improved buying experience, or a special discount code. An email that offers value is likely to move its recipient to the next stage in the sales funnel.
Bonobos used their email marketing campaign to simplify the buying process considerably. Subscribers no longer have to click their way through lengthy product pages, trying to find the item they are looking for in their size and shape. The email make it easy to find your size - and also receive a hefty discount on top of that!
Just checking in: Stay in Contact
Email is also a great way to simply stay in contact with your target audience and thus build rapport, trust and brand awareness.
Jet Blue found a funny and engaging way to connect with their subscribers through their email marketing. And making them feel very special along the way.
Trust me, I know: Establish Yourself as an Expert in the Industry
Establishing yourself as an expert in what you’re doing is a marketing goal you can achieve via an engaging email marketing campaign.
Cook Smarts not only provides tremendous value to their subscriber by sending them weekly recipes, but also show that they are great at what they’re doing and really know their stuff.
Comment, Like, Share: Boost Social Media Presence
Last but not least, you can use email marketing to achieve your goals in other departments as well. If you have a great number of email addresses and subscribers, but only a meager following on social media, you can focus your campaign on motivating people to comment, like, and share your content.
TheSkimm did a great job at that! They used the occasion of a subscription anniversary to encourage their subscribers to share a link to their email newsletter with friends and family. Also take note of the ‘Share and Follow us” section at the bottom of the newsletter - something that should never be missing from any kind of email you’re sending out!
What Email Marketing Strategies can you use?
Once you optimise your Shopify store to capture emails and established your goals, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty of email marketing.
1. Segmentation and Targeted Content
As a concept, segmentation is when you divide your subscribers into different groups and therefore into different lists. That means you can deliver more relevant and targeted content to each subscriber. For example, some people might be potential customers, that are very on in the purchasing process and not quite sure they trust you with their money yet. Other subscribers might be long term fans and customers of your product, and want to receive your emails simply because they love you so much. Would you really want them to receive the same content?
No. Sending out non-relatable and non-relevant content to your subscribers leads to one thing, and one thing only: The Unsubscribe Button. Once they hit that button, you’ve lost your foot in the door and therefore a sale.
Segmentation and targeted content is therefore an enormous advantage of email marketing. There is a few different ways you can organise your list, depending on your ecommerce business and marketing goals. Some common list divisions are:
- customers at different stages in the sales funnel (i.e. from potential to recent to repeat)
- interest groups
- location groups etc.
To learn how segmentation can propel your email marketing efforts forward, and how to integrate segmentation processes with your Shopify store, read our previous article on Segmentation with Mailchimp.
2. Email Marketing Campaigns
Once you’ve segmented your subscribers into different lists, it is time to send out your emails. There are a few different things you can do, depending on your overall marketing goals.
Share content that is relevant to your subscribers
One great idea for an email marketing campaign is to share resources that contain informative and relevant content. Engaging people with interesting facts, blog posts, infographics or visuals creates trust. The importance lies on the word “relevant”. The information you share must appeal to the target audience (i.e. the list), so that they engage with the content and relate to your brand.
This strategy has multiple purposes. First, you remind subscribers of your product. Second, you build trust by establishing yourself as an expert that knows a lot about the product/service/industry, and can solve a pain point your reader experiences. And third, you provide value to your readers, which makes it more likely that they turn to you when it comes to making a purchase.
Ask your subscribers what they want to see
LOFT did a very clever thing in one of their email campaigns. In order to make sure that their subscribers get exactly the content they want, they actually went out and asked them. It shows that they value their recipient, and don’t send emails out simply to push their product, but to provide value to their readers.
Offer exclusive gifts and discounts
Another common email marketing campaign that is highly effective includes handing out exclusive offers and discounts. Receiving an email and keeping subscribers interested often involved some sort of transaction. I open your emails and engage with your content, if you provide value and discounts. Seems fair, right?
Sending codes and deals to your subscribers is a great way to move customers along the sales funnel - no matter where they are right now. Potential customers and repeat buyers alike want to save money and take advantage of the special treatment they receive in return of giving your their emails.
Tony Burch created a real eye-catcher of a discount email that can hardly be missed. Did you see it move? The ‘opening door’ adds to the feeling of exclusivity, and encourages customers to take advantage of this special opportunity only they have access to.
Making your email stand out from an otherwise immobile inbox can be the make it or break it to the success of your email marketing efforts. Learn how to create a GIF for your next email newsletter and add an element of fun to people’s otherwise static inboxes.
Share news and updates on your email newsletter
Sharing good news is a great way to stay in contact with your subscribers. It could be industry news that matter to them, or news about your Shopify store or product. Telling subscribers about something that happened and is relevant for them builds trust and support, as it shows that you can relate to them and their pain points.
ModCloth did really well with sharing news. It is unfortunately not very common for marketers to let their subscribers know that something in their approach has changed. But ModCloth did exactly that. By telling their subscribers what has changed in their email program, they are adding transparency and credibility to their efforts, which reflects positively on their brand.
Another cool feature of email marketing services is automation. Automation means that you can set up responses to certain actions. Pre-drafted emails are then send out once a subscriber performed a certain action, for example clicking a link or the subscribe button.
Hey buddy, we’re glad you’re here!
Really, it is simply good manners to say thank you. You’d do it in-person as well.
Sending out a automated “Thank you and Welcome” email serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, it is polite and makes a new subscriber feel welcomed and valued. Secondly, it reminds people that they signed up to your email newsletter in the first place, and might therefore visit your site after seeing this email. And thirdly, it usually serves as a medium to get permission. Email marketing providers now often require a two-step permission process, to ensure that email addresses were collected ethically, and people really want to receive your updates.
Whenever someone signs up to your email list, make sure to show your appreciation and say thank you.
Cart Recovery Emails
You might think card abandonment is a bad thing. Visitors of your Shopify store see something they like, put it in their card and…exit the site. There are many reasons people might abandon their cart. They might get distracted, changed their mind last minute or had questions but couldn’t find the answer.
But there is something you can do about cart abandonment. There is a way for you to turn this perceived misfortune into an opportunity: Cart Recovery Emails.
Emails are a great way to address the reasons why people left their cards without making the purchase. One of our recent articles gives you a few suggestions what you can do when people don’t check out.
Post-purchase review and recommendations
This automated email is sent over to customers after they completed a purchase. It usually includes the online receipt and a little “Thank you” note. But there is more you can get out of this opportunity.
Immediately after the purchase, the “Thank you” email is great. Even better is, if you send another email a week or a month later (depending on your product), and check in on how the customer liked your product. You can ask them to write you a review, or give suggestions and feedback about their experience. This not only gives you great insights into how people use your product and whether you need to make adjustments or fix some small bugs, but it also makes the buyer feel valued and listened to.
Drip Email Sequence
The last automated email we’ll discuss is the Drip Email Sequence. A Drip Email Sequence means that emails are sent out after specified time periods. This strategy works well when you want to keep subscribers engaged.
Charity Water has a genius idea for a drip email sequence that works really well for their product. Once someone donates resources to their cause, the donor received regular updates on what their money has achieved so far. In the world of NGOs and donations, this is an incredible tool for introducing transparency into the process and establish credibility.
Another way of engaging subscribers through drip email sequences is through check-ins after time periods of inaction.
Hire Vue sends out this very casual, non-intrusive email once a subscriber hasn’t opened and engaged with their email after a couple of months. Whilst it might remind Emma - in this case - to re-engage with Hire Venue and re-discover why she signed up to the newsletter in the first place, it also benefits Hire Venue. By deleting people off their lists after a certain period of inactivity, they ensure that their list keeps fresh and they only target interested people.
Get started with your Email Marketing Strategy
Feeling inspired and full of ideas that you can send out to your following via email? Getting started with your email marketing strategy is really quite simple. First you should pick the right provider that provides the best service and functionality for your email marketing goals. We have previously compared Mailchimp and Klaviyo. Check out the article and pick your favourite.
If you’ve opted for Mailchimp, we have also developed a great guide and introduction of their services.
Elkfox can assist you to set up an email marketing strategy tailored to your business.We are experts in optimising website to capture emails and integrating Mailchimp features into Shopify stores. Contact us to start your email marketing straight away.