When it comes to email marketing, worldwide, around 306.4 billion emails are sent and received per day, with somewhere around 59% that get filtered easily into Promotions and Social and often left...unopened. With the popularity of social media, some e-commerce brands may wonder if email marketing is the way of the past, and if their focus should go entirely into their brand on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, instead.
Optinmonster shows that of the 3.8 billion email users (versus the 3.4 billion social media users) email is still the preferred channel for promos by about 60%. 58% of polled users state that they check their email first thing when they wake up (compared to the 14% that check social media first) and 60% of people subscribe to their favorite companies emails for future promos. Compare that to the 20% of those who follow them on social media for the same reason and it’s safe to say that email marketing is here to stay.
In fact, the Digital Examiner states that, combined with research from eConsultancy, “out of all marketing activities, email marketing delivers the best ROI,” with interested customers signing up for emails on your site to get future offers, which helps your e-commerce brand grow it’s database organically. Emails provide you with reliable contact information, while with algorithms people may fluctuate depending on their social media usage. Securing emails ensures your ability to remain in contact, regardless of the fickle needs of social media platforms which can sometimes, unfortunately, fall through.
Building Your Email List
The first thing to be stressed is the importance of fleshing out your email list. Of course this is easier said than done; it may sound like a numbers game, but it can’t just be a list of any people. You want to be upfront and open about who you are and what you provide, so that the people that wind up on your email list are people who are actually interested in what you have to say (and sell).
SEO can help you drive traffic to your website and get more people to join your list. When you take keywords from your industry or area of expertise, you will be better able to understand what your customers are looking for. Once you have any of those words in mind, you can use a keyword search like Ubersuggest, to help you know what similar keywords are being used to give you an idea of what your clients are looking for and how to generate leads that way.
Pop-ups or slide-ins on your site can work well too when it comes to asking for email sign-ups, often even a timed one to show up after a potential client has spent any amount of time on your site. Using the key words you know your ideal customer would be using (without overwhelming the reader) can be useful, too.
Your pop-up can be a survey, or offer something free (like an ebook or other free resource) so your client can see that you are already going to provide value to them the moment they sign up.
One way to help build a relationship with clients and keep them in loop with all that you do is by creating an email newsletter.
Forbes talks about why email newsletters are important for branding: if you want a cost-effective way to take your email campaigns to the next level, a newsletter is a must.
Whether you choose to update your audience every other week, every month, or every quarter, a newsletter is the best way to help establish your e-commerce brand and establish overall trust through consistency and warm updates.
Finding The Best Email Marketing Service
So if email marketing is one of the best ways to scale your e-commerce brand, how can you guarantee you are utilizing the best email marketing services for your business? There are plenty of excellent email marketing services, but these four are some of the best available on the market today. Each of these platforms offers templates and solutions in order to reach your target audience, and each can help you begin to scale your business beyond anything you could do on your own.
Here are two that I use personally:
Hubspot is a great all-in-one e-commerce service that offers email marketing, live chat, social media ads, contact management… all for free. Sounds too good to be true? Not necessarily. Though, if you want to get more customized with SEO tools, marketing automation, and analytics, then opting into the Professional Marketing Plan is where you’ll want to start out.
Hubspot is a hefty tool that can help you to scale your efforts, but at a higher cost. However, there are still some fantastic (and free) resources they offer when it comes to email marketing templates and creating plans for e-commerce brands (including this free Email Newsletter Guide and lookbook!)
Klaviyo starts at a free tier for email that helps you sync your data, customize templates and emails, and send 500 emails for up to 250 contacts. After that, you can start at $20/month plan for up to 500 contacts, Facebook and Instagram advertising, and more. That tier also offers great SMS and MMS messaging in a nice bundle (or, you can calculate how much you’d pay a month.)
Klaviyo also promises to help store customer data effectively, so you can build their customer experience based on their responses and clicks. And they also have their own email templates perfect for e-commerce marketing. We love using Klaviyo because of its library of triggers for email marketing automation. Creating workflows is a breeze and easy to maintain while being extremely customizable.
Whichever email marketing service you choose, there are plenty of ways to utilize it to make sure you are not only providing the most value to your clients when you arrive in their inbox, but also reminding them why they followed you in the first place.
Using automated emails like abandoned cart reminders can help potential clients take another second to go back to your site and are proven to result in turning an uncertain buyer into a satisfied customer (while saving lost sales in the process).
For more advice on the best practices in content marketing and other marketing techniques, here is an article on how to successfully scale your brand with content marketing.