Email Marketing Basics - What you should be doing!
We've compiled all of our content around email marketing and put it in one place. This blog will show you a lot of tips and explain why you should be using automated email marketing in your Shopify business.1. Planning Your Welcome Series
2. Close The Sale With an Abandoned Cart Email
3. How To Create A Customer Winback Email Series
4. Advanced Email Automation Campaigns
1. Planning Your Welcome Series
So, you’ve been collecting emails for some time now but have no idea what to do with them. You should probably start with a solid welcome series. A welcome series is an email campaign that, as the name implies, welcomes new email list subscribers and provides some information about your company. It is done as a series because the information is divvied up among multiple sequential emails to keep it in digestible chunks. In this blog, we will be discussing four key steps in developing an effective welcome series.
1. Determine your strategy
The first thing you need to do when developing a welcome series is figure out what you want people to know about your business. Most welcome series emails include general information about the company such as how you got started, why you do what you do, and how your company culture impacts the way you do business. Keep it general, but also be informative and compelling.
The next thing to think about is what you want your audience to do. Do you want them to follow you on social media? Reply to your email? Come to an event? There are many reasons to grab people's contact info, make sure you know what the goal is before you start sending emails.
Now that you have that info all figured out, it is time to figure out how many emails it will take to accomplish that. Don’t overload your audience with too much info right off the bat. If the first email you send is wordy and super long, it is unlikely that anyone will read the whole thing and even more unlikely that they will open your next one. Break up your content in a way that makes sense and will hopefully get your reader to do what you want them to do.
2. Write your copy
The subject line in your first email is probably the most important part of the entire campaign. This line needs to be so engaging and interesting that your viewer will have no choice but to open it up and see whats in there.
Be sure to include all of the information you figured out in the strategy portion, but make it interesting. Be informative, charming, and fun. Make your audience glad that they signed up for this list.
3. Fulfill your promise
Most people sign up for a newsletter for a reason. If you offered a free “How To PDF,” a discount code, or a download of some sort, make sure you give it to them. If you don’t deliver on your promise, your audience won’t be able to trust you. By fulfilling your offer in your welcome series, you are giving your viewer instant gratification and reaffirming their decision to sign up for your newsletter.
4. Let them know what to expect in the future
Take a paragraph in your welcome series to let your new readers know what to expect in the future. Let them know the sort of content and/or offers that they'll have access to as subscribers to the email list.
Your welcome series is a very important step in your email marketing efforts. Competition can be cutthroat and many brands might provide the same sort of product or service. Using a welcome series in your email marketing can be a crucial step to instill a memorable brand identity that resonates with new customers and sets you apart from the pack. If you take care in crafting your welcome series emails with these four steps, hopefully you will be able to convert your readers into customers!
2. Close The Sale With an Abandoned Cart Email
If you have an online store, it is very likely you are no stranger to the fact that people will add your products to their shopping cart only to leave before purchasing. This is what is known as an abandoned cart. In this article, we will talk about why this happens and what can be done to help drive customers to complete that transaction.
There are many reasons that people leave your site without puchasing. Their computer dies, they get a phone call and close their computer, their wallet is in the other room and they are too lazy to go get it. Whatever the reason may be, it happens. However, just because they didn’t check out doesn’t mean they aren’t still interested. Send them a little reminder and get back on their radar. This is called and Abandoned Cart email, and here are a few tips to get started.
With any email, the subject line is extremely important. Your potential customer isn’t going to open your email if the subject line doesn’t grab their attention. If your customer thinks the email is just another newsletter they might dismiss it. Be clear as to why they are receiving this email. Say something like “Hey Kevin, looks like you forgot something!.”
What to Include in your Email
The Product: Be sure to include a picture and an in depth description of the item. Make the product the emphasis of the email. Doing this will remind your potential customer exactly what they forgot about. Be sure to make the image link directly to your website's checkout page.
Copy: The copy in your abandoned cart email should be quick and to the point. Try not to come off too salesy and try to stay kind of playful. If you are too aggressive, it might turn your customer away for good. Instead, use humor (if it fits your brand) and have a little fun with it. Say something like “Kevin! We know you really like this shirt, so we just wanted to let you know we’re holding one just for you!”
Call to Action: Sometimes your customer needs to be pushed in the right direction. Include a little call to action in your email and let them know that right now is the perfect time to buy the product.
You should send your first abandoned cart email within 24 while the product and your brand is still fresh in their mind. If the first one doesn’t get them to finish their transaction follow up again within 48 hours and consider giving a little incentive. Free shipping or a small percentage off can go a long way. Figure out an incentive that works for you and offer it up!
The abandoned cart email is a simple way to turn missed opportunities into sales. If a potential customer is placing an item in the shopping cart, there's a pretty good chance they're interested in shopping with you. They just might need a little convincing to tip the scale.
3. How To Create A Customer Winback Email Series
Just because they haven’t visited you in a while, it doesn’t mean they don’t still love you. The internet is a big place and there are lots of sites to visit. Sometimes they just need a little reminder that you’re there and still have things they once showed an appreciation for. Get them back to your site with a customer winback series.
A customer winback series is exactly what it sounds like, a series of emails designed to get your lapsed customers back to your site and buying things. In order to get them to return, remind them about what they liked about your brand in the first place.
This could be done with a lot of manual work, but the most effective way is to automate the whole process. Email marketing platforms like Klaviyo were designed with this in mind, allowing you to set automated triggers for firing emails to inactive customers after a number of days you choose. This way you can craft the series of emails once and let it go on autopilot. But before you do that, you have to think about just how you want to go about getting your inactive customers' attention.
Who Are These Customers?
The first thing you should do is determine what a lapsed customer looks like for your business. Is it someone who hasn’t bought anything in over three months? Is it someone who bought a product one time because it was on sale and never came back? Did this customer buy something as a gift during the holidays? It can really be anyone, but figure out who they are and segment them into different audiences. By doing that, you can develop a strategy that is geared toward each group instead of one generic series that might not work for every audience.
For the sake of this email, the customer is a girl named Sara. Sara is in her mid twenties with a college degree and has a job that affords her some disposable income every month. A couple months back she visited your site and bought two pairs of jeans and a sweater. A few weeks later she got an email and really liked a shirt you had and bought that too. But now it has been a few months and she hasn’t bought anything.
How to Start it Off
A typical winback email starts with a personalized message, something like: “Hey Sara, we miss you!” From there you proceed to show her similar products that she has purchased from you in the past. Remind her about the things you offer that you know she will like. Include images that link directly to your website and hopefully she will click on it and buy something. However, it is not always that easy.
Make it Worth Their While
So, the first email didn’t work. Maybe she deleted the email without opening it, or maybe she clicked on the product and bounced around your website for a little bit but didn’t buy anything. Either way, it’s time for a follow up. The second email should include some similar products but also add an incentive to buy. Give her a discount code for 20% off or free shipping on her next purchase. A little incentive goes a long way.
Send a Friendly Reminder
Ok, so that didn’t work either. You’ve already made it this far, one more email reminding her about the generous offer you gave her last time. A simple “Hey Sara, don’t forget about that 20% off, it expires in a week!” It’s worth a shot.
Make Sure You Aren’t Annoying Them
If all of that doesn’t work, it’s time to get self deprecating. Follow up with an email that says something like “Hey Sara… are we annoying you? We noticed that you haven’t been reading our emails and are wondering if you still want to hear from us.. And then include calls to action along the lines of “no, i still love you” or “yeah, you can stop sending me these emails” Hopefully she clicks the first one and gets a good laugh and heads over to your site. On the other hand, the latter may hurt, but at least you know not to waste any more time trying to get her back!
Is It Worth It?
Another thing to consider is how valuable this customer is to you. Do they have a high lifetime customer value? If the answer is yes, it might be worth it to keep trying to reach them. If their lifetime value is low, maybe you just keep sending them a newsletter and hope they decide to revisit your site.
As said before, just because they haven’t visited your site in a while, it doesn’t mean they don’t still like you. Some customers just need to be reminded that you are there and still have the things they love at a price that they can afford. Determine who your lapsed customers are and develop a strategy to win them back. Send them reminders and incentives, and if that doesn’t work, make sure they are still interested in hearing from you before you keep annoying them.
4. Advanced Email Automation Campaigns
Email Automation is crazy. We, as an agency, are very pleased that it exists and you should be too. There are almost no limits to what you can have your software do for you. All of the strategies listed above fall into the category of email automation and are easy to create. In this section we are going to discuss a couple more advanced campaigns you can do to create an even more unique experience for your customers.
Sure, all of your customers are important to you, BUT there are some that are more important than others. These VIP customers are people who have spent a good amount of money with your company. This number can be determined by you and segmented accordingly. These may be people who have spent $500 in the last month or $1,000 in the last three months. It can be any number you decide is enough for your customers to reach this status. These return customers are helping keep your store alive and they deserve to be rewarded.
Once you have segmented your audience, think of a reward for being a loyal patron of your business. Make sure you let them know they have reached VIP status in the email. Start the email by saying something like "Hey Mark, we noticed you've been shopping with us a bit lately and we are super appreciative. Here is a little something for being a great customer!" Make sure the reward is worthy of their status and not something that you offer regularly. Maybe that is a free item or a buy one get one free. Whatever it ends up being, make sure it shows you actually appreciate these VIPs.
Imagine waking on your birthday and seeing an email from your favorite online store wishing you a wonderful day. There might even be a little gift inside for you. That would be pretty cool, right? It is a little tougher to set this one up, but it will go a long way with your customers and create a little more love for your brand.
Wishing your customers a happy birthday is very impactful. It really shows your customers that you care about them and gives them a little more incentive to shop with you. Doing this also creates a stronger bond between you and them and will definitely have a positive impact.
Thanks for reading, now go set these campaigns up!
Email Automation is a great tool for your business. If you implement any of the strategies above you will likely see an immediate impact with your business. The Welcome Series is a great way to kick off your relationship with a new client. Don't miss out on sales for customers who have added items to their cart and then forgot about it; use an Abandoned Cart email to remind them about the product they liked enough to almost buy. Just because they haven't visited you in a while, that doesn't mean they don't still love you, get them back with a Customer Winback Series. Once you've graduated from the easy campaigns, use automation to create more advanced campaigns like VIP and Happy Birthday!
If you would like any further information on any of these topics, please reach out and we will be happy to discuss them with you!