By now, your little side hustle might have grown into a decently sized business. Your social media has likely been gaining some traction and followers, so naturally, you start thinking about how you can strengthen your relationship with your fans.
Email marketing is a great way to do this! In the past, I have heard people say, “I have a large social media following. Do I really need to start email marketing? Does anyone even open promo emails anymore?” To which I reply, “You are missing out more than you know, my friend!”
According to Salesforce, 95% of people consider email newsletter content from a recognized brand useful. To me, email marketing is the bee’s knees. Don’t just take it from the source though – here are some stats you should know:
1. Email marketing is effective at generating sales. Need I say more? Now you may be wondering, “OK but how many sales will I generate?” That will depend on a lot of factors but the main ones are: how effective your email subject line is, how enticing your pretty email is, how user friendly your website is, along with how useful your content and products are to the reader.
2. Your email campaign is more effective at reaching your customers than social media. Why? Because Facebook and Instagram’s new algorithms have made it harder for business posts to be organically seen by their followers. According to Hootesuite, “On Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post hovers around 5.20%”. That means, if you have 500 followers on Facebook, on average about only 26 people actually see your business post before it is shared or gains comments and likes. This is why email marketing may be the low hanging sales fruit you need to start harvesting. You’ll also be happy to know that the average order value of an email is 3x higher than that of social media.
3. Email messages can be personalized. What message you relay and how you relay it is important to keep customers engaged. One great benefit of personalized emails is that you can include your customer’s name in your email subject line. Ex. “Hey Kara-Lynn, we thought you might like these hats!” According to Campaign Monitor, “Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.”
4. Email marketing is the best way to gain customer retention. 80% of retail professionals believe that email marketing is the greatest way for them to retain repeat customers. How can this be done? A great way is through Abandoned Cart emails via your email marketing platform to capture those customers who jumped ship before they checked out. Did you know that the average global rate of cart abandonment is 75.6%? That being said, if you have a good retention plan in place, up to 10.7% of your cart abandonments can be recovered - which means more sales!
If you’re on the Shopify website platform, you can easily search compatible email marketing apps in the “Shopify App Store”. If you are using a different platform, or do not have a website yet and are primarily showcasing your products through Facebook Shop or Etsy, simply do some research on a great provider for you. We like ones that allow some customization so we can match the colors to our brand and adjust the sizing of photos. On a sidenote, if you don’t have a website yet, but want to learn how to make the switch, read our blog post on “Easy Steps to Start Your Store on Shopify”.
There’s a lot of great benefits to having a website. One is that customers will not have to sign into a Facebook or Etsy account when they click to view your products in your email marketing campaign. Here is a helpful article we wrote on “Moving from Etsy to your own Shopify Website”.
Do not skip this step! Each country has laws to protect consumers and businesses from the misuse of digital technology. The #1 rule of email marketing is to get permission to email your customers first! Never buy a list of email addresses from anyone or you may be looking at some hefty fines. In the US, their anti-spam compliance program is called the CAN-SPAM Act. In Canada, it is called the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislations (CASL). If you are going to be sending out emails within or outside your country, be sure to look up the laws around doing so first so you stay within the lines.
Take a look at your branding, your color palettes, your fonts and your business tone and terminology. That branding tone will have to be reflected in your emails, so people get those “you” vibes they love every time they open your email. If you’re stuck, try subscribing to some of your favorite brands’ email lists and check out how they convey their messages to you. Imitation may be flattery, but try to be uniquely YOU in your emails!
Create some email templates for the different email messages you want to convey to your subscribers, such as sales promotions, blogs, tutorials or for upcoming events. This way, you can reuse the templates - but be sure to add a dash of unique design and flare to each message, so your emails remain fresh and fun to open each time.
Pay attention to email subject lines. These are going to affect your open rates and ultimately, how many people open your email and potentially buy. Make the message fun, clear and to the point since you only get so many characters. Never use irrational clickbait in your emails - here’s why.
Now is the time to start getting email subscribers if you haven’t already! Whoo-hoo! Start by setting up email sign up forms on your website and at checkout. Ask customers on social media to signup and also ask your customers in person. Just note, customers will rarely bite at the bit to give you their email address, so make sure you explain why they should subscribe and be specific!
Most people need to be incentivized to join an email list. Some examples of offerings could be “subscribe for monthly coupons, subscribe to get rewards with each purchase, subscribe to get links to our tutorial videos, subscribe and get a 20% off coupon code or subscribe to be the first to hear about our sales and promotions!” One of the most successful ways you can get your customer’s attention is to run a contest or giveaway. Ask the people who enter your contest if they would also like to sign up for your email list.
Plan out a month’s worth of email campaigns weeks in advance. Use your email templates and start adding in your images and messages. Test send your emails to yourself to ensure that your fonts and images are structured perfectly, your URL links work and your message looks good on your mobile devices as well as your ipad and laptop. Make a plan of who you want to send your emails to (if you want to send it to your entire subscriber list or maybe just a special few of them). Try to plan out when the best day and time is to send your email campaign, based on stats and testing.
Let that email fly, baby!
Track measurable metrics like your sales, how many people opened your email, and how many people clicked on your website. Then, use that info to try to tweak your future emails for the better. Some email campaign providers even offer a “clickmap” feature where you can see what buttons and products your customers clicked on to get to your website, which is super helpful to learn what your customers are most interested in.
We understand that starting to execute your email marketing plans can be nerve-racking, but learning new things along the road is what makes owning a small shop so liberating! We are so happy to be here with you on this ride, and promise to continue to provide you with more and more resources on our Blog. Stay tuned - there’s more business boosting strategies to come!
(Ps. You got this!)
Marketing Director for Cara & Co.