The world of E-Commerce is huge.
More and more businesses and start-ups are opting for this method of trading as the world becomes ever increasingly moving to the online space.
Given that companies, whether big, small or in between, are flocking to the vortex of the internet rapidly, it is imperative to know how to stay competitive and engage with the continually growing online consumer base.
The advantages of E-Commerce are simple. Everyone is online, and giving them the option to purchase your products only increases your capacity to generate more sales. The catch? Everyone’s doing it.
So, with competition vast and the internet endless, how can you stand out, stay in touch, develop and maintain relationships with customers?
Never underestimate the powerful tool known as the email newsletter.
What’s an email newsletter you ask?
For those unaware, an email newsletter is not an overly complex thing to understand. In a nutshell, they’re a form of direct mail sent by an organisation to existing customers or subscribers.
People often think email newsletters are time consuming, counter productive, expensive and never generate any returns. Really, they’re quite the opposite.
Sending out an email newsletter is a great, cheap method to reach out to your audience and communicate a message about your business and its products.
What can an email newsletter do:
- Create new leads
- Maintain communication with existing customers
- Establish yourself or business as industry specialists
- Turn leads into customers
- Open alternative sales channels
- Increase brand exposure
The overall aim? Circulating email newsletters to subscribers is about maximising opportunities to build your company profile and subsequent profit margins.
What content to use in your email newsletter?
Like all things in online marketing, quality and effective content is paramount. Don’t respect this notion, and your subscription and even customer number can diminish sevenfold and swiftly. Quality content is key, which leads us to the next step, what do you include?
A good place to start is by recognising that customers don’t want to read anything boring. Every newsletter has to be different from the last and highlight useful and beneficial reasons to shop with your business or donate to your charity. Variety is the spice to engaging with customers online through content. Be different. Balance your content to include things like:
- Discounts and sales of products
- Special offers and promotions
- Trends in your field of business
- Links to articles indirectly highlighting your products
- Company news
- Outreach for company or industry events
Avoid making it all business related. Of course sales and promotions are important, but don’t make it the sole focus. Consumers don’t like naggy salespeople online just as much as they don’t in person. The advantage with online is they can easily just navigate away from your email newsletter.
Some notes to consider when compiling a newsletter:
- Make it personal and know your customer’s name, don’t use generic introductions like “Dear Valued Customer”
- Leading your email newsletters with deals and promotions is a great way to lure your customers
- Recommend advice, tips and guides
- Provide updates about products
- Send news and information relating to your business, industry trends, popular blog articles
Examples of mail newsletters executed well:
Consumers want to feel special and everyone loves a bargain. Clothing label Banana Republic fully understands this notion as expressed in the example below. Not only do they offer an exclusive deal, they pack value on top by offering free shipping and free returns.
Ryan Barr, owner of leather goods company Whipping Post, best exemplifies an alternative approach to maintaining customer relationships through an email newsletter in the example below:
Barr’s email is professional, helpful and personal. It offers guidance on how to best sustain the quality of the product, as opposed to up selling. It further encourages customer engagement to promote the brand and enticing links to the company’s social pages to do so.
Quality Vs. Frequency:
As expressed already, quality is key in for email newsletters. But no matter how good, clogging up someone’s inbox every few days or weekly, is a sure fire way to elicit consumers to unsubscribe. According to a survey conducted through Bluehornet over 35% of consumers quote frequence as the reason they unsuscribe to email newsletters. This means you have to be strategic about when you want send out and how often. It helps considering other circumstances, like industry changes or trends, current affairs and how consumers relate to your business.
Using real people and their positive comments on your social media page in email newsletters as testimony helps boost credibility. It personifies your email in that real people are attached to it. A screenshot from your social media pages are more than enough. The landscape of social media gives its users the capacity to voice their opinion freely, alongside companies and businesses. Utilising any supportive comments in this dynamic between customers creates the perception your business is reliable and trustworthy. This can work massively to your advantage considering the stigma attached to email marketing and its affiliation with spam and junk mail. Social media is a powerful tool, use it wisely.
Keen to get cracking and send an email newsletter? Understandably so. But who are you going to send it to? Especially if you are new to the game? Don’t fear, there’s a way. There is the option to purchase a list, however this method isn’t cheap and can actually do more harm than good. Ideally, you attain subscribers organically, and there are a few ways to do so:
- Promotion: Get you newsletter known. Post links to it on your website and social media pages. Inform people that you regularly provide news, sales and discounts and special offers.
- Homepage: Make sure there is a link in your web page that easily allows users to sign up for your email newsletter.
- Landing Page: Build a landing page. Statistics are overwhelmingly positive in regard to landing pages and their effectiveness on capturing new leads. A great and easy method to employ for building subscriptions.
These are just a few steps you can take, however, If you already have a client base and their details, take advantage and reach out.
To make things even easier, there are programs available online to help distribute your email newsletters. Employing a cheap service like Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp ensures your newsletters don’t end up in any spam folders. The benefits of using an automated service means you can monitor user interaction with your newsletter and collate valuable data for consumer behaviour and business purposes. You can see who’s reading and for how long, who’s not and what bounced.
Having an email newsletter is extremely beneficial for E-Commerce sites. While the world becomes continually disconnected and digitised, reaching out and sending an email newsletter is the perfect way to connect and build rapport with consumers. There are different approaches you can take on what and when you send, but ultimately content and frequency is priority as well as taking advantage of tools like social media. E-Commerce is a huge component of the future of business conduct and trading. If your business is online, now is the time to start capitalising where you can, like sending an email newsletter. The benefits are clear.
This article was brought to you by Matter Solutions, Brisbane SEO experts.
Businesses are opting and converting to this method of trading