Many companies underutilize their e-commerce email list because they worry that they won’t have anything to say, or that their customers might think that their emails are spammy. And, let’s face it, many e-commerce newsletters are. But when used right, your email list can be a goldmine of great customer intel, engagement, and sales.
The key to writing an email newsletter that gets opened — and gets results — is to think like your customer. What content would they find most useful? What deals most enticing? Look at your own email inbox for inspiration. Which emails are you always excited to open? Which do you automatically delete?
Keep in mind that you can probably be a bit more sales-y then you think in an email newsletter and get away with it. Of course you want your email to be useful, but remember that the people on your email list have given you permission to sell to them, and they expect a certain amount of special offers and promotions!
Feeling reassured? Let’s get into the top reasons why your e-commerce email list is a goldmine.
An email list lets us all get to know each other better
You can use your email newsletter to turn one-time shoppers into lifelong fans by helping them get to know you better. Set up an email autoresponder series to welcome new customers — introduce them to your company ethos, help them explore your other product lines, tell them about your customer loyalty program, and incentivize them to come back and shop your site again with a special offer like in-store credit or a limited time discount.
Along with teaching your customers about you, an email list can help you get to know your customers better, too. Mine your demographic data for insights, such as how many of your customers use mobile, or where they’re geographically located. You can even use emails surveys to ask questions about their preferences and shopping habits.
It lets you educate your customers
You can use automated emails to educate your customers in timely moments. For example, when their shipment first arrives.
Most of us are extremely excited when our new product shows up on the doorstep — and companies should be, too. Because the moment your customer first gets his or her hands on their shipment is a great opportunity for you to engage with them.
Send an automated email that the shipment should’ve arrived (with a link to your customer service just in case anything has gone wrong), then use this email as an opportunity to educate your customers. Provide links to quick tutorials, or short tips in the body of the email to explain how to get the most out of it. You could also include testimonials or examples from other users to give them inspiration.
You can also use your emails to educate your customers about your products. For example, to upsell related items. Do you sell a necklace that would go perfectly with that scoop-not dress they just bought? What about a personalized carrying case an extra charger set for that new gizmo? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask this question: What will make them think, “That’s exactly what I needed!”
Be careful of using your newsletter to constantly hawk products, however. Use your newsletter to showcase other things you think your customers might be interested in, like content on your blog, or a gift guide around the holidays. Just remember that if you want people to open your email, you need to make it constantly worth reading.
It promotes a feeling of community
Your customers are a special bunch — so use your email newsletter to make them feel like part of the club.
One way to do this is, of course, by offering them exclusive discounts that aren’t available to non-subscribers. But another fun way is to use your newsletter to showcase things other customers are doing through Instagram photos, highlighted reviews, or other user generated content. You might even feature a valued customer in your newsletter along with a quick Q&A about themselves.
Emails are a great way to both solicit and share social proof with your customers. Try sending an email checking in to see how everything is going with the product, and asking for feedback. If something is going wrong, being preemptive is a good way to win a customer’s trust. If everything is going great, it might just be the nudge they need to go leave that glowing review.
If they feel a connection with you and other customers through your email newsletter, they’ll be happy to help you out!
It can reengage old customers
It would be unnerving if the owner of the grocery store you no longer shop at knocked on your door one day to ask you to come back. But with email marketing, you can run an automated re-engagement campaign to do just that — with way less creep factor.
Segment your newsletter for people that haven’t been to shop with you lately, then try to coax them back to your store with special offers, personalized suggestions of new products that they might find interesting, announcements about features they may have missed, and other incentives to get in touch. You can also send out surveys asking what would bring them back, which can be a valuable source of data.
It takes less energy to encourage a lapsed customer to give you a second chance than it does to woo someone new — especially if you already have their email address.
Learn more: Earning Your Customers’ Trust in 5 Simple Steps
Have you seen good results with your e-commerce newsletter? Let us know how in the comments!