Archive for email marketing

email marketingI admit it – I’ve been slow to embrace email marketing on my ecommerce sites. It has literally taken me years to get around to implementing it on my own sites (even though I have helped many clients do it successfully). This has been a huge mistake, and one I’ve been actively working on remedying.

Before I get into the different methods and tactics I’ve used (including some of the tests I’ve performed and their results), I’d like to start at the beginning:

What is email marketing? And why should anyone bother?

Here’s the definition that I believe answers both the what and the why at once:

Email marketing is an avenue for an ongoing relationship between you and your prospects and customers.

Once all of your efforts, resources, time, effort, and advertising dollars have finally brought a visitor to your site, one of two things usually happens:

  1. They browse and end up buying, or
  2. They leave and never return.

If in doubt, check your website logs – you’ll see the stark reality of what I’ve just said . It is the very rare visitor that comes back once they’ve clicked the back button or the little red ‘X‘.

Even among those who buy from you, how many make their way back to purchase again?

By implementing an ongoing email marketing system with your site, you add a third option:

3. They don’t purchase, but they do give you permission to contact them in the future.

What is your purchase conversion rate? 2%? 3%? Even 5%? That means 95 or more out of 100 visitors are not buying from you. If you don’t have a way (and permission!) to contact them again, those 95+ visitors are gone for good. They aren’t customers.

They aren’t even prospects!

They are, at best, a ‘hit’ in your log. (At worst, they cost you money by clicking on your ad, and you now have no way to recover that expense).

With permission to contact them again, you have an opportunity to establish and grow a relationship with your prospects, converting some of them to customers.

And for those who do buy from you, I’m sure you know that the first sale is the hardest (and most expensive) sale to make. Permission-based email communication with previous buyers provides you with an opportunity to maintain “top of mind” awareness with your customers, and solidifying you as the provider-of-choice whenever they need the product or service you provide.

In upcoming installments I’ll talk about:

  • just how easy it is to get your own email marketing engine going;
  • results from my own testing on live ecommerce stores;
  • common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid;
  • ways to increase sign-ups to your email list; and
  • strategies for effectively communicating with your list.

If you have a question about list building or email marketing for ecommerce stores, please leave a comment and let me know.

If you’re not building a list of opt-ins (prospects & customers who have given you permission to contact them), why not?

What is the #1 thing holding you back?

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