Jan
30

Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It?

By

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?

29 Comments

1

[…] presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx, saying, “Email marketing for ecommerce. What it is and why you should […]

2

a make money blogging carnival – Feb 01, 2008…

Welcome to the February 1, 2008 edition of a make money blogging carnival.

Hill Robertson presents You Must Spend Your Money and Time Wisely posted at Hill Robertson.

Hill Robertson presents The Internet Business Game posted at Hill Rober…

3

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

4

This is a really great post and it’s very important to build your own subscriber list – because that’s something that you control vs google/msn/yahoo. Google has been sandboxing a lot of sites recently over participation in certain linking strategies that Google doesn’t like, but who died and made Google the web?

5

Customer Service Carnivale: The “It’s All Good!” Edition…

I apologize for the late post for this edition of the Customer Service Carnivale!  It took awhile to get through all the readings, plus it's been an unusually busy few days…There are so many great articles, advice, and tips……

6

Hi there, the email marketing is perhaps the best means to do the Internet based business right. But I heard that there are acts enforced on that. I am doubtful whether all the companies out there are following the laws properly. One or more companies do really follow them , Please check out one such profile of a software firm that does email marketing here;

Email marketing corporation, Mass Mail software

7

This is something I have failed to address… It’s a great way to contact readers again WITH their permission.

And it’s easier to track which visitors from mailing lists are your real customers…

Kenneth

8

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

9

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

10

[…] presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx, saying, “Email marketing for ecommerce. What it is and why you should […]

11

[…] presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx, saying, “Email marketing for ecommerce. What it is and why you should […]

12

Electronic Commerce – Blog Carnival (19th February…

Welcome to the February 19, 2008 edition of electronic commerce. (Vol 2, No. 4, 2008)…

13

[…] presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx, saying, “Email marketing for ecommerce. What it is and why you should […]

14

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

15

[…] Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx […]

16

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

17

Entrepreneur Success Stories and Tips…

At The Podcast Sisters we try and inspire you on your journey to building a successful small business, we try and help you understand internet marketing and the Web 2.0 terminology. So each month we gather articles that will help…

18

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

19

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

20

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite Werx. Andrew advises us to look at converting our visitors with email […]

21

16th Carnival of Making REAL Money: March 10th 2008…

Welcome to the March 10, 2008 edition of carnival of making real money. Some how out of 66 submissions, I was able to find only 16 that I thought were appropriate for this carnival. So without further ado, I present these in the carnival… Thanks …

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Electronic Commerce – Blog Carnival (18th March 20…

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23

Your article was posted in the “Bringing more traffic to your blog” – 3rd Ed. Blog Carnival:
http://blogging4good.blogspot.com/2008/03/bringing-more-traffic-to-your-blog.html
Appreciate your participation.

24

eMail marketing is still considered to be one of the strongest and proven methods to this day. Many businesses rely on their list to bring in sales. List building is the bread and butter for many affiliate marketers, as well.

25

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

27

[…] Erickson presents Email Marketing for Ecommerce – Part I: What Is It? Why Do It? posted at WebSite […]

28

stumbled and included in my Blog Carnival.

My one site just had a huge increase in sign-ups, just by adding a pop-up window. 50% more sign-ups from the pop-up and then I changed the wording (removed the word “free”) and have gone up an additional 10% more.

Really have to work on that first contact – never assume what you have is the best idea (although I do love your pop-up).

29

Love your pop-up so much that I just bought it!