You’ve done it. You’ve started your own business, and you’re ready to grow it to unprecedented heights. You’ve created a fancy new website, you’ve got yourself a Google AdWords account, you’ve even started writing scripts for a video that you’re sure will take your product and company viral. There’s a seemingly infinite number of ways to market your new business, but before you pour all your energy into becoming a YouTube sensation, you need to take a moment to nail down the most basic of basics: email marketing.
Boring, right? The stats say otherwise – each year, businesses that utilize email marketing average a ridiculous 4,300% ROI. Email is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal, and it’s one that is frequently underutilized. Many small business owners create an email address and leave it at that. They’ll respond to the occasional customer inquiry and even attempt a halfhearted newsletter before moving onto bigger, shinier things, losing out on thousands of potential sales and revenue in the process. DON’T DO THIS. Do some research and determine which email platform is best for your company and your website before you even think of driving traffic to it.
Once you’ve selected an automation service, you’ll need to integrate it with your ecommerce website. This is very easy to do, and enables you to start growing your email list through subscriber signup boxes. Create a newsletter or an email subscriber list, and give your visitors an incentive to sign up for it: a free e-book, a one-time 10% discount or something along those lines. Display this freebie prominently and the email addresses will start rolling in – and once they do, you’ll have a built-in list of hot leads that you can directly market to.
After you’ve got your subscriber boxes created, you’ll want to start creating automated email campaigns to be sent out whenever a user takes a given action on your site. There are an almost limitless number of actions that you can select as email campaign “triggers”, like signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, or adding a product to the shopping cart. As your site grows you can add increasingly intricate automated campaigns, but for starters we recommend covering basics with these six “standard” campaigns.
Account Registration: This email campaign will begin whenever a visitor decides to register an account on your website. Use it to confirm that the individual has completed their registration successfully and to introduce them to your company.
Newsletter Signup: This email campaign is triggered whenever someone signs up for your newsletter. Provide a bit of information on what your subscribers can expect from the newsletter, like when it will be delivered, what kind of content will be discussed, etc.
Abandoned Shopping Cart: This is one of the most powerful campaigns you can enable on your website, and is triggered whenever a potential customer adds a product to their shopping cart but fails to complete their checkout. An astounding $18 billion is lost every year to shopping cart abandonment, so remarketing to these near-buyers is highly recommended. Schedule a follow up email to send soon after the cart has been abandoned, asking the customer if they need any help completing their order. In most cart abandonment cases, the buyer has either gotten distracted or experienced technical difficulty while trying to make their purchase, so a simple reminder email is often all you need to send to complete the sale. In the event that this first email is unsuccessful, you’ll want to have a second follow up email scheduled to send a day or two later, containing a discount code. Your lead has gone somewhat cold at this point, but still might convert to a sale if they are offered a discounted price.
Order Confirmation: A very standard email campaign that goes out whenever a purchase is made. This will include a summary of the order, a receipt, and shipping information. This is usually a multi-part email series that will also automatically send an email when the product has been delivered.
Product Review: This email campaign is usually scheduled to send a few weeks after a purchase has been made. It asks customers to leave a review of the product they purchased, which can be incredibly helpful in making future sales. Online buyers are very discerning, so seeing positive reviews for your product can help alleviate any fears they may have about buying something they haven’t seen in person.
Reengagement Emails: This campaign should be set to trigger when a customer has not made a purchase in an extended period of time (3-6 months). If they are not a subscriber to your newsletter, they have likely fallen out of touch with your company, so you’ll want to utilize this campaign to remind them of your company and all of the great products you have to offer.
If you want to maximize your business’ potential, you absolutely need to utilize an automated email platform. Most of these services are fairly intuitive, and can be mastered with a bit of research and experimenting if you’re determined to do all of your marketing in-house. If you have an advertising budget, however, we highly recommend discussing your email strategy with a consultant. They can help you build up robust automated campaigns, analyze their success, and guarantee that you’re getting all you can out of this critical marketing medium. No matter what sector you’re in, email marketing will play a significant role in the success of your company – ignore it at your own risk.
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