One of the ways to increase your customer base as an e-commerce seller is to use other platforms, such as social media pages, etc. Email marketing is another powerful way of reaching new prospects but how does it work?
First, Collect Email Addresses
Regulations have been tightened up, and if you are going to send emails to people, you should ensure you have their permission to use their email address in this way. Buying email address lists and employing ‘cold emailing’ techniques is frankly a waste of everyone’s time. It makes you unpopular, which damages your brand reputations, after all, who wants, even more, junk mail. You could also find your efforts wasted as spam filters notice you and start routing your emails out of sight.
Collect email addresses legitimately. There is more than one way to do this, but the easiest is creating social media or website sign-up. Offering a newsletter – a great way to showcase products and propagate special offers and news from your shop will encourage people to give you their email address. You can also use customer email addresses as long as you are clear that they will be utilised in this way unless the owner opts out.
Find A Bulk Emailer
Now, if you were to sit and email each customer individually, you would be there all day. From a data protection point of view, creating one email and using ‘CC’ to add your contacts is a huge no, as you are then giving out everyone’s email address to all on the list. Using BCC is not any better, as many email clients notice this and block you sending to large BCC groups. By far and away the best bet is a program designed for this purpose.
There are hundreds on offer, MailChimp is a well known one, and they will allow you to have up to 2000 contacts before there is any charge for using their service – ideal for smaller businesses and keeping costs low. But do shop around and if you have friends in business see what they are using.
Design Your Email
First off, do not become a nuisance to people. Newsletters should not just be sales spam in disguise. You do not want to send too many in a month, and you need to offer more than just blatant promotion. Most of the bulk email programs also offer some cool email templates that can make designing your work easy, and have the required information prompts. There are rules on what information you should include about your business, such as address, registration numbers (where applicable), etc. There must also be an opt-out option for people to unsubscribe.
You can add information and links back to your website or shop and create the relevant calls to action, and add some news and interest for your readers.
Following these steps should enable you to create some superb campaigns that will also bring new prospects to your store and remind customers that you are still out there.