Email marketing for ecommerce is one of the best ways to build personal and lasting relationships with your customers. A well-managed email list can help you send more personalized messages, reengage past buyers, and learn more about your target audience.
You may think social media is better for engaging with customers, but the fact is, there are three times more email accounts in the world than Facebook accounts – and due to Facebook’s algorithm, the organic reach can be as low as 6%. In contrast, emails generally have an open rate of 20-30%, meaning your message is five times more likely to be read via email than Facebook.
Email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so the trick is to leverage it to your advantage. Here are five tips on how to grow and maintain your email list as an ecommerce brand.
1. Choose the Email Marketing System That Meets Your Needs Now – and in the Future
There are many email marketing platforms to choose from, many of which are low-cost or free. These tools can help you collect new emails, manage your mailing list preferences, and remove dead emails from your list, as well as provide templates and analytics.
When choosing an email marketing platform, be sure to consider ones that are specifically designed for ecommerce. Look for the ability to send retargeted ads, abandoned cart messages, and customized calls-to-action. If you sell digital products, look for platforms that can manage long-term online campaigns and track customer behavior.
Access to these features can affect whether or not you see the desired return on investment for your email marketing efforts. Although it’s not impossible to change systems down the road, it’s wise to choose the one that best aligns with your long-term marketing goals from the start.
2. Create a Killer Lead Magnet to Promote Your List
If your audience is the fish in the sea, then your lead magnet is the bait that reels them in.
Lead magnets can take many forms. For example, if you sell physical products, you can offer guides, product reviews and information sheets, and other resources related to your product.
You know you have a great lead magnet idea when it helps solve a problem your audience has. Overall, lead magnets should get your audience excited and interested in joining your list.
If you’re struggling to think of a lead magnet, consider ways you can repurpose existing resources you have on your website. Maybe you can create a list of the best products for a trending category or make a PDF checklist based on an existing blog post.
Once you have your lead magnet set up, you’re ready to place it next to your sign-up form.
3. Grow Your List Through Promotion and Personal Connections
Outside of your home page, there are a variety of creative ways to encourage people to sign up for your email list. You can promote it in your email signature, on your social media profiles, and add people to it when they purchase from your ecommerce site.
Don’t be shy about promoting your list, either. Consider installing a floating bar that keeps your opt-in form on-screen, even when your visitor scrolls. Make sure your sign-up form is above the fold and consider implementing a welcome gate to your home page.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to send a welcome email to your list upon subscription. Welcome emails have some of the highest open rates of any email you’ll send. Take the time to thank your new subscriber and promise them value going forward.
4. Engage and Experiment With Your List
Now that you’re steadily accumulating email subscribers, it’s time to figure out what to say after your first welcome email.
If they subscribed via your lead magnet, considering sending more resources and offers related to that content. If they didn’t subscribe through your lead magnet, that resource could be one of the value offers in your email sequence.
While you’re engaging with your list subscribers, consider how you’d like to convert them into customers. Perhaps they signaled that they are new to your product or service. This would be a good time to send some informative material on what problem your product or service could solve for them.
Make sure your emails align with a larger marketing goal while staying interesting and relevant to the reader. Split test subject lines, offers, images, and other aspects of your message to see what connects with your audience. Even small tweaks like adding an emoji to your subject line can increase unique open rates.
As you grow your list, learn how to segment your messaging to ensure it’s as relevant and interesting as possible to the recipient.
5. Keep a Clean Email List
Don’t take it personally – even the best email lists lose around 20-30% of their subscribers per year due to attrition. Removing dud emails is important to increasing your deliverability score and receiving reliable stats from your metric reports.
Your email marketing platform should be able to provide you with data regarding emails that bounce or recipients who repeatedly flag you as spam. The system should also be able to filter for email addresses that don’t bounce but still haven’t opened your emails during a certain period.
You can also export your list and run it through a separate email verification tool. This will help weed out dead emails from your list.
Finally, you can simply ask your subscribers to reiterate their interest. Ask them to opt-in again and offer a freebie for those who do. This rewards loyal readers and reengages those who were on the fence.
Once you plan out your email marketing system and lead magnet, you just need to promote your list and give value to your readers. Eventually, you’ll be able to segment your audience, split test your messaging, and boost your ecommerce brand’s bottom line.
Like with any new project, there’s a small learning curve to growing and maintaining an active email list. Once you have the process down pat, though, email marketing is a great way to build loyalty, drum up awareness, and increase the sales of your product or service.
About the author
Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Ramp Ventures. He has and has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint and other Fortune 500 caliber companies.