I teach emerging online fashion boutique owners how to crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.
Hi, I'm Jodie
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List building, aka growing your mailing list by collecting email addresses, is such an important part of the eCommerce business. These emails or people are your leads and the most likely customers to buy your products. You can market to them and share your campaigns and sales to entice them to perhaps make that first purchase, and from there to rebuy and be a long term customer.
List building is also important if your business plan for your ecommerce store is to sell it one day. A buyer is going to ask you, how big is your database and how many people have subscribed? Because that list ultimately means clients. And ultimately, the size of your list will definitely determine how much you can ask for your business.
In this day and age it is not as easy as it once was to get email addresses. Why is that? We know, whenever we give out our email address, even if it’s for a free raffle or a free guide, whatever it might be, we know we are going to receive marketing emails. So here are some key ways to build that list and then capitalise on it.
Spin the wheel is a type of gamification app that pops up on your website. As the name suggests, it’s a wheel that comes up and users pop their email address in, then spin and have the chance to win certain bonuses which encourages them to make a purchase with you.
You can programme the wheel to have different incentives such as 10% discount or free shipping and you can go in and set the likelihood and the ratios of how many people will win. The idea is to reward these people for opting in without cutting too much into your profit margin. Not only is this app fun for consumers, it also has a really high conversion rate.
Another way to incentive opting in is by doing a gift voucher giveaway. For example, people who have opted into your email could go in the chance to win a gift voucher. Doing this type of incentive is a way to cut having numerous discounts and just focusing on one key giveaway because every discount you have eats into your costs. If you’re using Shopify, you can see exactly how many discounts dollar wise you’ve given and it kind of hurts. The other bonus of a gift voucher is it is for retail value so that means the cost to you is much lower depending on your profit margin. Weigh up for your own business what type of incentive is best suited.
Now, if you don’t want to give any sort of monetary gift voucher or discount, perhaps you can create a great guide. If you’re in the fashion business, you can create a three to five page PDF guide in a tool like Canva that gives a styling guide or something that’s relevant to your customers that they’re going to want.
Once you’ve created something eye-catching, set that up in your email system, whether it’s Klaviyo, or Active Campaign or MailChimp, so once they’ve opted it is delivered via email. There are many different types of guides, how-to’s, top recommendations that you can do so be creative. But just remember for eCommerce, the conversion rate of those people signing up for an opt in, will be higher if you’re giving them some sort of value.
Once you’ve got emails, part two is then warming up those customers by sending them valuable content, offering your best sellers, sharing reviews, and inviting them to come back to your store. That’s the whole purpose of email marketing. If you have been in the online world for a little while now, you’d know from your statistics that many of your website customers don’t usually purchase on the first visit. It’s often on the second, the third, the fourth.
You need strategies in order to remind people to come back for another look and consider the items that they might have been looking at. You also want to warm them up to share information about your brand, your team, to get to know you in a more intimate way via email marketing.
Setting up automated flows is super important. So once someone say, spins the wheel and pops in their email, they should then drop into an automated flow of a welcome flow. This is an email from you saying, thanks so much for signing up, here’s a little bit more about us.
Then maybe a week later you can send them another email that’s been set up inside of this automated flow such as ‘here’s some recent reviews’ or ‘here’s some of our best sellers’.
Then the following week, you might offer them a little discount then. By then you’ve built up a bit more like and trust with them and you might get them across the line to make that first purchase.
Another automated flow you need is one for abandoned carts. If someone’s dropped onto your website, and they’ve put in all of their details and their email address and for some reason dropped off, you should have a series of emails programmed that fire automatically to this customer saying ‘hey, we noticed you didn’t quite finish your purchase, we really want to send these items to you! click the link to get started’.
For iland co. we have a series of three emails in our abandoned cart. The first email is ‘it looks like you didn’t quite get to finish the purchase’.Then by the second email, we actually offer a little discount, as a little incentive. Then the third email is a reminder saying ‘don’t forget, that discount is about to expire.’
Other automated flows you need to think about are a ‘thank you for your first purchase’ when someone makes a purchase for the first time, or even a ‘thank you for your second or third purchase’ in order to recognise and make your customers’ day. It also is a chance to share a personal note on how their purchase is supporting your small business and how much their order is valued.
Another automated flow that’s important is a win back flow. It is for people that are on your list that haven’t taken any action for a long time. It might be titled something along the lines of ‘we miss you, come back, here’s a little incentive to come back and have another look at our website’. If you still get no engagement from those people, I would recommend deleting them from the list because most of these email providers, you pay your subscription based on how many people are on your list nd if someone’s on your list and then not opening, they’re not engaged for whether it’s three months, six months, 12 months, they’re just costing you money.
Now aside from automated flows that you use as part of your email marketing campaign, you also need to send out regular EDMS or newsletters.Your list size will ultimately determine how many emails you send each week or month. When you’re very first starting, you might only have 10, or 20 people on your list so it’s probably not worth investing the time.
But as your list size grows, you can then if you’ve got a smart system like Klaviyo, you can segment people based on how often they’re engaging and if they have recently been to your website. You can send email newsletters specific to those different segments. Right now for iland co. we are sending three emails a week, but they are segmented.
One email a week goes to our US customers or US list because they’re in obviously your opposite season to us. We mention our US website and have links and all the dollars are US. Then to the rest of the world and Australia and New Zealand particularly, we send one email to those engaged people. We have a segment set up in Klaviyo that notifies you know us and says these people are engaged. They’re actually opening your emails and clicking the links in the past 90 days so they will get a specific email as well.
Then we do one email to everyone and that’s usually some sort of special offer such as a flash sale Friday sort of type email where we pick one product that we might have excess stock or one not selling particularly well. Again, that goes to everyone so they are aware of incentives like sales.
Email marketing is so important and should be something that you prioritise ongoingly in your eCommerce business.
It’s not something you just do once and forget about it. You want to be always having a list building strategy happening, and you should always be doing some email marketing as well as having those automated flows set up so to keep connected to your customers