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Every marketing channel has its advantages, but email has consistently produced excellent results for many independent retailers for more than a decade. It has been a critical part of their marketing plan. If you are looking to get the most out of your marketing budget, email marketing is one place you should invest. Research shows that email marketing has a return on investment (ROI) of $42 for every $1 spent. This is a higher return than you can expect from any other form of marketing.
Who Needs Email Marketing?
If you are an independent retail store and you are not using email marketing as a consistent part of your marketing plan, this is your #1 goal for the next couple of months. You must start collecting email addresses and contact information for your customers. If you are unsure about the best way to do this, watch this video about a loyalty program you can start today in your store.
Collecting Email Addresses from Customers
In addition to collecting email addresses at checkout, having a place on your website is essential. There must be a place on every page for someone to opt into your email list. Try offering a free gift, coupon, or freebie to reward customers for signing up!
Related: 9 Things Every Retail Website Must Have
Choosing an Email Service Provider
Next, you need to pick an email service provider. Many retailers use Constant Contact, MailChimp, Aweber, and others. Here is a quick link to an article about the 7 Best Email Services for Small Business (2021). Make sure they have a mobile-friendly template that is easy to read and click on.
What to Write in Your Emails
1. Your email needs to come from an email name that represents your business.
2. Have a footer on every email with your contact information, store hours, address, and unsubscribe information.
3. Your Social Media links and a link to your website should be in every email.
4. The Subject Line is perhaps the most important few words in the entire email. It may be the reason the recipient will or will not open your email. The Subject Line must represent the email’s content; it must be compelling and interesting enough to get them to click.
- Try asking a question that your email’s content is giving the answer or solution to.
- Try creating a sense of urgency that compels the reader to click now. This could be about a limited supply or limited time offer, something that your customer would not want to miss out on.
- Try focusing on an upcoming promotional deal, event, or discount that will attract your customer’s attention.
- Avoid using all caps, too many exclamation points, and overused phrases like “ACT NOW,” this will help keep your email out of your customer’s SPAM folder.
5. Your email content needs to look clean and crisp. Use short paragraphs or even bullet points. Give your customers the information they need to know about your upcoming events and promotions, new products and services, etc. Your content will be different with every email, but every email needs to have a consistent look and support for your brand.
PRO TIP: Always have someone else proof your email for you. It helps to have a second pair of eyes to look it over before you send it.
Next Level Email Marketing
6. Segment your customers into different lists based on their preferences. This way, you can craft separate emails to send more personalized content to your customers.
7. Create a Welcome Email that is automatically sent to every new customer. You can also create a We Miss You email that is sent to customers that have not shopped in the last 90 days.
8. Track your email metrics. Watch your open rates and click-through rates. Then experiment with creating two versions of your email with different Subject Lines to see which one performs better. You can also try sending your emails on different days and at different times to see what performs better. Keep track of all of these metrics and continue to strive to increase your open rate and click-through rates.
9. Keep your email list clean. Have a clean list leads to fewer spam complaints and ensures more of your emails will reach your legitimate clients. This will lead to a better open rate, a better ROI, and get more eyes on your marketing. So, clean up those email bounces. Click here to learn more about email list cleaning best practices.
Wait, How Often Should I Be Sending Emails?
A common question for those starting with email marketing is, “How often should I send an email to my customers?” It really comes down to how often you have new, relevant content to share with them. The main objective is to get started! You may start with one email campaign a month, and that is fine. You can then slowly increase the frequency of your emails to twice a month and then up it to weekly. If you have great content or ever-changing offers and events happening, you can consider sending one email a week or up to two a week. You need to make sure that your emails are helpful, informative, and entertaining to your customer base; you do not want to be perceived as annoying.
Ultimately, great email marketing comes down to giving your audience something that sticks with them – something that keeps your business on their mind.