Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shop Advice: Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of our most useful (and often overlooked) tools for promoting our shops.  And while there are scores of companies to choose from (to find the most popular services google "email marketing"), my favorite is Constant Contact.  A free 60 day trial drew me in initially, but it was their easy-to-use format and super-reasonable rates that kept me on.

Benefits of email marketing include:
*Increased sales -- Let customers know about new products, promotions, etc.  Also, the "forward to friend" link in each email lets you reach friends of customers.
*Generating repeat sales -- Customers already know to come to you for your great products.  By sending emails you stay fresh in their minds and encourage them to revisit your shop.
*Cross sell products -- By featuring complimentary items your suggestions make shopping for additional items easy on your customers.
*Get feedback from visitors -- By reviewing the statistics on who opened your email, what they clicked on and what led to sales, your customers are telling you volumes about effective strategies.  

It's important to remember to be selective when collecting email addresses.  Spamming is a big no-no and a practice that will result in account cancellation by your service.  A good habit is to only add customers to your list who have shopped with you or who have asked for updates/correspondence.

It's also important to decide how often you want to correspond with your email list.  I like to keep in touch about once a month, or when running special promotions, around holidays with holiday specific suggestions, or as new specialty items come in. 

If you've been wanting to try email marketing but have felt hesitant, don't wait a minute more: jump in and sign up with a service you like. It'll be one of your best and most effective shop decisions.


Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

I have a trial to constant contact, but the initial warning on the email address entry was confusing at the least. I guess I need to revisit this.

Katy said...

I used Mail Chimp for a while and that was a very easy to system. Didn't use it enough to keep paying for it but now I'm rethinking it...Thanks ~ kt

Golden West said...

I totally agree that constant contact is well worth the money and that analyzing the stats leads to even bigger sales.

Rocki said...

Very interesting and informative post - thank you!

Marla's Mud Moments said...

I am about to launch my first newsletter with Constant Contact! I hope it does exactly what you say. :-)
Thanks for posting this.