As the owner of an Ecommerce business, you likely are well aware of the rapid changes that constantly bring new challenges to individuals that choose to be within this industry. As a business owner you are forced to constantly adapt in order to stay ahead of the competition, maintain your current customer base, and keep things moving in a profitable direction. Surprisingly, even after years of having email marketing at the forefront of most online business marketing informational guides and websites, too many businesses overlook it. Too often they are focused on converting the sale on the page, and not looking at the bigger picture. Each and every lead you are able to generate is precious, and even if it does not result in a sale on the day that you generated the lead, it could potentially lead that direction in weeks to months down the line.
Did you know that according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an average ROI of around 4,300%? Keep in mind that subscribers and leads can be generated in a variety of different ways, resulting in a vastly different returns on investment. Regardless, the costs associated with maintaining and creating an email marketing list are almost nil. In fact, many free solutions such as MailChimp.com allow you to begin creating your list, up to a specific number of subscribers. This allows those that have not dabbled in email marketing to run a number of tests before jumping in head first to get an idea of the return on investment that they can expect.
Creating an ongoing newsletter that not only keeps your readers interested, but also allows them to gain some positive information is highly beneficial. Did you know that more than 70% of individuals say that they open marketing message in their personal emails on a daily basis? While no one appreciates spam, having a newsletter or email marketing list allows you to provide consistent value to potential customers, building trust and aligning yourself as an expert within your industry.
It is important that once an individual has signed up for your email list, that you continue to provide them with value either in the form of content or discounts. Of course, you want to limit the number of emails that you send so that you do not seem overly pushy, annoying, or spammy. Trust is built by providing readers with a slow but steady stream of interesting content or valuable discounts, and without trying to hard to convert them into a paying customer. Your goal should be to lead them to the conclusion that making the purchase is in their own best interests.
Coupons and Discounts
Providing users with coupons, discounts, and special offers through email is another great way to connect with them. Who doesn’t want to save money? If an individual on your list is genuinely interested in your product and you provide them with a limited time discount that will save them a good deal of money, their interests will be piqued to say the least. Rewarding those that sign up for your marketing list with ongoing sales, coupons and discounts that are exclusive to those on your list will help you to keep your company in the back of their mind, and keep them coming back for more.
60% of readers that subscribe to an email list state that their reason for doing so is to receive special offers from that business, according to a September 2012 Blue Kangaroo survey. In that case, those individuals have already mostly determined that they would be interested in purchasing a product from your business – so long as they are given additional incentive to do so.
In the same Blue Kangaroo survey, 93% of those surveyed stated that they had a “moderate” to “very high” interest in receiving deals and coupons for products that they were already interested in. Only 7% of individuals from that survey stated that they would not be interested. This goes to show that individuals that have signed up for your email list, and have already shown an interest in your product, will be delighted to receive coupons and discounts so long as you provide some additional value along with them.
Email vs. Social
Although many online marketing blogs will tell you that email and social are very similar to one another in that individuals will “subscribe” to your feed, which will provide you with an opportunity to market your services to them. While in the technical sense this is true, you have to take the mind state of the consumer into account.
For the most part, people use social networks for reasons that the name would suggest – social purposes. When browsing their Facebook or Twitter feed, it is highly unlikely that they are gong through those channel sin search of marketing materials. They aren’t in the frame of mind to make a purchase, and may feel bombarded if companies that they are following use those channels to push over the top marketing materials their way.
In a recent study by Custora that looked at data from more than 72 million customers on 86 of the biggest Ecommerce sites online, they determined that the percentage of customers acquired by those websites through email was 7%. Compared to Facebook and Twitter which both came in at the bottom of the list with less than 3% (just below affiliate promotions and banner ads), it is easy to see what companies have found to be increasingly worthwhile. Since 2010, the number of customers that companies bring in through email marketing has quadrupled. There are a number of reasons for this, including organic rankings being increasingly hard to come by and larger companies launching new CPC campaigns, driving up the price.
As a business owner, you can not afford to forego email marketing. The return on investment is highly profitable, and the click through rates for solid email marketing materials is astronomical compared to meager click through rates most companies see from social networks. It makes one wonder why companies spend so much time on social, and often so little time on email marketing.