Email may seem old-school, but it can actually be an important driver of online sales for your brick-and-mortar store.
Looking for a way to drive more traffic to your new online shop? Get in people’s in-boxes. “Email marketing is the lifeblood of an e-commerce store,” says Ben Jabbawy, CEO of the e-commerce marketing platform, Privy. “Building a list of customers and prospects that you own and can use to educate on your story is the key differentiator between stores that thrive and those that shut down.”
To build your email list, offer your customers as many different ways to sign up for email news or exclusive promotions as you can—including in your brick-and-mortar store. Pop-ups on your website or blog (“I see you’re interested in Our Dance Store’s news. Can we add you to our email list?”) and email sign-up opportunities on your social media can grow your list, too.
Jabbawy says that every contact on your customer list is worth, on average, $33 in revenue, making it well worth connecting with them via email. Being too subtle is the biggest mistake independent retailers are making, he says. “E-commerce marketing is about building relationships, telling your story and getting in front of your customers regularly.” Once-a-week emails keep your store top of mind.
“Consistency in publishing marketing campaigns will get you comfortable and help you drive results,” adds Jabbawy. “It’ll also help you stay in front of customers who are also frequently buying on Amazon. It will regularly remind them why they should be buying from you instead of Jeff Bezos.”
To make your email campaigns more targeted, segment your customer list. (Your POS, for instance, could tell you who bought children’s dance slippers and who bought pointe shoes.) Then you can share bun-making tutorials and accessories with new dance moms or yoga stretches with ballerinas, as well as any helpful tools they might want to add to their dance bags.
Don’t forget to create an email for abandoned carts. With one automated email, you can recover up to 20 percent of sales that never make it through the checkout process. Apps like Privy help you with templates that you can customize to your store’s brand and easily connect to Shopify.
DIG DEEPER: Jabbawy’s daily podcast, Ecommerce Marketing School with Ben Jabbawy, features 5- to 10-minute episodes to help you build your online store.
Libby Basile reports regularly on retail strategy, visual merchandising and store design. She is a former editor in chief of Dance Retailer News.