In today’s day and age, almost all shops and businesses use some format of email marketing. From sale promotions and company updates to personalized thank you notes for past shoppers, email marketing can help build your business. This practice has showcased time and time again what a great tool it can be for driving sales, creating a connection to the customer, and getting your business out there.
Today’s blog will cover what email marketing is, how you can create your newsletter, and tools and tips that will help you succeed. While an email can be used for many different purposes, it can upgrade your business!
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a tool used by all business types that builds a connection between you and the customer, like informing business updates, abandoned shipping carts, reward systems, thank you emails, and more.
The benefits of this tool are limitless! With email automation, you can help customers have personalized shopping experiences, improve return rates, promote products, and have the ability to reach a larger audience rather than you sending one email at a time.
Creating Your Newsletter
Let’s plan your newsletter! First, start a conversation using a direct connection to your customer, like their email. Seen as one of the more personal options for sales, thanks to the ability of personalization, buyers will appreciate that you’ve made an effort to connect with them.
Focus on newsletters that offer some form of value. For example, a focus on accessories they’ll like, promotions of products they’re interested in, blogs that align with their interests, and the like offer customers the opportunity to trust your business.
Consider your buyer or viewer when creating your newsletter. For example, if you could obtain an email address from someone considering your shop but didn’t complete a purchase, a newsletter can be a great way to bring them back in! In addition, with add-ons like coupons, promotional pricing, or upcoming sale announcements, you can pull in potential customers on the fence and help them find the product they need.
Another positive about newsletter promotions is the ability to speak to the customer without paid promotion. While we can pay to promote our ads on social media and online, there is no promise it will reach your intended audience each time. On the other hand, an email will directly reach your client and inform them of what’s happening in your business today.
Different Newsletter Goals
Before diving into your design, let’s plan the content your newsletter will cover. Of course, we have different goals when sending out these emails, so consider what response you want from the audience.
- Relationship building: The top reason newsletters have gained popularity is the relationship and trust you begin building with your customer base. If your focus is relationship building, focus on giving them a view of your business and expertise. Add-ons like behind the scene clips or blogs on your projects allow you to build credibility while promoting your shop.
- Sales and Services: Create curated newsletters for your customers. Based on their past purchases, you can create an email that will go specifically with their interests. For example, if someone purchased a quilt pattern, you can curate a quilting newsletter that promotes a project and other items for sale. This way, they can see you care about their purchase while encouraging a new sale.
- Education: Does your business focus on selling sewing supplies or finished quilts? Create a how-to newsletter to show customers your abilities and allow them the chance to see how they can use your products. Whether it is how to style your new quilt or sew using a tool you sell, the best promotion for some customers is seeing the product in use and imagining how they can do the same.
- Customer Feedback and Referrals: Use these newsletters to receive feedback on your business and practices. This way, you can focus on what works and needs to be fixed, allowing customers the chance to place their input, a benefit many appreciate!
Besides your content, focus on your design look. We want to create a layout that is easy to read but catches the viewers’ attention and helps them clarify that it’s your business. For example, focus on what color choices, font, and layout you want your letters to follow.
While most programs offer templates to choose from, make sure to personalize the templates to your company’s brand. Consistency is key when setting up your newsletter so that customers can connect it with your business and feel your brand’s touch.
Finding Your Audience
Before you can send these campaigns out, you need to build your audience! By building a strategy, you can decide whom you’re hoping to reach, what segments you might create (breaking down your audience by interest), and when you’ll send out your campaigns.
First, focus on your audience. Whom are you trying to reach? By deciding this first, you can plan how you’ll gather your emails and what groups you’ll create for newsletters, which will help you get a better idea of the content you need to add to your campaigns.
The best way to segment your audience is by asking for their interest when registering their email with your business. For example, if your business is focused on sewing but sells patterns, fabric, and accessories, you can request your audience pick their interest by choosing quilting, new patterns, and more.
While creating segmentation can be simple once you know your audience, the time-consuming project begins when you need to create separate emails for the segments. Therefore, we recommend that those new to email marketing stick to just one or two segments before attempting new ideas.
As for the topics, focus on products or projects that customers are interested in, products you want to promote, and blogs or vlogs that can benefit customers and encourage sales. Some topics can be consistent with forming a connection and building expectancy. For example, if you have a blog you post on often throughout the month, you can include a blog round-up for viewers to check out on your monthly business update newsletters. This way, in case they missed any or haven’t subscribed to your blog, you can bring in readers and offer them new exciting pieces to discover!
Finally, decide on what locations you will request emails from, online or in person. Email capture can come from your website, blog, social media sites, collaborations, and so much more! Be intentional about where you’re placing this sign-up form so you can receive new emails consistently and safely.
Don’t forget Privacy Regulations and Best practices!
When you begin sending email newsletters and collecting new ones, keep in mind marketing laws. In addition, privacy legislation and anti-spam guides are important to keep in mind when it’s time to start scheduling and sending.
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): Implemented in 2018, this European Union (EU) privacy law applies to anyone processing and/or storing the data of people in the EU. Many platforms comply with these laws and help users remain compliant with them.
- Know your anti-spam legislation: CAN-SPAM (US) and CASL (Canada) are examples of anti-spam legislation intended to protect consumers from spam and electronic threats.
- Subscribers must be obtained honestly: Sending email communication to people who have not opted-in is not GDPR compliant and is widely considered spam. Even customers who provide their email for purchase must choose to opt-in for receiving emails unrelated to their purchase.
- Emails must contain an unsubscribe link: Subscribers must be able to opt-out from receiving email communication from you.
- Include your business contact information: Make sure to place your business contact information in the footer of your emails to comply with anti-spam legislation.
Finding Your Platform
Each email platform has features and plans curated for different business types and needs. When choosing your package, focus on what you need right now, and remember what features you might like to use in the future once you’re more comfortable.
Below are features any beginner can use and place in their campaigns.
- Built-in templates with customization: easily set up beautiful newsletters and customize them to your needs as you learn how to arrange your campaigns.
- Personalization: with the ability to include subscriber information, you can choose an option to personalize each email with a user’s first name! This little touch will help customers feel like this email was curated for them.
- Segmentation: Keep your audience organized by their interests! This way, quilters, sewists, pattern creators, and more get emails that correlate with their interests and help your email openings stay consistent.
- Scheduling: schedule emails to be sent out at the best times for your audience. Whether that be morning before work or weekends for project time, study your subscribers’ habits and change your schedules every once in a while until you find what fits.
- Automation: connect your email program to your shop and have emails sent after certain actions! For example, if someone just purchased an item from your shop, they can receive a confirmation email promoting similar products, a space for review, and a space for tracking.
- Analytics: Whichever program you choose should have a form of analytics. This way, you can study what campaigns are successful and what you can fix to have consistent openings.
Keep in mind the budget before choosing a program! Focus on programs that are straightforward for beginners and offer packages for small businesses.
Below are three recommendations that beginners can check out!
- MailerLite: The easiest program to use, MailerLite offers easy drag-and-drop interfacing that makes it quick and fun to create. With a simple style, anyone can create their first newsletter on this program! The best part is that this program offers a free subscription option for up to 1000 subscribers. After this, the plans begin at $9 per month. This program can also be connected to your online e-shop, like Shopify.
- ActiveCampaign: Easy to use and edit, the Active Campaign program integrates into Shopify and vouches for over 500 pre-built automation for your campaigns, allowing you to send welcome notes, sale confirmations, and more. It also offers an SMS option for those who volunteer their number to your business. The best part is you can test this program for 14 days before committing, and its beginning package begins at $9 per month.
- MailChimp: Popular and easy for beginners, MailChimp stands out from other programs thanks to its ease of use and clean interface. With the ability to have 500 contacts before purchasing a plan, you can access hundreds of free templates, SMS Marketing, email automation, and quick editing tools. Furthermore, if you purchase a plan, their beginning plan starts at $11, upgrading your audience limit from 500 to 50,000!
Finally, once you’ve finalized your theme, planned content, chosen your platform, and finished planning a schedule, it’s time to send out your first newsletter! Again, stay true to your brand and goals and focus on writing eye-catching subject lines to bring viewers in. Confirm which email you use for responses, and allow subscribers to contact you directly, which will help build that communication line with your customers!
After you’ve sent your first few emails, you can begin learning your analytics and tweaking your strategy. Don’t forget, these newsletters are a window into your business, expertise, and personality, so have fun and create pieces that you and your customers will love!
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