Guest Post by Kory Woodard of korywoodard.com
Whether you run a service-based or product-centered business, one of the key elements of your marketing efforts and customer relations is likely to work on connecting with potential and previous customers. From getting potential customers to be excited about your product / service to getting previous customers feeling good and wanting to come back for more, you’re likely spending a lot of time on social media connecting, sharing, and fostering those relationships. However, there’s one place that you may have missed when putting your marketing plan together. Your email list.
I know what you might be thinking, “But I have a product-based business. There aren’t many ways to connect with my customers through emails for my type of business anymore.” Well, I have a surprise for you… that’s just not true. Email lists are not just for bloggers, service-based businesses, or the big dogs out there. There are several ways that you can work on building relationships with past and potential customers. In fact, taking that extra time to foster those relationships via email have proven to generate more sales than you might be seeing via your social media posts. According to studies done by McKinsey, email marketing has proven to be 40x more effective than that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
So now that you’re a little intrigued about what email marketing can do for your business, let’s talk about how exactly you can start utilizing your email list so that you can start building better relationships and driving more sales for your business.
Connect more personally with your customers
When social media sites first started become really popular, businesses realized that it was going to be a great way to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy more regularly, right? The problem with that, though, is that as time has gone on we as a society have become more aware of when we’re being marketed to, which means we’re less likely to tune in to every single post by our favorite brands. On top of that, there’s one sort-of obvious setback on social media: it was created for short style content. This means that, while yes, you can create captions, tweets, or posts that relate to your customer more personally but with the quickly changing algorithms and our short attention spans, you’re still not likely to be seen.
The great thing about having an email list is that you can create more long form content for your customers. You can share a behind the scenes story on what led you to create your shop, which will likely inspire your customers and build trust with your company. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of long form content, another great way to connect more personally with your customers is to share sneak peeks during your product creation. Are you literally making your products by hand? What’s the process of creating an outfit with a new piece that your dream of creating or collecting for your shop?
Giving this sort of behind the scenes peek into your business not only builds trust with your customers but it also makes them more interested in what you’re doing and selling. If one of the ways I’ve mentioned doesn’t necessarily work for your business, think outside of the box in relation to your brand specifically. Have you shared any personal updates on social media that got really great reactions? How can you flesh that out a little in an email?
Sending your customers shop updates
This is likely the most obvious strategies out of the three I’m sharing, but it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have only share about product updates or sales on social media. It’s safe to assume that people on your email list already really like what you’re doing and are either past customers or are thinking about buying from you. Instead of hoping they catch your Tweet or Facebook post about new products or sales, emailing them directly lets you know that they’re much more likely to see your updates, which means they’re much more likely to purchase.
The first thing you have to make sure you’re doing is sending updates on when you’re having sales. I don’t know about you, but I almost always make a purchase when I know there’s a sale going on. When you’re running some sort of promotion, this is one of the few times when you can get away with sending emails a little more frequently. Don’t just tell them when it starts and hope they purchase something. If you have a promotion going on for a week, send an email at the beginning of the week, one in the middle with photos of your on sale products from past customers, and one more the day the sale is ending.
Another really great time to send over shop updates is when you’re adding new products. If you haven’t shared the behind the scenes of the inspiration, creation, or collection of this item, now’s the best time to do that. Share with them what makes you love it so much, peeks into how you made the item, or what you think it would be paired with best for a cute outfit. People love getting to see these sorts of things, especially when it’s just exclusive to a small group of people. If you can get them excited about the piece right before you’re making it available for purchase, you’re likely going to make at least a few sales the day it’s finally available.
How to use or style your products
One of the key things that holds consumers up and keeps them from buying an item is if they can’t seem themselves using it at some point in time. While there’s a great percentage of people who might buy that item anyway, I know that I’ve talked myself out of many purchases because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it or where I’d end up wearing it if it was a piece of clothing. This is another great time to get into your customers’ inboxes and help them get an idea of how to use or style your products.
Here’s a great example: if you run a boutique that sells jewelry for all occasions, you might have great product photography around your site of what you envision to be the best time or place to wear your pieces, but those occasions might feel a little removed from some of your customers. Jane might not be going to many public events, so she might feel like she’s not “fancy” enough, won’t wear anything, so she’s not sure if she wants to buy. She signs up for your email list anyway hoping to get a little inspiration and change her mind. Meanwhile, you’ve noticed that there are quite a few fashion bloggers who have been inspired by your pieces and are showing them off for all sorts of occasions from dates, to job interviews, even sprucing up a casual outfit to go shopping. If you spend time curating a few pieces from different bloggers once every week or every two weeks, you’re not showing Jane that she doesn’t have to be going to fancy events or even have a particularly “fancy” wardrobe to wear your pieces. Now she’s decided to buy a ring and a necklace to her jewelry collection.
Email marketing is not about running discounts every month to generate more sales, writing long form content every week, or even having to spend more time (that you probably don’t have) to create more photos or promotional emails content that you can send to your readers. In fact, as a product based business, you don’t necessarily have to commit to sending as often as once a week to your list. Instead, it’s about creating this space for your most interested potential and past customers so that you can connect with them in new ways and continue driving sales for your business.
Will you be testing out any of these strategies?
I know it seems like a huge undertaking to try out email marketing for your business, but I dare you to try one of these strategies over the next few months. In fact, let me know what you’re trying in the comments so I can check back in with you and see how it’s going. I can’t promise that you’ll generate more sales, but I can promise that you’ll find much deeper relationships with your customers, which should at least drive a few more sales per month. Need more help coming up with content for your list? Click here to download Kory’s workbook to help you nail down more than two month’s worth of ideas!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kory Woodard is a full-time business owner and blogger, and most of the time she can be found dreaming up new ideas to help passionate women follow their dreams on their own terms. The rest of the time she’s spending time with her husband and pup, enjoying life! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Check out Kickstart Your List, Kory’s e-mail marketing course, here.