If you’re an e-commerce business, you are probably familiar with the importance of having a solid digital presence. But while most entrepreneurs focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media and other online marketing channels, one key player often gets overlooked: Email marketing.
Email marketing involves utilising email to advertise products or services, but it also encompasses more than that. When used correctly, emails can be a powerful tool for connecting with customers and growing your e-commerce business in a sustainable way. In fact, with a projected increase to 4.6 billion email users worldwide by 2025 according to Statista, taking advantage of this avenue of communication is undeniably a smart choice – especially given its cost-efficiency aspect.
Here’s how to get started on email for your marketing strategy.
The first step in any email marketing campaign is to set up a professional email account specifically for your business. This adds credibility to your business and makes it easier for customers to contact you if they have questions or enquiries. Some popular email providers to consider include Microsoft 365, Zoho Mail, Exabytes and Google Workspace. Once you have chosen a provider, you can then create a branded email address such as "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" that reflects your business name.
After setting up your professional email account, it’s time to begin building your email list. An email list is a collection of email addresses that you can use to send personalised messages to your customers. Having an email list opens up opportunities for further customer engagement and keeps your brand at the forefront of their mind. There are several ways to increase email sign-ups and grow your reach, such as through opt-ins on your website, social media, or in-store when you run pop-up shops. For example, you can integrate an embedded sign-up form on your website. Place it at the footer across every page so that it is visible while visitors explore your page’s content.
Alternatively, you can add welcome or exit-intent pop-ups that entice visitors to subscribe to your email list in exchange for a special offer or discount code. While this can be helpful in driving sales conversions, make sure the process is easy and straightforward so that potential customers don’t feel confused or overwhelmed when signing up.
To target new customers that have made their first online purchase with you, you may also include a newsletter subscription option at the checkout page. Indicate how subscribers can be the first to receive email updates about new products, special promotions and other exclusive offers. This way, you can stay connected with your customers – old and new – and unlock long-term relationships with them.
Once you have a sizable list of subscribers, it’s important to segment them next. This is an essential part of any successful email marketing strategy. With segmentation, you can refine your messaging and craft more targeted emails that are relevant to individual customers’ needs and interests, which will make them more likely to convert into loyal patrons.
You can, for example, segment your email list by purchase history, browsing behaviour, or location. As you start creating email marketing campaigns, you can also experiment with different email segments and see how it impacts open rates, click-through rates and conversions.
The key to success in email marketing lies in creating an effective campaign. This, however, can take some practice as you learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to advertising your business via email. Some examples of email marketing campaigns include:
Welcome emails when someone subscribes for the first time
Promotional emails about new products or sales
Surveys or feedback requests
Abandoned cart emails
Thank you emails after purchase confirmation
Birthday and holiday greetings
Thank you notes after customer reviews
With any of the above email marketing campaigns, it is essential to remember that less is more. Keep your messages concise and easy to read; use clear headlines and short paragraphs to retain customer interest. Your email should also end with a clear call-to-action (CTA) that stands out visually – use bright colours or bold fonts, so it is easy for readers to notice it immediately when they open the email. Don’t forget to double-check that it links directly to where you want them to go as well.
With these tips in mind, you can start working on your first email marketing campaign.
That being said, as an e-commerce business owner, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands. As a result, it can be difficult to keep up with a consistent email marketing strategy. If you lack the time to manually send emails, you can leverage email automation tools like MailChimp, Hubspot and Omnisend to boost your email marketing efforts. Through these tools, you can set up automated emails to go out at specific times or when a customer takes certain actions, such as making a purchase.
Email automation also makes it easier for you to nurture leads over time by providing personalised reminders to potential customers who may need a little extra nudge before they make a purchase decision. These follow-ups help to ensure that no opportunities are left untapped so that your sales conversion rate is maximised as much as possible.
Another great feature of email automation tools is the analytics and tracking capabilities that come with them. With these tools, you can track how many people opened each message, which links they clicked on, who unsubscribed from your list, and much more. This data is invaluable in helping you understand the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy so you can adjust it accordingly.
Overall, email marketing provides a reliable platform for any e-commerce store hoping to grow its reach, boost engagement and drive conversions. Through email marketing, you can create a unique experience for each customer while effectively managing your messaging efforts at scale. For more tips on how to grow your e-commerce business in Malaysia, check out our guide on building trust with customers and developing relationships that last.