So you’ve decided to try selling products online, but you’re not really sure how to go about it. You’ve heard all the right things; you understand the power of email marketing, and you’ve even seen some pretty epic discounts on various products from major retailers through email marketing deals. But now, you’re wondering; how can I put all this into practice? How do I even know what content will work for my business? How can I make sure I maximize my results and don’t waste any precious advertising dollars?
The Perfect Ecommerce Email Marketing Plan
We’ve all been there. We’ve seen a product that we think will be perfect for our needs, or a service that seems like a no-brainer, and we’ve impulsively decided to try it without giving it much thought. Inevitably, we find ourselves having to grind through difficult adjustments and compromises to make the business venture work. In the case of ecommerce, this usually means that we need to find a way to generate traffic that will eventually become paying customers, or discover that there’s no market for our product at all. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when your business is still small, but even the most established entrepreneurs will tell you that this is one of the most difficult things to do.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to this problem, and that solution is the perfect ecommerce email marketing plan. Think of it like a strategic road map to help you visualize exactly what you should be doing and when you should be doing it. This plan will help you identify the exact steps you need to take to make your business a success, and it will form the basis of your overall marketing strategy. For example, if you decide that guest blogging is the way to go, you’ll have the perfect roadmap to tell you when and where to do it. This plan will also give you a clear picture of what content will perform best for your business, so you can easily determine what campaigns will be most effective. Finally, the perfect ecommerce email marketing plan can help you anticipate the challenges that you might face, and allow you to prepare for them accordingly.
The Key Takeaways
Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways from this article.
- The perfect ecommerce email marketing plan will help you identify the exact steps you need to take to make your business a success
- This plan will give you a clear picture of what content will perform best for your business, so you can easily determine what campaigns will be most effective
- Anticipating the challenges that you might face is essential if you want to be able to prepare for them accordingly
Hopefully, this article will help you gain a better understanding of how to do an ecommerce email marketing audit, as well as give you a head start on constructing a perfect ecommerce email marketing plan. Now, let’s dive into the details.
Step one: Set a budget and a time frame
One of the first things you’ll want to do is set a budget and a time frame for this project. Just because you’ve decided to go the ecommerce route does not mean that you’re free to throw money at the task and expect miracles. You can certainly use tools like PayPal’s Growth Market to micro-target a specific audience and drive engagement through paid advertising. But unless you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to learn the ropes, this is probably not the best option. The better option is to use an email marketing tool that can help you get the most out of your marketing dollars, which in turn will help you reach your business goals more quickly and effectively. Ideally, you’ll want to set aside at least six months to a year to properly launch and grow your ecommerce business. This is how long it takes to really see significant results from your efforts. Plus, you’ll have to tackle the myriad of technical challenges that come with operating a successful ecommerce site. It’s a lot to take in, and a lot of effort to show for it. So, take your time.
Step two: Create a list of relevant keywords
Once you’ve set your budget and timeline, it’s time to create a keyword list. The better your keyword list, the better your chances of getting higher search engine rankings, which in turn can drive more traffic to your site. Ideally, you’ll want to create a list of relevant keywords that are both general and specific to your niche. For example, if you decide to sell children’s clothing, you might want to create a list of keywords related to general clothing, such as:
- Kids’ wear
- Toddler’s clothes
- Boy’s jeans
- Gentlemen’s shirts
- Dress shirts
- And then you can also create a list of specific keywords related to your product, such as:
- Floral print tie-waist dress
- Short-sleeve flower print dresses
- Olive-colored jeans for men
Now that you’ve got your keywords, it’s time to dive into the next step.
Step three: Select an email marketing service
As we’ve established, a successful ecommerce business can be a lot of work. But it’s also a lot of money. If you decide to go the paid email marketing route, you’ll need to find a way to store and manage your subscribers’ email addresses. You’ll also need to find a way to deliver the content that they’ve subscribed to. Ideally, you’ll want to find a service that’s both affordable and can provide you with all the necessary features that you need to be able to run your business. Here are some of the most popular services:
Step four: Decide on the content strategy
Now that you’ve got your keywords and your email marketing service selected, it’s time to figure out what content strategy you’ll use. If you’ve been doing SEO on any other platform, such as Google Adwords, you’ll have some idea of what will work best for your ecommerce site. For example, video content is very effective when it comes to SEO, so if you decide that podcasts are the way to go, then video episodes probably aren’t the best option. Similarly, graphics and infographics will most likely work better than lengthy articles. It’s all about finding what suits your business best.
Step five: Create email marketing campaigns and test them
With your content strategy in mind, you can easily determine which email marketing campaigns will be most effective. Once you’ve decided upon a few different options, it’s time to create and test them. Begin by creating a simple landing page, filled with graphic banners and calls to action, such as;
- Shop now
- Learn more
- Contact us
- Get a free sample kit
Once you’ve got your basic landing page up and running, you can begin to experiment with different marketing campaigns. To test the effectiveness of these campaigns, you’ll want to use a free trial of an email marketing tool, such as HubSpot, which provides you with tons of great features, including A/B testing. With A/B testing, you can determine which version of a campaign is performing best, and you can even track the results of your experiments over time. For example, you might decide to try out a campaign featuring a discount on your product, and after collecting a few months of usage data, you can determine that this is the version of the campaign that’s driving the most sales. From there, you can decide whether or not to keep using the same offer, or experiment with a different one. With this approach, you can quickly determine how different marketing tactics perform, and which ones truly drive revenue and growth. Plus, you can always get back to what worked best for you, and leave the rest behind.