If you own an online store, you know your biggest challenge. You don’t see customers face-to-face. They can’t come in, walk around, and interact with you. O, you have to find other ways to interact and establish relationships, if you are going to earn their trust and their business.
The answer lies in the right kind of content marketing. And you have to make the decision to be aggressive but not overly so, if you want to keep engaging prospects and maintaining relationships with current customers.
8 Ecommerce Content Marketing Tips You Can Start Using Today
So, how do you do that? You keep the lines of communication open, you personalize your messages, and you keep offering value.
Here are eight simple and actionable ecommerce content marketing tips that you can implement right now. Be forewarned – they involve email marketing campaigns. But you are up to this, and they are really simple.
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Give Prospects and Customers Lots of Opportunities to Subscribe
You should have options to subscribe to your emails or to your newsletter all over the place – on your site, on each blog post, on social media. This is how you build an email list. And every time a purchase is made, there should be an opt-in to receive notifications of special sales, discounts, etc.
Don’t forget to place your opt-ins in the checkout process, too. It’s a great place to get first-time customers on board for future promotions. And when you send that thank-you email for a purchase, give customers another opportunity to subscribe.
Always Reward Loyal Subscribers
It takes about 5X as much time, cost, and effort to get a new customer as it does to keep existing ones. So, everything you can do to keep those loyal customers must be done.
Create loyalty programs. Brick and mortar stores have them – why not you? Offer cash towards future purchases with every purchase.
Provide special sales and discounts to current customers – promotions that you do not provide to “lookers.”
Personalize All of Your Email Campaigns
Personalization involves a whole lot more than just putting a person’s name in the emails you send out.
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You have to segment your campaigns based on where your prospects/customers area in your sales funnel. Here are some of the audience segments you have:
- You have lookers who have indicated some interest and who have signed up for your email notifications. But they have yet to make a purchase
- You have those who have abandoned their shopping carts – how can you re-engage them?
- You have those who have made a first-time purchase and you need to express appreciation
- You have those who have made a purchase long ago and it’s time to-re-engage them too.
- You have those loyals who you want to reward and incentivize to keep coming back for more.
- You may also want to segment further by age and/or gender, depending upon the products you offer.
Once, those lists are segmented, you can automate the email campaigns, using any number of email services. Your job is to craft the emails and provide a schedule or triggers for sending them. The service will take care of the rest, so it is off your plate.
Generate Enough Interest to Get Opens
This is a matter of getting creative with subject lines and even those preview texts.
Here’s the thing. When you look at your own personal email account(s), you understand how full they can get. And a lot of them are promotional emails from companies you have done some business with on the past. As you scroll down, you have a big temptation to just trash most of them. Why? Because they don’t interest you enough to open them.
The same is true for your prospects and customers. Unless that subject line, and the short amount of text that usually follows, really interests them, they will delete them without a second look. Your job is to entice them to open, because the subject line is too intriguing not to.
If you are struggling with the creativity that is needed for these subject lines and the content that follows once the emails are opened, then you need to get some help. You can find freelancers or writing services that have the creatives on board to craft these for you – check out Supremedissertations.com. You can also check out Freelancer.com or Upwork for individuals with creative writing talent, or take a look at some of the headline generator tools that are available.
A word of caution: If you craft an amazing headline, be certain that the email content fulfills the promise of that headline. If recipients are disappointed by the content, you will be deleted and most likely spammed. “Bait and switch” is not a tactic any of today’s consumers appreciate.
Use Holidays and Other Special Occasions
Holiday shopping is a time when ecommerce stores do more than one-fourth of their annual business. Your competition is out in full swing with special offers, promotions, and gift guides. You be there too, checking out their offerings and going one better. You can even find free templates for holiday emails – what could be easier?
And don’t forget seasonal occasions. You need to develop campaigns for each of the four seasons, no matter what your product(s) may be. Figure out a way to relate them to the season and send out those emails with compelling headlines.
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Transnational Emails Do Not Have to be Boring
Don’t be lazy. You can use the standard templates, like everyone else, or you can add some pizazz.
Here is a standard template: “Thank you for your order. It has been received and is being processed. We will notify you when the item has shipped.” It’s functional and what your customer expects.
But you are leaving an opportunity for further communication on the table. The same goes for when you send that shipping status email.
You know the customer is going to open this email, so take advantage of that. You can use this “real estate” you have to make additional offers – how about an additional discount on a next purchase? How about recommending related products that the customer might be interested in? Amazon does this – why not you?
Establish a Referral Bonus Program
If you have loyal customers who like your products, then leverage them for additional customers. When a customer has made two or more purchases from you, they should be considered “loyal.” So, contact them and offer additional bonuses in terms of discounts if they will recommend your product(s) to a friend.
Using current customers to get new ones is far more effective than trying to get new ones through “cold” methods. Those customers will already trust you because their friends do. They are “hot” prospects.
You have leads who have abandoned shopping carts; you have leads who have looked at your product(s) and have not yet purchased; you have customers who have not engaged with you in a long time. Keep track of these people and see what you can do to bring them back into your funnel.
Perhaps you can offer a special discount on an item left in a shopping cart or looked at but not purchased; if an item was out of stock, you can email a shopper when it is now available; perhaps you can contact subscribers who have never purchased and provide an incentive for them to consider a purchase. All of these things can be automated and can bring results. You just don’t want to leave any prospect on the table.
Are There Strategies Other Than Email?
Of course, there are. You have your website, your blog, and your social media channels. All of these are methods of attracting prospects and establishing relationships. But, if you really want to keep an ongoing relationship with your target audience, you will use email. It offers the ability to communicate personally with every segment of your audience, if you do it right.
And, really, these ecommerce content marketing tips are super simple tactics, if you take the time and make the effort to reach out in effective ways.
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While there are many who say email is far less effective than it used to be, they are speaking to marketing that is not using email correctly. There are ways to leverage email marketing, and these seven tips should drive how you use it.
Online marketing today is all about relationships and trust. When you can use email to set these things in place, you will grow your customer base and keep your current customers.