Working on growing an email list for your eCommerce business? If done with thought and proper planning, email marketing can be an effective tool to communicate with your fans and customers. It helps you to keep them informed of news about your business and increase sales through awareness of your offerings. Also, it solidifies the image you want people to have of your brand.
But what if instead of making customers feel like they were being sold to, they actually came to anticipate and enjoy reading your emails? Achieving this goal isn’t that hard and has tremendous benefits for your eCommerce store.
The importance of email marketing in eCommerce
Email marketing has surpassed traditional marketing and for good reasons. It’s not as passive or expensive as postal mail, and needn’t be intrusive like the more dated telephone marketing.
How can any brand, whether a store or a service, communicate with their customers almost instantly? Email marketing is the way! Suppose you want to run a last-minute promotion and let everyone know about a great sale? Or maybe you want to remind them that you’ll be closed for a certain holiday?
Virtually anything you want to say can be sent quickly and easily through an email list. Ecommerce businesses, especially, can build a solid and faithful following via email.
However, it’s crucial that you focus on growing a healthy email list – even if that means having fewer subscribers. As long as their email addresses are valid, you
re better off than collecting contacts only for the sake of having a large list.
The attitude to have while growing your list
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being concerned with numbers, especially when you hear about someone who has more than 100,000 emails. Although impressive, it’s just a number.
Imagine having that many subscribers, most of whom have no emotional reaction to getting your newsletter. Now think about having a couple hundred who greet your emails with excitement. You’re really better off with a smaller list.
Someone unsubscribed? Don’t fret.
Your newsletter is not for ambivalent people who may forget they signed up and now are marking you as spam. It’s for the people who will actually read it and, who knows, maybe even share it with someone else. It never hurts to ask for your fans to spread the word. The readers on your list may very well know like-minded people who would love to subscribe.
What is an email checker or validator?
Whether you’ve got a hefty list or you’re just beginning, one of the most important considerations is the quality of your contacts. Like all things of value, from your home and car to your body, maintenance is key.
Any list is going to have some bad email addresses in it. You want to use an email checker or validator to remove email addresses that simply don’t exist or are misspelled.
Apart from that, there are so-called “spam traps.” They are not real people, but rather are traps set up by email service providers to catch spammers and block them.
Also, some email addresses are classified as “abuse accounts” because the owner has a habit of marking even emails they subscribe to as spam. You don’t want these types of contacts in your list as they will affect your inbox placement.
Benefits of using an email validator
In this day and time, it’s mandatory to use such a service in order to connect with real people and not the aforementioned problematic or fake accounts. Having a verified email list is a safeguard that the people who are receptive to your message actually see it.
If your list deteriorates and you don’t do anything about it, internet service providers may determine you’re a spammer. Next, your legitimate subscribers may not be receiving your emails, and that translates into lost sales for your eCommerce store.
Using a reputable email verification service gives you a good deliverability rate and protects your IP reputation. In turn, more people opening and reading your emails means boosted sales.
Checking your list in real-time
Automation is becoming increasingly popular among marketers. In our modern times, we want ease and convenience. You start typing in your mom’s email address and Gmail suggests the rest. It’s what you’ve come to expect.
Similarly, validating your email address doesn’t have to be laborious. You can start by checking your email list in bulk. Then, once it’s clean, you can keep it that way through an API connection. This allows you to set up your email signup form or button to ensure that bad email addresses don’t end up on your list from the get-go.
Perhaps the person misspelled their address and wrote “gmial” instead of “gmail.” The email checker API lets them know right away so they can fix it. Plus, you can configure the API at your discretion.
For instance, do you want to forbid people signing up with role-based or general mailbox email addresses? You could set up the API to not allow any signups from “info@” or “admin@”.
An email checker API is an efficient tool to keep your database up-to-date. Plus, it eliminates the need for you to manually upload an email list and check the addresses.
Build your list organically
It may take a while to build your list. A quality list doesn’t usually happen overnight. However, it’s worth building it organically and emailing only people who really want to hear from you.
So, how do you get them on your list?
- First, signing up should be easy to do on your website. It’s surprising how many sites bury their email sign-up form and wonder why they don’t get many subscribers.
- While signing up should be simple, you don’t want to become intrusive or annoying. Some sites can be a turn-off with a pop-up email capture box being the very first thing visitors experience before anything else. Can you imagine walking into a boutique and before you had a look at the merchandise, someone asked for your email address? It would probably be a turn-off! Your website should be no different.
- Also, many brands ignore the potential of social media in helping you grow their email lists. If your eCommerce business already has a following on social media, make the most of that. For instance, you could post teasers before every new email goes out, so more people can subscribe.
Should I buy a list?
Since building a healthy email list is the name of the game, it goes without saying that buying an email list should not be a consideration.
Firstly, it’s against the law. A purchased email list is nothing you can rehabilitate. It’s like buying spoiled food – there’s nothing you can do to fix it. At worst, you will get into legal trouble. It will always tarnish your sender reputation. A quality brand would never think to do this.
Then, buying an email list is also a sure way to receive spam complaints. People who have no idea who you are won’t hesitate to hit the “Spam” button and express their anger. As a result, your sender reputation will suffer and so will your inbox placement.
If your product or service is worthwhile, you don’t need to resort to unscrupulous means to grow your list. Focusing on offering real value is the best way to expand your database naturally.
Bonus tip: how to use your email list to strengthen your brand
The biggest and most successful brands know that everything you do communicates either good or bad things about the brand.
The shade of red used by Coca-Cola is distinct. Starbucks doesn’t even need to write their name out. You see the mermaid and you know! Maybe your customers feel that way about your brand, too? Or maybe you’d like for them to get to that point. Your newsletter can be another vehicle to tell the story of your brand.
The colors, fonts, tone, style, and the pictures you use should be congruent. Building the (hopefully positive) image people have about your eCommerce business is one of the most important things you can do with your newsletters and email promotions.
Can you imagine if the Ritz-Carlton hotel sent out an email newsletter with misspelled words or a less than flattering picture? It would make you second-guess them. On the other hand, a surf shop might paint a relaxing picture of their business by opening the email with a “what’s up?”
Find your tone of voice and keep it consistent across all platforms, including your emails.
Email marketing is here to stay
If you’re still having doubts about how email marketing can help your eCommerce business, here are just a few facts to dissipate them:
- Email marketing is a great way to cut costs. The days of sending catalogs and printed newsletters through the mail are for the most part long gone. Although some brands like L.L. Bean persist with the mail-order tradition, even the most famous catalog of all, Sears, has entered the digital age by discontinuing their catalog in favor of email promotions.
- People may change their home address frequently, it’s not unheard of for someone to have the same email address for the past 10 years. That gives you a more reliable way to stay in touch with your customers.
- You don’t own your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels – corporations do. Plus, they sometimes wane in popularity and traffic. On the other hand, the email continues to surge and remain consistent. Once someone gave you permission to email them, you own the right to communicate with that person.
Don’t forget to clean your list – and have fun
Growing a healthy email list is the first step to boosting your email marketing results. Aside from careful thought on the design, feel, and sending frequency, checking the email addresses on your list should be a priority. Your email marketing program depends on all of these things.
Also, having fun with what you’re doing and enjoying the process is going to translate into a better connection with your readers and, ultimately, higher conversion rates.
Author: Paul Leslie is a Content Writer for email validation company ZeroBounce. He has a rich background in content creation as a writer, researcher, and interviewer. Paul has conducted more than 800 interviews distributed via radio and podcasts.