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Diff Blog

Connect With Your Customers Through Shopify Email Marketing

At Shopify Reunite, new features and tools were announced that can help business owners succeed in today’s changing world. This includes Shopify’s strategic partnerships with Facebook to launch Branded Facebook Shops, and Pinterest to launch a new integration. Shopify also introduced more local food delivery options to help meet online consumer demands.

By introducing new ways for communicating with customers online, Shopify is helping businesses grow during this time of digital transformation. In addition to these announcements, Shopify also reminded merchants of updates to their existing channels. This included Shopify Email.

What is Shopify Email?

Shopify Email was introduced in November 2019.  It offers a direct line of communication to your customers that is absolutely critical during this time of getting online fast

With Shopify Email anyone can send and track beautifully branded emails. It’s simple to use, requires no marketing experience, and it’s completely free to use until October 1, 2020. After that, you can still send a total of 2,500 emails per month for free. If you send more than 2,500 emails in a month, you will be charged $1 USD for every 1,000 emails sent.

Shopify Email lets merchants create, run and track great email marketing campaigns natively inside Shopify marketing. It enables store owners to use highly customizable email templates. Merchants can use existing brand assets and leverage product content from their store to create marketing campaigns with ease. 

Customizing templates is fast and easy to use with pre-built sections and settings. Smart templates automatically use your store’s logos, colors and products to save you time from having to update your branding. With virtually no setup required, sending emails also includes your domain name.

Shopify Email’s analytic features help companies measure their successes. This includes email open and click through rates, as well as the number of add to carts and purchases. From templates to tracking, Shopify Email offers tools that help build strong customer relationships.

Benefits of Shopify Email

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for you to reach customers through a channel that is fully controllable. It increases business accessibility by making marketing more approachable, and helps store owners expand their digital reach. By doing so, it can help you build long-term relationships with customers and potential buyers. 

You can reach out to customers about timely messages such as store updates, new delivery or pickup options, and store promotions. You can also maintain relationships by sharing shipping updates, and reassuring customers their shipments are on their way. 

Tracking campaigns and analytic trends can lead to key insights. You can learn how your emails perform and how to improve your communications overtime. Most notably, email marketing can help you nurture relationships that will drive new sales and repeat purchases on your online store.

Here are a few more benefits of email marketing:

  • Email segmentation increases sales. This is when you divide email subscribers into smaller segments based on criteria. These are factors that can help you reach your audience, such as geographic location, interests, or purchase history. According to Campaign Monitor, Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue. 
  • Reach more customers on mobile. The number of emails opened on mobile make up a large percentage of overall engagement. According to Litmus, mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens in 2018. Another statistic by Convince & Convert shows that 35% of business professionals check their email on a mobile device. 
  • Expand your demographic reach. In another study, 58% of Gen Z born respondents were found to check their email multiple times a day. Forbes even labelled Millennials as obsessed with email. More than half ages 18 to 24 were found to check their emails while still in bed in the morning. 43% ages 25 to 34 did the same thing.

These studies demonstrate that email marketing is a highly effective channel for engaging customers online. Using Shopify Email, you can reach your target audience on desktop and mobile devices. This can expand your digital reach to boost conversions. As shoppers rely on emails for informative content, you can fill the gap by providing updates that build brand trust.

How to Build your Email List

You can start collecting email addresses at any time, even before you launch your online store! To start accruing the benefits of email marketing, you’ll first need a list of subscribers. To ensure your list is of good quality from real people, avoid buying email lists at all costs. Target shoppers who are genuinely interested in your products, and focus regularly on ways to grow your list.

Use a newsletter signup form on your website.

You can test a newsletter sign-up form by placing it on your site where people are looking for additional information. Try adding a CTA to your main navigation menu, or in your footer.

The conversion rate for these kinds of signup forms may be low overall. However, signups will add up overtime to grow your list volume. As shoppers make their way to your footer to learn more about your brand, they may see your CTA for example. This will encourage them to sign up to your email newsletter.

Use popups to make your forms stand out.

Popups that have once been deemed annoying are now more common, and can be quite effective when done correctly. Instead of hindering the user experience, you can properly time and target popups to win with this strategy. To determine what’s most effective for your online store, experiment with time-based or behavior based targeting. 

For example, an exit intent form captures a user’s contact information before they bounce from your website. An exit intent popup shows up when someone moves their mouse towards the corner of the screen. This signals they are about to exit a window.  A scroll-triggered popup appears up when someone scrolls past a certain point in the article. 

Presenting a call to action (CTA) can encourage a time invested reader to sign up to your email list. The right offer made to the right audience can dramatically increase your email sign-ups. Of course, running tests will help you determine what offers work for your brand while minimizing ineffective pop-ups.

Drive traffic from social media channels and ads.

Share links to your content on social media to start conversations. This can help you engage with people who want to be a part of your brand community. This will bring shoppers to your online store who want to participate in conversations. With an invested interest in your company, these visitors will be more likely to sign up to your newsletter form.

You can also drive traffic from social ads to a landing page. A landing page is a standalone web page built with a single interest in mind — to drive conversions. This page can funnel leads without distractions, and measuring results from one page will be easy to do as well.

For example, you could set up a Facebook ad that will drive users to sign up for a downloadable guide. This guide can connect leads with your products, such as a wedding lookbook if your brand sells formal wear. Targeting ads means you can create your offer with your audience in mind. Target attributes can include people’s age, gender, location, job role and purchase history.

Maintain Legal Standards 

When email marketing, you’ll need permission to follow up with prospects and customers over time. Subscribers will need to “opt-in” to hear from you. 

There are different ways you can enable them to do so. You can set up a pre-launch page, ask customers to join from sales calls, or place opt-in forms across your site. You can also accelerate deals with discounts, or ask for emails in person or at events. 

Without explicit permission to send email marketing, you can face steep fines. Here are a few examples of standards for email marketing you should be aware of:

  • CAN-SPAM - The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act sets rules for commercial emails in the United States. 
  • CASL - Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation protects consumers and businesses from the misuse of technology, including spam and electronic threats.
  • GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation helps with personal data protection in the European Union.

Diff Agency cannot provide legal advice, so the above explanations are for informational purposes. Consult a lawyer if you have any further questions on email law and regulation.

Email Campaign Types

Sending emails to the correct audience at the right time will increase the value of your marketing campaign. Here are a few ecommerce marketing campaign types you can use:

  • Transactional emails are sent to confirm that a functional agreement between the sender and recipient has been made. Examples are account creation emails, order confirmation or purchase emails, password resets, and shipping notifications. 
  • Promotional emails are messages that are aimed to complete a purchase or to make a conversion. Examples include Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, a summer sale email, a Valentine’s Day gift guide email, or a time sensitive discount email.
  • Lifecycle emails are data-driven and are triggered by the stage of the customer lifecycle. For example, a cart abandonment email is sent after someone adds items in their cart, but leaves your site without making a purchase.

Email Marketing Strategies

Making sure that your emails arrive to people who want them is the first step to getting email marketing right. As a second step, you’ll want your audience to open your email and engage with what your email says. Here are a few tips to create copy that gets read:

  • Ensure it works on mobile. Make sure to test your emails using different email clients to ensure your message will be delivered properly. This includes opening your campaign on different browsers, as well as checking how emails show on both desktop and mobile apps.
  • Add alt images to text. Use alt text for any images you include in your email. This will ensure that your recipient always knows what an image is by its description. Users can click an image description to view an image if it gets blocked by an email provider, or if it is turned off by default. Image descriptions also help visitors who are visually impaired understand the content you present.
  • Write simply and concisely. Put your most important information first, including the reason for the email. Then follow up with more details. Keep text simple, write short paragraphs, and leverage white space for readability. Use bolded or highlighted text, bullet points, and headings to make your text more scannable.
  • Use click-worthy CTAs. Choose one central call to action that you want each campaign to focus on. Create urgency by emphasizing phrases like “get started today”, “buy now”, or “limited time offer”. Ensure your CTA button stands out visually with contrasting colors and is placed in an area with white space.

With the right amount of work and effort, your email marketing campaigns can pay off. Here are a few tips that can help drive your email marketing success:

Growth of your email list

The growth of your list is an indicator that people are interested in your business, product or service offerings. The more interest you build, the higher your chance will be for conversions. Focus on how you can expand your list with people who genuinely care about your offerings.

If your subscribers lose interest and stop engaging in your content, you can consider running a re-engagement email campaign. This is a special type of campaign that is targeted directly at inactive subscribers. It can reduce your list churn rates and increase incremental engagement. 

Open and click through rates

An open rate measures how many users look at your email. If your number appears to be on the low-end, that’s quite normal. According to HubSpot, most email marketing campaigns average a little over 30%

Click through rates refer to the number of people who click on the links you provide in your email campaign. This is the percentage of visitors who opened your email, and went on to view another page after clicking.

Bounce rate and opt-out rate

A bounce rate represents the number of visitors who visit your site and then leave, without continuing to other pages. An opt-out rate represents how many people unsubscribed from your email list after receiving your latest email campaign. This percentage is calculated by dividing the number of people who unsubscribed by the number of emails delivered, times a hundred.

Both of these indicators may show a loss of interest in your content. It may also indicate there is room to improve your website content or navigation to make it more engaging.

Company revenue

Conversions and revenue indicate how many of your readers took actions to contribute to your business success. Revenue relates to what percentage of money earned is attributed to your email marketing. 

An Ecommerce report by Klaviyo found that companies attributed over a quarter of their store revenue (27%) to email marketing. Over one thousand stores attributed $230 million from purchases attributed to email in a single business quarter.

A/B test subject lines, text or images

A/B testing, also known as “split testing” is  a strategy you can use to optimize your emails. You can make alternate versions of an email and test out the effectiveness of different elements to see which perform best. Variables can include images, fonts, CTA text or visuals, and layouts.

Get Started Today with Email Marketing on Shopify

For Shopify business owners, building an email strategy is a low risk marketing tool for communicating directly with potential customers online. Apply the provided tips to any email campaign that you send out to boost your email marketing performance. This will help you create more effective email marketing campaigns that will lead to increased engagement, conversions, and returns on investment.

More from Diff Agency: 

Why You Shouldn’t Set and Forget Your Marketing Automation Efforts

The Communicator Awards Honors Diff’s Work in Cannabis Ecommerce

Shorten the Path to Purchase with Shopify and Branded Facebook Shops

Written by Debra Weinryb, Content Strategist at Diff Agency

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