This is the final post in our Simple 5 Step Method for Mega Sales This Holiday Season and we are going out with a bang by talking about a really fantastic free selling strategy which is all about customer retention and making repeat sales to customers that you already have. This is a fantastic way to make money online without investment so it’s great for eCommerce store owners or anyone on a shoestring budget.
So what is this magic marketing method I’m talking about? It’s email marketing!
Email marketing is one of the most effective and efficient forms of advertising you’ll ever come across: It’s inexpensive, it’s targeted towards interested buyers and it’s instant. And that's why email marketing is so important for Christmas sales, so let’s find out more! Here’s what I’ll cover in today’s lesson:
For online retailers, email marketing is regularly emailing your list of past buyers to tell them about new products you have or special deals you are offering. It’s also about giving your newsletter subscribers valuable information related to the products you are selling and building a relationship with them.
In internet marketing and online retail, engaging your buyers is really important for turning customers into repeat customers. Email marketing is really one of the best ways you can engage past buyers and keep them wired into your store or your listings - and this is essential to getting those repeat sales.
If you are a SaleHoo Stores user, or you are considering getting yourself a SaleHoo Store, this will be particularly useful to you because you have an in-built email marketing system. If you sell on eBay or any other marketplace, this post will be very valuable for you too because this method is universal and works anywhere!
OK, so let me talk you through some things you need to know about setting up an email marketing campaign:
Things you need to know about setting up an email marketing campaign:
In order to comply with anti spamming laws, you can’t just start emailing out your existing buyers with your offers - you have to get them to “opt-in” to your email newsletter and in doing so, they allow you to send them emails.
You need to entice your buyers to join your email “newsletter” - it’s unlikely that buyers will just opt in without some incentive.
So with your incentive, you really want to strike a balance between an offer that gets you as many opt ins as possible, but without costing you too much time or money.
One powerful way to attract opt-ins is to offer a certain percentage off your buyer’s next purchase. This is a good option because although you will be taking a cut in your profits, you will be making a sale that you probably otherwise would not be.
You can also point out benefits of the newsletter series such being kept up with all the new products and newsletter subscriber-only prices that you might offer.
If you are an eBay Store owner, setting up an email marketing system is pretty easy as eBay Stores have an in-built email marketing system where you can send up to 10,000 emails per month.
In order to reach out to your past buyers, you’re going to have to keep track of their contact and purchase information. The reason for this is so you can easily grab their email address if you wish to email them about a promotion, for example. Note: If you use email marketing software (such as the examples I have listed below, you won't need to track name and email addresses. This is done automaitcally. If you are using a good website system such as SaleHoo Stores, it will also track customer purchases.
The reason that you should track customer purchase information is so that you can see what they have previously purchased and tailor deals to them.
If you are doing this manually (without a website tha auto tracks for you) the best and easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet.
You can use Microsoft Office’s Excel for this, or if you don’t have Office, I highly recommend Google Docs which is a Google application that allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
It’s 100% free to use and it’s really simple, it operates just like Microsoft Word or other word processors but your documents are stored online.
The big advantage of having all your documents stored online is that if your computer fails or is damaged, your documents will be OK. You can also access them from anywhere so if you are away on vacation, you can still easily access your documents from anywhere that has an internet connection.
You can also upload any existing documents you have including spreadsheets to Google Docs and starting editing and saving them online. So it’s like a free backup system for your documents too.
To get a Google account and setup Gmail and Google Docs just click here. It's free!
Your newsletter series should not just be a selling or advertising avenue – you need to use it as a way to offer your subscribers some valuable or interesting information related to your product line.
Once you have established trust with the buyer, you can start plugging your products, in-between newsletters that are of interest to readers. For example, if you sell cosmetics, offer some free makeup application tips. Even if you are not a makeup exert yourself, you can easily run a Google search for some inspiration. If you sell sportswear, email your subscribers with some sport news or fitness tips and make every other post a promotional one where you plug your products for sale.
The possibilities are endless and your buyers will love you for it!
Unless you have hundreds of buyers that you want to send your newsletter to, you can probably cope with just using a regular email account to send out emails.
However, if your subscriber list is quite big, then you might want to use an email marketing manager.
A great one is FlutterMail.
FlutterMail is a cost-effective email marketing solution and you can use it to create and send emails to your subscribers. You can use really cool pre-made templates to make your newsletters really professional and you can even track how many people open the email and visit any links inside the email which is really useful.
If you are interested in using FlutterMail, check out FlutterMail.com and there is a link in the resources section that you can refer to and there is a ton of information on this website on how to get started.
MailChimp.com is another option and its basic plan is free to use. The free plan does have some restrictions on how much you can do but is probably still useful if you are a smaller seller and won’t be sending a large volume of emails.
I know there seems like a lot to learn when it comes to email marketing, but it's actually super easy, especially considering just how powerful it is. To help you get started, below I have shared a follow-up email template that you can send to your buyers and encourage some repeat sales.
This email is best used on recent past customers, but you can tailor it to suit any customer.
I just want to thank you again for your purchase you made. I hope you are enjoying [product]. I have something that I think might be useful to you if you are into [type of fashion/hobby/activity related to the item they bought first-time around].
I think it will be good for you because [it will make X easier, it complements the X you bought nicely].
It’s also one of my most popular items because it [list benefit e.g. saves you time on X]
If you are interested, I am more than happy to offer you a 25% discount on this item which brings the price down from [$20] to [$15], saving you [$5].
I strongly value repeat customers and am more than happy to hold this offer for you for the next 5 days.
To make the most of this offer, just hit reply to let me know!
Generating repeat sales around Christmas and the holidays is so easy, it's almost laughable. Using an email template similar to the one above, write to any of your customers and tell them about all the other fabulous gift-options or supplies they might need for the holidays. For example, list the products you have for mums, dads, brothers, friends, etc. Your customers are probably scrathcing their heads wondering what to buy their friends and family, so you will be doing them a huge favor which they will appreciate, and all the while, you'll score some extra sales!
That's a wrap for our Simple 5 Step Method for Mega Sales This Holiday Season. I truly hope that you have found it useful and that it helps you to make more money this Christmas and holiday season. As I said at the beginning of the series, Christmas really is the most profitable time of the year for retailers, so be part of it and make some sales!
If you have any questions about what I covered in the series, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. If you need to back-track and re-read any of the other lessons in this series, the links are below. Remember, holiday shoppers have already started making their first purchases for Christmas 2012, so now is the time to take action!
Step 1: Find a niche
Step 2: Find a drop ship supplier
Step 3: Setup a store
Step 4: Pull traffic to your products
Step 5: Get repeat sales - see above!