5 Tips to Grow Your E-Commerce Business with an Email Newsletter

July 15, 2022
by Merikay Noah

Email Newsletters: Asset or Liability to Growing Your E-Commerce Business?

Is an email newsletter (e-newsletter) the right tool to add to grow your e-commerce business? 

Yes, if it makes your subscribers feel special and offers them great deals. 

No, if it only consists of constant over-the-top sales pitches. 

Keep in mind, the average email open rate in 2022 is 21.5% so the key is to create an e-newsletter that consistently appeals to your subscribers while helping to grow your e-commerce business.

Why Your E-Newsletter Approach Matters To Your Business

A well-done email newsletter can help your e-commerce business grow in many ways, including the following:

  • build increased rapport and trust with both customers and prospects,
  • peak prospect interest and grow customer interest, 
  • entice intrigued prospects to become customers and upsell current customers,
  • boost customer loyalty, and
  • increase word-of-mouth business through forwarding and customer social proof.

Our Tips for Growing Your E-Commerce Business with an E-Newsletter

Benchmark/Foundational Tip

Always keep top of mind that your e-newsletter subscribers are your tribe. 

Treat them like the most critical element of your business success, and they will respond in kind. Your subscribers will become invested in your success because they will develop a proprietary interest. If they grow to love your brand, they will be your biggest cheerleaders and will want your brand to thrive forever.

That’s what a tribe is, right? They’re the people who have your back in this world. Those people become your loyal, repeat customers. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business. 

Remember that and use it as a benchmark for your e-newsletter content and offers.

When you use that as the basis for developing and publishing your e-newsletter, it will clearly show everything you publish.

Formatting & Scheduling Tip

How you format and schedule your e-newsletter can make all the difference in whether it gets opened or read, much less whether it inspires action.

  • It does no good to send something if no one ever sees it. Many emails and e-newsletters get dumped automatically into spam folders because the business didn’t send a thank-you note asking the subscriber to add them to their contact list. It may seem like a small detail, but it can sink your e-newsletter campaign. 
  • How often should you publish? The answer is that it depends. That’s not a satisfying answer, but frequency depends on various considerations, including your foundational goals and your ROI (return on investment) goals. 
    • A good email click-through rate is between 2-5% depending on your brand’s industry. It’s important not to schedule so often that your rate drops because that means you’ve ticked off your subscribers. Over 347 billion [emails] are sent daily, so people are inundated with them every day. That means they’re usually thankful for e-newsletters published once a week at most, and they’re more likely to engage with those. 
    • If you periodically also send a mid-week “special event/offer” email, they’ll open those too – as long as that doesn’t happen every week. Beware subscriber burnout.
    • Each kind of e-commerce business will need to test scheduling to maximize open, CTR (click-through rate), and ROI for its specific industry sector. Here’s an article that talks more about different metrics you’ll need to monitor. 

Personalization Tip

You can personalize your e-newsletter in many ways. Here are a few:

  • Personalize the business sender display address to show a person’s name and the company name. That humanizes the email. It’s a touch people notice subconsciously, if not consciously.
  • Use the subscriber’s first name if you have it (and you did get it on the sign-up form, right?). That said, ensure you can automatically insert an alternate greeting if the person skipped that part of the form. Nothing’s worse than getting an e-newsletter that says, “Hello {your last name}.” That destroys credibility.

Content Tip

Take care with each content element from the subject line forward. Each part is essential to accomplishing your foundational and business success goals.

  • Most people look at the subject line to decide whether an email is worth their time. Be aware of how many characters you can use so your subject message doesn’t get cut off. Picking a consistent lead-in, followed by a short message, reminds them why they’re getting this reoccurring email.
  • A polished-looking e-newsletter “body” helps build credibility. It’s sad but true that we often judge a book by its cover. A professional-looking e-newsletter matters.
  • Use images mixed with content. Ensure those images are clear, fast-loading, and set the right tone for your e-newsletter. 1-in-5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile so remember to adjust your media and typeface size as more and more people access email on their mobile devices.
  • Your newsletter body content should always reflect your goals to enhance customer rapport and relationships. If your content is always a blatant sales pitch, it will trigger subscriber alarm bells. 
    • Sales letters are not e-newsletters, even though e-newsletters can contain offers or incentives. It’s an important distinction your subscriber will grasp instantly.
    • Giving to get goes a long way to building trust and long-term relationships, including with customers and prospects. E-newsletters that are just sales pitches end up in spam folders and with high unsubscribe rates.
  • As a rule, keep it relatively short. A good general rule of thumb is to send a mix of e-newsletter lengths. Some can include short informative content that’s about 300-400 words long but try mixing those up with editions containing content that’s only 200-300 words long. 
    • There are exceptions to that rule. For example, private professional services of all kinds have pages long newsletters filled with informative, timely content. They also include one or more offers or incentives. 
    • That format works well for those high-dollar services. The same might or might not make sense for your brand.

Call-To-Action and Close Tip

Your incentives, call-to-action, and close are critical elements for a successful e-newsletter.

  • Every e-newsletter edition needs a call-to-action of some kind. Always request that the subscriber do something as part of the e-newsletter. Examples include:
    • a link to an article on your e-commerce store, 
    • a special discount or incentive offered exclusively for your subscriber’s targeted audience segment (your e-newsletter subscriber list is targeted and segmented, isn’t it?). 
    • a link to an article or page containing information interesting to your target audience.
  • The incentives you offer also need to be targeted. All of your subscribers are not the same, so target like segments. You also will want to segment prospects vs. customers. 
    • Offering the same generic incentive to everyone will severely limit click-through rates, increase bounces, and lower your ROI. 
    • Why? Because they will instantly know you have no clue who they are or their buying habits. That will make them feel devalued, the opposite of your goal.
  • Having a personalized and heartfelt signature closing at the end of every e-newsletter edition is important. Humans crave consistency in endings. For example, you can switch it up for holiday seasons, but it’s good to keep it consistent otherwise.
  • Your signature closing needs to reflect your e-business values and how you want your customers to perceive you as the sender. 
  • Your e-newsletter needs to come from the same sender every time if possible. Having it come from the founder or CEO is a good choice – not the only choice but a good one.
  • The actual signature needs to be a handwritten one. Doing that lends credibility and a personal touch subscribers appreciate, even though most people know there’s no way to write a signature on an email. Little things like this matter.

These Tips Will Help Your E-Commerce Business Grow

It may feel like we’ve only touched on how to build an e-newsletter to help your e-commerce company grow. If you incorporate all of these tips into your e-newsletter, you should see an improvement in your open rates and your click rate. 

The process can be easy or difficult to handle. For example, Shopify offers its e-commerce companies seamless integration with a wealth of e-newsletter and email marketing tools. It also provides helpful information on every aspect of publishing an e-newsletter. 

Many other factors go into every aspect of e-newsletter creation and publishing, but keeping these tips in mind will help you begin to establish and maintain the rapport and credibility to make your e-newsletter more successful. AdQuadrant has helped e-commerce businesses of all sizes and types become more successful using e-newsletters. How can we help you create a winning e-newsletter for your e-commerce business?

About the author: About the author: Merikay Noah has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. She worked with e-commerce B2C and B2B websites of all kinds, from Fortune 100s to small start-ups, at two of the top three search engines and at a Los Angeles ad agency. Her successful e-commerce book publishing website, PopcornReads.com, attracted an international audience of bookaholics for over eight years. She now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she works as a copywriter and loves to hike with her small but fierce doggy protector – Miss Lucy.

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