Newsletters are essential for any e-commerce business and, when selling photo products, this is no exception. So, what do you need to consider when planning for an effective newsletter strategy?
1. Create A Schedule
With email marketing, you definitely need to have a schedule in place. Ideally, you should plan this as much as 12 months in advance, as this will allow you to cater for seasonal products – and photo products tend to be a significant part of this category – in your campaigns.
As far as how often you should be emailing, it’s good to send a newsletter every week or two, to remind your customers that you still exist. Of course, you can increase this during gift-giving holidays, where your products may become more relevant (and you want to take the opportunity to increase sales).
By planning ahead, you will know what you want to send out and when you need to do so. This way, you can be prepared ahead of time, rather than sending rushed, imperfect newsletters a day before major events, such as Black Friday. This also enables you to take your time with your newsletter, as there is always something that can go wrong, from sending an email with typos to broken links and even misleading information about special offers.
2. Segment Your Mailing List
Campaigns are often more effective when they are personalised, so don’t just send one mass-campaign to all your customers: use mailing list segmentation to create personalised newsletters.
This can be achieved by collecting data during registration at your e-commerce store, or other data, depending on where your email list came from.
Good ideas for demographics include age and gender, but you should also consider previous purchases and the time that has passed since then. If you have the data available, you should also use their behaviour on your website.
3. Make A Beautiful, Responsive Design
These days, the majority of e-commerce owners understand how important it is to have a responsive website design, adapting to mobile and tablet users. Yet, so many forget to apply this same attitude towards their newsletters.
According to Litmus’ “Email Client Market Shares Trends for 2017”, 51% of emails are now opened on a mobile device. Furthermore, virtually nobody will check out a newsletter on their desktop or laptop computer because they couldn’t do so on their smartphone. In other words, if they can’t access it on their phone, they won’t read it at all.
Fortunately, many newsletter apps have a preview mode included, allowing you to see how your newsletter will appear on both desktop and mobile screens. You should ensure your designs stay clean and simple, as any additional, unnecessary elements will only add to the loading times. This also includes images: they should be of a good quality, but with a minimal file size where possible.
4. Personalize Your Message
As we mentioned earlier, personalized campaigns are essential – but there’s more you can do. For a start you can do something as simple as adding your subscriber’s name to the headline, such as “Mariah, do you need a gift for Mother’s day?”, as well as the body of the email itself.
According to Aberdeen Group, personalizing your emails like this can improve click-through-rates by 14%, with conversion rates also rising by 10%.
Don’t leave it at this. Go a step further and prepare personalised campaigns based on your customer’s previous purchases, or even products they viewed – you can use remarketing tools to capture this data. Then, for instance, prepare a campaign for previous buyers of family photobooks, asking if they have any new photos they would like to print in a new photobook. Similarly, you could target customers who purchased love-themed items on Valentine’s day the year before, to see if they need something this time as well.
5. State A Clear Call To Action
Your emails need a CTA. Even the most beautiful and perfectly written newsletters – complete with clickable, compelling headlines – won’t be enough if they don’t transfer your recipients to your website to make a purchase.
For each of your newsletters, you should ensure you only suggest one key action to your users. Furthermore, make the entire email – from the headline, through the body of text and images – suggest what it is you want the reader to do, whether it’s making a purchase with a discount code, creating a photobook with some new templates or something else entirely. This consistency will make the CTA for powerful and effective.
6. A/B Test
It’s rather unlikely that you’ll capture lightning in a bottle with your first idea, headline or CTA. You’re going to need to do a little testing with your audience.
Fortunately, most mailing tools have A/B testing features built-in. If they don’t, you can easily create a manual test – just duplicate the created campaign and assign each a half of your mailing list, then apply different headlines, CTAs and other variable factors.
However, remember that you should only test one thing at a time. This way, you will know exactly what caused the higher or lower opening rate.
So, there you have it – 6 ways to make your campaigns more compelling, engaging and effective. Follow these tips and your newsletters can be much more successful for your photo product business!