Email Marketing For Boutique Owners. The Boutique Owner’s Guide to Automated Customer Welcome Emails
Do you remember what it’s like to date someone before you marry them? You have to build a relationship, surprise and delight them, establish trust, and keep them coming back for more. The same is true in retail. It’s rare that someone buys the first time they meet you, so it’s up to YOU to warm them up to your brand.
How do we do that with email?
When you have new subscribers to your email list, they usually fall into one of two categories:
1) Subscribers that opt-in from your website to join your list.
2) Subscribers you add in bulk from a giveaway, offer, or old PayPal customer list.
Each of these subscribers are on a different journey in their lifecycle along your sales funnel, so they should be treated differently. Using email automation, specifically a ‘Welcome Series’ is the ideal way to date your customers and excite them about their relationship with your brand.
Automation is an email marketing tool that allows you to send a pre-set series of emails to a list of subscribers based on their relationship with you.
Here’s how to set up a series that your customers will be attracted to.
The first group mentioned above (the opt-ins from your e-commerce site) should be receiving an immediate welcome series of auto responders set up by Mailchimp (Automation), or whichever provider you use. This series takes them on a journey to feel connected to your brand.
The second group mentioned above (the bulk uploads, or list that you downloaded from PayPal but have never used) should have a specific email welcome series triggered and sent to them based on how they were collected making their welcome journey specific to their origin.
Notice I said series and not ‘single email’. A great message isn’t singular, it comes in multiples.
The human brain needs to see a message up to 7 times before registering and taking action!
How should you set up these emails and what should they include? We’re breaking it down for you!
To start, you’ll need to use the auto-responder (automation) functions within your email provider. Whether it’s Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Constant Contact or any other, there are great options out there.
We use Mailchimp, so let’s use that as an example. It’s automation function comes only with a paid account (starting at $10/month). Automation allows emails to be pre-written and set up on a trigger based on a reader’s previous action. This could be signing up for a list, 3 days after a previous email was opened, 24 hours after a certain link was clicked, etc.
You set up the customer journey and automate it to happen while you sleep!
While the first email in your automated series to either of the above list types will be different based on your list’s origin, the entire series should include elements of the following over multiple weeks:
1. A clever reminder of how they signed up for your list.
This is spam filter 101, always remind new subscribers of how they found you, which does come standard in the footer of your email campaigns when you set up any new email list in Mailchimp or other providers. But, if they came in from a giveaway, then it’s important to both thank them for participating, and mention that’s how you were connected as a sponsor in the body of your first email, then get to the point of why they should stay!
2. A sincere welcome and why from the owner.
In today’s market, authenticity sells, shoppers want to know who they are doing business with and supporting. Take the opportunity to say hello, state your personal and brand mission, and let them know who you are and what your brand is all about! You can even use a video embedded into your email for the ultimate welcome and behind the scenes tour!
3. An invitation to your most active social channel.
If your Facebook group is the place to be, let these fans know why and invite them to join. If Instagram is your jam, invite them to it first. Let them know where to find you and your best products and offers. A simple way to do this is to create a graphic in Canva the size of your email template footer, with a text Call to Action to join your group/Instagram or again, wherever you hang out most. Use this graphic as a footer and button linked directly to that channel.
4. Offer them a little coupon code thank you.
Subject lines including “Your $10 MyBoutiqueCash (your name) is Waiting’’ is a great way to get them excited about what you’re offering as a thank you to get started with their first purchase. If you are using a pop-up app on your website to collect emails, your app may have already awarded your new subscriber with a unique discount code. However you may layer your welcome series with an additional unique offer or upsell based on where this subscriber came from, or if the subscriber has not yet taken action on your previous offers by using ‘segment conditions’ within your automation set up.
5. Show them your current best sellers or categories.
Depending on the season, keep this email in the series fresh by inviting them to your favorite website category to check out what’s new. Tell them about your style, the women you dress, and relate to your new fans based on what they are looking for.
6. Invite them to join you on your secondary network of choice.
If your first or second email in the welcome series invited them to your Facebook Group or Instagram, 4 weeks later, invite them to your second favorite hangout. This time it might be Snapchat or Pinterest.
This might seem like a lot, but these emails can be combined to your liking while keeping them short and sweet. Spread them out over several week’s time, and in the mean time, they’ll be getting your regular weekly emails with your new arrivals, latest sales and best sellers.
Moral of the Story
Just remember, emails are an opportunity to build relationships, trust, and keep top of mind. Automation and email series make it so much easier to keep your message current and capitalize on your new customer’s excitement when they first reach your list!
Bonus — make it memorable! Every email provider comes with standard templates for you to drag and drop. Just keep in mind that others are starting just where you are, so do your best to make your brand cohesive, and your message memorable! Be you, be authentic and have fun with your audience!
How are you using welcome automation? Let us know in the comments below or if you are already a member of The Hub, keep the conversation going in our Boutique Owner’s Community Facebook Group!
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