02 May The Death of Organic Reach Gives New Life to Email Marketing
We hear the concerns daily about how the changes to Facebook’s organic reach algorithms are impacting retail boutique owners. You’re posting to an empty audience unless you’re paying to Boost each piece of new content.
While this is frustrating, like most things in life change is a good thing and will force each of us to improve our marketing skills and become more effective in our messaging.
Ya, ya, I know. You don’t have time to research it all, and you don’t want to hear me say that, so let me lay out one easy (and free) way to update your strategy and reach your loyal customers anytime outside of Facebook – email marketing.
Think about this: If Facebook, Instagram or Twitter shut down tomorrow, how would you reach your customers and fans?
You’d be out of luck, unless you’ve been collecting email addresses. While email marketing may seem a bit ‘ancient’ in the grand scheme of digital marketing, many retail marketers are putting more emphasis on this strategy than ever before.
Okay, let’s talk about how to get started if you’re not doing this already. Are you collecting email addresses? Here are a few ways to collect:
1. Establish an email collector form on your website. Most platforms like Shopify have these already established, but make sure it’s visible and gives users a reason WHY they should join your list.
2. Take email collectors a step further. Use a model such as a pop-up, slide-up or drop-down email collector form. Any type of movement on your website catches the eye’s attention. Again, your slide or drop forms should provide a reason ‘why’ users should join your list.
3. Facebook Advertising isn’t just for getting page likes or Boosting posts.
Set up a well-targeted ad to your potential customers asking them to join your list. Set up an email collector page with Mailchimp, LeadPages, etc. and have users opt-in. Are you giving users a good reason to join your list (is there a reason I am repeating myself?)
4. Are you using PayPal or a shopping cart feature that allows for email collection? Are you asking these customers to opt-in to your list? Ask them to opt-in and give them a coupon to use on their return visit to your store.
5. Contests asking for likes and shares may build engagement, but seldom do they lead to real sales. Skip the fruitless contests and base your contests on email collection.
6. Refer a friend? Word of mouth is always the best advertising. Give your customers the opportunity to treat a friend to a coupon, along with one for themselves. If they really like your shop and can think of a great friend that would also fit your style, easy referral!
7. Own a Brick and Mortar? Where is your guest book? Make sure you’re giving customers the opportunity to hand write their email addresses and birthdays!
Great! You’ve established a stream of email addresses coming to your computer, but now what?
1. If the emails you’re collecting aren’t already flowing into your mail program for you, build them into an excel sheet so you can easily upload those to your mail program in minutes.
2. Just getting started with email marketing? I love using Mailchimp, but Constant Contact is another great free option. AWeber also seems to be growing in popularity.
3. Determine why you’re going to be messaging customers, and how often you’re going to do it. And remember, no one likes SPAM – give them good reasons to open your emails. Think about sharing New Arrivals (your BEST photos), Re-Stocks, Sales & Specials, or other exciting news.
4. Everyone likes to be an insider! Be sure to give your email subscribers the royal treatment! Give them coupon codes, first looks and alerts before anyone else on social media, and be sure they know they’re special too!
Are you feeling graphically challenged?
Keep in mind that your photos and your graphics are a HUGE part of your brand identity, and you want to be sending the right message. Stick to your brand’s color scheme, fonts, and ‘feel’ when you set up graphics in free programs like Canva.com. Keep it consistent.
One last tip!
LESS is MORE. Don’t get fancy with colors, words, news, photos, or anything extra. Plan what you want to say and share it clearly and briefly.
Want more great marketing tips? Join us at The Boutique Hub, we’re keeping the conversation going in our private Boutique Owners Idea Lounge.
Or you can keep up with our marketing posts like this one in our Boutique2Boutique news sent 3 times each month.
Until next time,
The Boutique Hub Crew