How to turn your ecommerce email list into a productive tool for your store

There are few marketing channels that have more potential, right now, than email. According to a study by Transparency Market Research, the email marketing industry will be worth $22.16 billion dollars by 2024. No wonder why nine out of 10 websites you visit try to capture your email address. Are you working on growing your email list, too? That’s great, but even more important is to know how to turn it into a productive business tool.

Why do you have an email list?

Before we talk about maximizing your email marketing performance, we have to start by asking the queen of all questions: why?

So, why do you have an email list? Did you start one because every business owner you know did? Were you hoping to boost your sales? Or do you see your email list just as a way of having fun and staying in touch with your audience?

No matter the industry in which you activate, having an email list is an asset. However, you do have to set a goal for it. Otherwise, why would you be spending time and money designing and sending emails?

So, if you’re trying to do what other business owners do, ask yourself is that is really what you want. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase conversions, you’re already on a good path to achieving that. Also, if you see email as a fun communication channel, that’s great: you’re going to boost your brand awareness.

Once you establish your target, it’s much easier to figure out the best steps to reach it.

Be ready to give before you receive

You probably hear many marketers say “the money is in the list.” While that may be true, we have to stop looking at email lists as mere sources of money. Instead, we could take a minute to think of what we can give before we receive. This is where your email marketing success starts.

A study from Marketing Sherpa showed that the number one reason people unsubscribe is that they receive too many emails. Many brands are guilty of this practice. In their pursuit for quick revenue, they email frantically, hoping that the more offers they send, the more they sell.

Also, they don’t spend enough time crafting personalized emails, and focus on quantity over quality. As a result, they not only lose potential conversions, they lose subscribers for good. You don’t want to be that marketer.

So, what should I do with my email list? Step one: assess its quality

When it comes to your email list, there’s nothing more important than its quality. But what does quality mean? A high-quality email list is one that consists of valid email addresses that belong to real people.

Data decay is something many email marketers are struggling with. Every email list deteriorates, and it does so fast. The average monthly rate is 2%, HubSpot found. You’d think it’s not a big deal – so what if some of the email addresses in your list are no longer valid? They bounce and that’s it. All the other people on your list are going to get your emails.

Of course, it’s not that simple. When you email invalid and fake email addresses, not only will those accounts never get your campaigns. But also, your genuine subscribers will start either getting them in their Spam folder, or not getting them at all.

So, what can you do? Say hello to the email checker.

It’s almost impossible to manually check every address in your email list and establish whether it’s safe to use. On the other hand, an email checker analyzes your list in minutes and tells you which contacts you should email and which ones are going to hurt you.

To illustrate, ZeroBounce detects accounts that bounce, but also, it removes bad emails such as spam traps, catch-all and abuse accounts, temporary and role-based contacts. These don’t add any value to your email list, so don’t hesitate to get rid of them.

Step two: reconsider your content

Are you tired of hearing that “content is king”? You may be, but this statement is truer than ever. Content marketing is on the rise, and for good reason. As an inbound strategy meant to pull your audience in, it yields results and helps you capitalize on your efforts.

So, before you send your next email, ask yourself if you like the content you’re about to share. Is it educating, informing and entertaining? Does it sound like you, meaning, does it align with the voice of your brand?

Then, take a look at the design. Can you tell from a distance that your message looks like a marketing email? Is that what you want, or are you looking to build a more intimate connection with your audience?

More and more marketers are switching from flashy marketing emails to plain-text emails. While this may not be applicable to your brand, consider running a few A/B tests and notice if this tactic makes any difference. You might be surprised.

Either way, keep in mind that your email list is not your marketing platform in the classic sense. Instead, it’s a chance for you to establish a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers. How do you do that?

Going back to what we were saying earlier: be ready to give before you receive. Create content that responds to what your subscribers want and like. Keep testing and always pay attention to your stats. Eventually, you’ll nail down the type of emails your subscribers love getting from you.

Quick tips on turning your email list into a success

Now that we covered the crucial aspects of having an email list, let’s get down to some quick tips to help you turn your email list into a success. Everyone can implement them and get the most out of their email marketing.

  • when it comes to engagement, subject lines are essential. Many people skim through their inbox and only click on an email if the subject line seems interesting. So, don’t rush to send, but instead, write down several versions of your subject lines. Which one is the most clickable? Get feedback from colleagues and friends.
  • spammy words won’t help you get your emails in people’s inboxes. As a marketer or business owner, you may be tempted to include words such as “money,” “success” or “free” in your subject lines. Even though your intentions are good, spam filters may see you as a malicious sender. So, avoid any risks by staying away from spammy words and phrases.
  • your tone of voice can make all the difference in an email. If you already know your buyer persona, keep that in mind whenever you communicate. Also, aim to keep the same tone across all platforms, from your blog, to social media and email.
  • people who don’t engage with your emails should not be on your email list. Engagement rates affect your sender reputation. So, be ready to say goodbye to those subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in more than three months. An email checker can help you here by detecting unengaged subscribers.

Don’t do everything at once

Growing an email list is a worthy goal, and putting together a smart email marketing strategy may be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business. While the word “strategy” may overwhelm you, don’t worry too much about what it entails. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, implementing several new tactics at the same time won’t allow you to see what works and what doesn’t.

As a rule of thumb, start with these two basic steps:

  • make sure your email list is up-to-date and no invalid email addresses are sabotaging your deliverability. This is a common problem marketers have to deal with.
  • spend all the time you need to come up with awesome content for your subscribers. Use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be educational and entertaining, and 20% can be promotional.

Then, decide what your next improvement is going to be. Do you want to try a different approach in your subject lines? Perfect, do that first. Split your email list in half and see which subject line wins.

Once you refine one aspect, move on to the next. For instance, you could try sending more personal emails and share your opinion on an industry topic. Always remember there is knowledge you have that your subscribers don’t. So, be confident when you know you’ve got something valuable to say.

Wrapping things up

In conclusion, your email list has fantastic potential, and you know that. You also know how to manage it so that you get results. Most of the time, our gut feelings lead us to the best outcomes. Listen to your instincts. Use your common sense. Above all, never stop testing and keep your eyes open on everything that’s happening around you. Email marketing is an ever-changing industry. If you want to play the long game, you have to be willing to adapt.

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