Why Your Shopify Store Must Build an Email List From the Beginning

Email marketing has been around right from the very beginning of the web.

Long before anyone dreamed of PPC, social media, mobile apps or even virtual reality, there was email marketing. It has been the most enduring and also one of the most effective online marketing tools for a generation.

Email marketing still remains one of the best ways for store owners or online retailers to capture leads and generate sales almost effortlessly.

Email marketing still delivers the best online marketing ROI
Email marketing still delivers the best online marketing ROI

Given its potent value as a marketing tool, the email marketing channel is one that should be exploited right from the word go. As soon as your store website is up and running, there should be an opt-in email form that you can use to capture leads and build your mailing list. Every lead is a potential sale and letting these go untapped is literally throwing money down the drain. If you are opening a new Shopify store, an email capture page should be one of your top priorities.

A good email marketing strategy will yield stratospheric returns. In the US, email marketing delivers an ROI of 3800%, the highest of any marketing channel.

Why is Email Marketing Still Effective?

From an online marketing perspective, email marketing may seem quite archaic. However, the channel still offers some massive and distinct advantages that online businesses should exploit.

Email marketing is very direct. As long as you have a mailing list, virtually everyone in the list will receive the email or promotional blasts. Whether they will open it is another matter altogether but at least you can be sure of the delivery part. It is more direct than search engine results pages (SERPs), social media marketing or PPC marketing where the delivery is still a matter of chance.

email marketing on Shopify
Email marketing is very direct

Email is also an integral part of communications in the internet age and a part of our modern lifestyle. You may go for days or weeks without vising your social media profiles, opening an app or performing a Google search but most of us who use the internet will open their emails on a daily basis and even check their mails multiple times a day. As a content delivery platform, the email channel still has a higher degree of efficacy and usage that cannot be matched by any other marketing channels.

The third winning factor in an email is the customizability. An app, social media profile or PPC campaigns do not offer you the high degree of customization and personalization that you will get from an email campaign or e-newsletters. You can literally design your emails to your heart’s content with your message, products or brand expression. Professional email marketing will actually contribute towards growing your online business’ brand equity. A large and responsive email list is as valuable as a good and high-converting ecommerce website.

Then there is the cost factor and ease of implementation. It doesn’t cost a fortune or special technical skills to design a professional promotional email or e-newsletter.  There are also a variety of email marketing software and tools that come with thousands of templates and features to make your email marketing on Shopify a breeze. Some of the most popular email marketing tools include the following:

  • Constant Contact
  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • SendinBlue
  • GetResponse
  • Infusionsoft
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • Campaigner
  • Hubspot

Email Marketing is Cost Effective

One of the biggest draws of email marketing through time has been the very low barrier to entry. It can range from free to very low to slightly expensive depending on the features that you need.

Besides, the various email marketing tools have various level of service differentiation. They don’t offer the same package. Some will simply offer the email-based aspect of the service while others go on to provide an integrated marketing service in which the email marketing or mailing list is just a cog in the wheel of a much broader online marketing strategy. Some email marketing software, for example, include a  built-in landing page, page builders and social media marketing tools among others.

Costs will vary depending on the packages chosen but generally, email marketing will be your cheapest online marketing strategy.

It is however counterproductive to simply compare email marketing software or tools based solely on price. You are likely to miss on a lot of valuable features and functionalities if price is your overriding consideration. Rather, these comparisons should be based on a needs basis. Buy the right email marketing tool for the job rather than simply going for the cheapest offer available.

CRM and Automation Functionalities

Email marketing can be a powerful customer relations management (CRM) tool, particularly for small businesses. Email software come equipped with rich features including in-built CRM tools in some cases. There is also the marketing automation functionality that you can set and forget, allowing the email marketing tool to do the work for you as you focus on other aspects of your online business.

Email and CRM make for a powerful marketing combination
Email and CRM make for a powerful marketing combination

Email marketing delivers the best ROI when the email blasts are triggered at the right time and to the right leads. With the growing sophistication of email marketing tools, it is now possible to leverage “big data” that helps you automate this process. This data will be stored in the CRM system. Large corporations will generally install a separate CRM software and then integrate this with their email marketing tools. However, if you are running a small enterprise, it’s more prudent to shop for email marketing software tools that come with an integrated or in-built CRM system that can serve as your all-in-one sales and marketing platform. Some of the email platforms that offer integrated CRM solutions include Hubspot, ActiveCampaign and Ontraport.

Generate and Manage Your Subscribers

An email marketing service will be your lead generation as well as subscriber management tool. You can upload contacts to your email marketing software via a CSV or by using Microsoft Excel. There some email marketing tools that can integrate with third-party tools and enable marketers to import contacts from Gmail, other webmail services as well as from CRM tools such as Salesforce. You can also use your email marketing software to manage both subscribers and those that unsubscribe.

Then there is the lead generation role of email marketing software. The greatest thing about email marketing tools is that they are opt-in-based systems. The subscriber asks to join the mailing list. That means you can use them to collect the contact details of users who are already interested in your products.

There are various tools and Shopify modules that you can use to maximize your conversions. A perfect example is the premium GrooveJar conversion tool that helps you capture more subscribers through pop-ups and other tools. GrooveJar utilizes a pop-up tool known as GrooveUrgent which delivers a conversion rate of 10% and helps you build your mailing list a lot quicker. This is five times the average conversion rate for most pop conversions which is 2%! GrooveUrgent delivers those impressive conversions due to its embedded countdown timer which creates a sense of urgency in the mind of the visitor and prompts them to enter their details.

Playing on the fear of missing out (FOMO) is just one way to drive up the conversions. Another good strategy is by offering your web visitors goodies such as promos, coupons or discounted pricing for subscribing to your e-newsletter or leaving behind their contact details. Couponing is generally a powerful lead magnet and will also drive impulse buying.

Email marketing can therefore be used to generate hot leads that you can convert and re-convert for years to come to ramp up your sales.

The Email List as the Anchor for your E-Newsletter

The primary reason for building an email list is to leverage it for email marketing purposes. Email marketing tools have lots of features that make email marketing a breeze. These including tools and features such as pre-designed email templates, autoresponders, visual email campaign builders, e-newsletter, email list segmentation, drag and drop user interfaces for e-newsletters and email templates, image libraries and much more.

Email marketing software will offer some superb features to make your email testing success. These include:-

  • A/B testing: Most email marketing software tools will enable you to split-test various aspects of your draft email content such as the subject lines, content and send times before you send it out to end users so that you can see what works. It’s even possible to split-test an entire automation sequence to determine where you are likely to get the best conversions.

Email Data Analytics and Reporting

Having an email list that you can leverage for email campaigns can provide you with great insights and analytics on the responses and behaviors of your subscribers. The data can help you tweak your email campaigns for optimal results and also give you some insights on whether your email campaign is generating a positive ROI. You can get invaluable insights such as the open rates, click rates and time spent viewing the email among others.

Email data analytics
Email data analytics

Email lists drive revenue

In ecommerce marketing, conversion drives revenue. Email marketing is one of the most potent tools that you can use to take advantage of impulse buying by your customers. Customers in your mailing list can go from seeing a good offer to buying an item with just two clicks of the button. Email marketing also creates the hype factor with tempting calls to action (CTA) as well links that take subscribers directly to the product page. Email blasts are some of the most effective channels for selling special offers, promotions, discounted pricing and other advantageous pricing offers. There is a psychology behind successful email marketing and it works like magic in driving online retail sales.

Excellent Deliverability

Emails provide a direct marketing channel with excellent deliverability. A large percentage of emails sent to your mailing list will reach the intended target. Email marketing services generally perform various functions to provide marketers with optimal deliverability rates. These include the following:-

  • Getting rid of problematic clients
  • Monitoring the blacklists
  • Flagging recipients for review if there are too many bounced emails or complaints.
  • Managing the reputation of the IP addresses

Without a dedicated email marketing strategy and campaigns, your mailing list is just that: a mailing list. You have to leverage it through professional email marketing to build your brand equity, generate leads and drive your sales. Email marketing allows you to choose your own audience-they choose to opt in based on your targeted email message or CTAs. It costs you nothing to reach them and they are often high prospect leads who are already interested in your brand or products. This makes for a valuable sales and marketing pipeline that should be an integral part of building your Shopify store.

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Sam Ochanji

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