E-commerce Link: The Power of the Inbox
If most of your emails are promotional, please take the time to read further. I want to talk about the power of newsletters to engage your customers. If you already send newsletters, I hope you'll get some new ideas to enhance your program.
The Big Question: Why?
Newsletters provide value-added content and are a great way to engage your subscribers. If all your emails focus on products and offers and arrive to an already crowded inbox, you stand the chance to become just another email, lost in the clutter. True, your loyal audience may be engaged with your content, but your casual followers may be left in the dust. Content can tilt the balance with inactives and get them to open and read your emails.
Consider sending one newsletter a month and include interesting factoids, tips, helpful information, videos, quizzes and more.
The Wine Enthusiast is a good example. Its TopShelf e-newsletter is loaded with content and supports the e-commerce site, as well as the paid content site Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
A recent email included tips on how to pick and prepare salmon, an interview with a top chef and a video with tips on appropriate wine pairings with food.
King Arthur Flower uses a hybrid approach. Almost every email from the company includes a recipe that uses flour. Here's a company that sells a very simple product, but by including value-added content, King Arthur Flour increases the odds that recipients will open emails.
Doctors Foster and Smith, a purveyor of pet supplies, found that using value-added headlines in emails increased open and clickthrough rates. For example, the company tested two headlines to dog owners with the balance of the email the same: "Joint Care on Sale" versus "7 Steps for Easy Arthritis Maintenance." MarketingSherpa reported clicks, sales and average order value increased.