A customer’s inbox is one of the prime real estate options for marketers to target. Shopify stores should also be taking advantage of email marketing.
Because email newsletters can improve sales and ensure brand growth.
Shopify provides a built-in email marketing tool that allows you to send up to 2500 emails per month for free and makes it easy for you to get started.
So, if you've dismissed email marketing because you believe that social media is more high-value, it’s time to rethink your decision.
Why should Shopify owners use email marketing?
Email has long been one of the top sales and marketing channels for ecommerce. It brings high ROI and tends to outperform other platforms, according to the Shopify research.
That makes sense. You own your email list. You don’t need to pay Facebook or fight it out with other content creators to climb the search rankings.
Once you have a subscriber, you can contact them any month, at any time, for almost nothing. The option to contact subscribers allows you to develop relationships with these prospects and turn some of them into fans.
Besides, it’s easy to build an email list with Shopify. Email marketing is built into your store! For example, when a customer registers their account with you or checks out as a guest, you can encourage them to join your email list by simply adding a checkbox at checkout 👇
Even if a visitor hasn’t purchased anything, you can invite them to join your list in exchange for a discount with an email opt-in popup like this one 👇
Bottom line? Email marketing is a highly effective sales channel for ecommerce and getting started with it doesn’t require much effort or technical knowledge.
Essentials of an email newsletter
Now, before you get to create your first Shopify newsletter, you may want to take a step back and think of what type of communication you’re trying to establish.
For example, there are two most common types of email newsletters ecommerce businesses use: promotional and content-based. Let’s see how they differ before we talk about how you can create an email newsletter for your Shopify store:
Promotional. Promotional newsletters specifically promote something you want to sell. When as many as 59% of consumers say that professional promotional emails will influence a buying decision, it’s clear that there is significant ROI to be earned.
Content-based. Content-based newsletters are the emails you send to engage your audience. Through content-based emails, you might promote your latest blog post, educate them about a new product or service, offer an ebook, or invite them to participate in a competition. Such emails are the ideal way to build relationships with subscribers and push them down the marketing funnel.
Another factor you want to consider is your email newsletter design.
You want to make your emails instantly recognizable. That means it’s important that you stick to your branding guidelines when it comes to the font, color theme, imagery, and tone of voice.
One example of a carefully chosen newsletter design is brought by Taylor Stitch ☝️. They’ve worked on creating a recognizable brand voice and brand identity. If you’re trying to increase your Shopify sales via email, Taylor Stitch is a company to learn from.
Finally, as a general tip, before sending your email, you should always ask yourself the following three questions:
1. What is the goal of your message?
The email you send should have one purpose, reflected by the call to action (CTA). It’s the same purpose you’ll have in mind while crafting the copy and measuring the results of your campaign. Deciding on your purpose in advance will help you stick to the point and keep your email clear and concise. For example, is the purpose to encourage potential customers to enter your digital marketing funnel? Or do you want them to click on your blog post link? Understanding the goal helps you craft relevant email copy for your message.
2. Does the copy align with your CTA?
The main job of your call to action is to get people to click on the link or the button. Make sure that everything you write before the call to action, aligns with it. And no, most times you should not try to sell a product or service through your email, because that’s what the sales page is for.
3. Is your subject line engaging?
Whether people will open your email, depends largely on your subject line. If you have any open rate stats from your previously sent emails, analyze them, and see how you can achieve higher numbers. If you have no data on previous campaigns, look for open rate benchmarks for your industry.
With those basic email marketing tips out of the way, let’s finally look at the process of creating an email newsletter in Shopify.
How to quickly send Shopify email newsletters
Shopify makes it easy to send your email newsletters even if you’ve never done it before. Its email marketing tool, aptly named ‘Shopify Email,’ is also quite affordable compared to many third-party solutions.
You can send 2500 emails per month for free. From there, Shopify will charge you $1 for sending each additional 1000 emails.
To use Shopify Email, you need to have both an online Shopify store and the Online Store sales channel installed. Keep in mind that if you're still using the trial plan, you will not be able to send emails to your subscribers. Make sure to pick a paid subscription plan and set up the payment provider first. Once this is done, you can take the next steps.
1. Create an email campaign
Getting started with Shopify Email is a no-brainer. Step by step, you need to:
- Open your Shopify dashboard and open the Marketing tab
- Click the option Create a Campaign
From there, you need to open the Shopify Email app. That will give you a wide range of email templates to choose from.
Take your time to go through the options to pick the template that matches your branding and your goal.
Once you select a template, you’ll be able to customize it using a simple WYSIWYG editor and change the copy, creative, font, style, color theme, and such.
2. Decide who should receive the newsletter
You will also be able to choose the subscribers who will receive your newsletter. To do that, click the ‘To’ field and select which segment of your audience this newsletter will go to.
At this point, you can select whether you want to send this email to new or returning customers. However, Shopify Email also allows you to create more sophisticated audience segments based on such attributes as:
- date of the last purchase
- date of becoming a customer
- and other filters
Once you choose the audience, enter the subject line of the newsletter and the preview text. Feel free to use this extensive collection of subject lines as a source of inspiration if you struggle to come up with the right words.
3. Change the email address of the sender
If you keep the default settings, the ‘From’ field will contain the personal email address you used to register in Shopify. If you’re using a business email address, the ‘From’ field will look something like this: email@example.com. That’s neither friendly nor trustworthy.
Authenticate your email address in Shopify Email by:
- Going to the ‘Settings’ section of the Shopify admin page.
- Clicking on the ‘General’ tab.
- Going to the section labeled ‘Store details’ and clicking on ‘Change email’.
You will then be able to use your business domain which makes it easier for your subscribers to recognize.
4. Send a test email
If this is your first Shopify email newsletter, consider sending a test email to yourself.
Once you receive the test email, here is what to look for:
- Does your subject line stand out in your inbox?
- Is it readable on a mobile screen?
- Does the formatting make your email easy to read?
- Do the links work properly?
- Is your call to action clear and prominent?
💡 Before hitting the ‘Send’ button, use a spelling and grammar checking tool like Grammarly (it’s free!) to make sure there are no missed typos or commas in your email.
5. Send your Shopify email newsletter
Once you’re ready, go ahead and send your newsletter or schedule it to be sent on the appointed day. Shopify Email allows you to send up to five email campaigns per week, with a maximum of 40,000 subscribers for each one.
Email marketing is more important than ever. By gaining access to your customers’ inboxes, you can grow your Shopify store organically, build a relationship with your audience, and drive traffic to your website.
While not being as powerful as 3rd-party email marketing apps, Shopify Email makes it easy to get started with newsletters at zero cost, which is an advantage if you’re just at the beginning of your journey.
Want to ensure your email marketing is high-impact? Focus on the high-quality copy, professional design, and audience segmentation. Most importantly, never stop measuring your campaign results to see which templates, subject lines, and CTAs are earning you the highest ROI.
Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.
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