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  • Janet Gifford

How to Ramp Up Sales Using Email

Here’s the thing about an email campaign – it works well, but consistency is key, as is the content you’re sending and information you're sharing.

Case in point. I’m consulting with a retail (brick & mortar) client who, over the years, has built a very loyal following and now has a healthy customer email list that they regularly send to.

What they’re not getting from their email campaign, however, is click-throughs. Their open rate isn't very high (a good one is around 28%). And of those who are opening it, the number clicking through from the email to the website is far too low for the effort they're putting into creating the email.

Why? Well, there are often several reasons; one of which I talk about a lot. Wiffy: as in What's In It For YOU. (the email reader). Unless there’s something compelling, intriguing, or helpful/useful in an email, the vast majority of recipients will scroll on by, likely thinking to themselves 'I’ll read it later.' Which, if they’re like the rest of us, actually won’t.

As an example: I get an email from a business I really like. But, I rarely open the email because it's just pictures of featured items. Other than photos, there's nothing very useful for me. Which is a shame, because I'd like to support this business more often! On any given day, my email inbox is full and I don't have time to scroll photos. I would take the time with this email, though, if there was something interesting that I could learn from them.

I say this all the time: Facts tell (or in this case photos) ; Stories sell.

So here’s today’s reminder about email marketing campaigns:

To build a stronger relationship with your customers/clients, so that they’re happy to support your small business, you need to give them information that’s useful and helpful for them. Share with them more of what you know most about, and why knowing more can help them, too. Think about it like this: I'm sending you Wiffy information; What's In It For You.

Let’s say you’re a clothing store and you send out an email newsletter once a month. Most often, the email is a series of photos of your clothing. You’re hoping your readers will see a photo, like it, and click on it – which directs them to your website.

WHAT IF in each email you also included an intro paragraph about fashion. What you’re loving right now, what the trends are, and how to incorporate them into a wardrobe. Or what your new favorite seasonal fabric is and why you love it so much. It doesn’t have to be long; all you need is a bit of STORY that helps your customers identify with you, your expertise, and your awesome clothing.

I’m guessing that if you did this more often, i.e., became an online, mini-version of a magazine or paper catalog, i.e. a resource your readers want to connect with – you’d quickly see more engagement from your customer list, and before long more sales, too.

Bottom line? If you have an email campaign and want it to cultivate more happy, loyal, buying customers, which in turn generates more business, share your knowledge, not just the products you have to sell.

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