A website newsletter or e-zine is a great tool for an e-commerce business. Studies have shown that the main reason customers will stop buying from you is a lack of communication. In order to hold onto the customers you already have, it's important to build a stronger relationship with them using a newsletter program as your form of communication. Once you have an ongoing relationship with your customers, it becomes much easier to sell to them again and again.
There are several elements you should include and different factors to keep in mind when creating your own newsletter program. Here are some important features of a good e-commerce website newsletter:
- Include announcement of new products
- Offer customers special promotions or discounts
- Make sure the design of your newsletter matches that of your website, including header and tabs
- Keep it brief, the less content the better
- Have consistent delivery of your newsletter, try not to send out too many or too little
- Include important information related to your products such as consumer reports or recent news
- Include multiple calls to action such as banners, text links and buttons that sends the subscriber directly to specific pages on your site
- Include an 'Unsubscribe' link in the footer area of each newsletter and make sure to add a form on the unsubscribe page asking for the reason to get feedback
There are numerous advantages for a having a website newsletter to supplement your online store. The main purpose of having a newsletter program is to build customer loyalty and get more repeat business. Studies have shown that existing customers on average spend 33% more than new customers and those that belong to customer loyalty programs typically spend 4x as much. Your website newsletter does a great job of constantly reminding people of your store's brand and getting new products in front of them. Without a newsletter, most people would forget about your online store soon after they make a purchase. You can not expect your customers to actively return to your site on a regular basis to find out about new product offerings or promotions. That is why it is so important to have a newsletter program, it is one of the best communication tools that an e-commerce business can have. Your list of subscribers is the most targeted market you can find. They have already bought from you, they know and trust your business, they clearly have an interest in your products and they are more likely to buy from you than a new customer. Your subscribers will also appreciate the fact that they are among the first people to be informed about new products, promotions or discounts.
Any good e-commerce solution should be able to provide basic features for implementing a website newsletter program for your online store. Here are some of the most important things to look for:
- Have a newsletter feature built into your store admin allowing you to create and send newsletters directly from your site interface
- Collect names, emails and other information that you specify
- Have the ability to verify whether or not emails are valid
- Be able to customize the layout of your newsletter
- Allow subscribers to unsubscribe at any time
- Have a special newsletter sign up feature built into the checkout area
Besides having your website newsletter sign up box prominently displayed on your homepage and within your checkout, there are many other ways to build your subscriber list. It is important for visitors to be able to see your newsletter sign up information on every page that they land on. This can be achieved by placing either a sign up box, banner, image link or text link on the header, footer or sidebar of your e-commerce site. You can also feature a 'Tell a Friend' page or have it appear after checkout to collect names and emails of your existing customers' friends. Other ways to build your website newsletter program mailing list include creating contests where people have to enter their emails and the winner gets a prize from your online store. This is a marketing tactic used by many big name online retailers and it really does help build your list quickly. You can promote your contest on blogs, forums and other social media sites.