Why Your Customer’s Email Address is Crucial to Your Online Success

- Posted by to Marketing

I’m sure you’ve seen it before. You go to purchase an item from a retail website and when you get to the checkout there’s a little tick-box with some small print letting you know you need to tick the box if you don’t want to receive emails. If you’re buying something that you have a genuine interest in you might be quite happy to receive those emails because they’re likely to contain either information about the market area, or emails containing the latest and greatest offers from the website.

Your own online selling business should be operating in much the same way as this. By getting your hands on the email addresses of your customers you will be in the position to send them emails advertising similar items that you might have for sale. But why is this so useful? Well, these people are already your customers, they’ve already made a purchase from you and therefore they’ve proven their interest in the type of stock that you have to offer. Many marketing techniques involve stabbing a little blindly at a group of people in the hope that some of them will be interested in your goods, but in this case you already know that they are! That’s an excellent position to be in.

Now that’s not to say that you don’t need to be careful with your email marketing if you do get hold of some email addresses. Sending adverts for products every other day will only aggravate your buyers, instead you should space your emails out carefully and consider interspersing sales related emails with useful information or blog posts. That way your emails will remain in the inbox of your customers rather than being filtered straight to the spam folder.

How to Build an Email List

There are several different ways of building a list of email addresses. The method that you opt for will depend on the way in which you currently conduct your sales online. For example, eBay actually offers its own email marketing programme for those who have set up an eBay shop.

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An eBay shop is a monthly subscription service that allows you to create your own shop front to advertise the products that you have for sale on the eBay website. You can put together your own design and benefit from an assortment of additional resources, such as email marketing.

This marketing allows you to create that little opt in box when a buyer makes a sale from you, allowing you to save their email address to your list to be able to send out emails on a schedule that you set and with the information that you want to include. You’ll even be able to see how successful each individual email campaign was with the statistics provided; allowing you to know which of your email messages has seen the most success.

You can manage your eBay email marketing campaigns by heading to ‘My ebay’ and hovering over the ‘Account’ menu option to select ‘Marketing Tools’.

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Most of the marketing tools within this section, such as email marketing, are restricted to those users that have set up an eBay Shop, but there are still additional tools that you can benefit from so it’s worth checking this section of ‘My ebay’ out if you haven’t done so before.

If you don’t have an eBay shop and don’t plan on opening one then you can always use your own website as a means to collect email addresses. There are a number of tools, both free and paid, that allow you to manage your email marketing. Here are just a few of the most popular:

• MailChimp – www.mailchimp.com
• Constant Contact – www.constantcontact.com
• AWeber – www.aweber.com

You may know of several more email marketing managers or have a preferred option already, but these three tend to be quite straightforward and easy to manage.

In order to collect email addresses using an email marketing manager you will be provided with tools in the form of widgets or online form builders that enable you to plug a sign up form straight onto your website.

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Although this might seem to be a slightly more difficult way of gathering email addresses as it relies on users inputting their name and email address again, it can result in a list that is made up of people who are more genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Even if you sell through eBay you can always send a thank you email pointing a buyer in the direction of your website explaining that they can sign up for the latest offers and information.

No matter what email marketing management software you do choose to use, make sure you don’t add anyone’s email address to it without their permission. They need to either be presented with an option not to sign up at your checkout, or to expressly enter their information into a form knowing that they’ll be receiving emails from it.

Managing Your Marketing

As I’ve already mentioned within this article, it’s important not to spam the email addresses that you collect with adverts for products you have for sale each and every day. That will only cause your buyers to become annoyed with you. Try not to email more than once a week. Once a fortnight is usually more than adequate. It’s better to send across a well-crafted and useful email less frequently than a spam-filled nonsensical one more often. It’s certainly important to keep your name in front of your customers, but do it too frequently and you might end up losing them for good.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers each time you craft an email. Would the information contained within be useful to you? Would you delete it without looking? The answers to these questions should tell you all you need to know about the content of your emails.

One big advantage of using an online tool such as MailChimp is that you don’t need to worry about managing your list. Subscribers can unsubscribe or join through a form on your website with no involvement from you, and you can easily create emails using the Campaign manager that allows you to place images, text and links exactly where you want them to go within your emails by simply dragging and dropping elements around. With tools like this so easy to set up and work with, there’s really no excuse not to try and capture some of the email addresses of your customers to begin an email marketing campaign today.

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