Many Internet marketing experts claim that having a good newsletter campaign is a sine qua non for every successful eCommerce business. This may sound a bit exaggerated since obtaining someone’s email address and directing your message(s) into their inbox hardly compares to actually selling. But readers can become active buyers with a properly set and guided newsletter campaign.
Why Newsletters Matter
A newsletter is a tool with dual benefits. It helps you gain new customers and keep the existing ones. It is essential in increasing the number of leads and building a subscription base that you can work with and it also allows you to engage your existing customers and promote your products.
Newsletters are possibly the simplest way to get your message across, whatever that message might be (and it’s usually a message marketing your business or your ideas). With proper content, you can even use a newsletter campaign to become an expert in your industry, thus enlarging your scope and your influence, which always means more conversions.
Social media marketing and other, younger forms of Internet advertising are great and highly efficient, but email is still the number one tool. Everyone has an email address so directing your messages there is a sure way to get seen and heard.
Picking the Right Message
While we all agree that every eCommerce business should use newsletters for marketing purposes, it’s important to remember that, unless you’re careful, a newsletter can easily be perceived as spam. Your message should therefore be clear, simple and effective. It also needs to be delivered on a regular basis.
However, simply delivering messages and promotions to your customers’ inboxes week in and week out isn’t going to cut it. It’s the content that matters the most, so you want to make sure you do it right.
In most cases, newsletters as part of eCommerce campaigns usually include (or should include) sales and discount offers, news and announcements from the company, internal links to content (blog posts, articles, lists, etc.) on your eCommerce store, if you have any, external links to articles and other content your customers may find interesting, as well as up-to-date trends pertaining to your industry.
While the main purpose of newsletters is to promote your business and sell more of your product, you definitely don’t want to sell yourself too hard, as it can be off-putting and counterproductive. Find a healthy balance between seemingly (but only seemingly!) unrelated content and your promotional stuff. Try to throw in a small giveaway or sales offer in your every newsletter, and open your message with it.
Finally, if you want to build a trusting, close connection with your customers, and you definitely do want to do this, start your emails with the name of your customer. Don’t use a generic salute like “Hey you” or, even worse, “Dear Sir or Madam.”
How to Deliver Your Newsletters
Delivering a newsletter is not a hard thing to set up, but it’s not something that happens automatically either. With Magento, you can pick between the platform’s built-in newsletter tool or a web-based extension. MailChimp and campaign Monitor are among the most popular third-party solutions that many Magento merchants use, regardless of the size of their business. These can be used independently or integrated into your Magento website, whichever suits you better.
It should be noted, though, that Magento has one of the best built-in newsletter tools around and that, should you decide to go with it, you can be certain that it will serve you well. The main reason why it’s underused and why many merchants opt for third-party solutions is that the Magento native tool is a bit complicated to set up, which is why we’re going to give short setup instructions below.
Setting Up Native Magento Newsletter Tools
First of all, you need to make sure newsletters are enabled on your store. To do so, go to your dashboard and click System, and then, under Configuration, choose Advanced. Under the Disable Modules Output, find Mage_Newsletter and then, if it’s not enabled, simply click the “Enable” command.
Now, before you start sending out newsletters, you need to set up a template. We suggest setting up two or more of these, and then testing to see which style resonates the best with your audience.
Go to Templates in the Newsletter menu and then click Add New template. Here, you will set up your template name and template subject. Unlike template name, which is meant for your internal use, template subject is actually the subject of the email your customers will receive, so make sure to make it good. After setting up the sender name and email, you will enter the template content in HTML. Don’t forget to add the “unsubscribe” link, which is mandatory.
Once you’ve set all this up, go to Preview Template to see what your message will look like to its recipients. If you want to change something, simply go back and fix it. When you’re done editing, just click Save Template and that’s it.
Next, you need to configure your newsletter settings, which can be done in System -> Configuration -> Newsletter. Here, you will find all the fields you need, from Success Email template, Unsubscription Email Sender, Unsubscription Email Template and Success Email Sender to Confirmation Email Template, Need to Confirm, Confirmation Email Sender and Allow Guest Subscription.
When you’re done setting up these configurations, don’t forget to click Save Config.
One of the great things about the native Magento newsletter tool is that it allows you to queue your newsletter emails. Go to Newsletter Templates (under Newsletter), select the template you wish to use and click Queue Newsletter. In the Queue Date Start field, which contains a calendar, pick the start date for your newsletter campaign. Again, don’t forget to click Save Newsletter.
Marketing Automation Platform or Built-in Newsletter tool?
As you can see, setting up a newsletter campaign for your Magento store isn’t that complicated after all. There is really no reason why you shouldn’t use this form of marketing to improve your conversions and build your customer base.
Finally, if you decide that the built-in newsletter tool that comes with Magento isn’t working for you, don’t worry. When you switch to another solution, you can bring all your subscribers with you by exporting the list into the new extension.
2buy1click recommends Mailchimp as it is not only a tool for sending awesome Newsletter and building your list. It is a multichannel marketing platform that can help you reach new audiences and strengthen relationships with existing customers.
2buy1click has helped a number of our clients integrate Mailchimp and utilize it’s e-commerce tools to help customers find new audiences, promote products, boost customer loyalty, and track sales. By using Mailchimp you’ll discover more ways to achieve your marketing goals and grow your business.