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How to Promote your Online Store

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There is no formula for the perfect email-authentic and honest messaging works. Unknown

Email? Seriously? Think about how often you check your email a day. Gmail even has a specific mailbox just for promotional material! Email and Subscription Services can be a huge boost to getting customers, and more importantly getting one-time customers to return and buy from you again.

Email Announcements

Emails are a great way to stay in touch with previous customers. Send out notices when discounts and coupons are available, when you have new inventory, or when a favorite item is back in stock.

These emails should be fun and friendly, and not be too wordy. Get your point across, insert a fun picture and leave it as simple as possible.

Go through your promotional emails you have and take notes- which ones do you open and which do you delete immediately? Why? These items could be a flashy header, a specific font or overuse of the same deal every time. Have a list of things that attract your attention, and a list of things that don’t. What you don’t like to see is just as important as what you do.

When you type up your email, make sure to have the lists handy. Use one or two things from the good list, and double check the bad list to make sure you don’t add something you don’t want by accident.

To get customers emails, have a few spots available where they can give it to you. Always have customers email address as a mandatory part of checkout- those customers are worth hanging on to, since they already bought your product once. Have one or two pop-ups or places customers can click on to give their email for discounts and coupons, and also have a pop-up that allows them to subscribe to you.

These emails should only be every once in awhile, no more than twice a month as you get started. If people want to see you in their inbox all the time, they will subscribe to your subscription service. Many customers are unhappy with all the promotions spamming their inboxes daily, and often remove or unsubscribe from frequent annoying email promotions. Don’t be one of those online stores! Be courteous, and don’t spam.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are timely emails that read more like a fun magazine article or a letter from your best friend rather than some promotional material. These can be used to promote blog posts, give personal tidbits, and entice your email list to click through to your site.

Subscriptions

Choose a time format- weekly, monthly, bi-annually, etc. to send out a short and sweet subscription to your customers. This gets them thinking about your online store and what it has to offer, but with a gentle nudge that makes them think it was all their idea rather than a shove by you.

What to Include

Your subscription emails should be an easy read for your customers. Have fun with it- readers can tell when it’s forced and you are struggling to connect. Have a short about section that you include every time for new subscribers, somewhere near the bottom or side where it’s optional to read.

Email Subscription

Designate sections to make it easier for you to know what to write about, and to allow your readers to choose what they want to skim. Sections you can include are a what’s new area, a new inventory/restock section, or a sales corner.

Most customers won’t diligently read the entire page, and even those who are very interested will still skim over the page and only pick up on a few things. It's not that most customers aren’t actually intrigued by what you have to say, it's just that most people read differently when the writing is digital. Small phone screens, too many words and short attention spans can all affect how customers read your subscription.

To combat this, have a simple format that emphasizes the items you want your customers to notice. Bold headlines stand out the most, and readers go to them first to decide if they want to read what’s underneath.

Allbirds Newsletter

When you are creating your subscription, make catchy headlines. Think of the ads that filter through the side of your screen on Facebook- “You’ll never guess what happened!” or “What she did next surprised everyone!”

These are tacky and annoying ads, but they spark your curiosity. You do want to know what happened, and you want to snare your customers the same way. “This customer used my product in a way that’s never been done before!” or “Check out how great this looked/how awesome this party idea is/etc!”

Be sure to have a nice header with the name and logo of your online store at the top, and have a signature at the bottom. Outline your sections with a simple straight line on the inside to make it clear and easy to follow. You can go crazy with the outside border, but keep everything near your words clear of busy extras that distract your reader.

The most important part of your subscription emails should be you! Your personality and humor should shine through. Emails are for online store updates and business news, but your subscription should be the fun stuff.

Promoting your store should seem like a side effect of reading your subscription. Morph your everyday work into captivating stories, tell of your adventures, and show your triumphs. Don’t be what people expect you to be or be like someone else- be yourself and others will appreciate the honesty. The true connection will make people want to be friends with you, and staying true to your own personal self will make writing your subscription fun instead of a chore.

Emails and Subscription Services are some work to do, but once you streamline the process it gets easier to do every time. This kind of promotion creates a personal connection between you and your customers, enticing them to continue to purchase from your online store.

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