You’ll want to spread your email automations out, keeping in mind your regular newsletter schedule (and here is where it helps to have an editorial calendar and regular newsletter schedule). For instance, since I know my newsletter always goes out on Wednesday, I set up automated email sequences to go every day but Wednesday. That way people won’t get two emails in a day from me.
You can also make it clear that a new member is getting a welcome series of emails, if you’d like. For instance, your first email could say, “I’ll be sending you an extra email each week for the next few weeks as you get to know our company…” Or you could set up your welcome sequence so that each new subscriber gets those emails first, before they end up on the regular list. It’s up to you and what your goals are!
Segmenting your list
Many of our clients engage with their customers both online and in real world settings (like a brick and mortar shop or at trade shows or craft fairs), so it’s important to segment your email list so that you can send different messages to different audiences.
Mailchimp lets you segment by location automatically. When you use segmentation, you can send out very specific brick and mortar emails to local customers without worrying about annoying people who can’t attend. You can choose to send special emails to just this segment of people, or you can send an adjusted version of your regular weekly email to the local segment.
When you connect Mailchimp with Shopify and turn on e-commerce tracking, they will automatically sync your customers and pull their purchase data into Mailchimp, making segmentation a breeze. Mailchimp offers a handful of pre-built e-commerce segments that you can use to improve your sales. You could send special gifts or exclusive discounts to repeat customers, or send an enticing offer or announce a new collection to your potential customers or lapsed customers segments.
Mailchimp recently introduced tags, which have replaced static segments. Tags are a great way to label and organize your Mailchimp contacts. You can use and organize them however you’d like, and only you can see them. You could create an “Influencer” tag to earmark which customers have a large social media following, or keep track of the customers that only purchase during a sale.
Exploring A/B testing
Do you ever wonder why more people aren’t opening your emails? A/B testing can be a great way to determine what’s working and what could be improved. Basically, you test two variables like subject line or send time, sending half of your list option A and half of your list option B.
The simplest way to dip your toe into A/B testing is to test two subject lines. If you do that a few times, you can get an idea of the types of subjects that people respond best to. You might test completely different subject lines against each other, or you might test a subject line that is very similar, but one version includes emojis and the other doesn’t.
The bigger your list, the more accurate your test will be. If you only have 100 or 200 subscribers, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time setting up, running, and evaluating tests unless you do have a burning question that you would like to answer for yourself. Just doing it to do it is not going to be the best use of your time. If you do decide to do A/B testing, make sure you set aside the time to analyze what you’ve found out and put it into action.
Leveraging old blog posts
Your e-commerce blog can be a great way to drive traffic from search engines and generate sales for your website. It can also be a nice way to get an automated flow of signups to your mailing list.
You don’t need to spend a ton of time on this, but I’d recommend slapping your newsletter signup form on those high traffic posts. You can tailor the call to action a bit for each one, or just have your usual signup message.
Creating special opt-in offers
To entice your website visitors to sign up for your email list, consider creating special opt-in offers. Many e-commerce shops create a promo code to incentivize people to sign up for their email list, but you could also get creative with it. For instance, if you run a knitting studio, you might promote an exclusive “knit-a-long” for email subscribers. When someone new signs up for your email list, the automated series of welcome emails they receive could be 1 email per week for the first month that gives them knitting tips, links to exclusive knitting videos, and showcases the finished work of other participating knitters.
Cleaning your list
It’s important to maintain a clean and healthy email list. You should never buy a list of email addresses, because those people haven’t opted-in to receive emails from you and are very unlikely to become your customers, but you should also make sure that everyone who is on your list still wants to be on it. If you have a list of 5,000 subscribers but only 100 of them regularly open your emails, you may not only be annoying those 4,900 people with your emails, but you may also be losing money each month on Mailchimp fees by keeping your list that big when it doesn’t need to be.
Over time, some of your subscribers will become stale. This could be because you offered a discount code to incentivize people to join your email list, but they only wanted the one-time deal. It could also be because they changed email addresses and the email account itself is no longer active.
Many creative business owners start collecting email addresses early on but then don’t send emails regularly. If this is you, and you haven’t sent your subscribers an email yet, or it’s been a long time since you’ve sent one, you may want to send a re-engagement campaign to reconfirm your list, reminding them who you are and giving them an incentive to shop with you again.