If you’ve been collecting email subscribers for your shop, or if you watched one of my other videos about how important it is to have an email list, the next thing you’re probably wondering about is how to actually sell your products to your email list.
This is the age-old question and I think a lot of people struggle with this because they don’t know what to say, what to write in their emails, and they’re afraid of being annoying
Does any of that sound familiar?
In this post, I’m going to share with you how to sell to your email list with more ease and actually make sales at the same time.
20% of MY sales come from my email list. That may not sound like a lot to you, but that’s actually a huge percentage. You want to spend your time focusing on building and maintaining your email list.
The first thing I’ve got for you is to get into using more autoresponders than broadcast emails.
Most creatives I know who struggle to do email marketing are spending 100% of their time on broadcast emails.
Autoresponders are much more powerful than broadcasts because, and you might like hearing this, you can just write the email once and it’ll be valuable to your business not just the one time you send it but also in the future when you’ve got new subscribers joining your email list.
That’s the major difference between broadcast and autoresponder emails.
Broadcast emails usually get sent to your entire list at a specific time.
If you sent a broadcast on Monday next week, anyone who joins your email list on Tuesday or Wednesday or anytime after Monday of next week, will not benefit from that email. I think that's a huge waste because you’ve spent all your time creating that email and now you can’t use it again.
Whenever it makes sense, I’m a huge fan of reusing and repurposing content in your business, and this is one of those times. When you do this, you not only save time, but the emails you create are allowed to have greater ROI for you over time and you’re building assets for your business that pay you back over and over again.
Autoresponders are emails that automatically get sent to your subscribers and you can set what order those emails get sent out and when.
For example, you can have a series of emails that get sent to people who just joined your email list but haven’t bought before. You can send one email 10 minutes after they joined your email list. You can send another email a week later. And another email two weeks later.
Depending on what email service you use, you can have pretty good control over the timing of your emails.
What to Write in an Autoresponder
Now that you know the value of autoresponders and why you should be using them more often in your business, you’re probably wondering what to write in your emails.
You might have heard me talk about this in my previous videos, where I talk about the know, like and trust concept. This is a marketing concept that basically means, people need to know you, like you and trust you, before they decide to buy your stuff.
Think of know, like and trust as three separate categories of content.
To get someone to know you, think about more awareness type of content, like, who are you, what is your brand, what do you sell, right? Very introductory things, but it’s important that you don’t glaze over this, because if people don’t know who you are or if they’re unclear about what you sell (believe me, this happens more often than not with us creative folks starting businesses) they’re never, ever going to buy from you.
Then the next category, the like category. How do you get people to like you?
Well, you can talk more deeply about your business and why you do what you do. Some of you have really amazing stories like maybe you make dog collars, and the reason you started was because you had trouble finding cute dog collar designs in shops, so you decided to make your own. You can talk about your dogs and what they mean to you, and how each dog has a story. Maybe you rescued them.
If you donate part of your sales to charity, talk about that, and why that charity means something to you. The story is what people connect to at an emotional level.
As long as you keep your stories in a positive note or a strong positive ending, people will for sure, not just like you, but also fall in love with you.
Then the last category is trust. How do you get people to trust you? You’re a business online, it’s a tall order to expect a total stranger to buy from you if they didn’t trust you first.
People trust online based on several things.
First, social proof. If you have any past customers who’ve bought from you before and have said good things about your products, then you want to put those customer testimonials in an email to share with your email list.
Second, authority and credibility. If you’ve won any awards, or have educational or work experience in the field you’re in, talk about that. Or if your products have been in magazines or blogs or on influencers or celebrities, talk about that. Both these things are so, so powerful.
If you’re starting totally from scratch and you don’t have any of those things, then the third thing you can try is by talking about your returns, exchanges and satisfaction policies.
I highly recommend that you have generous policies in place. I know some of you might be hesitant to do this because you’re concerned people will take advantage of that. Practically speaking, I had that fear too, but after running my business for over a decade, it’s actually really rare that this happens.
My recommendation is don’t spend too much time worrying about something that’s going to almost never happen.
If you weigh the pros and cons of having generous return and satisfaction policies, you stand to gain so much more by having sales because people feel comfortable and take care of when they shop from you.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If they’ve never heard of your shop before and you don’t have a lot, if any, customer feedback or press mentions, they might love your products but hesitate to buy because they can’t see, feel, touch, your products or even talk to you.
Make it easy for them.
Now you know what types of emails to write for each of these know, like and trust category, you can start brainstorming and mapping out your autoresponder.
The goal here is to touch on each of these categories so that you’re slowly nudging the potential customer to buy.
Not every email needs to be a sales email where you’re saying explicitly, “buy my stuff”. Some of these categories will naturally be less salesly than some others, and that’s okay.
Those emails may not directly translate into sales, but they’re hugely instrumental at building that relationship with your customer so you're always moving the needle forward.
What’s important is the overall, whole customer journey that you’re designing for them.
Promos and Sales
Now, let’s talk about promos and sales because I know you’re probably not a stranger to writing these types of emails. It's one of the first things people think about when they have to sit down and write out an email to their subscribers.
It’s definitely a good idea to do promotions and sales and offer coupon codes from time to time.
The mistake I see most people make is not giving your promo or sale or coupon code a tight deadline.
Most people don’t even have deadlines on their sales.
If you want people to take action and use your coupon codes, you have to not only make your promo appealing, but also give them a deadline.
People need urgency and deadlines to do anything.
It’s how humans work most of the time. Give people 48 to 72 hours to use your coupon code. That’s a good start.
You’ll see a higher conversion rate this way.
You Don't Always Need a Discount Code
On the flip side of the coin, not every sales email you sent out needs to be accompanied by a discount code.
I know, I was just as shocked as you are.
Occasionally I send out emails that don’t have discounts in them and they actually do pretty well.
Here’s an example of an email that’s just talking about my make your own earrings listing.
This is not a new product but I’ve also never really talked about it to my email list. You’ll see, there’s no discount code, and this email made me $530.
Here’s another email example of me just talking about the last date to order for Christmas delivery. There was no coupon code.
This email made me $540.
Both of these emails went out to about 1,300 subscribers, if you’re curious to know.
I actually have about 20,000 people in my email list so these emails only went out to a small segment of my entire list.
Now, compare those two emails with this one.
This is a buy one get one 50% off promo, which is the same thing as 25% off the order.
This is a pretty good discount for me, I don’t usually offer more than 25% off. This email got $526, and was actually sent to 300 more people than the other two emails.
Not only did it bring in about the same amount of sales, but it overall performed a little bit worse, considering it was sent to more people.
The moral of the story here is you don’t always have to have a discount code in your emails. Sometimes you can just talk or highlight a product, and it doesn’t even really matter if this product isn’t new in your shop.
The fact that you’re emailing people and they’re seeing your work, means you’re keeping your brand front of mind, so that when people are looking for your type of product to buy, they’ll think of you first instead of your competition.
If you learn one thing today, it’s that being consistently front of mind to your customers is what will help you make those sales.
Try to email your customers a few times a month. With all the competition that’s out there right now, if you email once a month or once every two months, that’s no longer enough to be effective.
Having said that, it’s not JUST about frequency, but also about sending relevant information to your subscribers.
Keep it Short and Sweet
One other thing to help you be more consistent with your emails is knowing that your emails don’t have to be long or super wordy if you sell a physical product.
Most physical product shop emails are usually made up of more pictures than words, just like in the examples I showed you before.
This is something that trips a lot of people up because they feel writing isn’t their strong suit, they don’t know what to write, or they feel like, why would anyone care about what I have to say.
Just make it easy for yourself. Your emails can just have 50 to 100 words.
If you’re still struggling with what to write in your emails, here are a few ideas.
- You can talk about new products or designs. If you don’t have anything new, just highlight or talk about old stuff. Just because they’re old to you, doesn’t mean they’re old to your email subscribers.
- Talk about what your past happy customers have said about your work.
- Show your process or a video or pictures of how your products are made. It doesn’t have to be specific, but even just a high-level overview of the basic three to five steps makes people more informed about what goes into making your products and they’ll appreciate your work more, and that way, you don’t have to give away any trade secrets.
- You can email about any promos or sales you’re doing.
- It’s also a good idea to email people any announcements you have, like cut off dates for holiday orders like the example I showed you.
- Talk about your press mentions for credibility and to put you in an authoritative position. If you have multiple press mentions, don’t put it all in one email, you can spread them out into separate emails.
- Talk about your returns, exchanges and satisfaction policies.
- Talk about the benefits of your products, why people should buy yours instead of the competition's, why your product is different or unique.