Are you leaving money on the Table

collect infoKeeping in touch with your past customers and visitors, is one of the easiest and cost effective methods of increasing your website sales. You simply must have a mechanism to collect the email addresses of both buyers and browsers alike.

Collecting buyers email addresses is a ‘no brainer’ – after all you need to send them confirmation details, receipts etc. Just make sure you ask their permission to keep them up to date on future special offers.

Collecting visitor details is a bit trickier, and you must offer some kind of incentive in return for them handing over their valuable email address. Here are several ways:

  • A discount voucher off their first order

The amount you are prepared to offer will depend on the profit margin in your business, and the drawback is that you may only get the email addresses of people who were going to purchase anyway.

  • A competition to win one of your products.

Do make sure you are honest and pick a winner – put past winner details on your site to emphasise this

  • An insider buyer’s guide

If you offer technical products that can be tricky to understand – such as electronics, audio-visual etc., then write a short guide

  • Special reports or tips guides

If you sell golf equipment, search for articles on golf tips online, obtain the authors permission and compile them into a PDF report.

Managing your list

remarketingDepending on what ecommerce system your website is based on, you may already have the ability to manage email lists. If not, use a list management service, which allows you to set up auto-responder to send HTML emails.

Which brings me nicely to the next *must* send HTML emails!

HTML emails are the ones full of images and graphics, rather like webpages as opposed to plain text emails.

Why? They are far more eye-catching, which is essential given the increasing number of email we get every day. You stand a better chance if you include images of your products – after all a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

What should you communicate in your emails?

  • Special offers

Any products that you have put on special offer, sale items, end of line stock etc. Adding a message of limited availability or ends by a certain date will help increase response.

  • Seasonal offers

Garden furniture and barbecues in spring, for example.

  • New product reviews

Reviews of the latest product offerings to hit your marketplace, will interest your customers.

  • Technical “how to”

If you sell any kind of technical product, your customers will appreciate the occasional how to guide. How to get the best out of your equipment, top tips, etc.

Frequency of emails

I wouldn’t advise emailing your customers any more than once a week, but if you communication frequency is more than 4 weeks, they are likely to forget you.

Make sure you stay at the forefront of their minds. The cost is almost zero, and the potential returns are massive.