Do you have an email newsletter in your eCommerce business? Does it work? As in, do you make sales from those newsletters?

How do you get people onto your email list in the first place?

In my opinion, getting your business to hustle and make sales on your behalf, without you having to lift a finger, is pretty much the holy grail of eCommerce marketing.

When you can check in with your biz and fist-pump all the sales that have come through that you didn’t even chase, you know that you’ve got this part of your biz down pat.

So I’m a big fan of setting up an eCommerce sales funnel (to automate your email marketing) as it frees up more of your time for other important tasks.

But what exactly is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a continuous process that uses email to nurture your website visitors and convert them into buyers – and then brings them back for more.

Once you hit on the winning formula for your biz (ie. you find exactly what it is that turns potential customers into rave-reviewing repeat customers) you open up so much more time for your attention to be directed elsewhere.

Imagine having more time to work on the fun stuff in your biz? Or, shock horror, spend a bit more time with friends and family?!

Getting the winning formula for your business and customers may take a little time and effort, but the benefits are definitely worth their weight in gold. No kidding.

The first step towards having your own winning sales funnel is to have an irresistible email opt-in offer. Why? Well, getting people onto your email list enables you to automate the nurture and conversion process.

How do you nail this first step of getting people onto your email list?

Is Your eCommerce newsletter an effective offer?

Let’s look at what other eCommerce businesses are doing

I strapped up for a gentle stroll through the Internet to check out the range of different opt-ins and automations that are being used by eCommerce businesses, big and small, so I could give you an idea of the good, the bad and the brilliant.

However, that gentle stroll turned into a trek. I was amazed at how many businesses really aren’t using marketing automation correctly to convert their target market into paying customers.

Most businesses whose websites I visited had a space inviting me to “Sign up for our email newsletter and receive X% off your first order!”

Let me ask you a question. When’s the last time you woke up in the morning and thought to yourself, “I must sign up to some more email newsletters today. I really don’t receive enough newsletters!”

Ridiculous, right?

No-one is motivated to receive more newsletters!

Of course as a business owner, YOU want to grow your email newsletter list. Sending email newsletters to your list on a regular basis is an incredibly important part of driving consistent sales.

But, a ‘newsletter’ it is not exactly an enticing offer.

A newsletter is also not the most effective way to convert new subscribers into buyers.

Why not?

Have a think about it. Adding all new subscribers onto your newsletter list means you’re sending the same newsletter offers to new subscribers AND those who’ve been on your list for ages.

There’s no distinction between the stage of buying journey these subscribers are at. Some are at the beginning of their buying journey with you, and older subscribers are further on.

Secondly, a discount is not the only way of offering value to your target market. Yes, it’s a nice enticement for someone who is ready to buy right now, but it’s not the only way to grow your email list.

If you do the “Sign up and receive X% discount” route you are not taking the time to educate the customer about your product.

Why should they trust your brand over all the others out there? What makes you so special that they should give the sale to you instead of that brand over there?

If you choose to skip the chance to nurture your customer when they trust you with their email address, you are missing an incredibly valuable opportunity to gain a customer for life.

The reality of eCommerce opt-in offers…

Like I said before, I decided to do a bit of a review of what eCommerce websites are doing to entice people onto their email lists. Here’s what I found…

I was keen to sign up to irreverent Australian body product brand, Frank, as the social media marketing this brand does is so entertaining, and when I received their first email declaring “Speed Dating, by Frank” in the subject line, I was keen to read more.

An introductory offer of a body product trial kit was offered within the dynamic copy of the email and they left me wanting to know more with the ending question: “What Does Our Date Entail?”

Then the following emails were their regular email newsletter. I was a bit let down. There was so much scope for brilliants sales copy and the tongue-in-cheek puns I had come to enjoy via their social media.

This was the norm I found.

Businesses’ two methods to entice me onto their email list were a newsletter and discount. And they were only giving one welcome email, which didn’t give me much information about their products and why I should buy them.

Cheeky subscription underwear brand MeUndies was the only other brand that offered a welcome email upon signing up. I was able to read a little about the background and mission of the brand, which definitely left me wanting to know more. Their business model is definitely different to the traditional eCommerce store!

However the next email I received was a regular newsletter blast to inform me of their next product drop. No more education or enticement beyond that first email. After so much promise, I was left a little deflated once again!

Other brands I signed up for placed me straight onto their newsletter list

And I’ll be the first to admit that I certainly didn’t expect this from big brands like Napoleon Perdis, Lululemon and Lush!

Sure, their email newsletters were dynamic and eye-catching with on-brand images, copy and occasional offers, but for these to be effective, people need to be opening your emails in the first place! If you do not establish a rapport with them, they have little reason to click open!

I reckon not including more emails in their new subscriber sequence was a lost opportunity in terms of nurturing subscribers through their purchase decision-making process.

So what makes a good educating and nurturing welcoming email sequence?

You want a new subscriber welcome campaign that is designed to appeal to the different types of buyers that you are likely to encounter.

Some people buy on the merits and features of a product. Some buy because it fits into their life perfectly at that time. And some buy because they feel they might miss out on something good!

You want a well-crated email sequence that’s designed to appeal to all of these particular people, with a special offer, just for them, to entice them to buy.

And yes, that means more than one email in the sequence! (Check out my free campaign template below.)

And they receive these emails because you have offered them something of value, straight up, that they have given their email to receive.

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to automate your customer acquisition process

If you have no welcoming email sequence for your business you are missing a valuable opportunity to educate potential customers about your brand and the products you offer. You are missing an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority within your brand’s genre.

People will shop with the brand they see as being most knowledgeable, someone they can trust. So you must set yourself apart as that expert brand!

Why should potential customers shop with you and not other brands? Tell them in your new customer email sequence!

A newsletter is different each week and many people would not open it every time it hits their inbox.

Whereas a welcome sequence hits every new subscriber with the right content at the right time to help your new subscribers to make a purchase decision with you.

This translates into sales.

And highly engaged customers who are MUCH more likely to open your ongoing email newsletters!

It’s surprising more eCommerce businesses aren’t taking advantage of sales funnels

Use this to your advantage! By developing a dynamic opt-in and welcome email sequence, and NOT just relying on your email newsletter, you’re more than just one step ahead of your competition. You will be leaps and bounds ahead.

This is a great place where the little guys can compete on a level playing field with the big guys, because many of them just aren’t doing it.

Grab your free new subscriber campaign template

Don’t waste time trying to figure out what goes in your new subscriber welcome sequence! Grab my free guide and template, “Double The Number Of Customers Who Buy From You”.