Email marketing has been shown to be 40% more effective than social media for customer acquisition. So it’s always a surprise how many growing ecommerce businesses sign up to use every new social network but have never used email marketing.

I suppose for a growing business it can seem easier to make a Facebook page than to write an effective marketing email. It’s about a hundred times easier to set up a twitter account and start tweeting than it is to create a proper email list.

Here’s the simple steps to getting started a proper email marketing campaign. Getting started today will be the best decision you make about the future of your business. Don’t wait another 12 months, you’ll only wish you’d started now.

Three steps to success

This article is split into three parts to make it easier to digest and take action.

  1. Use a proper email service provider
  2. Build a clean, ethical marketing list
  3. Write brilliant emails that make people eager to shop

Use a proper email service provider

First of all don’t try sending marketing emails in Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook or any other email program designed for one to one communication. There are certain things you need your email marketing software to do.

There are lots of great email marketing providers out there. I use Drip - a lightweight automation service. It’s new $1 intro program actually makes it a very useful alternative. But right now, for 99% of cases, Mailchimp is the right service to begin with. They’ve got a great free plan that will get almost any growing business started on the right path.

It’s free to use all the most important features until the number of subscribers you have grows beyond 2,000. Then when it does come time to start paying (because you’ve got a big list, or need clever advanced features) plans start from $10 per month.

With Mailchimp you will be able to:

  • use brilliant responsive email templates designed to work in lots of different email clients
  • monitor who opens your emails and what they click on
  • automatically handle unsubscribe requests and updating user information
  • see if customers who click emails buy things from your website

Action step: Get a Mailchimp account (remember to enter all your address details and verify your domain to save time later).

By Craig Cooper

Founder and managing director of Pilgrim Marketing®, helps Shopify stores to thrive with customer acquisition and store optimisation campaigns. Connect on LinkedIn or Follow on Twitter.