In the highly competitive dropshipping market, every customer matters. One of the most affordable ways to win over and retain customers is through email marketing.
What does this tool entail?
And which service providers are best for a small dropshipping store?
What is included in email marketing?
For many people, email marketing boils down to weekly newsletters that go directly into the bin. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, any email marketing campaign for a dropshipping eCommerce store should include at least 6 types of emails:
1) Welcome email. This is sent when a user provides you their email address – either through a subscription form or with a purchase.
2) Abandoned cart emails. Research shows that abandoned cart emails have a better conversion rate than other types of messages.
3) Discounts & special offers. You can specify on your site that users who subscribe to the newsletter will receive exclusive promotions and discounts.
4) Follow-ups. Once a user makes a purchase, send them an offer for a product that complements what they’ve bought. For instance, if someone purchases flower seeds, you can offer fertilizer or a seed-starting lamp.
5) Holiday promotions. During the 2018 festive season, eCommerce sales in the US exceeded $120 billion. People do shop much more during the holidays. So don’t miss the chance to increase your sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Chinese New Year, Christmas and other holidays.
6) Requests for reviews. Good testimonials will make your eCommerce store more attractive. So wait a week or two after your customer receives their purchase and send them an email asking for a review. Perhaps even ask them to include a picture illustrating how they use their purchase.
Good email design
All marketing emails you send should look beautiful and memorable. Luckily, designing professional-looking emails is easy in most email marketing services. Platforms like Mailchimp, SendInBlue, etc. provide free templates for all types of occasions. You can add your logo and images, play with the headings and more. Make sure that all your marketing communications follow your brand’s style in terms of fonts and colors.
Look at this lovely template from SendInBlue, for instance:
A good way to attract leads is to offer magnets – discounts, promos, etc.. However, remember: when dealing with users from the EU, you have to list ALL the types of emails you’ll send to them. So if you write, for example, “subscribe to receive exclusive deals” – technically you can only send them emails with special deals. If you also want to send a newsletter and other types of emails, you have to list them in your GDPR notice. For more on how to write a GDPR notice, see here.
It’s all about deliverability
If you are just starting your dropshipping eCommerce business, you’ll want a free service – at least for a while None of the leading platforms are fully free. But most offer a free plan that lets you send a limited number of emails every day or month.
Another thing any good email marketing platform will have is a visual builder. It should include a template gallery and a drag-and-drop editor. This will let you create gorgeous emails even if you’ve never studied design in your life.
However, there’s one more key thing that most people forget about. It’s called deliverability.
You see, even the most beautiful email won’t help you if it ends up in the spam folder. Or if it isn’t delivered at all.
You want your emails to land in the inbox. If this will happen or not depends on how much your customer’s ISP trusts the mailing server of the provider.
Different email marketing services show very different deliverability rates. According to a study by EmailToolTester, 84% of all emails globally end up in the inbox. But for some services this percentage is 95% – and for others, it’s a miserable 40%.
Service platforms to plan your email marketing strategy
Below you’ll find a description of 3 email marketing services that offer all that a dropshipping store needs: a free plan, a builder, etc. Most importantly, they all feature a deliverability rate of 85% and above.
MailerLite looks and feels very similar to MailChimp – only it’s much cheaper. With the Free Forever plan, you can send 12 000 emails a month to up to 1000 subscribers.
- Great for beginners: clean and simple;
- Very high deliverability (almost 95%) – and steadily increasing;
- Good drag-and-drop editor;
- A tool to monitor where each subscriber came from
- No complex automation;
- No social tracking;
- No template gallery.
MailChimp is the most famous and popular email marketing service out there. And with a deliverability rate of 90.6%, it’s also efficient. The free plan allows you to have up to 2000 subscribers and send up to 10 000 emails a month, with a daily cap of 2000.
- Basic templates available on the Free plan;
- Very easy to use;
- Lots of integrations (Zapier, WordPress, Elementor, etc.);
- It’s possible to import email templates (helpful, because those provided are VERY basic).
- Setting up automation requires effort and expertise;
- Doesn’t support tagging (this makes list segmentation difficult);
- On the Free plan, all your subs are bundled into a single audience.
The great thing about SendInBlue is that it doesn’t limit how many contacts you can have on the free plan. The only limitation is the daily number of emails, which is capped at 300 – that makes roughly 9000 a month. In general, all SendInBlue’s plans are based on the number of emails per month.
- Powerful automation tools;
- Great template library;
- Transactional emails are easy to set up;
- Optimized for e-commerce
- SendInBlue logo cannot be removed on the free plan;
- Multiple users are only available on premium plans;
- Landing page editor (which is very good) isn’t offered with the free plan.
The best premium services
Here I’ve listed only those services that offer a free-forever plan. Of course, if you are willing to pay, there are several more great email marketing platforms you can try:
ActiveCampaign: best deliverability among premium platforms (93.8%) and just $9/mo for unlimited sending (though watch out for other limitations on the basic plan)
GetResponse: 85.4% deliverability rate, pricing plans start from $15/mo for 1000 subscribers;
ConvertKit: great deliverability (91.4%), though a bit expensive – $29/mo for 0 to 1000 subscribers, $49 for up to 3000 subscribers.
Bonus tips and bottom line
A well-planned email marketing strategy can do wonders for a dropshipping business. However, there’s one more thing that matters just as much as the quality of your emails: site performance. An email can attract a customer to the site – but if the page is too slow, the customer will leave. So you must make sure to optimize your pages for speed BEFORE you start planning your email marketing strategy:
- Pick a fast hosting provider – this influences how fast your store loads. In such a competitive business load speed is crucial.
- Optimize all the images on the site – that is, make them as small as possible without sacrificing quality. Once again, this will make your site faster.
- Write attractive descriptions for each item and unique meta descriptions for each. Consider hiring a professional copywriter: it’s a huge job.
If you run a dropshipping store, you’ll have to compete with hundreds of other stores offering the same products at nearly the same prices. So you simply can’t expect customers to just stumble upon your site and make a purchase. Instead, you have to use all the tools at your disposal to win over customers. And of course, your marketing emails should land in the inbox and look good. So don’t look at picking an email marketing service as a formality. Instead, treat it as the single most crucial success factor for your business.
You have to distinguish yourself and make sure that you have a reliable supplier who can get your products to your clients fast, someone who can assist you in any matter related to the logistics of your business.
Yakkyofy is the only all-in-one platform that can ease your daily workload: with us, you can automate your store’s day to day operation, from the sourcing of your goods with some of the best Chinese producers up to the shipping of your products to your final customers.
We’ve got you covered so that you can focus on your marketing and leave everything else to us!
Natalya is a freelance writer and content marketing/SEO specialist. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter for more SEO tips, tutorials, and analysis.