There are many ways to engage with your apparel web store’s audience, from sharing content on your social media channels to creating your own compelling website content. You’re likely already doing these things, but are you missing one of the other very useful and engaging marketing tactics?
Email newsletters are a great avenue for fashion eCommerce brands to keep their customers engaged and informed without waiting for them to come to their website or social media channels. Newsletters help brands stay top of mind, establish authority and, of course, notify readers about new or interesting products and promotions.
However, despite all of these useful qualities, email newsletters can sometimes be overlooked because they can seem like a lot of work, or that they’re hard to get right. But like any kind of marketing, there are tactics you can follow and metrics you can use for measuring your success, including the number of subscribers, open rates and click-through rates.
Use your brand voice and keep it consistent
The best fashion eCommerce newsletters are imbued with the brand’s voice, which is then maintained and developed over time. Some brands find value in letting other staffers take over their newsletter temporarily (similar to an Instagram takeover), but regardless of who writes it, your newsletter should keep a consistent tone.
Athleisure brand Entireworld has a great newsletter that is fun, casual and inviting. Their welcome email is filled with original GIFs, funny copy and even a video of their founder. Importantly, the newsletter stays true to the tongue-in-cheek tone they’ve established across their website and social media.
Devise a content strategy and schedule
Instead of cramming all types of content into the one email, keep it simple by focusing on one topic or kind of content per email. Establish a schedule with different content focuses for different days of the week or month, allocating promotional emails to certain days and informative/educational emails to other days. You want to avoid overwhelming your readers with too much content all at once, which could send them clicking elsewhere.
Once you’ve decided on your schedule, stick to it, whether it’s weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. This will benefit your brand in a number of ways. It will create a sense of urgency and expectation for your latest release, help you maintain top-of-mind status with your audience, and avoid the spam folder. (On that note, be clear on your newsletter sign-up page about when and how often your subscribers can expect to hear from you.)
Be informational as well as sales-driven
Your email newsletter is a valuable sales-driving tool, but it should also offer content that adds to your brand and engages your audience on an informative or entertaining level. Marketo suggests a balance of 90/10: 90% information, 10% sales material. This is because consumers get tired of constantly being told to “buy buy buy.” Customers want to also learn how to style apparel and accessories, how they’re made, and who else wears and enjoys them.
Aim to strike a balance, with the idea that less is more when it comes to hard selling. You’ll likely see your informative content compelling people to click and buy. Use one main, clear call to action to direct readers to check out your latest products, promotion or content on your website.
Feature unique content
Unique content can be a strong impetus for subscribers to sign up, so try including special newsletter-only content such as backstories on designs and the inspirations behind them, or behind-the-scenes content such as outtakes from photo shoots. Be sure to include alt text on your images, as not all people enable images in their emails, and therefore they might not see what the image is. This is particularly important if your CTA is in your image.
Service-style content or advice can also be greatly appreciated by subscribers, for example, styling advice, garment care advice, or information on how to increase longevity of products made with special materials. This kind of useful content can help your brand become a trusted source of information, beyond simply a source of clothing.
Include newsletter-only offers
There are still a lot of people who don’t care about unique content, and just want deals. Newsletter-only offers are a great way to build your brand’s email list and entice people to sign up and then keep opening your emails—just be sure to mention them in your subject lines! When word gets out about these special offers (either from you or your subscribers) others will also be encouraged to sign up.
Special offers could include first looks at new collections, first dibs on sales, and subscriber-only sales or discount codes. You could also feature special competitions with unique rewards, only for subscribers. However great your offers may be, there will always be some people who want to unsubscribe for whatever reason, so be sure to make it easy for them to do so. Again, don’t risk getting sent to the spam folder!
Establish a connection with your audience
Customers who have a strong attachment to a company spend 23% more than average consumers who don’t have that attachment. That’s why it’s important to nurture your customers with this special content that connects with them and reminds them why they follow your brand and signed up for your email newsletter.
Inboxes are more personal terrain than your website or social media, so you should feel free to talk to your audience more personally in your newsletters. Bring personality and connectivity to your brand through playful and engaging content. This will help you establish longevity with your customers.
Reformation does this well with their eye-catching imagery, lively copy, and by featuring their followers in a special section of their newsletter, called “You guys being wild in Ref.” This includes photos that customers have posted to social media of themselves wearing items by the brand, and further encourages and deepens that valuable sense of community.
Our marketing team works with a range of fashion and apparel clients on a regular basis to help improve and optimize their eCommerce email marketing campaigns. Want help developing and distributing your brand’s email newsletter? Contact us for strategy consulting and support with technical integration and execution.