Key Points:

  • Email is the perfect marketing tool to enhance what you already know about your customers
  • Welcome emails have a high open rate – almost 58 percent, according to Expedia
  • According to statistics published in March 2021, up to 80 percent of customers abandon the cart without purchasing

The internet makes it ridiculously easy to set up a dropshipping business. You design a beautiful website with an inviting and intuitive interface and wait for the customers to arrive. Of course, it’s never that easy. With low barriers to entry, there is plenty of competition.

Enter effective marketing.

How can you market your business to get the loyal customers you need? Email marketing is the best and most effective tool at your disposal. With an average conversion rate of 4.29 percent, email beats social media and traffic from organic search. Still, you need a strategy. It’s not sufficient to simply blanket your list with emails.

Table of Contents

Email Is the Key Marketing Tool for Dropshipping Businesses

The goal for your dropshipping business is growth. How do you get there? Acquire new customers and convince current customers to increase their spending and purchase higher-value products and services. Your email marketing strategy will be even more effective with the right data. You’ll be able to convert website visitors to purchasers by offering them the right products at the right time.

Additionally, email is the perfect marketing tool to enhance what you already know about your customers. You can collect accurate information about how your campaigns are working and measure statistics like open rates, bounce rates, opt-out rates, and click-throughs in real-time.

Know Your Customers

The customer lifecycle is unique for every business. The goal is to guide your target audience along the customer journey and prevent them from taking the exit ramp. You will use a different strategy for each stage of the marketing and sales funnel. If you pay attention to where they are in the purchase cycle, your customers will feel understood and assisted, rather than sold to. Customers signing up for your email list from social media, for example, may not be ready to buy, but you can use smart email strategies to nudge them along and help them through the consideration phase.

Before you send a single email, you’ll want to understand who your customers are, how they behave, and what they want to buy. If you have a highly-niched business, that may seem relatively easy. But don’t count on assumptions —get the real story from the data. When you have an online business and an email list, the possibilities to really know your customer are endless.

In addition to demographic information, you can use the data to understand how and what they purchase, how frequently, whether they are bargain shoppers, and where they are in the sales cycle. You’ll know who shops sales, which customers are the least price-sensitive, and when they made their last purchase. Armed with data, you can create audience segments to make it easier to determine which email to send to whom and when.

How to Execute an Effective Email Strategy

Once you have segmented your audience into prospective customers, customers, and repeat purchasers, there are several types of emails you can send to them. Here are some of the most popular.

1. Welcome emails

Although your new subscriber may not be ready to buy, the welcome email is the initial step toward building a customer relationship. Its purpose is to introduce your brand and bring in new business. The best news? Welcome emails have a high open-rate – almost 58 percent, according to Expedia. That’s an opportunity to market your dropshipping business.

2. Brand story emails

Many customers want to buy from companies they trust. If your company has a unique brand story to tell and an interesting approach to doing business, that story is worth telling. You don’t need to have a cadre of employees to engage your customers. Perhaps you only deal with sustainable suppliers, for instance. That’s a value that resonates with many customers and engenders loyalty.

3. Cart abandonment emails

The customer gets all the way to checkout and suddenly they vanish. The figures are disconcertingly high. And it’s not just your business. According to statistics published in March 2021, up to 80 percent of customers abandon the cart without purchasing. With a gentle email, you can remind customers to take that final step and perhaps offer an incentive to get them to continue checking out.

At the very least, you can ask for feedback. Is the cost of shipping too high? This provides valuable information to you and could possibly result in recovering the sale.

4. Post-purchase emails

Customers are generally receptive to post-purchase emails. It's your opportunity to improve the customer experience and build trust. You can also provide customized product recommendations and reduce buyer’s remorse. You don’t have to do it all at once.

The post-purchase email may be a series of messages. Send an order confirmation, followed by a shipping confirmation, then a “How’d we do?” email, followed by a review request.

5. Customer loyalty emails

When you haven’t heard from your customer in a while or it’s time for them to repurchase, send a follow-up email to re-engage them. Customers don’t always remember where they make purchases and your dropshipping brand can be easily forgotten without the occasional reminder. You can also send birthday or holiday greetings.

6. Product recommendations and upsell emails

Customers who have already made purchases from your dropshipping business are great targets for upsells. They are familiar with your company and have had a positive customer experience. If you’ve put in the segmentation work, here’s where you’ll see the benefits. You can offer them products that are related to something they purchased in the past or something that appeals to that audience segment.

An even more advanced strategy is to offer customers a premium or upgraded product via email after putting an item in their cart prior to purchasing.

7. Win-back emails

Some customers engage with your website, make purchases and then disappear without a trace. Of course, depending on the products you sell, the period of time can vary. Decide how long to wait before launching a win-back campaign. Send two to five emails to give the recipient a chance to notice your attempts. You don’t want to send too many and risk being labeled as spam.

Win-back emails are important because they can increase the lifetime value of your customers.

The Bottom Line

Email marketing is essential to your dropshipping business. You can reach potential customers with information about your brand, sales information, discounts, and more, generating traffic to your website and increasing the bottom line.

In the digital world, email is the perfect way to engage customers and build long-term relationships. Everyone has an email address. If your goal is to build your dropshipping business and generate organic growth, email marketing is the right approach for you.

About the author: Ashley Scorpio is the Vice President of Partnerships at Hawke Media, a full-service digital marketing agency and Your Outsourced CMO.® With over a decade of experience in both traditional and digital marketing, Ashley is a performance marketing leader that specializes in paid social media advertising, focusing on eCommerce brands and B2B SaaS companies.