It’s tough I know, but most of your web visitors won’t buy on the first visit.
They’ll check you out, flick through your products, perhaps compare prices, scroll through your blog and then they’ll be off again. Like ships in the night.
If you’re lucky, they might bookmark your site for a later date, but mostly they will disappear and get on with their busy lives. And bang goes all that time, cost and effort it took to drive them to your store in the first place. Grrrr.
But you can do something to improve your chances of a revisit. If you make it easy for interested visitors to stay in touch with you, they can get to know you a lot better and you can be there when they need you. With a simple but planned communication strategy, these strangers can become brand friends, and friends can become customers.
Be visibly sociable
One way to encourage visitors to stay in touch is to install ‘follow me’ buttons to your social media accounts (twitter, facebook and Pinterest etc) on your web pages. Social media is a great channel for offering followers useful information, special deals and even customer service assistance, thereby creating trust and a bond with your brand. Pretty much all of our themes include social media links, and these can be enabled in the “Design & assets -> Theme editor” section of your store’s Toolbox.
Email still rocks
Even better, add a simple sign up form on your website to collect email addresses from interested visitors. Some themes have this built-in, but if you use MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, you can use a “Web Hook” to add people who’ve ordered in your store to your mailing list.
Despite the rise of social media, email is still a reliable and cost effective way to keep potential customers informed, deepen your relationship with your subscribers and remind them what you offer.
But you must get their permission to begin emailing them and a sign up form on your website is the way to go. If they are not already a customer, they must have ‘opted-in’ to receive your communications as this is a requirement of the Spam Act.
Be prepared – plan your calendar
Once you start to collect subscribers, you’ll need to plan a calendar for your emails. This way you’ll know what you want to prepare, to whom, and when. The top reasons people will unsubscribe from your emails are;
1. too frequent emails, or
2. irrelevant content.
…so don’t be too zealous with your communications, and only email information or offers that make sense to the recipient.
Start by plotting out ‘shopping’ events that you want to promote like a new fashion season, Christmas and Mother’s day. Then fill in other regular communications like a regular newsletter. There will always be new opportunities so leave some breathing space in your calendar. That way you can send out announcements like a new product or special offer or tie in a promotion with some topical trend or news story.
One last word on email lists here. Don’t be tempted to buy or rent a list of email addresses. It’s inefficient, irritating to the recipients and contravenes the Spam Act. Grow your opt-in list over time with people ho have a genuine interest. Quality over quantity.
In another post soon I’ll provide be a tips sheet on creating killer emails to drive traffic to your online store. Don’t miss it!