There's no denying that the online fashion market is massively on the rise. In the last few years, dozens of fashion websites have appeared and their popularity has skyrocketed. What is it that makes them so successful and how can you mimic this success for your own online boutique?
One of the major keys to success for massive online fashion brands is a water-tight email marketing strategy. Email is proven to be an effective converter. In fact, a study by SaleCycle showed that 50% of respondents claimed to buy from marketing emails at least once a month. Nailing your email marketing strategy is the best way for you to guarantee more website traffic and, in turn, more sales.
However, as a smaller online boutique, it can be challenging to get up and running with an email marketing strategy. Creating an email campaign to rival the big guns is hard; especially when they're so experienced and have been in the game so long.
To help you out, we've done some digging to try and find out more about the techniques used by some of the leading brands in the online fashion industry. Get inspired and adapt your email marketing strategy using example emails from online giants such as Boohoo, ASOS and Missguided.
Here's how you can learn from the best and use email marketing to boost sales for your online boutique...
Get to know your customers
In order to perfectly optimise your emails for your recipients, you first need to know who you are sending to. It's important not to think of your customers as one homogenous group. It's also important that you make email content specific and don't try to create generalised emails to suit multiple readers.
Find out more about your customers during the newsletter sign up process. Asking a few quick and straightforward questions is a useful way to get the information you need from customers to make your emails better for them.
On their website, Zalando asks customers opting in to receive the newsletter whether they are interested in men's or women's fashion. Knowing this information allows Zalando to send them the email content most relevant to their shopping preferences:
You should also consider giving subscribers the chance to determine the email content they want to receive from the get go. This increases the likelihood that they will stay subscribed, as the content they're receiving is content they have actively shown an interest in.
During the sign up process, ASOS allows new customers to choose which types of email newsletter they want to receive. They also go the extra mile by including a brief explanation of each newsletter type. This kind of clarity is something readers will definitely appreciate.
Send welcome offers to new customers
Getting your customer to sign up to your mailing list is just the first step. Entice them to make their first purchase on your online boutique by sending out a tempting welcome offer.
Whether it's a percentage discount, $x off, free shipping, or a special free gift, any kind of special offer will act as an incentive for new customers and encourage them to get shopping.
Moreover, a welcome offer is also a nice way to thank new customers for showing an interest in your site and will hopefully help keep shoppers interested and engaged with your business.
I Saw It First treat subscribers to an impressive 50% off in this great example of a welcome email. This huge discount is bound to get more customers browsing on their site to see what they can save money on:
Be active on social media
One common denominator between the most successful online fashion retailers is that they all have a strong presence on social media. Social media is a great platform for brands to interact in a fun way with customers while also gaining more exposure (e.g. through viral posts and ads.)
In particular, Instagram is a great platform for any online boutique, as it gives you the chance to share your best new styles with a huge audience. The Instagram shopping feature also lets your followers directly shop products you feature in your posts, which is a super modern and convenient shopping workflow. Don't forget to also use relevant hashtags for more visibility.
Combine your social media marketing with your email campaigns for maximum exposure. Include a link to your Instagram or Twitter page in your email to let your subscribers know of other ways to keep updated.
This welcome email by Nasty Gal has a whole section dedicated to their Instagram page. Here they showcase their latest Instagram posts and include a direct link to follow them. This is much more effective than a simple icon in the footer and really puts the emphasis on online engagement:
Concentrate on bold visuals
As a fashion brand, optics are everything. This is why your newsletter designs need to be on point.
When it comes to creating email designs, don't be afraid to take a few risks and opt for bright colors and fun styles. All of the major online retailers are well known for their daring designs, as it's what gets them noticed by customers. Here are a few bold examples:
Hold regular sales & promotions
Unless your customers are actively looking for specific items of clothing, you will need to work hard to keep them coming back to your site regularly. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by holding sales and promotions.
We al love a good sale. The chance to save money and get great deals is often far too tempting. Moreover, many customers will inadvertently end up spending more money in the sale if your offers are too hard to resist. Not only will this increase your sales revenue, it also keeps traffic flowing back to your site and helps you stay relevant to your customers.
Boohoo shows that you can hold a sale for any given occasion. This payday sales concept is clever, as customers will be more willing to splash the cash on new clothes just after they've been paid:
Tempt customers with new drops and re-stocks
Another way to keep customers coming back to your online boutique is by keeping them informed of your newest items. Your subscribers opted in because they're interested in your brand and what you have to offer. Use your email newsletter to showcase your latest drops and get readers browsing your website for more.
Keeping customers informed whenever you have re-stocked a product or collection is also vital. After all, if a customer doesn't know the product they missed out on is back in stock, they're not likely to actively go looking for it.
Emails such as this one from Missguided are exactly the reason why many subscribers signed up to your list in the first place. Being the first to know about new products or re-stocks means that customers won't run the risk of missing out.
Generate a sense of urgency
Because of its convenient and accessible nature, many online retailers depend on spontaneous, impulse purchases to increase their sales. One guaranteed way of increasing the amount of impulse buys is by generating a sense of urgency in your email.
When customers are aware that your sale is only running for a limited time, they'll be more likely to go and check your site straight away to see what they can find. Play on your readers' fear of missing out and integrate time-sensitive slogans and eye-catchers into your design.
As shown in this email by ASOS, phrases such as "last chance" or "ending soon" are exactly the motivation customers need to check out your sale before the best deals are gone:
Send out abandoned cart emails
When shopping online, your customers can get distracted for a number of reasons. For example, a poor internet connection, low battery, or an incoming phone call could all interrupt the checkout process and cause customers to forget about their purchase.
Rather than losing out on potential sales, take this opportunity to be proactive and send out an abandoned cart email. This will act as a reminder to customers to pick off their purchase where they left off and stops you from missing out on important revenue.
In this example by Nasty Gal, the customer is tempted back to their shopping cart with a vibrant and colorful email design. Adding a sense of urgency and a bold CTA makes the email even better:
Time to give email marketing a go for your online boutique
Now you've seen how the top dogs do it, we hope you're feeling inspired to get started with building up your own email strategy for your online boutique. Looking for the perfect place to get started out with email design? Sign up free to Mail Designer 365 today and discover a huge range of easy to edit HTML templates and creative tools.
Until next time!
Your Mail Designer 365 Team
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