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With the holiday season soon approaching, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Shopify to bring you a series of tips, how-tos and case studies to help you promote your business using email marketing. First up, we would like to share the experiences of Matthew McNary at Hammerpress, in this quick Q&A on how they bring to market their unique range of vintage-inspired paper goods with Shopify and Campaign Monitor. There’s even a solid tip or two for folks that are planning to introduce their humble storefront to the wider (online) world, so lets get started.

For a store that sells paper products like cards & posters, why do you use email marketing to promote your store (over say, flyers or mail)?

“…it’s timely, it’s focused, interactive and cost-effective…”

We’ve found that we’re able to reach our audience much more effectively using email marketing. Let’s face it, even though we’re passionate about the printed word, we’re like everyone else, we hate junk mail. With email campaigns, we’re able to deliver our message more immediately and directly to people who actually want to hear what’s going on. That means that we’re not wasting a lot of resources on blanketing the entire western hemisphere with out-dated material that people may or may not actually be interested in. There’s no dialogue going on with a mass-produced printed piece but with email campaigns customers are able to interact with the information that interests them most and if they’re no longer interested at all, they have the ability to quickly tell us so by opting out with one click. So it’s timely, it’s focused, interactive and cost-effective, much more tailored to conveying information that is important but fleeting. We say save the printing for those special occasions when you need to leave a lasting impression.

Unlike a lot of online businesses, you actually have a physical store. Do your email campaigns drive both web and walk-in customers? If so, how do you encourage both?

Yeah, that’s something we’ve continued to wrestle with when communicating to our customers. We’re wary of bombarding our customers with all kinds of emails, and since there’s a healthy overlap between our on-line and in-store patrons, we decided to use one monthly communication that addresses both. For example, we often plan new product releases that coincide both on-line and in our storefront, so its information that both audiences like to know. In fact, our email campaigns now serve as a way to remind us to keep the site up-to-date with our storefront. Knowing that customers without access to our physical store will be seeing the announcement of these new products and will be interested in viewing and purchasing them really motivates us to stay on top if it.

“…we often plan new product releases that coincide both on-line and in our storefront, so its information that both audiences like to know.”

Another effective way we’ve tried to encourage both web and walk-in customers in our campaigns is to offer similar deals to both. Recently we had a close-out sale on discontinued product in the shop, so we marked down the same product on-line. So that section of our campaign called out that the sale was available both in-store and on-line with links to all the products on our site. That way even our in-store customers could get a closer look at what was on sale before heading down to the shop.

What’s your tip for other real-world stores that plan to use email marketing to promote their products?

Offer your products on-line as well. It takes some investment upfront and a little maintenance along the way but adding an on-line presence really can increase customers’ access to your products and subsequently increase your sales. Even local patrons will appreciate being able to click on a link in your email campaign and view a product in more detail before they come into shop. And you’ll be able to more accurately track what content/products your customers are interested in through links to your site, giving you a better understanding of how to meet their needs.

An email newsletter from Hammerpress

The use of warm, Autumnal colors and detailed product photography make Hammerpress’ one-column email newsletters a pleasure to receive. Here’s a sample of their work:

Hammerpress email & site

Many thanks to Matt at Hammerpress for contributing. If you’re feeling inspired, you can create your own store in just moments with Shopify, or get started with email marketing using Campaign Monitor.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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