If you’re a designer or developer, building bespoke online stores using services like Shopify or Magento may already be a major part of your business. So, you’ve got the sales side of things covered, but how about your marketing? In this article, we’ll explain why you should offer eCommerce and email marketing as an integrated project and how you can deliver both services using your own branding. Finally, we’ll bring email and your shopping cart together with an overview of the integrated tools available.
‘Email and eCommerce, sitting in a tree…’
If you were to open a hypothetical online store tomorrow, the two things you would want to get right are your shopping cart and a way for new and existing customers to get in touch with you. Assuming that your clients have similar priorities, it makes sense to propose both services as an integrated offering from Day 1.
Fortunately, you don’t have to build either an eCommerce or email marketing system from scratch. A myriad of customizable services exist to handle the gritty work of managing shopping baskets, processing transactions and sending invoices. Even better, Campaign Monitor plays happily with them. Once you’ve set up a subscriber list and added an email signup form to your store, you can get customers to opt-in to a mailing list, either while browsing the site, or during the checkout process. You and your clients can then send email newsletters, product updates or incentives, all with the clean campaign management and reporting functionality that we love Campaign Monitor for.
Campaign Monitor itself is white-label and highly customizable – you can change its look and feel to reflect your, or your clients’ branding. With the option of changing billing methods and the pricing structure for email credit purchases, it’s largely up to you to decide how your clients are to be charged for email marketing.
Even without an additional application, Campaign Monitor mailing list signup forms can be added to any site, simply by adding a few lines of HTML code. We’re also got a nifty AJAX form to get you on your way.
But why should I offer the two services together?
As previously mentioned, offering email marketing in conjunction with an online store simply makes sense. If you want to keep customers informed of the latest and greatest, email is one of the most cost-effective and efficient way to make this happen. The two services are complimentary – a good online store will drive subscribers to your email newsletter, which in turn will bring folks back to your site.
Secondly, offering an online store and email together means more congruent, billable work. If you plan to collect email opt-ins from the beginning, then you can take this into account when designing the site. Similarly, the email newsletter templates can be designed and built in parallel to the store, which is far more efficient (and less repetitive) than making a cold start, a couple of months down the track.
Finally, it’s potentially a lasting revenue stream. Just as you can have a percentage of a store’s revenue allocated to you when reselling Shopify, using Campaign Monitor provides the potential to generate passive income. If you set the delivery and per-recipient fee for campaigns sent by your client, any amount charged above Campaign Monitor’s base rates will be sent to you as profit each month.
If you’re already using an eCommerce platform to build online stores, then you’re well aware of its strengths and limitations. The better ones like Shopify are most certainly white-label, letting you impress your creative sensibilities over how your store looks and functions. For those just getting started, we’ve listed a few store-building platforms at the end of this article.
In the same manner, you can rebrand Campaign Monitor, meaning that your clients can access its’ suite of powerful email campaign tools, under your, or your clients’ banner. Simply customize the look and feel of the app, create a subscriber list for your newsletter and set billing and pricing details. Finally, give your client access to the account so they can send campaigns and view reports. Read up on rebranding, pitching and reselling Campaign Monitor.
Once you’ve setup an account with an eCommerce platform and Campaign Monitor, take a look at some of the plugins and apps that facilitate integration between the two in the section below. As mentioned earlier, you don’t necessarily need special software to get customers to sign up for a mailing list, unless if you want folks to opt-in during less-customizable processes like checkout.
Bringing the dream team together
Here are some of our favorite shopping cart services that integrate with Campaign Monitor:
|Shopify||Shopify + Campaign Monitor||Lucid Design|
|Magento||Fontis Campaign Monitor||Fontis|
|Zen Cart||CampaignMonitor Sidebox||Luke McReynolds|
Note that these have been developed independently of Campaign Monitor and their respective platforms – please contact the authors, should you require support. An up-to-date list of applications and resources can be found on our downloads page.
This is only a rough overview of the products available to help you streamline your store-building projects and provide email marketing services to your clients. By keeping the two services in mind when pitching a project, you can not only save yourself a lot of time when designing and building a storefront, but potentially gain further billable work. There’s also the potential to generate passive income, without the hassle of having to take email into account further along in the project lifecycle. So, next time you build a storefront, keep email in mind – the two were truly built for one another.