The first email marketing message was sent in 1978 and resulted in $13 million in sales for the company that did it. Technology changed dramatically since ‘78, but email marketing remains just as effective.
Effective email marketing is an excellent investment for cigar shops. Even in 2021, over a third of ROI will come from targeted emails and list segmented emails. The average return on investment is $42 for every dollar that you spend with these campaigns. You invest a buck and get back 42 times your initial stake. A recent study by MailChimp found that email marketing campaigns can outperform other digital channels including social media and paid search.
Cigar shop email marketing works great and owners easily sell more cigars by creating an effective campaign. When you send an email, you create a personal relationship. You influence subscribers to make an immediate purchase or visit your shop.
There are 2 things you should know before crafting a message:
- Your subscribers’ expectations. Every person on your mailing list joined for a reason and likely has certain expectations about what type of email they’ll receive. Meet those expectations by creating an enjoyable, personalized experience.
- Your specific goals. Think in terms of numbers and create goals. If you want to sell more cigars, then how many? If you want people to show up for an event, then how many?
Once you have determined these things. You are ready to focus on the campaign.
Five Things to Do for an Effective Email Marketing Campaign
Now, before you launch your campaign, you need a plan. Along with some other basics of email marketing, there are 5 things every cigar shop owner should do to create an effective email marketing campaign:
1. Identify Your Audience – Chances are you already have an email list. Even if it’s small, one thing is certain. All of your subscribers share a common interest in your business. So, talk to them! A great way to engage is to send a quick email when there are new additions to your humidor.
2. Build Your List – There are 3 fast ways to do this:
- Create signup forms on every page of your enhanced website. Keep the form simple and request only 2 things, a name and an email address. Make it a pop-up or slide-in feature. Timed pop-up surveys are also effective.
- Use your social media accounts. Pitch your upcoming newsletter on your feed and get people to DM or leave their email in the comments. Give it value and make people want to sign up.
- Get emails from every customer that makes a purchase. Ask for customer emails online and in-store.
3. Refine Your List – A key component of an effective email marketing campaign is identifying pockets of similar customers within your list. Once you have refined your list, you can speak to customers in specific groups and appeal to their needs with a more personalized message.
4. Choose Your Message – You’ll want to send emails with a purpose, that speak to your subscribers. Types of content you can send:
- New or upcoming additions to your humidor.
- Information about upcoming events at your shop.
- Pics and recaps from recent events
- Viral social media posts about cigars (even if you did not create them)
- Breaking or relevant cigar news
5. Determine the Frequency – Cigar shop email marketing is a delicate balancing act. Remember that if you send too often, your subscribers tune out. Send too infrequently, and they’ll forget why they subscribed in the first place. Send every once in a blue moon and they may just unsubscribe. The goal is to find that sweet spot.
Not everyone has a hard schedule for sending campaigns. But routine, periodic emails are the key to the success of a campaign. Be sure to plan out your email campaigns, blog posts, social media posts, and PPC ads to make sure they are all in sync. You must have a unified message across channels so people don’t lose track of what is going on or get confused by different sources of information.
Time to Sell More Cigars
Now that you have your email marketing campaign planned, it’s time to sell more cigars. Send emails that engage and inform without sounding “salesy” all the time. The cigars will sell themselves.
Things you can talk about that can sell cigars without sounding like a salesperson are:
- Cigar sizing guides
- Brands and preferences
- Cigars that travel well
- Cigars that pair with coffee, beer, or spirits
- Cigar Reviews
- Industry trends
All of these topics will engage your readers and drive sales.
Cigar shop email marketing is about sharing information and building relationships. This is perfect for cigar shop owners because the emails aren’t just about you or your company. They are about your customer. You can talk about the kinds of cigars they like, and they’ll buy them from you. Use this strategy to make your subscribers excited for every email they receive.
As you create a plan for your campaign. Remember to:
- Gather your audience. Use your current email list even if it is small.
- Build the list. Drive people to your website, get social media followers to provide emails, and get them from customers at checkout.
- Refine the list. Break the list down into groups and sub-groups so you can refine your message and create a more personal experience for each subscriber.
- Choose the right message. Send emails that have a purpose. Try not to be overly “salesy” all the time.
- Determine how often you should send. Find the sweet spot that is routine and periodic, but not overbearing or redundant.
Effective email marketing sells cigars and keeps customers coming back. Even in 2021. Let’s talk about your goals and how we can put an effective strategy together for you. Act now. Call the cigar marketing experts that can help.