While the potential applications are numerous, and work wonderfully in coordination with transactional email efforts, today we’ll be limiting our focus to a few things IgnitionDeck Commerce does particularly well:
Increasing your newsletter subscribers, upselling existing subscribers, and increasing the success of crowdfunding campaigns.
Let’s take a look at each point in more detail to see how you can get the most out of IgnitionDeck Commerce.
Editor’s note: If you’re unable to use MailChimp for whatever reason, we’d love to hear from you about what integration we should build next! Our friends over at InkThemes have put together a comparison guide for today’s top email marketing software for your convenience.
How to Increase Newsletter Subscribers
Good business starts by having a healthy relationship with your customers, and that healthy relationship starts with quality communication. IgnitionDeck Commerce (IDC) gives you multiple opportunities to establish that line of communication.
The first point of contact on the Internet is often going to be your web site. This is your first chance to communicate with a prospective customer. But how do you turn a static page of content into a two-way dialogue?
One time-honored solution is to offer something of value to visitors in exchange for their email address. The additional information or content is sent immediately to a new subscriber, simultaneously encouraging the signup and the follow through of actually opening and reading your emails. IDC can be used in conjunction with MailChimp autoresponders to achieve this effect.
Thanks to the the custom merge tags that IDC uses with MailChimp, you can use the IDC_FREE tag to segment your mailing list and create an autoresponder that only triggers on a free signup. If you want to sort your free subscribers even further, you can create multiple free products and use the LEVEL tag in conjunction with the IDC_FREE tag. This can potentially give you a lot of demographic information from your visitors without necessarily having to ask for it.
For instance, if you structured your website to only display a particular free product if the geolocation of the ip address was within a certain distance, it would be possible to categorize your visitors by region without ever having to ask them for this information. This is one possibility of many – get creative!
Upselling existing subscribers
Once you have an existing subscriber base, you have the chance to further develop your relationship with prospective and current customers via customized email campaigns.
Using the segments you’ve created to sort your mailing list, you can choose to target subscribers who have not already spent money on your site. These are potential customers who are primarily curious about your organization; they often want to learn more about what you offer and how you operate before they make any commitments.
Existing customers have already demonstrated their willingness to buy; you can encourage repeat business by notifying them of new products/services, providing them with useful information pertaining to their past purchases, and offering deals exclusive to repeat customers.
It’s always a delicate balance between encouraging business and turning off a customer, but here are some general thoughts to keep in mind when interacting with your user base:
Demonstrate your value to them. Don’t merely tell them what you offer and how much it costs. Show that you understand their needs or desires, and express why you can help them.
Treat them like a real person. MailChimp is designed to preface emails with your subscriber’s name – this is no accident. In an increasingly impersonal world, it’s important to convey to your audience that they matter. If your emails read like they could have been written by a machine, it’s significantly harder for your subscribers to form any kind of bond with you.
Encourage them to take action. Entire books have been written on the importance of having a call to action in your messages. This is particularly relevant when helping a free subscriber build the momentum they need to become a paying customer. The first purchase is psychologically the hardest, so make it easier for your potential customers by inspiring them to act.
Build trust. People want to have confidence that their dollars with you will be well spent, and that you won’t leave them hanging. Crowdfunding in particular is suffering from a number of trust betrayals right now (eg Oculus striking a deal with Facebook). So how are you going to guarantee to prospective customers that you are different? While there is no single answer to this, a combination of crystal clear communication and publicly fulfilled obligations can go a long ways to help this.
Supercharging a Crowdfunding Campaign
Often times, the ultimate success of a crowdfunding campaign depends on existing customers who are willing to spend progressive amounts of money. You can take advantage of this by offering special upgrade packages to your existing funders.
Let’s say that you have some customers who pre-ordered a digital download from you at a price point of $15. Suppose the next level of support was priced at $25 and included a director’s edition and a signed poster. Using the LEVEL tag inside of MailChimp, you could write an email to the $15 DVD purchasers and offer them an exclusive, discounted upgrade price to the next level.
Say you wanted to offer a 10% discount on the upgrade price. You would create a new product and assign the same rewards to it as the $25 package, but instead price it at $7.50 (the difference between $15 and the discounted upgrade price of $22.50). Then you would place the shortcode for this product on a protected page that only members of the $15 price level could access.
In the email you send to this group, you can include the link right inside of your message, making it easy for them to upgrade if they desire.
This approach is useful beyond increasing your funding in the here-and-now. By separating members between those who bought a level outright and those who upgraded to it, you identify those customers who are the most willing to increase their spending.
In a pinch, these might be the people you rely most on to make or break the success of your campaign. Treat these people wisely!
Creativity is Key
There are many creative uses for integrating IgnitionDeck Commerce with your MailChimp mailing lists. We’ve touched on a few here, but many of you undoubtedly have your own ideas. Have you used MailChimp to promote your products and campaigns in novel ways? Leave a comment and let us know how you did it!