Many business owners and wholesalers overlook email marketing, and dismiss it as something that isn’t applicable to their industry. The truth? Email marketing strategies can be utilized by a wholesale business, and if done properly, you might just find your customer doubling or tripling in size.
Here are some tried-and-tested email marketing strategies and small business marketing strategies that will help you take your wholesale business to the next level.
Marketing for wholesale vs marketing for retail
B2C email marketing is pretty straightforward. Think of the product recommendation type emails that Amazon sends, and the “Happy Birthday! Here’s a promo code” type emails that countless eCommerce stores use.
When it comes to wholesale email marketing strategies, though, it requires a more strategic approach. In the wholesale industry, it typically takes more effort and time to convert a lead into a paying customer. This can be because the average order is larger, and there may be more decision makers involved in the whole process.
What does this mean? You can’t simply send your potential customer a product recommendation email and expect them to send in an order immediately. Instead, you’ll need to nurture them with a series of emails that provides more information on your product, and reduces the friction associated with the buying process. Here are some ways you can help smooth out the wholesale buying process with email:
Provide social proof
Include plenty of testimonials, as well as statistics on your yearly fulfilled orders and percentage of recurring customers – these will serve to build trust with your leads, and bring them one step closer to becoming a paying customer. If your product is demonstrable, consider including explainer videos in your emails, or even setting up a webinar and getting your potential customers to opt in.
Use videos in your emails
As indicated earlier, incorporating videos into your email marketing is a great and effective way of standing out from the crowd and capturing the attention of your potential customer. We all receive so many emails every day that it is easy for people to skim through – or even completely skip – large chunks of text, so instead of overwhelming your potential customer with a long email, switch it up and engage them with video content instead.
According to a study conducted by award-winning marketing agency, Marketing Wizdom, 80% of sales require 5 follow up calls or emails. So if you haven’t heard back from your lead – don’t assume that they’re not interested! Instead, be sure to reach out to them again and prompt them to take action.
Involve key decision-makers
A study from Gartner Group shows that in a firm consisting of 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in the buying decision. The company you are looking to sell your wholesale products to may be of a smaller size than this, but you can still realistically expect their to be 1-3 people involved in the decision making and order making process. So your first point of contact may not always be the key or final decision maker – there is no harm in always, politely, request for the person you’re emailing to cc and loop in the rest of his or her team.Alternatively, you can also come up with effective sales material and collateral, such as a presentation deck, brochures, or a pricing list for this person to forward to the rest of the team. In essence - make it easy for your lead to get behind your brand and recommend it to his or her team, and you’ll increase your chances of closing the deal.
Let’s take a look at some wholesale companies who are using email marketing effectively.
Koyal Wholesale, the world's largest wedding and event supplies company, saw a 10% increase in conversion rates and a 16% increase in revenue upon overhauling their email marketing strategy, which (amongst other things) included incorporating videos into their email content.
The best part? Because the company was already producing these videos for their YouTube channel, they simply used their existing videos and repurposed them for use in their email campaigns. It always advisable to look at the existing assets you have in your business and see what can be repurposed before going out to create new content.
Creative Co-op, which deals in the space of wholesale home décor, built a highly-targeted email campaign which resulted in a 42% increase in conversion rate, and a whopping 255% increase in closeout products (products that they wanted to cycle out) sold online.
This email campaign was specifically sent to past purchasers of these closeout products. On top of reminding the recipient that they had purchased the product before, Creative Co-op also offered a special discounted rate as an incentive to get said recipient to repurchase the product.
Three Jerks Jerky
Three Jerks Jerky of Shark Tank fame originated as a B2C brand selling direct to consumer, but launched a new wholesale initiative in 2016. To fuel the growth of its wholesale business, the company came up with campaigns which delivered a series of highly valuable and informative emails to their wholesalers.
These emails featured tips for displaying Three Jerks Jerky products in stores, nutrition facts, shelf talkers, and other marketing materials, and were essential in getting the wholesale arm of Three Jerks Jerky off to a running start.
Putting it all together
If implemented properly, email marketing can be used for wholesale businesses, helping you reach new customers, and retain existing ones. Here's a quick summary:
- Create a series of emails that distinctly talk to new customers and enquires and one for existing and past customers
- Look for visual ways to engage your readers, such as video to convey important messages and USPs
- Assess what existing assets and materials that you have the could be repurposed
- Use past order information to send more targeted emails to sub groups of your customers with tailored incentives to order more
- Think about what your customer and the end customer of your product might find useful about your products and provide useful tips and insights that your customers could use to sell more of your product
Email marketing is just a single piece of the puzzle, but it can be an effective way to market your products to new customers and close deals, even in long sales cycles. Find out more about wholesaling with TradeGecko here.
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