The No.1 way to get sales on your online store in the first week after launching (without spending a cent on paid ads)

You’ve spent months developing your product range, from an idea into something tangible and beautiful that you know the right people will love. So much effort, time and thought have gone into creating, writing product descriptions, getting product photography and building your online store. And you’ve just gone live. Now what? How do you get sales, especially if you have barely any budget left for paid ads, let alone a marketing agency?

Back in 2019, I built this Shopify store for Maven, a start-up South African brand selling pre-loved designer, boutique, vintage and high street clothing. The store had an incredible first week of sales. Why? Because the co-founders behind this brand reached out to friends, family and acquaintances, telling them about their online store and getting them excited about it ahead of the launch.

If you have no budget for paid ads, then your friends, family and acquaintances are going to be your first customers because they know you, like you and want to support you. Never underestimate the power of this.

From the beginning of this Shopify store project, I encouraged Maven to consider email marketing because it’s a highly effective marketing channel for eCommerce businesses. Owners Teri and Jane collected email addresses from everyone they knew while I built the store and I showed Teri how to add email subscribers to Maven’s MailerLite account. The store is also synced with MailerLite, so that if anyone subscribes from the website they get automatically added to the subscriber list. I trained Teri on how to use MailerLite to design beautiful email marketing campaigns using the intuitive drag and drop builder.

When the store went live, we sent out a launch email marketing campaign to all the subscribers. The email launch campaign was a huge success. It was only sent out to about 200 subscribers, and yet Maven received an amazing number of sales from it.

People buy from brands they know, like and trust and in the early days when you haven’t yet done any brand building, the people who know you personally and professionally will probably be your first customers.

Read the Maven case study here to learn more about this project.

Tips for getting sales in your first week:

  • Create social media accounts and start building a following ahead of the launch in order to get people excited about your brand and products.
  • Start collecting email addresses as soon as possible – from friends, family and acquaintances (with their permission of course). The easiest way to do this is by creating a newsletter sign-up form on your website’s coming soon page or use MailerLite’s landing page builder to launch your own coming soon page for free.
  • Send out an email marketing launch campaign to all the email subscribers you’ve collected when your online store goes live. Offer a special launch offer to incentivize sales.
  • Create a website launch competition and/or collaborate with other brands to offer an even bigger prize. Promote this on social media.
  • Create a pop-up event to celebrate the launch.
  • Work with influencers to promote your brand ahead of and at launch.

Building an eCommerce business is challenging. There is just so much to learn and do. Let me help you plan, design and build an online store that is beautiful, easy-to-manage and most, importantly, conversion-optimised. Book a free 30-minute consultation here to talk more about your project.

Hi - I'm Megan Hodson

I’m a Shopify + WordPress web designer with 16+ years communications, marketing and digital design experience, including working in eCommerce since 2010.

Our studio collaborates with brave-hearted small businesses around the world, helping them create beautifully-functional websites that convert.

We specialise in:

Shopify Stores: We help you plan and design stunning, user-friendly online shops that are easy to manage and scale alongside your business. Learn more.

Website Transformations: Is your website feeling outdated? We’ll work with you to create a fresh, modern space that reflects your brand and delivers a seamless user experience. Learn more.

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