Email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to engage with their customers. It offers many benefits, one of the biggest being cost-effectiveness.
Unlike traditional forms of advertising, such as television or print ads, email marketing can be done at a relatively low cost. This makes it an appealing option for small businesses that may have limited marketing budgets.
With just a few clicks, companies can send their messages to thousands of customers and potential customers. This allows small businesses to reach a wider audience and potentially drive more sales.
It’s also beneficial in building relationships with consumers. By regularly sending relevant and engaging content, businesses can stay top-of-mind with their customers and build long-term loyalty. It helps to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a highly targeted form of advertising. By collecting information about customers’ interests and preferences, businesses can send personalized messages that are more likely to be of interest to the recipient. This can help to increase the likelihood of customers taking action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
Email marketing can include things like newsletters, promotional offers, and other types of content sent directly to customers’ inboxes. This type of marketing typically involves businesses collecting email addresses from visitors on their website, or from customers at time of purchase, etc. They then use specialized software to create and send their messages.
It’s important to follow best practices to make sure the messages are delivered and not considered spam. If done correctly, email marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach out and engage with their customers.
What Makes a Great Email?
Great emails grab the attention of their audience amongst a cluttered inbox and compel the recipient to hit open, rather than delete. They do this by personalizing the email, making sure it’s visually pleasing and easy to read, and clearly communicating the intended action they want the customer to take.
What to Include in Your Emails.
A marketing email from a small business should include several key elements to be effective. These elements can include:
- Catchy Subject Line. It’s important to grab their attention with something compelling in the subject line to entice them to open the email. Sending an email doesn’t do any good if they never open it.
- Use Names. Address the email to the customer using their name. You may also want to reference past activity they have had with your business. For instance, what they ordered last time and showing them it is on sale right now.
- Clear Messaging. Be clear with your message. Are you sharing helpful information? Be concise so they don’t have to invest a lot of time. Are you sharing news of a promotion? Give them important details. Be respectful of their time and they may reward you with their attention.
- Always include a call to action. Always let the customer know what you want them to do, whether that is taking advantage of a sale, coming to a workshop, or visiting your website for more information.
- Clean graphics and formatting. Your email needs to look professional. That means using graphic design elements that help the reader navigate the information easily. Use elements like headings and bullet points to break up text.
- Consistent branding. It’s important for your email to feel like it belongs to your company. Use your logo, tagline, and brand colors in the design to strengthen the connection to your company.
- Include contact information. It’s very important to include all forms of your contact information in case they want to get in touch with you. Make it easy for them by including all the ways in which they can do that including your social media contacts.
- Your business name and address should be included in the email to provide the recipient with clear and accurate information about the sender.
- Include Your Name. Do not forget to sign off on the email with who is sending the email—if it’s a certain employee, use their name. But also include the name of the business. This can be a great place to add the logo and contact information.
- Option to unsubscribe. It is good practice—and a legal requirement in some places—to include an unsubscribe button. It gives recipients the opportunity to discontinue email communication if they desire.
Whether an email is meant to drive sales or simply nurture the business/client relationship, using the above elements will help ensure it is crafted in a successful manor.
How to Conduct an Email Marketing Campaign.
Email marketing is a valuable addition to your business toolbox. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:
- Build a list. There are several ways to acquire addresses for your email list. If you’re just starting out, always ask visitors to your website or physical location to sign up. Perhaps, offer them an incentive such as a small discount. You may also opt to purchase a list from a reliable source. Point-of-sale is another opportunity to ask for an email address, especially if you can offer to send additional instructions or information.
- Create engaging content. You’ve got a list of people, now you need something interesting for them to look at. What you choose to send will greatly depend on the nature of your business or service. Some businesses have a lot of helpful information their clients can use, and they choose to send a newsletter on a regular basis.
Other businesses find success with special deals that arrive on a seasonal basis. Whatever you send, the content should reflect the personality of your business. Make sure it well-written and edited so you convey a feeling of professionalism.
- Consider Using a Professional Service. While you may be able to manage an email list in-house if you have the staff, it’s much easier to use an email service such as Constant Contact. They offer many additional tools to help you such as templates, automation, and analytics.
- Test for best results. Testing the response to your emails is crucial to your email marketing success. This is where an email service can be so helpful. They can help you test all sorts of things such as subject lines, sending times, and content. They can also measure your open and click-through rates. Over time, this will help you learn what subject lines and content are most effective for reaching your audience.
- Use best practices. There are certain practices you should adhere to, so your emails won’t be designated as spam. Some of these include having an unsubscribe option, avoiding the use of excessive links and using only permission-based email lists.
These tips will help you make the most of your email marketing campaigns.
Email Marketing Campaign Examples.
Here are a few examples of how businesses are using email for marketing:
- Promotional newsletters. Some businesses find a newsletter the ideal way to inform their customers about new products, helpful information, and upcoming events. The frequency will depend on how often you can provide them with interesting, compelling information—and how often you they’ll welcome hearing from you. You don’t want to become a nuisance, prompting them to hit the “unsubscribe” button.
- Abandoned cart reminders. This type of email can be very helpful in reaching out to a customer who has left your website with items in their online shopping cart. You may opt to send a discount code or other incentive to encourage them to come back and complete the sale.
- Customer surveys. Using email to survey your customers can provide valuable feedback on products and services.
- Personalized product recommendations. Some businesses make an educated guess as to products their customers may be interested in based on a record of past purchases and the browsing history. They send them an email featuring these products, perhaps with a promotional incentive.
- Follow-up information and support. Sending an email that includes the instructions for an item or coupon codes for accessories can be an effective way to collect email addresses and provide a feeling of value-added. It adds another level of interaction and may lead to additional sales.
- Event invitations. Sending an evite is a quick and cost-effective way to include publicize your event.
- Customer loyalty programs. If you maintain a robust customer loyalty program, email can be a great way to keep in touch. You may have enough content to warrant a regular newsletter, or simply use it as a way to publicize reward programs and incentives.
- Transactional emails. These types of emails are used when a customer makes a purchase or signs up for a service or subscription. They can be used to relay important information and/or generate additional sales related to the initial purchase.
There is so much more to email marketing than just sending out a sales notice. Using the tips above will help you use it to your full advantage.
Marketing Email Examples.
The following email is a good example because:
- The email is easy to read. The recipient can grasp the main points quickly without having to invest a lot of time.
- The subject line is short and catchy. It makes clear what the email is about so the recipient can decide whether or not to open it.
- The email uses names. With the customer’s name in the beginning and the sender’s name in the closing, the email has a personal feel.
- The offer is emphasized. Stating the offer in the subject line and then mentioning it several more times makes it hard to miss what is being offered.
- The email includes a deadline. A deadline creates urgency, encouraging the customer to act quickly before the offer ends.
- The offer is repeated. Stating the offer in multiple places, including at the very end, reinforces its importance.
The Sample Email:
Subject: Save 30% on your next purchase!
We’re running a limited time offer you won’t want to miss! For the next 48 hours, you can save 30% on all outdoor wear when you use the code SAVE30 at checkout.
This is a great opportunity to try our new, award-winning rain gear, or stock up on your favorite gloves and hats. Plus, every order comes with free shipping!
Don’t miss out on this exclusive offer. Click here to visit our website and shop now to save 30%!
P.S. Don’t forget to use the code SAVE30 at checkout. Shop now, offer ends in 48 hours!
Do Not Overlook the Benefits of Email Marketing.
Email marketing can be one of the most cost-effective ways for a small business to communicate with their customers. It is a far easier, faster, and less expensive option than traditional advertising and direct mail.
Maintaining an email list also means that you own it. Unlike social media, where rules and algorithms can change taking your audience with them. You won’t have to worry about that if you can communicate directly with your customers.
It takes a little effort to set up an email service, but once you do, it makes email marketing a simple process. It’s so simple, every small business should seriously consider if email marketing is right for them.