Email marketing for small businesses isn’t just important, it should be a key tactic built into every organization’s marketing plan.
I received an inquiry from a potential client the other day about marketing strategies for her new catering business.
We spent most of our conversation talking about a recent email marketing strategy I had completed for a past client as she thought this would be a good marketing tactic to include in her marketing strategy as well.
Email marketing campaigns should be an essential element of any marketing strategy. They communicate and build relationships with potential clients, gather important data and help boost your marketing ROI.
According to KissMetrics, “Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.” Email reaches 2.9 billion people. It gives businesses the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day ─ their inbox. Email marketing for small businesses isn’t just important, it should be a key tactic built into every organization’s marketing plan.
I shared some tips and strategies with this new potential client, but also some basic rules ─ like you can’t find someone’s email off of a website and then cold email them. That’s called spam and there are strict rules surrounding this.
Below I’ve shared some email marketing tips for your small business ─ all the points to keep in mind for your next marketing campaign.
Build Your List
Post a signup form on your homepage, blog, Facebook page, and wherever else your clients and fans are active.
Offering something special and unique in your newsletter that doesn’t appear on your website, blog or social channels is one great incentive for people to sign up for your newsletter.
You can also build your email list with special offers or value added content like an email series, extra resources, downloadable templates, worksheets, quizzes, polls, or reader surveys.
Design Your Newsletter to fit Your Brand
Your email campaigns should match your brand’s look and feel. If you’re using a template, you can customize it to include your company’s colours and logo in the header.
If your emails are consistent with the rest of your company’s content, then readers will feel more familiar from the start and it becomes a part of your company’s brand experience.
Provide Value in Your Content
Ask yourself, “What do my contacts have to gain by receiving this email?” You need to ensure your email is positioned to help you achieve your goal and that the content is of value to your recipients.
Keep a Publishing Calendar
Make time to plan, write, design and send your newsletters regularly. If you go several months without sending anything, then your subscribers will forget about you, and they’ll be more likely to delete the next email or mark it as spam. A regular newsletter is a commitment.
Make it Personal
Try to write your emails as if you are only sending it to one person. Use your email program to add their first name as the salutation. Also people are more likely to care about what you’re saying if you use everyday language.
Play to their emotions. If you can invoke an emotional reaction in people they are far more likely to engage with your content.
If a campaign doesn’t show up on mobile devices, it’s not going to perform very well. Everything you send should be mobile-friendly.
Tips for creating a mobile-friendly email include using a single column template, having one call-to-action, using larger text and being as succinct as possible, both in the body of the email and in the subject line.
Always Be Testing
Different mobile devices display emails differently. Send test emails to yourself, or use a testing program to make sure your emails are going to look good on screens big and small. Testing reveals design mistakes before it’s too late.
Know Your Spam Rules
Read up on Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). You’re allowed to send bulk email only to people who specifically asked to be on your mailing list. If you collected email addresses for a giveaway or an event, then you don’t have permission to send marketing emails unless you made that clear at signup.
Measure Your Results
Pay attention to metrics like open rate and click-through rate to get a sense of how successful your emails are. If your email was sent to a group of prospects, view who opened and clicked on your links, this can indicate that these people are particularly interested in your message and may be hot leads.
Also consider using Google URL builder to insert trackable links within your email so you can view clicks and conversions with Google Analytics.
If you’re not taking advantage of email to give your business a boost, you’re missing out. When it comes to client retention and acquisition, email marketing can be instrumental.
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