What marketing tool returns an average of $36 for every $1 you spend?
It’s email marketing. The first email campaign was rolled out in 1998. This form of marketing remains effective and relevant today despite the proliferation of billions of websites and the massive advent of social media sites.
So often, what works well on the internet today tends to be rendered obsolete a year later. But email marketing has bucked the cyber-obsolescence trend for specific, identifiable reasons. That includes the fact that they make it easy to target pre-qualified markets and can be personalized to the interest of the email recipient.
Furthermore, automation garners deep customer insights enabling the user to keep a target audience engaged with a brand.
For these reasons and more, email marketing is tailor-made for small businesses, most of which are seeking to scale up their operations on limited budgets.
Here are some tips for small businesses that want to implement powerful email marketing campaigns:
1. Select an email marketing service provider
Never try to reinvent the wheel. The best practice is to work with an experienced provider. That way, a small business can jump right in and start leveraging email marketing automation for sending messages to large groups in a well-defined target market.
By working with an established service, the user taps into email templates, tools for managing and growing lists and tracking results. Insight tools allow users to engage dynamically with recipients. That, in turn, helps fine-tune campaigns and message content.
2. Build Contact Lists
Even a small start-up business will likely have some existing contacts for starting an email list. However, it will soon be imperative to go further by doing things like using sign-up sheets, adding a sign-up form to your website and working your social media following to subscribe to your list.
Important note: Don’t fall for purchasing email lists! They almost never deliver strong responsive returns. The customers you garner organically and directly with your efforts are slow to build, but the quality of these contacts tends to be excellent. Thus, work intensively on building a personal “house list” that’s specific to your business.
3. Leverage the Power of Email Software
An email marketing software for small business will help you set up automated marketing messaging that’s based on events-driven data. The insights gleaned from such data are invaluable because it allows a high degree of customization that personalizes messages for each prospect on your email list. That helps to convert “cold prospects” into “paying customers.”
This includes time-based marketing campaigns that key on things like birthdays, sign-up anniversaries, annual gifts/donations, time since the last purchase and much more.
4. Set Up a Welcome Email
This is the first message that a new subscriber will get from your email campaign. A welcome email is critical because they constitute that all-important first impression of a small business. Studies show that welcome email messages enjoy a higher-than-average opening rate. That demonstrates the value of delivering a powerful, interest-grabbing message in this first contact with a prospect.
Provide something useful right away. Also, use the welcome email to provide a concise overview of the benefits of your company and then offer the email reader something they can use right away. Email software will enable small businesses to send to new contacts automatically.
5. Craft a Reusable Email Template
A reusable email template is a graphic for branding your company logo, color scheme and other key identifiers. It contains links to send viewers to your website, social media sites and other locations.
Once created, a reusable email template frees you from needing to start from scratch every time. Your ready-to-use branding package is always at the ready.
Building a template is easy because many providers offer pre-designed templates you can plug into and customize to capture the specific look and message of a small business.
6. Test, Test, Test
It’s easy for email marketing newbies to stumble out of the gate. That can mean bonehead moves like forgetting a key link or a spelling error right up on the subject line! That’s why test-sending the message is highly advised to make sure the kinks are worked out of your email marketing message before it’s ready for prime time.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of setting up an email marketing campaign. Remember, this is one of the most defined marketing methods known to cyberspace.
You won’t be starting from nothing –- you’ll be standing on the shoulders of giants!
That’s because there are so many existing examples of other successful campaigns, competent providers and excellent software packages to help you get the job done.