Small businesses who use email marketing effectively can grow their customer base and sales. Here are a few tips when launching an email marketing campaign for your business.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to convert passive consumers into active buyers.
It can grow your consumer base and offer you a way to get in touch with your target audience. To ensure you’re optimizing email marketing, here are a few tips you should follow.
#1. Make Signing Up Easy
Consumers are extremely lazy. They don’t want to put in a lot of effort when it comes to searching for information.
In fact, that’s often why small business owners may notice a lot of bounce on their website.
If consumers are unable to quickly find the answer to their solutions, then they leave the website and search elsewhere.
Your sign-up for your email newsletter needs to be in a convenient location and needs to be noticeable.
This doesn’t mean that it should pop up in a window as soon as they click onto their page. That can impede their user experience. Nothing is more annoying to a consumer than pop-ups.
However, the sign-up option should be close to the top. It should also contrast well with the rest of the website to attract their eye to it. The process of signing up should be easy, too.
Requiring them to make an account isn’t a good strategy at this point.
You can always push that later. For now, simply submitting their email should be all it takes to sign up for the newsletter.
#2. Give Them Incentive
Most people have tons of emails flooding their inboxes every day. If you want to get them to sign up for your newsletter and actually read it, then you need to give them an incentive.
One of the most effective incentives is a discount. The promotion for the discount should be simply placed right next to the sign-up option.
It should state what the discount is and how they can unlock it.
While the discount doesn’t need to be steep, it should be large enough to encourage consumers to use it.
If you have the budget, then you can always use other incentives like free merchandise or samples of your products.
You can even partner with another company and give them free products from them.
When consumers are rewarded immediately for signing up for an email newsletter, you’ll rapidly receive an increase in the number of subscribers.
#3. Understand Laws and Comply
Getting started with email marketing isn’t as simple as just posting a link for your consumers to click and join.
You also need to be aware of the regulations in place. In particular, you need to understand the CAN-SPAM Act.
This Act was signed into law to ensure that email marketing didn’t use spammy practices. To comply with the Act, you need to ensure there’s an easy and obvious way to unsubscribe to your emails.
You also need to honor those requests within 10 business days.
Failing to comply will result in hefty fines and sanctions. It could have a severe impact on your small business.
The problem is the number of subscribers. If you only have a small volume, then manually deleting those emails from your list may be easy.
However, as your consumer base grows, you may run into trouble keeping up. This is when you may need to use email marketing management software.
That can handle all of the requests on its own. Yet it is an expense that you’ll have to factor into your budget and plans.
#4. Invest in Marketing Analysis
While having an email marketing system is all well and good, it won’t mean anything if you don’t analyze it.
The main pieces of information that you need are who opened the email, who chose to unsubscribe, and who forwarded the email to someone else.
Knowing who is opening your emails and how many are is essential to understanding if the content of your emails is something your target audience wants to read. I
f they’re not interested, then they won’t open it.
This can help you try new content ideas or write in a different tone to appear more engaging.
Writing emails isn’t as easy as it may seem. The content needs to deliver important information about your business, but in a way that keeps the consumer engaged and interested.
Analysis can help you determine whether the content is achieving that goal or not.
Knowing what emails are being forwarded is also important to know. It can tell you what content is of great interest to your consumers.
They found it so helpful that they passed it onto someone else who may find it useful.
That topic, or the way in which the content was written, may be what you need to emulate going forward.
Finally, understanding who opted out of the emails is also important. It can tell you what content isn’t working.
To gain a further explanation of why they opted out, you may even have a small box for them to explain their reasoning.
All of this information can help you tailor your email marketing to ensure it makes the most impact.
This step is rarely taken by small businesses. They continue to pump out emails without checking to see if their consumers are actually reading them.
That can have a few different negative impacts.
The first is that it wastes the business’s time and money. You don’t want to spend hours creating content that no one cares about.
Nor do you want to pay someone for just any content. As a small business owner, every cent and minute you put into your business needs to count.
Secondly, it could be making you lose subscribers. If consumers regularly receive content that doesn’t apply to them, then they’ll opt-out. They don’t want their emails flooded with nonsense.
#5. Integrate Social Media
No small business should ever underestimate the power of social media. More than ever, small businesses need to be ready to integrate social media as much as possible in their marketing strategies.
That’s because practically everyone has a social media account of some sort.
It’s also free.
Integrating social media with your email marketing can see a significant increase in those that click on the emails and read them. This is due to a certain number of factors.
The first is that content that’s geared to be shared on social media is more engaging. It’s created in such a way that’s designed to be shared.
Consumers want to be the first to share that content with others.
The second is that others who see the content are also interested in the topic and want to learn more about it.
They may not have had the chance to read the content before because they weren’t aware of your company.
However, because someone else shared the content through social media, they’re able to partake in the information as well.
If they like the content, then you may land yourself another subscriber without them ever finding your website beforehand.
There are tons of tools that allow you to have the content in your email shared through social media.
All consumers need to do is click a button in order to share part, or all, of the email on their social media account of choice.
You can even do this with images for something like Instagram or Pinterest.
Social media gives your small business the ability to interact directly with your customers. You can create a loyal following and give your consumers confidence in your products or services.
#6. Keep Your Content Short and Efficient
If you want your email marketing to be successful, then the content of those emails need to be short and efficient in delivering their messages.
Few people sit and read through long emails sent to them by a business. Unless it’s a matter that deals with them directly, they’re going to skim the email.
If your emails are consistently long, then you’re going to lose subscribers. Reading long emails may even stress them out.
The content should be to the point and concise. One method to achieve this is to use subheaders and keywords.
Subheadings should be clear about the information the consumer can find in that particular section of the email.
Certain keywords can also gain their attention.
A classic method to keep your readers engaged is to use TL;DR either at the top or bottom of your email.
Although this method is informal, it can make reading your emails easier for consumers. A TL;DR, or Too Long Didn’t Read, summarizes the entire email in two or three sentences.
It gives the consumer the information they need without any of the additional details.
#7. Keep Your Emails Frequent
One mistake many small businesses make in crafting their email marketing campaign is that they don’t send out enough emails.
There’s likely a concern that too many emails may annoy consumers or overwhelm them. Too few, however, may make them forget about your company.
There’s a fine line you can walk in determining how many emails to send in a month. You should aim for an email every two weeks, at the least.
This keeps your business at the forefront of their mind. When they need a particular product or service, your business will be the first one they think about.
Too few emails can make them forget about you, or they may not feel as pressed to choose your products or services. They may opt for a competitor instead.
On the other side, too many emails can irritate them. They may choose to opt out of your email newsletters because you’re stressing them out.
Understanding the correct number of emails will come down to your analysis. You may want to experiment initially with the frequency of emails to determine how many your target audience enjoys receiving without saturating them.
#8. Make Your Content Impactful
Even though you may have a set number of newsletters or emails that you want to send every month, you don’t want to send just any email. Each email needs to have quality content.
The content may vary.
Sometimes, it may be information about a new product or service that you’re introducing to the business. Because your emails should be short, that announcement alone may be spread over several emails.
Perhaps you’re running a promotion or discount for a limited time. That’s an email or two in itself, too.
Then there are emails that act like blog posts. This content acts to answer some questions that your consumers may have about your products or services.
Or the content may be linked to an activity or usage that includes your products or services. This kind of content is often the one that’s shared through social media.
The important lesson is that your content needs to matter. If your consumers realize that the content doesn’t teach them anything or isn’t helping them in any way, then they will opt-out of your emails.
You may find that the number of emails you send every month is reduced because you can only write about so many impactful things in a given year.
Leveraging quality with quantity is the key to unlocking email marketing success.
So What’s Next?
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