Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses big and small. According to Stay N-Touch, 92 percent of adults online use email, and 61 percent use it daily. It’s important — now more than ever — to follow the proper etiquette when creating and launching an email marketing campaign. When you make the right decisions for your company, you see the most return on your investment. Here are the top six things to consider when email marketing for small businesses:
Make Subscribing Easy
Building up a list is the most valuable step in email marketing. If you have no lead generation consumer contacts, you have no one to market to. Make subscribing to your email list simple. Post a visible subscription box at the top of your website, or create a pop-up that prompts a user to sign up for email marketing when they enter your site. If you make it too difficult for people to subscribe, you risk missing out on potential sales, customers, and upsell opportunities.
A simple but effective way to gain subscribers is to offer a discount or giveaway for anyone who signs up. Most of the time people don’t consider subscribing to an email list unless there is a tangible reward for doing it, so think of offering sales, discounts, or free gifts. Offering something in exchange for their email address can make a customer feel less used by the experience and more like they came out on the winning end of the deal.
It’s important to understand that your email subscribers are not all the same. Therefore, you do not want to treat them the same. If you aggregate all your subscribers into one list, you will deliver non-targeted content to individuals who may have thought they just signed up for a discount code and probably look to immediately unsubscribe. In the end, this could cause you to spend too much time or money on an email marketing campaign that isn’t benefiting your company’s overall return on investment (ROI).
By segmenting your subscription lists and modifying your messages, you can establish a more effective email retention policy. Segment your subscribers based on which sites they came from, what time they entered your site, which year they subscribed, and how much their average spend is with your company. This can help you determine your loyal customers from those just perusing, and target your marketing campaigns directly to them. The more you know about your subscribers, the more control you can exert who receives what specific content.
Use Content Strategically
Only send emails if you have something important to say to your customers. Since 78 percent of consumers have unsubscribed from a list because the brand was sending them too many emails, it’s important to the success of your company to make sure that what you send is valuable to your reader. Make sure your email is easy to read: break up information into short paragraphs, with images and subheadings, etc.
Keep a detailed publishing calendar to avoid sending the same content twice, at the wrong time, or to the wrong people. A regular newsletter can feel like a commitment because it is, but it’s also very valuable. If you go months without sending anything to your subscribers, you risk that they will forget about you, making it more likely that they will delete the next email you send. If you send mail to your subscribers too often, you also risk them unsubscribing. Use content wisely.
Use Email to Bring People to Your Social Media
Social media is key to a marketing department’s success in the digital age. Email marketing campaigns that include social sharing buttons have an increased clickthrough rate of 158 percent higher than those without a sharing option. By focusing on connecting your email and social marketing efforts, you can yield significant results.
If you already have users who are signed up to receive regular emails from you, it’s very likely that they will also want to be informed of the latest updates of the company on social media. Email subscribers may not be aware that you have social media accounts, so lead them to it. Include a link to your social media accounts in your email, either in the header or footer. This is an easy way for people who are already interested in your brand to and your company further.
Analyze Your Email Campaigns
There is no reason to continue with an email marketing campaign if you have no way of analyzing the effect and ROI that it has. Having the ability to analyze email marketing data is vital to the success of any email campaign. Most email marketing campaign platforms let you know if an email has been opened, if a customer clicked through to a landing page from the email, if they forwarded the email, opted out, etc.
Access to this information is crucial. This data can help you to see who is engaged in your subscription and who is not interested in what your company has to say. By paying attention to analytics, you can make necessary changes in your campaigning efforts.
If you create an intentional and intelligent email marketing plan, you can see a clear return on your company’s investment. It’s important that your company reaches as many people as possible for as few marketing dollars as possible.