Getting Started With Email Marketing

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While most small businesses are scrambling to take advantage of the latest trends in digital marketing, one type of marketing is largely overlooked. Email marketing is one of the most beneficial types of promotion available today, yet most entrepreneurs and small business owners overlook it. By failing to take advantage of this practice, your business may be losing out on valuable leads.

You Already Have the Tools for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Those business owners that do consider getting involved in this type of brand promotion don’t even realize they have everything they need already at their fingertips. Instead of combing the internet for email marketing tips, small business owners need only look at their own customer database. These people have already shown an interest in your products or services and, like everyone else with internet access, they check their email accounts at least once per day.

Even if you don’t have an official business website, there are many other ways to develop a contact list, upon which you can base your small business email marketing campaign. Many professionals don’t even realize they’re missing out on these opportunities, but any situation in which you engage with consumers presents an ideal situation for collecting email addresses.

Just a few examples might include:

  • Social media interactions
  • Free downloadable gifts delivered to email addresses
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Landing page sign-up forms
  • Conventions and other in-person events

Often, if you can offer something simple, yet interesting, consumers will be happy to supply you with their contact information. At public gatherings, discuss your plans for an email marketing campaign and let people know that’s why you’re collecting email addresses. This is an opportunity to network with individuals who are already interested in your brand or type of products or services. In many instances, consumers will find it beneficial to provide an email address, recognizing that an email marketing campaign may present opportunities to save on products they already buy.

How Can an Email Marketing Campaign Stand Out Amid Typical Spam?

One of the most important email marketing tips often overlooked by small business owners is in how they organize their email lists. By maintaining a database that includes where and how you collected each email address, you can avoid recipients marking your messages as spam. For instance, you may have added an individual to your list after that person asked a question about your product on social media. By noting this in your database, you can address that question in the subject of your email. This will help you make a better impression upon that user. You can also use the information to organize recipients into groups, which can help you better develop an email heading that will get you past spam filters.

The content you provide in your emails will also determine how interested your recipients are in reading your messages. When you consistently offer something of value, your recipients will be more likely to watch for your emails. They’ll take a few minutes to read each message more carefully, as opposed to skimming it over and sending it to the trash folder. Some perks of receiving your emails might include special sale opportunities only available to email recipients, rewards for customer referrals, free gifts, etc.

Additionally, you should treat each email just like a blog on a website, offering engaging and interesting content. This can be in the form of written articles or videos, or you can use a combination of text, images, and video. Using multiple types of media will make your emails that much more entertaining and users will look forward to reading your emails simply for the content.

If you do operate a blog, there’s no need to create separate content for your emails. Instead, add snippets from each blog post and include links to those posts, so email recipients can view the entire post right on your site. This will attract more readers to your blog and increase the chances of posts getting shared on social media. In turn, this will attract more individuals to your blog and may result in an expanding list of email addresses for your newsletter.

Alternatively, you can organize a number of emails to be sent out automatically. This is called a drip campaign, because it consists of smaller, interconnected emails, saving you the time to spend in other areas of operating your business. While these will be shorter emails and are intended to keep your brand in front of consumers, these emails should also offer something of value. Otherwise, recipients may begin opting out of the emails and you’ll lose your appeal.

Building Your Brand and Making Your Call to Action

The reason that small business email marketing works so well is that it continuously puts your brand in front of the recipients of your emails. Even without a call to action, the name of your brand gets etched into the minds of those people reading your emails and your company will be the first one they think of when your type of products and services are needed. However, pushing your brand with too strong of a call to action can sour readers and they may begin to view your emails as spam.

A strong, yet not overpowering, call to action should be included in each email. The CTA should be accompanied by professionally drafted logos and designs that are unique to your brand. Select designs and color schemes that compliment your brand, or the products your selling. This will help consumers recognize your brand in stores and on other sites, so it’s important to use the same graphics on your website, social media accounts, and in your emails. Consumers will look for continuity, as well as quality.

Get the Help You Need

While you may have to do a bit of legwork to amass your email list, there are services that can help you with your email marketing campaign. Some, like Mailchimp, which is free for up to 500 subscribers, can provide service for free or lower costs. Conversely, many premium services are fairly inexpensive. For about $15-$20 per month, you can rely on a service to send out your drip campaign and auto-response emails. Typically, these services have a selection of pre-designed templates. Simply choose a template you like, plug in your content and logo, and send it off.

From free services to premium services, there are plenty of resources to help you craft quality emails for your campaign. The actual services each company offers will vary, so it may be beneficial to shop around. Depending on how much help you want, it may be more cost-effective to subscribe to a premium service. Free and low cost services may be limited in resources and may not offer exactly what you need.

Just one email can be sent out to your recipients in under 15 minutes, letting you capitalize on the benefits of email marketing. While some emails can cost more in terms of effort and the time spent writing them, the return on investment will be well worth the expended resources. Compared to other types of digital marketing, this option can offer a higher ROI with fewer advertising dollars spent. This means small businesses with smaller budgets can reach more consumers and grow their business organically. As long as you put in the effort to craft valuable and compelling content and enlist the right talents to help you craft polished emails, your email marketing campaign will likely be a success.

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