Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow a small local business and retain current customers. Here’s a quick recap of the benefits of email marketing for small businesses:
- Reach the right audience
- Track metrics over time
- Consistent outreach & increased awareness
- Build strong customer relationships
- Cost-effective method
- Effective calls to action
59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI so if you’re not taking advantage of email marketing, it’s time to get the ball rolling. I’m going to walk through a quick strategy to help build your email marketing campaigns and tips that you can use throughout the rest of the year.
4 Step Strategy to Launch Your Email Marketing
1. Build your distribution list
Before sending out emails, you will need contacts to send the emails to. So how can you collect this information? The best way to gather contacts is by setting up a subscription form to your emails via your website, social media profiles, in your store etc. Be sure to optimize your call to action to get the best results. For example, if you require too much information to subscribe, it can deter people from filling out your form. Or if you aren’t clear about the value you are offering to email subscribers, prospects won’t be attracted to subscribe.
2. Plan your email programs
Now that you know how to grow your list, it’s necessary to come up with an email plan. Think about what types of emails you want to send. Get strategic with the emails and create value in the content. Some examples of email programs are:
- Promotional emails with offers or discounts
- Seasonal messages
- Loyalty programs for customer retention
- Transactional emails like appointment reminders or receipts
3. Create your email designs and content
Once you plan out the types of emails that you want to send to your list, you can start thinking about the content and design. When creating your email programs, the top goal should be to keep your subscribers engaged.
Content: Targeting your audience will give you the best results. Try to segment your large audience into similar smaller subsets who have similar interests. This will help keep your contacts engaged. Not everything will be relevant to each subscriber so small groups will make it easier to build messages that resonate with them. The ultimate goal is to keep engagement high.
Design: Small businesses don’t need complex email designs. As long as your design has a clear call-to-action (CTA) and tells your reader what you want them to do, you’ll have good results. Here are some examples of CTA buttons that lead subscribers to take an action:
- Read a new blog post
- Sign up for an offer
- Request a quote for your services
- Write a review
Include a clear CTA and avoid asking readers to do more than one thing. If you create more than one goal in your emails, you could confuse readers and they will more likely ignore your complex email.
4. Analyze the performance of your emails
Don’t think everything’s over after an email is sent! You can learn so much from emails. Be sure to analyze its performance so that you can improve all your future emails. Here are some KPIs to evaluate the performance of your campaigns:
- Open Rate – Your open rate is the front line of engagement and correlates to your subject line. A low rate may mean your subject line is too generic, not compelling enough, or irrelevant to the reader
- Click-to-Open Rate – This is the rate at which your contacts who already opened your email click on your CTA. It’s the perfect metric to evaluate the CTA and content on your email.
- Unsubscribe Rate – A healthy unsubscribe rate is within 0 – 0.5%. If you have a really high unsubscribe rate, you may want to reevaluate your contact list. Are you sending information that is relevant to your audience? Is your content valuable to readers? Pay attention to any sudden increases in the number of unsubscribes.
- Bounce Rate – If you have a high bounce rate, you could have the wrong email addresses and it will affect your send rate.
9 Tips to Successful Emails
Now that you’re equipped with a strategy to start your email marketing, let’s discuss some tips for writing successful email campaigns. These tips can help you beat the competition in your subscribers’ email inboxes.
1. Quality over quantity
Over-emailing can be one of the worst decisions to make for your business. You don’t want to overcrowd your subscribers’ inboxes and spam them. Your engagement will be much higher with a focus on what your subscribers actually want to read. Create value in your email content so that you aren’t hit with spam complaints.
2. Create a segmented list with your most engaged customers
If you have a list of customers and subscribers who show more interest, you can segment them into an engaged list. Use that list as an opportunity to increase brand loyalty and sales. If you cultivate a relationship with customers who already like your business, you can easily encourage them to make more purchases with discounts and special offers.
3. Send automated emails
Leverage automation to help save time sending emails. For example, if you send monthly newsletters, set up an automated welcome email that will get triggered for every new subscriber you have. This will help increase trust among your list.
4. Make your emails personal
Personalized emails will create a lot more engagement. When readers feel that the email was meant for them and not just a generic email, they will be more likely to engage.
Most people read emails on their phones so it’s necessary that your emails are optimized for mobile reading.
6. Make it easy to unsubscribe
Don’t make it difficult for people to unsubscribe from your emails. Provide an easily accessible link to unsubscribe.
7. Include social media profiles in your emails
At the bottom of your emails, include widgets that lead to your social media profiles. Social proof can help build trust and influence people’s decisions in using your services.
8. Maintain a consistent sending schedule
You’ll achieve the best results if you send consistent emails. However, consistent does not mean a lot. Don’t send emails every day and consider that consistent. Identify the best days and times for sending emails. You can conduct your own testing to determine the best combination for your audience.
9. Use an email marketing software
Lastly, and probably the most important tip of them all, use email marketing software. Email marketing can get quite difficult without the right software. The Surefire Local Marketing Platform has email marketing capabilities to help small businesses accomplish growing revenue and retaining customers, like:
- Engage and nurture leads with targeted email campaigns
- Send automated responses to new leads for immediate follow-up
- Nurture leads to become lifetime customers with automated campaigns
- Engage past customers to drive repeat business and referrals
- Stay top of mind by sharing relevant, personalized messages
- Spread awareness around a special promotion
I’ll leave you with these final thoughts. 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over a 12 month period. Are you seeing these incredibly high results? If not, we can fix that.