As you seek digital and non-digital ways to find and connect with an audience for your business, don’t overlook email marketing. This is a useful, effective strategy, even for small businesses with a local reach like yours. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some email marketing tips that can help you be successful with this marketing tactic.
Let’s first start with a basic understanding of what email marketing is and why email is useful to your business.
What Is Email Marketing?
Sending targeted emails to prospects and customers is an important marketing channel. You can use email marketing to generate leads and build brand awareness while also providing your customers with exceptional customer support. Once you have current customers on your email list, you’re able to use email to build relationships with them, and it’s these relationships that’ll help you more easily retain customers.
The main benefit of email marketing is building relationships. You can use it to connect with people at every stage of the customer journey and to help them to move to the next stage. In the beginning, you can provide a helpful piece of content or another free offering in exchange for an email address to build your email list. Then, you can use email to greet your new subscribers, thus starting the relationship.
After that, you can use email to continue the relationship and stay on the minds of your customers or prospects. At this point, your business can send different types of emails, such as:
- Helpful tips and info for your client base
- Seasonal trends and news
- Special offers and promotions
- Business updates and new services
If someone signed up for your email just to receive tips or info, they may turn into a customer after you connect with them, share info about your services, and send promotions. You may even want to send a new customer special to new email subscribers. Then, once people are already customers, you can continue to connect with them to keep them with your brand and to turn them into loyal, enthusiastic followers.
Let’s consider examples for a small local business. If you stay on the mind of a customer, that person could turn to your HVAC business instead of a competitor when they need a new A/C system after they once had you perform a repair. Or if you share helpful specialty info about your area of expertise, the reader may turn to you when they need to hire someone in your profession someday.
Why Is Email Useful?
As a marketing channel, email is easy to use and accessible for nearly all businesses. Also, it gives an effective way to reach your intended audience. Email marketing has an amazing return on investment of $32 for every $1 spent. While it might seem like email is more helpful for an online business than for your location-based small service business, it’s worth knowing that 59 percent of local marketers said email was their top source of return on investment, according to Emma.
Here are some of the ways email marketing is so useful to businesses:
- Commitment: By opening and clicking on emails, customers show commitment to your brand and interest in learning more.
- Trust: Emails allow you to build trust with your audience through transparent and personal communication.
- Two-way Conversations: Through email, you create a communication pathway that allows you to provide tailored messages addressing their questions, concerns and needs, as well as a way for them to get directly in touch with you.
- Versatility: Email marketing allows you to share different kinds of content, from videos and blog posts to promotions and invitations, and allows you to market in different ways toward a range of goals.
Email marketing also helps with specific business goals. For example, you can use it to:
- Learn Insights: Through two-way communication and data, you can learn more about your customers and their wants and needs. You can engage with them, see what they respond to, ask them questions and to participate in surveys, and learn from questions and comments they send you.
- Improve Your Brand Reputation: You can use the data and insights you learn to create a better brand that identifies and addresses the struggles of your target audiences.
- Track Marketing Effectiveness: Email marketing platforms provide tools to help you see whether your marketing efforts are working and change course if needed. You can track email opens, clicks and other data to measure your ROI, continue what works and change what doesn’t work.
- Improve All Aspects of Your Business: You can use the information you learn through email to improve your entire business, not just your marketing efforts. For example, this information can inform positive changes to your operations, help you compete better with business rivals and bring the rest of your business to the next level.
How Can You Have Success With Email?
So while we’ve established that email marketing is useful, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. You may have already experienced some challenges of trying it yourself. A Validity State of Email Marketing 2021 Report found that in 2020, many small businesses experienced challenges with competing for inbox attention, poor email engagement, uncertainty about how to use data and other challenges.
After all, email marketing doesn’t always work, which we’re sure you’ve seen through spammy emails in your own inbox. Clickbait, phishing schemes, inconsistency, always selling and other issues are bad examples of email marketing. This is not the way to do it.
But email is a tried-and-true technique that can be highly effective if you have a strategy, you stick to it and you follow the goal of building a connection with each encounter.
So the question becomes: how do you make a successful email strategy? Here are seven email marketing tips to help:
The first step is to create an email marketing strategy rather than just sending emails willy-nilly. Determine how you will build an email list, such as through forms on your website and call-to-action buttons on social media. Figure out your ideal audience and its demographics. Determine the messaging of your emails and how you can help emails stand out through subject lines and preview text. Also, figure out your email frequency and the best time of day to send the emails to your list.
You can reach different audiences and people at different stages of the customer journey by segmenting your email list. This allows you to send personalized messages to each group of people and during each stage. Segmentation leads to improved metrics, including more opens and click-throughs.
3. Valuable Content
You’ll need to decide what you’ll write about in each email. Your email body should be short and to the point. Then you can add links to bring your readers to content elsewhere, which can help move them forward in the customer journey. Be sure to make your email content valuable, personalized, and on-brand.
Emails are not all about messaging. The design can make or break the words you send to your email list. The design should make the messages clear, easy to read and enjoyable, while also helping readers clearly see the steps to take next. Your design should also look professional and modern, rather than seeming outdated or amateur.
5. Content Calendar
Creating an editorial calendar ahead of time will help you plan out which messages to send and at what stage. This step will help you be more efficient and better create targeted messages that help you get the results you want.
6. VIP Customer Treatment
Use email as an opportunity to create a good relationship with your email list. Treat your readers like VIPs by being honest and transparent with them through your messages. Also, quickly respond to questions or comments they send you.
Streamline your email marketing by automating some of it. For example, you could have a standard welcome email that is automatically sent after a new person subscribes to your email list. Also, you can use automation to build custom audiences based on the customer journey and to track data and gain insights.
Partner With the Leading All-in-one Marketing Intelligence Platform for Small Business
We hope these email marketing tips help you get started and become successful with your efforts. At Surefire, we provide small business marketing tools and strategies that can help you reach your local audience. That includes email marketing. So if you need support with the practical application of your email marketing strategy and efforts, feel free to reach out for our expertise.