In many ways, marketers are beginning to appreciate the true value of an email list and email marketing in general, favouring it over social media in many different ways.
One of the reasons why this small business guide to email marketing is so necessary for small business owners is because email marketing gives you more control over your marketing messages and who your message goes out to. How? You own your email list!
No, that doesn’t mean that you own your customers, but what it does mean is that your email and your messaging isn’t subject to the dreaded social media algorithms. In fact, according to a survey published by Opt-In Monster, the average conversion rate for email (6.05%) is more than 3 times what the conversion rate is for social media marketing posts (1.9%).
That’s what we thought. In this small business guide to email marketing, we will dive into when you should send your emails (i.e. what purposes emails can serve), how often you should send your emails and how to build your email list.
And now, without further ado, here’s our small business guide to email marketing!
When to Use Email Marketing
There are many ways to use email marketing to further your marketing and business objectives. The most common objectives that marketers use email to achieve include:
- Building connections and relationships.
- Growing brand awareness by keeping your company and your services top-of-mind.
- Promoting your content, such as blog content or other useful assets that will elevate your customer experience and make them want to purchase from you.
- Generating leads by providing value.
- Promoting the products, services or special offers that your business has will add value to your email subscribers.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email is a strategic way of reaching your customers and generating leads. According to HubSpot there are 3.8 billion email users worldwide and $38 made for every $1 spent this is an amazing return on investment. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined. The next time you are wondering if you should use email to reach out to potential clients, think of these results.
How to Get Started With Email Marketing
To begin using email marketing for your small business you need to consider what your email marketing strategy will be. Your customers receive hundreds of emails a day, and you need to ensure that your email will not get lost in a crowded inbox. To achieve this, creating and implementing an email marketing strategy is your best bet. Follow these steps to build an effective email marketing strategy:
- Define your audience: Start with your target buyer persona so you can tailor your email campaign to your audience.
- Establish Goals: Before you establish what your goals will be, gather information on your industry’s email statistics and use these as your benchmark.
- Create Ways to Sign Up: You will need to build your email list and the best way to do so is to have a compelling reason for people to subscribe (see Lead Magnets below)
- Choose an Email Campaign Type: There are various forms of email campaigns, weekly newsletters, product announcements or blogs. Do some research about the different types of email campaigns and choose the best one for you.
- Make a Schedule: Determine how often you will be contacting your list and inform them upfront so they know what to expect. Keep this schedule consistent to build trust and to remain top of mind.
- Measure Your Results: Measure the success of your campaign against the goals you have set and the industry standards.
You can easily manage your campaigns with email service providers like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and many others.
How to Build a List
Of course, this wouldn’t be a small business guide to email marketing without talking about how you can build that email list. Quite frankly, there’s no sense in investing time and money into a marketing campaign that doesn’t reach your target audience. With that in mind, be sure to dedicate consistent efforts to building your email list, not just marketing to it. This also includes cleaning up your email list regularly to ensure that the people you are reaching are still relevant to your business and want to continue to receive your emails. This can greatly reduce the number of unsubscribes.
These days, one very popular tactic to growing your email list is by creating and offering what’s called a ‘lead magnet.’ A lead magnet is a piece of content – it could be an eBook, whitepaper, webinar, or something else entirely – that is useful or otherwise attractive to your target audience, compelling them to give you their precious email address (something that pushes past their thought: “ugh, not another email collection tactic”) in order to get this valuable piece of information that you’re offering.
You can also build your email list by creating an opt-in form or adding an opt-in to your existing forms that will compel your customers to sign up.
When to Send Your Emails
The frequency with which you send emails to your email list can be highly dependent on your target audience, what you’re offering, your goals and so many other factors. Going into your email marketing efforts with an open mind, allows you to test different frequencies and other elements of the campaign until it begins to resonate with the audience that you want to attract most.
Email Marketing Analysis
Once you have created an email list and developed an email marketing strategy you can start to send your emails. To continue to improve your business it is imperative to dive into the analysis of your email marketing strategy. The following are some things to consider when analyzing your email marketing efforts.
- Perform A/B testing: Test different elements of your campaign to determine what combinations work best. Remember to test one variable at a time for more accurate results.
- Set Email Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): In order to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign you will have to identify these four key metrics.
- Deliverability: This is the rate at which emails reach the intended subscriber’s list.
- Open Rate: The percentage of people who opened the email.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on your Calls-to-Action (CTA’s).
- Unsubscribes: The measure of the number of people who opt-out of your email list once they receive an email from you.
- Adjust to Improve Results: There are multiple components in a successful email campaign, you will have to adjust those different elements to improve your email campaign results.
- Use a Reporting Template: This allows you to gather information in an organized fashion and easily compare results.
Master Email Marketing
We hope this email marketing guide provides you with the information you need to feel more comfortable utilizing the power of email to grow your business.
When used correctly, the benefits of email marketing are numerous. For more information about how email marketing can benefit your business, or to learn about our email marketing services contact us today.