Regardless of what new marketing strategies have come and gone in the past, email marketing has been there to support small businesses.
Although emerging social media platforms continue to release significantly innovative marketing features, email is still one of the most effective strategies. Email allows you to reach a dynamic range of potential customers.
Thankfully, the wave of marketing innovation has created multiple solutions to make email marketing and management significantly easier. Services like MailChimp have made it much easier to keep track of and manage large campaigns, multiple email lists, segmented email categories, and even crafting attention-grabbing and visually compelling content.
Small businesses that are keen enough to build email lists usually have a wealth of potential at their fingertips. Since users have to opt-in to their email list, they have already been exposed to your brand. All your business has to do is to continue to provide enough value and nurture their email list in order to reap the full benefits.
Is Email Still Effective?
According to a report by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing garners an ROI of 4,300 percent. To put this into perspective, $10 invested into an email marketing campaign will return, on average, $430 if done correctly.
Although these returns may seem enticing, there is still a significant amount of thought and strategy that has to go into crafting a perfect email marketing strategy. Utilizing tools such as Google Analytics to keep track of what is working and what is not, along with other email marketing solutions, is the best way to understand how well your email marketing campaigns are going.
How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy In-House
Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of being able to spend thousands of dollars to hire an email marketing agency or an internal specialist, and that’s okay. With these quick tips, you can start building the foundation for an effective email marketing strategy.
For every single right way to do email marketing, there are dozens of wrong ones. This is why it is so incredibly important to understand what is working for you and what isn’t, while also gathering analytical insight of why things worked or went astray.
If done right, email marketing can do everything, from driving traffic to your new site, building a world-class brand, and driving repeat sales to fostering a long-term relationship with your customers. If done wrong, you could damage your reputation and hurt your overall marketing efforts.
The Importance of Email Collection
When you first want to build an email list, you immediately encounter a chicken and egg problem. This is why your email marketing strategy needs to take into account the pre-origins of your list in order for you to be able to grow effectively and to send the right emails to the right people on your list.
Building an email list is like starting a fire in the woods. First, you must gather enough firewood and structurally build your fire so it burns evenly. Next, you must gather your tinder to help the fire start burning. And, finally, you light it and continue to add firewood to keep it going.
In this metaphor, your content is your firewood. What do you have to offer of value for people to sign up for your list? The average person is currently subscribed to more email lists than they can count; how is yours going to be any different?
It helps to pair your email marketing strategy with a strong content strategy so you can periodically develop synergy from each strategy. For example, if you just published a killer blog piece and would like more traffic, you could send it as a part of your email list to your subscribers. Your article would receive more traffic, and your email list would receive the value of the article.
Good Content = Conversions
The only way to get your email list to start converting into sales is to provide them with enough value that they are convinced your product or service is a great purchase. Whether your emails primarily are focused on useful tricks and tips, enticing offers, or even a great story, you have to make sure it’s something that they will want to read. If you are sending spamming promotions or disengaging content, you will ultimately drive users to unsubscribe and leave your brand forever.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who wakes up to 10 different emails from different sources. If they chose to click on yours, are they getting enough out of it that, at the very least, you make sure they click on the next one?
The Key to Crafting Your Email Marketing Strategy
You want to make sure the emails you are sending out are reaching the right people. Each email needs to have some sort of intention, other than the obvious necessary requirement of creating value for your readers.
Your emails must also come in the appropriate sequential order. For example, you shouldn’t be sending out an introductory email to someone who has already purchased products from you. Here is a brief overview of the type of emails you should be sending to your segmented categories.
New leads should receive an introductory email that expresses some sort of gratitude, what to expect from the email list, and opens a point of contact.
After your new leads become familiar with your brand, they become prospects. This is where you nurture your leads with value-driven content, and inform them of ways you can be of service without being overly promotional.
Once your prospects become new customers, you could send them an email thanking them, followed by one aimed at upselling certain features.
If your new customers turn into loyal current customers, as with hope they should, you could send an email aimed at getting referrals to new leads, possibly by asking them to share a great piece of content you created.
As you can see, an effective email marketing strategy can nurture your business in a way that many other marketing plans cannot. With your finger on the pulse of your analytics and a good email marketing strategy, you can take you small business to new heights without having to incur any new significant marketing costs.
MT: Why Email Marketing Is Key for Small Business Owners
MDI Small businesses that are keen enough to build email lists usually have a wealth of potential at their fingertips.