There are over 4 billion email users worldwide. That makes email an even larger audience for marketing and communication efforts than the largest social channels. Email marketing is valuable for any small business.
Data from Statista shows that email is the most common online activity in the US. Hubspot reports that email generates $42 for every $1 spent, making it one of the most effective online marketing options available.
Email marketing is an essential component of any strong marketing strategy. This form of marketing gives businesses the chance to convert their audience members into long-time connections and provide value in a convenient way.
Email Marketing Strategy for Small Business
Successful email marketing is about building relationships. Once you’ve gained a spot in someone’s inbox, you’ll be able to communicate with them on a far more personal and individual level than might otherwise be the case. Email is a channel for one-on-one communication, and the best email marketing strategies take advantage of that.
For long-term success, it’s not just about blasting out content and waiting for sales to begin. It’s a balanced process of gaining subscribers, communicating, analyzing and adjusting.
There are many different formats and opportunities to use email marketing. Here are a few tried-and-true tactics:
- Greet new subscribers with welcome emails. The most important email a brand can send is a welcome email. It’s typically the first email (or series of emails) that a new subscriber receives and often gets the highest open rates for businesses.
- Keep people in the loop with newsletters. These regular emails provide an opportunity to share your news about your company, your product, or your industry. It’s also a great format to highlight your latest customer reviews and interesting insights.
- Incentivize sales through special offers. Email marketing is a fast and effective way to communicate sales and promotions. Or send your best customers a special discount to thank them for their loyalty.
Opening an email is more of a personal commitment than scrolling past an ad on a social media timeline. Someone who clicks on your email is immediately committed to and engaged with your content.
Through email marketing, you can speak directly to each individual customer. You can send them the content, offers, and updates most relevant to them.
There are several tools built to help businesses get the most from email marketing. You will want to research the features, options, and cost of each. Many businesses start with MailChimp because it has an “always free” option until your list grows to a certain size. This can be a low cost way to experiment with email marketing. Lists are easily exportable if/when another tool becomes preferred.
After selecting an email marketing tool, the next step is to build a list. You will want to gather the email addresses of customers and prospects. You may have a CRM or other system that you can export contacts from.
Always add a subscriber form to your website, and make it part of your process to ask new contacts for permission to add them to your email list.
Add parameters to each contact that will allow you to target messages. Typical segments are customers and prospects. You may also want to segment by how you connected with each person. The right segments depend on your business and the type of information you want to share.
Finally, you will want your emails to reflect your brand. Create a template that will let people know each message is from you and that will help them connect your messages to your website and other online locations.