The new year is always about a fresh start, turning a new leaf, and starting something new. Does your small business want to get better acquainted with your customers? Do you want to add email marketing to your outreach strategy in 2016? With all the noise that consumers deal with on a daily basis, adding to their email inboxes may seem counterproductive, but the opposite is true. Email marketing is a powerful tool your small business can use to reach your customers where they already are – their email inbox.
There are a number of email services out there to help you connect with your customers. Sites like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and AWeber all have tools and templates to create email campaigns that look great and are easy to send. If you want a professional-looking email with easy client management tools, a platform like these may be the way to go. That being said, you can also send emails to your list straight from your email service, but it can be more time-intensive and may not look the way you envision.
Make It Easy
In order for your email marketing efforts to succeed, you need a list of people (emails) to market to! Make it easy for people to subscribe to your e-newsletter by putting a simple link or entry form on your website in an easy-to-find spot. After someone subscribes to your email list, send them a short “welcome” email and tell them what they can expect from your email communications. This is another reason to choose an email marketing platform over doing it all yourself, as there are auto-emails that can be created and sent on your behalf whenever a new email address is added to your subscriber list.
This is the most important tip we can give you about email marketing. People’s inboxes are already stuffed with emails that they don’t read, so make sure your messages don’t get lost in the shuffle. Make your emails something they actually want to open and read by adding value to their lives. Clue your customers in on new products and services, any specials that may be coming down the road, how you’re involved in your community and how your customers can reach you if they have questions. Email marketing can also help you grow your social presence, so invite your email subscribers to like and follow your social pages. You can also encourage your social fans to become email subscribers by providing the email opt-in link. Be mindful of SPAM rules (you can read more about the CAN-SPAM act here) so that your emails don’t get sucked into the wrong folders.
A Calendar Helps
Be aware of how often you email your list. You don’t want to annoy them and make them want to unsubscribe, but you also don’t want them to forget about you. Balance is key, so only write if you have something to say. A production schedule or publishing calendar can help you decide when is the right time to send an email. A calendar can also help you craft and schedule some emails ahead of time so you don’t have to remember when your ‘Summer Clearance Event’ message is going to go out. Pay attention to your list size as well, and if using an email service, your open and click rates. If you find that certain types of emails are getting opened more than others, that information can help you create more emails that are interesting to your readers. If you send an email and find that you had a large number of people unsubscribe from your list, that can be a clue as well as to what kind of content is resonating with your customers.
Use Your Captive Audience
In addition to sending messages that add value, use your emails to gather other information from your email list. A quick poll email asking about what products customers would like to see or what improvements they wish you’d implement can be a fast and inexpensive way to do some research. Making your emails shareable can also expand your reach, in addition to creating the potential for new subscribers if your customers are forwarding your company emails to their friends and family. The better the content, the more often your emails will be shared!
Have questions about email marketing or how you can create emails to engage your customer base and move the needle on your bottom line? Contact Divahound today!