Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising for small businesses. In order to be successful on the internet and maximise the benefits of the internet, a small business needs to implement a result driven marketing strategy on the internet. The real benefits of the internet can be realised only if a business is able to use the internet to market its products and services.
Email marketing is one of the most effective and fastest growing marketing channels. One of the first steps in a successful email marketing campaign is to build an email distribution list of potential customers. A business can build an email list from a variety of sources including its website.
Managing a substantially large email marketing campaign will require a well planned strategy and may involve the services of a professional marketing company. If you do not have a large email list then it can be purchased easily from a direct marketing company that specialises in email list management. A business can also collect email addresses from potential customers via a newsletter registration form on the website.
Following are some 12 email marketing tips for a small business:
1. Start building an email marketing list of customers
If you do not have an email marketing list you can start building one now. Whether you have a small or a large client base, you can start by first including your existing customers on your email marketing list which you can build upon with time. A small business can start an email marketing campaign from a relatively small list which can expand with time. As new enquiries are received, the list can be expanded. It is a common practice to purchase targeted email list from a professional marketing company.
2. Email registration on your website
Offering customer with a way to register via your website is probably one of the easiest ways to build your own email list. A registration form can be added to your website with ease. The placement of the email registration feature on your website is important and has an impact t on conversion rates. It should be placed on a prominent place on the website. If your website uses a content management system then most likely the newsletter registration feature will be built in.
3. Start a Marketing Newsletter
Sending newsletters to your customers is one of the most effective email marketing techniques. You can start a newsletter on a topic related to our industry. The newsletter can be weekly, monthly or even quarterly. A newsletter provides an excellent opportunity to communicate with your customers on regular basis. You can use the newsletter to subsequently market your own products or services.
4. Improve awareness of your email marketing list
You can take some simple steps to increase the popularity of your email marketing newsletters and growing your email list. Creating a quality marketing email or newsletter requires time and effort so it is best sent out to as many people as possible.
Following are some simple methods to improve awareness about your marketing newsletter or email list and encourage people to register:
o Include a link to register for emails in all email correspondence.
o Include information about your email newsletter in invoices, purchase orders and other company documents.
o Include email registration link in a prominent place on your website and blog.
o Let your team know to inform customers about your marketing newsletter at every opportunity they get.
o Create an incentive to subscribe to your email or company newsletter e.g. discount coupons or prize draws.
5. Follow data protection act
It is vital that you respect customer's privacy and take all steps necessary to protect customer data collected by your email marketing campaigns. You should not share information without prior consent from the customer. Your email marketing list should be opt in. When customers register their email address they are agreeing to receive marketing emails from you. If you purchase opt-in email marketing lists, you should do so from reliable sources only.
6. Send quality marketing emails
Nothing can be worse fro your branding than sending out a poorly designed marketing email to customers. You should research the content of your marketing email and plan your marketing campaign in advance. The content of the marketing email should be well researched and offer value to customers. It is OK to promote your products and business in your emails but you should try and offer a variety of information. A well balanced email is more likely to succeed than a purely promotional email. If the email you send is full of self promotion and does not offer real value then customers are likely to un-subscribe or opt-out form receiving emails in future. Focus on quality over quantity.
7. Select an appropriate subject for the marketing email
A good subject for the marketing email plays a vital role in deciding how many emails are opened and read by customers. It is important to choose the subject of the email with careful thought and consideration.
8. Design and Layout:
You should plan the structure of the email with care. The layout should be clutter free and easy to read. The design should be clean and minimalist. Use images carefully. Any images used should be optimised for fast loading time. The design should reflect your brand. You should also Include your logo and contact information.
9. Clean-up your email marketing list from time to time:
If you are maintaining your own email list then you should perform basic list maintenance tasks periodically. Any un-subscribed user should be removed from the list immediately. Similarly all old or not working email addresses should be removed. It is better to categorise your list in to different categories so you can pan your emails and send specific information to specific groups. At the same time any new contacts should be added so they are not left out in the next email you send out.
10. Test your marketing campaigns
Whether you send out regular emails or send then less frequently, it is vital that you test your email marketing campaign properly before you send them out. A spell check should be performed. Any links in the email should be checked to see if they are not broken. A good technique is to send a copy to yourself first.
11. Measure the performance of your Email Marketing campaigns
It is important to measure the success or failure of your email marketing campaigns. There are many ways to monitor the performance. The ultimate measure of success is the number of enquiries you receive as a direct result of your marketing emails. Statistics related to your campaign can provide a useful insight. Most email marketing software will allow you to monitor deliver rate, response rate, click rate and so on. You can find out how many emails were delivered, how many were opened and even how many links in the email were clicked. You can use this information to judge the effectiveness of each email that is sent and to plan and improvise on future campaigns.
12. Call to action
An effective marketing email should encourage users to take an action. Including a call to action statement in your marketing emails can improve the chances of conversion. A call to action can be anything from a request for more information to a link to buy a product.