Email may be the oldest marketing tool there is but it’s still one of the most powerful platforms to reach customers. Before newcomers such as social media came into existence, email already dominated in the digital ecosystem. With more than 4 billion emails accounts created in 2017, it is expected to grow at 5 billion by 2019.
In fact, most savvy marketers rank email as one of their most effective marketing tools to increase sales and establish customer relationship. Additionally, about 68% of customers tend to favor email as their go-to method of communication with brands they do business with.
Email marketing provides a great avenue for you to turn casual visitors into lifetime customers. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to generate email campaigns. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert user, anyone can basically build a successful customer base following through email marketing.
In today’s post, we’ll show you easy and actionable methods to help you create an email marketing strategy that works.
Email Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
Make it easy for customers to subscribe.
Have you tried subscribing to your favorite blog or brand’s newsletter signup? Was it easy to find the subscribe option?
If it was, you can actually do the same for your own site. Place email opt-in forms to your site’s popular and high-converting locations, targeting first-time visitors who enter your online store. You can ask them to subscribe to your email list in exchange for a discount coupon or other exclusive offers.
You can either use a pop-up box, feature box, sidebar, footer or a lead page. Don’t go overboard by adding too many required fields. Your visitors might find this too much of a hassle to complete.
It’s also important that you inform subscribers what they can expect when they opt into to your email newsletter. Will you be sending them daily discount deals, company updates or helpful resources? Give your readers a heads up on what emails they can expect and how often. This is to help them decide if they want to be part of the list or not.
Choose the right email marketing provider
A big part of your success in email marketing is choosing the right tool that can help you save time and effort. Here are some great tips when choosing an email marketing service provider:
- Simple content creation in a different format – Do you prefer something that allows you to create content in HTML format or in plain text? Why not choose an email marketing platform that does both, as this provides you the flexibility to adjust the content to different situations.
- List segmentation – It’s great if your email marketing provider has the capability to segment your customer list. By segmenting your customer list, you can send personalized emails to different target groups and convert them accordingly.
- A/B Testing – To understand which technique works well for your campaign, you need to carry out an A/B testing. You can do this by testing conversion of a specific variable while some other elements stay intact. Make sure that your email marketing platform offers you this type of feature.
- Anti-spam compliance – Depending on where you’re from, it’s important that your email marketing platform is fully compliant with rules against spam messages. In the US, they have the CAN-SPAM Act that sets the rules on how to send commercial email messages and the penalties involved for non-compliance. Such rules may include making it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe to your newsletter.
Don’t buy email lists.
If you’re thinking of buying an email list to expedite your email marketing campaign, please don’t. Purchasing an email list may seem the easiest shortcut to get business, but it’s actually a waste of time.
An email list generally includes customers’ names, email addresses, income level and other personal information. There’s no way of knowing if the list provider is honest about the quality of the list they are selling. It’s likely that you’ll encounter missing, incomplete and out-of-date information. Some of them might be harvested illegally (without the recipient’s consent) from the dark web.
You also don’t want to brand yourself as a spammer. If the tables were turned, will you be happy to receive unsolicited emails from companies you didn’t sign up for? We’re sure you won’t, especially when the email content is selling something you might not likely buy.
Additionally, most email marketing providers (e.g. MailChimp, AWeber, etc.) strictly forbids customers purchasing email lists. If your email messages are frequently marked as spam, they may decide to close your account, fine you and take legal actions against you.
Instead of going through all these troubles to acquire customers, why not do it the traditional way. Just build your email list from scratch using the opt-in method. It’s still the best way to grow your mailing list.
Create Email Sequences (Autoresponders)
The next step in converting more leads into customers is to create email sequences. An email sequence is a series of emails delivered after a specific time interval or by specific actions. Some examples are welcoming new subscribers, cart abandonment, downloading a PDF or purchasing a product.
These email sequences are automated in advance. They are set up at a predetermined time with the help of your email marketing tool. Keep your email content personalized, depending on what you’re selling or who you’re trying to reach. What this means is that you have to know the exact results you want to achieve.
The most common email automation would be the cart abandonmentcart email sequence. These emails are sent to customers who have added products to their cart but fail to check out. It is also one of the most effective ways to recover lost customers. You can also offer discounts, although they are not essential but are great to have.
To help you get started on your email sequences, check out these successful brands who use email sequences to their advantage.
Design email messages that parallel to your brand.
To make your email messages uniquely your own, your email campaigns should align to your brand’s overall look and feel. When using email templates, you might want to customize it according to your company’s standard logo, color and text font. When email template design is consistent with your content, it allows your customers to get familiar with your branding.
Good grammar still rules.
Your email messages might be harmless, but if it ‘s profuse with grammatical errors, your subscribers might click that unsubscribe button. It goes without saying, that your email content should be free from grammatical errors and poor sentence construction.
Your goal here is to gain your subscribers’ trust and encourage them to wait for your next newsletter. Let a professional editor proofread your email content or use tools such as Grammarly to help pinpoint mistakes.
Measure your Success
So you’ve finally sent that email to your subscribers. What happens next? How do you know if your email marketing campaign was successful or not?
Just like any marketing strategies, you need to be able to evaluate your results and make decisions based on them. Some metrics you can check are open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, lead conversion, sales based on a specific period of time.
You have to also take into account the cost of creating the email campaign. This may include email marketing software subscription cost, cost per email sent and other costs that make up your return on investment (ROI).
Once you have outlined what your benchmark metrics are, compare the results from previous campaign with your new email campaign. To evaluate for best results, constantly monitor the performance of your email campaign to identify any areas of improvement.
One of the ways to optimize your open rates would through A/B testing on your email. A/B testing of email refers to creating multiple variations of either the subject line or body content. It helps to identify which has the highest engagement or conversion. Although it is beneficial to do an A/B testing on all your emails, it is sometimes time-consuming. So you should always choose to do A/B testing with email who hold the biggest impact on your bottom line and engagement rates.
Email marketing can be a great tool in your marketing arsenal when you want to nurture leads and turn them into loyal customers. The ability to automate your email campaigns is the key to drive more sales for your company. By following the tips shared in this article, you are well on your way to building the best email marketing strategy that both you and your customers will love.
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