The Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Businesses
There are lots of reasons it's useful for small businesses to market their businesses via email. At least 91% of consumers check their emails everyday and email marketing is an inexpensive way to reach them and get your key messages out there.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is simply emailing your list with useful or promotional content, whether that is company information, discount codes, blog posts, or links to your company’s website. Why should you utilise this marketing tool?
Benefits for small business
- Low cost: It is free to get started and you could potentially reach hundreds and even thousands of contacts organically for nothing but your time.
- Segmentation: You can tailor your emails to suit your different audiences. If you have a women in business event in Greenwich, for example, you can specifically target that audience.
- Easy marketing tool: Creating your email is relatively easy and doesn’t require any specific knowledge so you can get started right away.
- Results: With each email campaign you send out you will be able to view your stats. Pay close attention to these to see what works best for you and think how this information can inform your future emails.
How to use email to market your business
We use MailChimp for our email marketing campaigns; the basic software is free and easy to set up. When it comes time for you to create more complicated automated campaigns, or your list hits the thousands, the monthly fee is still low.
You can create as many lists as you like; each one with a different target audience. You can start designing straight away and can choose from lots of templates with plenty of handy tutorials to help you.
It is important to make sure people have agreed to receive email from you and that they’re aware of what they’re signing up to. It’s against the data protection laws in the UK to upload people’s email addresses without their permission. People who sign up to your list of their own accord are genuinely interested and, therefore, more likely to buy your products or services.
Essentially, you can assume if someone is a client or customer of yours, they’re interested in receiving email from you. However, adding the email addresses of people you met at a networking event is definitely a no go! We strongly recommend reading CAN-SPAM legislation before creating your email campaign.
Our Top Tips for Small Businesses
- A strong subject line: Grab your reader’s attention. Successful tactics are asking a rhetorical question, including a discount or adding a Call to Action. Also, ensure that your email subject line is specific. General subject lines such as ‘Come to our event…’ are bound to end up in spam folders. Be specific, e.g. ‘Your invitation to [name of event] on 26th July 2016’ will avoid most spam filters.
- Be consistent: If you decide to email every Wednesday at 6pm for example, try and stick to this and don’t leave long periods with no emails otherwise customers may forget you. Email marketing can help you stay ‘front of mind’ with the members of your list and consistency is key.
- Edit and test: This is so important. Missing words or incorrect links reflect badly on your business, so avoid giving a sloppy impression by testing each email before it’s sent or scheduled.
- Think mobile: Most people check their emails on their phones so make sure it looks good on big and small screens. Most email marketing software will offer mobile friendly templates.
- Timing is everything: According to some data, weekends have the highest CTR (Click through Rate) for consumer email campaigns and 6am has the highest CTR of any hour. However, test your own list with different email times and check when your CTR is highest.
Email marketing is a powerful tool and done right can be very valuable for small businesses. It’s a great way to keep in touch with past, current and potential customers. Keep your company up front in their minds; provide useful information as well as keep them abreast of company developments, behind the scenes snapshots, employee activities and promotions. Generate a human feel around your company and let them get to know you. People buy from people, or companies they like.
Future posts will include more ideas for email content and ideas for building your email list. Watch this space.
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