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Email marketing is just as complicated as it is powerful.
According to the DMA, the ROI on email marketing is about $32 for each dollar spent. That’s the highest ROI of any marketing strategy by far.
There’s something about a well-done email that captivates audiences like almost no other form of marketing. Perhaps it’s the personalization or the directness. Or the fact that we anticipate it because a pre-existing interest had caused us to sign up in the first place.
Whatever that quality, it’s elusive – hard to pinpoint and even harder to capture. But it’s very real.
For a small business, email marketing is a chance to grow a loyal customer base through very direct interaction. It’s a way to build relationships – an adept email campaign should feel like a conversation between a customer and the brand.
Nailing email marketing takes effort. You can’t just send any old email and wait for the revenue to pour in. (Not to mention, you must first acquire emails and there are very specific ways to do that as well.)
Nonetheless, small businesses and solopreneurs will find that email marketing is a potent means to generate sales and grow their business.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started with small business email marketing, plus plenty of resources along the way to point you in the direction of success.
Planning your email content ahead of time is crucial for success. The best way to do this and keep organized is with an email calendar. Create yours the easy way with this downloadable template:
One of the biggest mistakes that many SMBs make with email marketing is not getting started with building the email list early enough. People provide their emails to brands they know and trust – it takes time to develop the consumer relationship only that far.
Get started building your email list as soon as you can with your business. Here are some tactics (and a few more) that you can try:
Medium puts a signup banner halfway down its front page after the reader has already had a moment to get interested in its featured posts. Source: Medium.
Once you’ve started capturing emails, it’s time to start considering what sort of emails you want to send. Depending on your target audience and your product or service, a few different options exist that you should consider.
Email newsletters are super common, effective and fun. They’re a great way to let subscribers know about your latest updates, sales, special announcements, or interesting pieces of content.
Many people also approach them like digital magazines, curating the very best and most interesting content in a weekly or monthly edition.
Email newsletters are a chance to get creative. We’ve curated a few ideas to get your inspiration flowing.
A drip campaign is a series of emails automatically sent to a recipient. They’re usually triggered by a specific action, such as a signup or a transaction. Drip emails serve to keep a brand at the front of a subscriber’s mind and extend the sales funnel without it seeming like you’re trying to sell something.
To get started on writing an utterly irresistible drip campaign, check out this guide. A drip campaign looks roughly like this:
A dedicated send email is one sent to a specific segment of your subscribers. They’re a powerful way to more personally target demographics within your target audience to drive conversions. Some segments within your email list that you should consider targeting include:
Small business email marketing is a great way to increase awareness of all your latest offerings. It might thus be tempting to blast your email list every time you’ve got a new product.
Send promotional emails carefully.
While it’s important to keep your subscribers in the loop, emails full of product links can annoy subscribers and come off as spammy if you aren’t also providing valuable content. Choose promotional emails when you have things like a yearly annual sale or a truly game-changing product release.
Using transactional emails to keep customers in the loop about their purchases or signups is an email marketing best practice. These get some of the highest open rates because people are expecting them, and they contain information that people need.
Take advantage of them in your SMB email marketing strategy. Research shows that they can generate up to six times more revenue than other types of emails.
Are you brimming with ideas yet? Fantastic!
Your next step is to transform all those amazing ideas into stunning emails that people get excited about whenever they see you pop into their inbox.
However, don’t just go hammering out whatever words come to mind. To have the greatest effect, you’ll need to polish your email copywriting game. Before you get started, we recommend that you:
By the way, have you decided what service you’re going to use to send your emails? An ESP can provide many beautiful templates, helpful tips, and the email server power that you need to blast hundreds if not thousands of emails at once.
CoSchedule integrates with the following:
We’ve said it so many times before: consistency is key.
Unless you’re using drip campaigns that are triggered by user actions, you’ll need to develop a schedule for when your newsletters, sales announcements, or dedicated sends go out. Doing so keeps you consistent, and helps you stay focused on your next task.
However, how often should you be sending out those marketing emails? We compiled information from 20 different studies. Here’s what we found:
Use email marketing analytics to see how your campaigns are doing. By tracking these, you’ll quickly spot problems or opportunities to tweak your emails. Metrics also make it easier to A/B test emails (or send out different versions to see which one gets better results).
There are a bunch of different types of metrics that you could follow, depending on your business. For SMB email marketing, however, these eight are usually the most useful:
We’ve broken down exactly what all of those are (and how to find them) in a comprehensive email marketing analytics guide.
There are some 3.9 billion email users out there receiving 293 billion emails every day.
When you’re working with numbers that big, it’s no wonder that email marketing seems like a somewhat labyrinthine topic.
For a small business, email marketing is a powerful tool that can result in an impressive ROI. We’ve broken down the fundamentals to help you get started. Need more? Check out our best tips for organizing an effective email campaign strategy.
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