If you are running a small business… scratch that – any business, it is important that you spend your monthly marketing budget wisely. Every penny spent on marketing should be money well spent and your return on investment is key.
Email marketing is an excellent, cost-effective solution that gives you the power to connect with your audience in a place they visit every day – their inbox.
What are the benefits of email marketing for small business?
There are plenty of benefits but I have narrowed down my top 5.
1) Builds credibility.
People do business with people they know. People they trust. Email allows you to build that credibility by sharing helpful and informative content.
2) Increases donations.
If you are running an event or fundraiser, email is a great outreach platform to use to promote donations.
3) Strengthen your brand recognition & communication.
You can strengthen your brand recognition by sharing your brand story and company culture. Make your audience aware of the latest things happening in your business. Communicate with your audience and share seasonal messages, your latest product launch, your next event, service related tips, sales etc.
4) Boost sales & special offers.
Now you do not want to annoy your audience so I definitely do not suggest creating spammy sales emails and sending out twice a day all week long (more on timing later!). However, I do suggest including a sales promo into a more meaningful email campaign that provides the client with valuable information but also promotes your sale!
5) Become an expert with expert content.
Position yourself as a local or regional expert in your field by sharing your knowledge. Deliver quality content regularly and engage your audience.
Launching a campaign in 4 easy steps.
1) Build your email list.
In order to send your first email campaign you need a list to send it to! If you are using Mailchimp (which is my go-to), add your subscribers into ONE list. It gives you the option to add more lists however lists are independent of one another and any clients added to multiple lists will count multiple times in your overall subscriber count, which will increase your monthly plan. I strongly suggest using one list and organizing your contact with tags. When you are importing a list you must adhere to the Anti-spam practices and list requirements as well as the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. Mailchimp has an excellent resource section I suggest you check out before you tackle this yourself.
When you are importing/gathering subscriber data it is crucial that you keep it updated, organized and consistent. The more information you gather from a subscriber the more you are able to target and create segmented campaigns.
2) Decide the type of email campaign you wish to send
Now that you have your list created it is time to plan the type of campaign(s) you wish to send to your audience. Each email you send should be goal oriented and value driven. Don’t send an email just to send and email – if you are sending an email without a purpose it likely won’t be worth reading and you will lose subscribers.
3) Craft your email design and content
The content of your message needs to be clear and add value for your customers (I feel like I have said this value thing a couple times… IT’S IMPORTANT!)
Key things to consider when creating the design of your email:
• Write an excellent subject line! Be clear and specific about the topic of the email but keep the subject simple, focused and short. Don’t be afraid to add in an emoji either 😉 – they have been proven to make your email stand out from the rest and could improve your open rates!
• Your campaign needs to be branded so please include your logo at the top of the email and in the same place every time!
• Use a responsive template. This will allow your email to respond to the type of device it is being opened on and will look great on desktop, tablet or mobile devices.
• Don’t go overboard with colour. Use your brand colours and any other colours should only be used for emphasis on key words and buttons.
• Limit the number of fonts your use to 2.
• Pick photos or animated gifs that support your message.
• Add a very clear call-to-action (CTA). These are typically placed at the bottom of the email and tells the subscriber what you want them to do and should correlate with the purpose of the email. Example: Purchase your tickets, Browse our collection, Make a purchase using this discount code, RSVP to this event.
• And last but not least, preview and test your campaign.
4) Press send and analyze the performance
Email marketing allows you to learn even more about your audience which can help you make improvements in every aspect of your business! Once that campaign is sent and opened you can analyze the report and look for new ways to improve on the next campaign.
Email marketing is an efficient and effective way to reach out to your audience, grow your customer base and build your reputation.
Ready to make the most of your small business marketing budget? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, let’s chat!