Email marketing fills our inbox on a daily basis, so why is it so important to incorporate it into your small business marketing plan?
The answer is simple: because it works! Email marketing is extremely effective when done correctly. It is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools and is also highly measurable because you are able to follow exactly how many individuals receive the message and whether they engage with its content.
The best way to increase engagement is to have a clear call to action within your email. A “call to action” encourages the reader to follow through. There are different ways to engage the audience, such as posting a link to follow your business on social media, purchase a product or call for more information about a service. A clear call to action can make the difference between gaining new customers or being sent straight into the “delete” file of their inboxes.
There are two main goals for a small business when it comes to email marketing. For some businesses, the goal is to generate sales, and for other businesses it is to gain leads. Depending on the nature of your business, you will be able to determine which of these is most important to your.
If you are in sales, then your goal is to provide content that highlights your product. Include photos of specific items with detailed purchase information. Create links within the email to direct consumers to an online store, or provide contact information for the customer to come to the store or make a phone order.
If your goal is to generate leads, then your content should be more information based rather than direct advertising. You want to provide worthwhile information to your potential clients so they continue to engage with your content. This information-based email marketing leads to top of mind awareness. You may not have a product that the client needs today or in the near future, but you want to get your name in front of the potential client as many times as possible, so when your service is needed you have left a good impression by providing reliable information on a regular basis. Top of mind awareness causes the client to think of your company first instead of your competition.
When creating an email list, you want to gain email addresses based on an “opt-in” option. This means the individuals you are emailing have requested information or have given your permission to contact them. Begin building your list by advertising an opt-in link on social media and your Web page. You can also ask current customers to join your mailing list and share the information with their networks. Purchasing a generic email list is not advised and can cause a huge increase in your opt-out numbers.
There are many online programs that provide email marketing solutions. A couple sites that I am familiar with are MailChimp and Constant Contact. Both offer great online features that help you create amazing email campaigns with ease. You can set up templates to work from and include social media tools and links to help integrate of all your online marketing. Explore some of the many options available and get started on your new email marketing campaign today. Written by Dezaray Johnson, Business Development Training Coordinator, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.