Email Marketing: A Guide for Small Businesses

In Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy by Flying V GroupLeave a Comment

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Email marketing allows businesses of all sizes to communicate with their customers, clients, and partners quickly and efficiently. Everyone you know has an email address, whether for work or personal use. When used correctly, the right email marketing platform can play a huge role in your marketing efforts and help increase revenue. 

Both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit from email marketing; the only difference is their audience.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is using emails to build and nurture relationships with your customers. Unfortunately, not all email marketing is successful because businesses engage in bad tactics that don't drive results. Businesses who master email marketing, however, can use it to help grow their business and increase repeat customers. 

For long-term success, your small business needs a strategy that avoids blasting out content and hoping sales will start coming in. It's a process of gaining subscribers, getting to know your audience, communicating with them effectively, keeping them informed, analyzing your performance, and refining your process. 

How to Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is all about lead nurturing. There are different ways that you can do this using email marketing, but here are a few to get you started: 

Welcome Emails

Once someone subscribes to your email list, it's best practice to always greet them. This is the first email or first of a series that a new subscriber will receive. You can use this email to set expectations and let your subscribers know what you'll be sending to their inboxes.

Newsletters

If your business always has something going on, you can send out email newsletters that provide you with an opportunity to share news about your company, its products, or the industry you're in. You can also include your recent customer reviews and interesting insights.

Promotions

Everyone loves a good deal. Promotional emails extend special offers to your subscribers. Emailing customers about deals is fast and effective for communicating your latest specials and getting more sales.

Updates

If you're updating anything about your business that might impact your customers, you should let them know. This can include anything from notifying them that you've moved and where the new location is to let them know you’ve updated your privacy policy on your website. 

Order Notifications

If you're an eCommerce business, it's a good idea to send email notifications about your customers' orders. Always make sure that they receive an email that their payment is being processed. Once the item has shipped, let your customers know and provide tracking so that they can track their orders. Finally, once you know the product has been delivered, send another email to ensure they got their delivery and ask for reviews about the product.

Reminders

Most people have loaded up a cart online only to abandon it for almost no reason at all. Sending a card abandonment email reminds your email that their cart is still there and that you'll be saving it for a set amount of time in case they wanted to finish making their purchase. These emails are a good nudge to get your customers to return to you.

Special Occasions

Lead nurturing is about your customers, not your business. Relationships are important, which is why you should always send birthday emails or mark special occasions so that your customers feel closer to your brand. 

You should also mark special occasions like holidays, which will prompt your customers to get in on the action. Make sure to include a special promotion to get more people to your website. For ideas check out this ShareAble for Hires post about promoting Small Business Saturday.

Email Automation

Once you've found the right email marketing platform to use for sending emails, you'll need to start creating the perfect emails. If you have automation set up, you can create a design and add copy to welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, order notifications, and more. Once you're done, set when you'd like your customers to receive these emails, and you're done. 

Email automation is a set it and forget it lead nurturing technique that allows you to nurture leads efficiently and effectively. 

How to Get Subscribers

In order to have an effective email marketing campaign, you'll need subscribers. Getting subscribers is easy. If you already have a website that gets tons of traffic, you can add a pop-up sign-up form that lets people sign up for your newsletter or to receive promotions. You can also create a sign-up form on social media or collect leads through Google ads. 

In most cases, you will have to offer your audience something in exchange for their email. This can be a discount on products or services or a free ebook.

Crafting the Perfect Email

Unlike automated emails, there are other emails that you may send out only every now and then. These are typically promotions that have start and end dates. Crafting the perfect email is easy. Here's how you can do it quickly.

Design

Design an email template that you can use for all of your promotional emails. A template allows you to drag and drop new elements like photos or text into the template without needing to start from scratch.

Write a Killer Subject Line

When someone opens their email, they don't see any colorful graphics. They only see email subject lines. It's these subject lines that help someone decide whether or not they want to open the email. If your subject line isn't interesting enough or doesn't provide value to your audience, they won't open it. You can A/B test your email subject lines to see which type of tone provides you with the best open rates. 

Add a CTA

Once design is complete and you have the perfect headline, you'll need to add a call-to-action (CTA) that tells your audience what they should do next. If you're a company that provides financial advice, you can make your button, "Contact a Financial Advisor Today." If you're an eCommerce business, your CTA will most likely be "Add to Cart" or "Buy Now." Your CTA should be clear and concise so that your audience knows what to expect when they're taken to a web page.

Practice Makes Perfect

Email marketing doesn't come easy to most small business owners. To put you on the right track, follow the steps in this guide. However, it may take some time to nail down the perfect email marketing approach for your business. You'll need to experiment with your design, copy, tone, and CTAs to determine what works best for you and gets the most open rates and click-through rates. 

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling, and music.


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Flying V Group