I’ve often heard that email marketing is only for big corporations, and small businesses can do without it. This is the myth I want to break today and show you how you can massively grow your business with email marketing.
What is Email Marketing
Email marketing is a popular digital marketing strategy where you send emails to prospects and customers. Businesses choose email marketing to build relationships with the audience, nurture leads, and convert them into loyal customers.
If you think email marketing is dead or not effective, here are some interesting facts that tell you why email marketing is a proven and effective marketing strategy for small business:
- 73% of marketers think email plays an important role in business success.
- 80% of professionals say that email marketing improves customer retention.
- 73% of millennials expect business communication to be done via emails.
- 59% of people believe that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
- Among all other types of content marketing, email newsletters are the most effective, say 81% of B2B marketers.
- 87% of marketers choose email as their top organic distribution channel.
Now that you understand why email marketing is indeed a great marketing weapon, I will explain how to use it in your small business to increase profits.
Getting Started with Email Marketing
If you want to make your email marketing a success story, there are two things you’ll want to do: build a strategy and follow three basic steps for getting started.
Step #1: Email List Building
Every email marketing campaign starts with a subscriber list. Your email list will be comprised of people who have opted in to receive email correspondence from you.
What’s important for you to know right now is that the average email marketing database decays by 22.5% every year. This happens due to several reasons. Some may choose to opt-out, email addresses can be invalid due to typos, or some people might be using their old emails, which they never operate.
To save the cost of sending emails to these bad addresses, you need to weed them out by cleaning your list at regular intervals. And at the same time, actively grow your email lists to keep the numbers moving up. Further down, I’ll discuss how to grow your email list, so keep reading.
Step #2: Segmenting Your List by Buyer Personas
How many times a day do you receive marketing emails that are of little to no use to you? These emails quickly make their way to the trash. You’ll want to avoid this as your audience wouldn’t appreciate it if you send them generic emails that offer no value to them.
This is where segmenting your email list comes into play. To make sure your hours of hard work behind growing your list and creating emails pay off, you need to be sending the right emails to the right people.
Segmentation allows you to send personalized and targeted emails to your segmented portions of your audience, which generates a positive experience. To get started, identify your email subscribers and begin to group them based on interests, purchase history, job roles, industry, or location. In many email marketing platforms, you can do this using tags or the creation of separate lists. Doing this will help you develop meaningful relationships with your audience and convert more prospects into customers.
Step #3: Choose the Right Email Service Provider
Are you sending campaign emails directly from your inbox? If that’s a yes, you’re losing out on some valuable insights and functionality that an email marketing platform can provide.
Email Marketing Platforms, also known as ESPs (email service providers), make it easy for you to create and test email campaigns, personalize the design, see information on the open email rate, click rate, and much more. This data helps you understand how effective your email campaigns are and pinpoint gaps so you can work on them for more conversions.
When choosing an email service provider, make sure to check what features they offer. Some of the popular features you’ll want to consider are:
- Ease of use
- Tracking and monitoring
- A/B split testing options
- Customer support
Here’s a list of some of the best email marketing software you can use to list building and email marketing campaigns. These tools are well suited for businesses with not-so-elaborate marketing budgets.
Mailchimp is a great software solution for small business email marketing campaigns. This platform is quite popular among digital marketers and business owners.
This is because Mailchimp offers a forever free email delivery package that allows you to send emails to 2K subscribers every month. This plan is good for small businesses that are just venturing into email marketing. You just need to sign up with your email address, add your email list, and schedule your email distribution campaign.
You can try using their free plan to determine if you want to use their advanced packages to improve your email marketing campaign ROI further.
AWeber is an old name in the email marketing industry. They have been around for over 20 years and have built a vast network of loyal customers who use their services to reach their target audiences.
AWeber offers you a free trial when you sign up with them. On the free trial, you get access to all of their features to analyze what you are going to pay for.
You can use AWeber to get insights about your email campaign’s open rate, click-through rate, and bounce rate. You can also access valuable data about the recipients of your emails, such as their geographical location.
ActiveCampaign is a great tool for small-to-medium-sized businesses that offer all essential features to set up email marketing campaigns. And not just email marketing, the tool gives access to pre-built automations that combine marketing automation, CRM with email marketing so that you get more insights into customer behavior.
You can integrate with many other platforms and tools that your small business uses to ensure the smooth running of campaigns. Like two other software discussed, ActiveCampaign also offers a free trial so that you can familiarize yourself with the platform.
Understanding the Various Types of Emails in Email Marketing
When we talk about email marketing for your small business, you can use several types of emails to achieve different objectives. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
Broadcast emails are traditional emails that play a crucial role in marketing. These are typically single emails sent to your mail list to promote products or services or make an announcement or reminder. This type of email marketing is not part of automated follow-up campaigns and is typically time-bound in nature.
Email newsletters are typically a newsletter-style email sent to those on your list. This type of email is typically set up to deliver on a consistent set upon schedule to your list and typically follows a format for sending specific types of information.
A drip campaign involves creating pre-written sets of emails and setting them up to deliver at specific times and dates. An action typically activates drip campaigns that a subscriber takes, and once set up, they run on their own. A typical example of a drip campaign would be welcome series email campaigns where the content delivered is the same to every person who goes through the campaign regardless of any additional actions they take.
Automated Email Campaigns
Whereas drip campaigns are static, automation email campaigns, or what is also referred to as nurture campaigns, are dynamic. The emails sent to the subscriber in the funnel can change depending on what actions they take.
A great example would be an abandoned cart email campaign. If someone leaves an item in the shopping cart on your website, it can trigger abandoned cart automation that sends an email to that person reminding them to purchase. If they purchase, it may send them to a separate campaign thanking them and offering an upsell. If they don’t, it may trigger an email that offers a discount or special shipping. The content they receive is all based on the actions they take.
Two Surefire Ways to Grow Your Email List
As discussed earlier, your email marketing database degrades over time. Therefore, you need to work on acquiring more leads to grow your list constantly.
Here are two surefire ways to grow your email list.
Lead magnets are something you give away for free to attract new prospects. To accept your offers, they must give their email address with consent.
Lead magnets come in all forms. It can be an ebook, worksheet, report/case study, marketing cheat sheet, or audio-visuals.
Regardless of what you offer, the lead magnet has to provide high value to your audience. It should also be a strong representation of your brand, as lead magnets can help you gain visibility and trust – all of which lends to building long-lasting relationships.
Whether for organic campaigns or paid, landing pages are a great way to get more signups and build your email list. You can customize your landing page’s design and place signup forms, sticky bars, or even popups forms to collect email addresses.
Remember that landing pages can make or break your email list-building efforts. So, become an early adopter of writing great copy, building super fast pages, and creating a visually appealing design.
If done correctly, email marketing can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to communicate with their customers and prospects. With the help of emails, you can not only sell products but also build relationships. Now that you know how you can start with email marketing, create an effective strategy, and launch your first email campaign.
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