Technology is always changing and so is the way we reach customers. We have social media, instant messaging, funnels, traditional outside sales opportunities but we often forget email marketing as a strategy to include in our business and marketing plans. No… it doesn’t mean just opening up your inbox and sending an email to a client. In this blog, we break down email marketing and how to effectively use it as a small business.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is an online marketing strategy that entails sending marketing messages to the prospective and current customers directly via their emails. This is the best strategy to reach your customers directly and effectively when you may not see them often enough to remind them you exist in person. As a small business owner, one can build the relationship and loyalty of his/her customers by sending relevant information to these customers.
How to use Email Marketing within a business?
For a small business to start its journey in email marketing, more effort is required. Email marketing is not just about setting up your website and advertising your email contact on that site, No. There is much more involved. As a beginner in email marketing, you need to understand the basics and how the entire marketing strategy works for you to start.
How do I make it happen?
Collect email addresses is going to be your biggest challenge unless you have a CRM that has been collecting your clients information. If you have that, it’s as simple as exporting a spreadsheet and importing it into your email marketing platform and designing your first campaign.
If you don’t have any client emails you will have to do a little extra work. The first important step you need to make is to have a list of your customer’s email addresses.
There are many ways you can collect the email addresses. Some of the ways you can use include:
- Ask for email address when a person is checking out at the till.
- You can offer entry into a draw of some kind in return for contact information.
- Create an email opt-in on your website and an offer (valuable content, free download, chance to win) to encourage them to submit their email address.
Email marketing is not just about sending spammy advertisements to your customers. Use email marketing as a tool to keep top of mind. To make these emails interesting, send only relevant content and make sure it’s something they will find useful/beneficial – something to help improve their business. By treating your email marketing as a way to provide value, you are helping to build trust and a good relationship with them.
Behavioral Targeting & Analytics
One important element in email marketing is behavioral targeting. This allows you to monitor the activities of the people you send emails to. This is done by placing Market Intelligence source codes within the social media and emails to track anyone accessing the received emails. This helps to monitor the sites they visit, the links they click etc. This helps in knowing the exact products they are looking and you could sent up an automation to gear content direct to them. This method helps in identifying the information that is more helpful to your customers.
Like your website and social media, email marketing is also coupled with powerful analytics. Analytics within your campaigns can tell you who is open your emails, when and where. With in a campaign, if you have links present, most email marketing platforms will hot key your blast so you know which links and sections of your blast are most popular as well as your click through counts.
Email Marketing Platforms
If you want to take the plunge into email marketing, there are a lot of platforms out there to get started. Those who have been in this field of email marketing say that the secret to succeeding in email marketing is choosing the best platform. There are many platforms so far. Some of the platforms we have out there for small businesses include:
These are just among the many platforms that are available. When set up properly these platforms will ensure that your email does not end up in the spam folders and if you follow their set up steps, they ensure that spam laws are followed. These platforms will enable you to create engaging emails, manage your contacts and track the performance of your email campaigns.
Email marketing does come with a bit of a catch. In Canada, US and the EU, there are anti-spam laws. For small businesses, be cautious when you are collecting emails. If you have an opt-in form on your website using any of the above platforms, ensure that you have security and double opt-in consent selected where possible. Most these platforms take care of the rest. If you collect them face to face, be sure that you have a paper trail that indicates that your customer has given your permission to send them emails. Read through these links to ensure you are in compliance.