E-Mail Marketing Basics for Small Businesses
One of the most important steps a small business can take in their marketing today is to establish and grow a list of interested potential customers to communicate with on a regular basis. Some prefer to do this through Social Media, but the most effective form of this is best handled through E-Mail Marketing.
WHY E-MAIL MARKETING?
These days, the correct (read: legally advised) way to build a list is through a double opt-in process. This mains that a person will sign up for an e-mail list via some kind of web form. Then, that person will receive an e-mail asking them to click on a link to confirm their desire to be added to that e-mail list. This is thanks to the CAN-SPAM Acts of 2004 and 2008, and they are the best thing to happen to small businesses. Why? Because now everyone who signs up for your list is double-sure they want to be communicated to from your company, and have confirmed the desire to receive your information. They literally asked for it. So, to not appreciate the importance of that kind of lead generation would be mind-boggling.
GET AN E-MAIL MARKETING ACCOUNT
The best way to do E-Mail Marketing blasts is through an E-Mail Marketing service. Try MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, of whatever service you’re comfortable using. Once you get this account set up, you can create opt-in forms for your customers and visitor to fill out and sign up for your list!
GROW THE LIST
Place this form on your social media channels, especially using an App on Facebook. Place this form on any landing pages you direct traffic to. Last but not least, and actually most importantly, place this form on pretty much every page of your website and blog. I say “pretty much” because you wouldn’t want this on a shopping cart page because it might distract from the customer making a purchase. So, other than any page where a purchase can be made, place your e-mail form on there.
INCENTIVIZE THE SIGN-UP
Give people a reason to sign-up. Offer them a free e-book, or a massive discount, or special perks they can only receive by being a member of your e-mail list. Make it juicy and very valuable. The customer is allowing you to contact them, so give them something of equal or greater value. This is where you start to prove yourself and your company’s worth…so make it really really good!
Contact your list semi-monthly. Depending on your business, and how you set up your e-mail strategy will determine exacts, but generally speaking about twice a month is acceptable. Not enough contact and people will cool off and forget about you. Too much contact runs the risk of making people sick of you.
THE ACTUAL E-MAIL
Don’t clutter the e-mail with too much information. Just like any marketing you do, always have one major call-to-action and maybe about 2 or 3 minor ones just in case the main push doesn’t generate clicks. That is also the key here. Generate clicks. You want people to click on that e-mail and go where you direct them (most likely a particular page on your website). Your e-mail is for whetting the whistle and not giving the customer an entire novel to read. They’re not going to sit there and read a long e-mail anyway.
Of course, there are a few more topics to cover, and we will in later posts, but this should get you off to the races. Remember to analyze every single thing you do. Analyze open rates (they should be above 20%…don’t get upset if more people don’t open your e-mails than do open them…that’s pretty standard). Analyze click-through rates (these should be double-digits if you’re doing a great job, but again, don’t sweat it if you see “11%” because that is actually a good number). Analyze what links your recipients are clicking on. Are they clicking on the latest blog posts? Are they clicking on social media sharing icons? Are they clicking on your main offer all the time? Analyze every nook and cranny, so you know what your list wants, and give them more of that!
If you need some more advice for your particular business, then just contact us with any questions and we’d be more than happy to help you out! Happy list building!