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Emails offer some of the best click-through rates available, which means your business can see substantial results using this channel. However, building an email list and planning your email marketing strategy can appear more complex than it actually is.
Your email marketing strategy covers both email list building and email content. Having one without the other means your company will not see the results you expect.
In this article, we provide email marketing tips and tricks to build your email list and use it to create engaged customers who are excited about your company. Using email marketing is a gamechanger for many small businesses, and yours could be next.
Why do you need an email marketing strategy?
Consumers respond to email marketing. That’s the reason your inbox is likely constantly full. In fact, the cross-industry average of people opening emails is at 27.9%, and of those, 12.8% will click through to what the email is advertising. For comparison, the cross-industry average Facebook click-through is 0.90%.
Build customer relationships
Customers value their email addresses and obtaining one for your email list building purposes indicates a basic level of trust. It’s this trust that forms the base of your company’s relationship with the customer and will allow you to develop them into a lead.
By choosing email as a marketing strategy, you can more consistently deliver items and news your customers want. This foundation helps them trust you more, which in turn leads them to choose your business to meet their needs. That’s a gamechanger for small businesses.
Open new sales avenues
Email marketing is a great way to open new sales avenues with your customers. Since email can be a personal channel, you can beta-test new strategies on your list and introduce new features that create excited consumers. By doing this, you’ll also find things that don’t work and can be eliminated from your arsenal.
Email is a unique sales avenue that can help grow your business. It both allows you to cultivate the relationship and deliver personalized content, which is not something social media channels can do as well.
Reach distinct markets
As a platform, email is uniquely flexible and allows you to market directly to specific markets. For example, major email providers offer what is called segmentation, which lets you group customers based on their characteristics. Unfortunately, this powerful tool is one of the least talked about email marketing tips and tricks.
For example, let’s say you sell wine or beer. Customer A bought a red and then decided to try a different red, which they liked since they reordered the second red. Then Customer B, who shares age, location, and occupation with Customer A, orders the first red. At this point, guiding Customer B to the same red Customer A liked rather than another option increases your chance of a sale.
Develop brand and expertise recognition
Your email marketing strategy can also build brand recognition for your growing business. When you provide a consistent look, feel and voice through your emails, it will help establish your brand.
You can also showcase your company’s expertise in your field through emails. For example, if you make bath products, you could provide helpful content to your customers about the proven benefits of your ingredients or provide how-tos on using your products. This helps demonstrate your knowledge in the niche and can also show consumers you’re a trustworthy business.
Improve your marketing efficiency
Most email platforms you can use to implement email marketing offer features like pre-made forms and templates. Using these makes email list building quick and efficient.
Additionally, most email platforms offer delivery scheduling. That means you can create all the emails you want to send in a month or quarter in one day, schedule them, and then not worry about whether customers hear from you. This will make your overall email marketing strategy much more efficient.
Email list building for small business
Before you put any email marketing tricks into practice, the first thing you need is email addresses on your email list. Email list-building strategies are relatively straightforward and often rely on what you offer your customers through their participation.
Choose your email software carefully
Email software is generally considered a necessity for companies. The features of these software programs have added benefits like analytics you would not have any other way. However, the market is full of options, and before you can start email list building, you need to choose one.
Make sure that when choosing your email software you pick something for when your business grows, not simply just for right now. Selecting a platform based on your future list means your company will not need to switch when your get bigger or a free trial expires. You also want to consider how the software integrates with your website and point-of-sale system.
Pick reasons for customers to sign up
While the occasional customer may sign up because they’re a company superfan, you will gain more email subscribers by offering incentives. Items like exclusive coupons or free, valuable content are often great options.
Try not to offer things like free updates about your company as an incentive. Most times consumers aren’t invested in the growth of your business and will gloss over the sign-up option.
Create a long-term email strategy
Once you have your email platform for your list and how you’ll get people to sign up, it’s time to create a long-term strategy. In general, developing a consistent calendar of when you intend to deliver content benefits your company. If done correctly, consumers will start to anticipate your emails.
Decide what email categories you want to send that make sense for your company and then schedule dates. Make sure to focus on email quality, not quantity. If you overwhelm your customers with a bunch of marketing emails that don’t offer some kind of benefit, they won’t sign up or they may unsubscribe.
Email marketing is a long-term investment, and it may not yield results immediately. Unfortunately, this leads many companies to abandon the strategy. However, consistent follow-through is what often yields the best results. That doesn’t mean continuing the same email marketing strategy simply because it’s what you decided initially. Instead, adjust and refine your strategy over time.
Email content ideas
Once the email list building is in progress, the next step is figuring out a content strategy. It’s important to note that not every tip or trick will work for every business. Discard the options that don’t fit rather than trying to make them work for your business. It’s crucial to think about what your customers think is important, not what you think is important. Try to view the email through their eyes.
Share your story
If your company’s story and your employees’ stories are all part of what makes your company unique, share this. As part of your overall strategy, this can help customers connect with your company and increase their chances of buying.
New merchandise emails grab customers’ attention and prompt them to buy. But do not use them for every email you send to your email list. A good rule of thumb is that 70% to 90% of your emails should focus on something other than sales, though they can still mention your products in passing.
A contest isn’t necessarily part of your weekly email marketing strategy, but it can be a fun option for special occasions. You can use email to advertise social media contests or hold email-exclusive contests as a way to get sign-ups. Options include answering questions, special events, photo contests, and more.
Requests for feedback
Feedback is vital for growing your business, and email is a great way to ask your loyal customers what they think. Requesting feedback occasionally indicates your company cares about what its customers want and need.
Monthly newsletters are a fantastic option to recap everything that’s happened. You can even pull in your previous email announcements to make writing the newsletter a little faster. In addition, with a monthly newsletter, you can include customer spotlights, how-to content, products, partnerships, and more.
Email marketing is a productive avenue for businesses to pursue, and it can often yield unexpected results. There are many email marketing ideas for small businesses out there, and finding the perfect ones for your business can create growth.
Before implementing an email marketing strategy, however, it’s vital to plan out email list building. Without a list of customers, email marketing cannot help your company reach its overall goals.